Monday, March 26, 2012

A New Bathroom

At last our bathroom is done!  We are super excited, not only to have a new bathroom, but also to have some free time again.  We had our final inspection last week.  We didn't pass because there were a couple small things that needed to be done that we didn't know about.  Annoying, but it was only a minor setback.  Nothing had to be ripped out or changed.  A couple quick fixes and we scheduled another final inspection which we then passed.  Bathroom completed.  But, on to what I know you all really want to see: pictures.

First, the before.  Let's take a walk down memory lane of what we used to call our master bathroom.  These pictures aren't great, but neither was the bathroom so they should do it pretty good justice.

Here's the shower.  It was a nasty, one-piece, fiberglass drop-in that we assume was the original shower from 1977 when the house was built.  The shower head and faucet were no doubt upgraded at some point, but they were nothing fancy.

Looking closer, you can see an actual seat in the shower.  I assume it's for those times when you become just so exhausted from bathing yourself that you need to sit down for a minute.

But, hold on.  Just when you thought it couldn't get more luxurious than that, upon further inspection, we see TWO seats in the shower.  Undoubtedly for those tea parties that are a definite must for a luxurious shower.

And, the shower door.  This had also been replaced at some point, but not very well.  It was a crappy installation job that allowed for leakage from one side.  It's always bad to have water outside of the shower.

I'm definitely gonna miss this bad boy.  Is it a washcloth bar?  Is it a handle to steady yourself for those unexpected bouts of vertigo?  Is it a piece of metal conveniently placed for those times when you just need to whack your elbow?  We'll never know because it's gone - rusted screws and all.

And, the rest of the bathroom.  That's me in the mirror taking a picture for posterity's sake.  It's a giant mirror.  Giant mirrors are great when you have space for them.  We don't.  And the vanity light.  Eight glorious bulbs of glowing electric wattage.  I will admit, that light fixture put off some great light, but at what cost? The ugliness had to go.  And in the mirror, you can see the set up on the other wall.  We actually did that upon moving in and it was a huge improvement over what was there before.

The toilet appears to be a regular old toilet.  It was actually the bane of Mr. Frisby's existence.  He hated it from the day we moved in because he had to fix it so often.  And, the vanity.  What to say about the vanity?  Well, it's ugly. And provided very little storage.  And that's about all that needs to be said.

A close up of the sink faucet.  Tiny and I much prefer separate hot and cold handles.  But, it does shine beautifully, doesn't it?

Here's the floor.  Pretty much what you would expect given the rest of the bathroom, right?  Surprisingly, though, that is real tile and not linoleum.

And, finally, the wall opposite the shower.  It has a window and that's pretty sweet.

So, that was the master bathroom.  There were a number of problems with the bathroom.  It was very small.  Unfortunately, that was a problem we could not change.  But, with this remodel, we set out to fix all of its other problems and make it awesome.  This bathroom had virtually no storage, was extremely dated, was as ugly as sin, had original drywall which was not water-resistant, and was a drab, boring bathroom in general.  Who wants to get ready for the day in that?  So, it's time for some awesomeness.

Now for the after.  Please keep in mind that we gutted this bathroom to the studs and subfloor.  This remodel was A TON of work - a majority of which was performed by Mr. Frisby.  Ok.  Here we go.

The new shower.  All tile, new door, no gross seats.  Awesomeness.

The shower floor.  We initially planned on just doing a pan, but changed our minds and decided to tile it.  Wise move.

The new shower head and faucet.  Much more modern and stylish.  And we put in a couple shelves for stuff.

A close up of the tile.  For the bottom two thirds of the shower, we used 4x12 inch white subway tile.  Then we put in the grey trim tile.  And we finished the top third with 3x6 inch white subway tile.

This is a close up of the shower floor.  We used 2 inch white hexagon tiles and did an inset of the grey trim tile we used on the wall.  We also did a row of the grey trim tile on the front of the shower curb.  We love how it turned out.

Now the rest of the bathroom.  We ditched the giant mirror and replaced it with a much smaller, but more awesome mirror from Pottery Barn.  We also added a storage cabinet above the toilet since there's very little storage space.  The toilet is brand new and Mr. Frisby hasn't had to fix it once.  The vanity and vanity top are a huge improvement over the last one and we got one with drawers to improve the storage situation.  Though difficult to see, the vanity light is fairly simple and much better looking than the previous one.  It doesn't give off as much light, but we added ceiling lights to make up some of the difference.

The new sink faucet.  Eight inch faucet spreads are soooo much better than the four inch ones.

Here's the window wall.  We ordered new white blinds that will match better, but they haven't come in yet.  I guess the bathroom isn't quite finished after all.  The medicine cabinet on the wall is also the one we had before.  It's okay, but we plan to find a newer, better one soon.

Here's a close up of the tile wainscot we did.  This was something I saw in pictures and wanted to do, but thought it would be a little much and quite a bit more work.  I mentioned the idea to Mr. Frisby to see what his reaction would be.  He wasn't opposed to the idea and said he wouldn't mind the extra work.  But, we knew it would add to the expense.  Then we did our taxes and found out how much we would be getting back.  And we decided to go ahead with the wainscot.  And, I'm so glad we did because this is one of my favorite features of the bathroom.

This is the wall next to the shower.  We put the same towel hooks back up, but got new towels to match the colors better.

Above the towels and shelf is the heat vent.  Before, it was a standard white metal heat vent.  We found this bad boy online in brushed nickel and thought it would be a small detail that would add a lot.  I think we were right.  It looks pretty sweet.

This is the ceiling.  I didn't have a before shot of it, but it was just plain white.  For the remodel, we added four recessed LED lights and a fan.

I realize that I didn't get a good after shot of the floor, but I think you can see it in some of the other pictures.  It's dark grey tile that matches the trim tile in the shower.  It was one of the elements that I was a little unsure of.  I didn't know how it would look with everything else, but I think it totally works.

And that is our new bathroom.  We're very happy with how it turned out.  We learned a lot through the process of doing it.  I do have two regrets.  After gutting the bathroom, we briefly discussed raising the shower head a little higher, but decided not to.  In retrospect, I think we should have.  The second is that I wish we had put in a pocket door.  It was something I didn't really think about until it was a little too late.  And, we can still do it at some point.  But, it would've been much easier to do it with the remodel.  The whole thing cost just over $5,000 but would've been a lot more if we hadn't done the work ourselves.  And, on that note, a huge shout out to the mister who worked his tail off to do it and to do a good job.  He worked hard and I appreciate his willingness to do it.  I always felt bad that I couldn't help more when I would see him working so hard and putting in so many late nights.  I painted and I helped with some of the grouting and I sealed the tile.  But, he pretty much did everything else (except the sheetrocking, wall texturing, and electrical stuff which we had a guy do for us).  And a big thanks to my brother who answered questions and gave us instructions along the way.  Though it was a huge job, it was totally worth it.  Hooray for new bathrooms!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Six Months

I can't believe little Stella is six months old already.  It's crazy how fast she's growing up.  The big news this month is that she's started solids.  She took to eating like a fish takes to water.  A good sign of things to come, I'd say.

Probably her first reaction to solid food (Rice cereal, in this case) was bewilderment.  But, she caught on quickly and her feedings are usually successful.

She seems to like almost everything I've given her with the exception of peas.  She does not care for those at all and gets a little upset when I try to sneak in bites between bites of cereal or something else.  She also doesn't really like her cereal plain.  But, if I mix it with apples and throw a little cinnamon in there, she's all over it.  Her favorites so far seem to be Bananas, Apples, and Sweet Potatoes.  I've recently decided to try making my own baby food, so we'll see how that goes when I start giving it to her.

For the first couple of weeks, we just fed her in her car seat since her sitting was still a little unsteady.  But, pretty soon she was able to sit better, so we got her a high chair.  And she LOVES it.  She looks like the queen of the world sitting there looking down at everything, so satisfied with herself.  It's pretty funny.

Notice her blurry little legs in the first picture.  That's because she doesn't stop kicking them.  Ever.  Kind of like how they were also constantly going before she was born.

She also continues to build her friendship with Scout.  It's pretty cute to watch those two.  I can tell Scout is just dying for the day when Stella will be able to play with her.  If Stella gets a hold of any of Scout's toys, she runs over and grabs it to play tug.  But, alas, Stella isn't strong enough to hold on, so their game of tug lasts all of 0.34 seconds.

And Scout gets so excited to see the baby when she wakes up in the morning or from naps.  Here she is just waiting by the crib for Stella to wake up.

She's getting more and more mobile each day.  She rolls from her tummy to her back very well now, so she just rolls all over the place.  She's also getting more stable while sitting and loves the new perspective it gives her.  And, just in the last couple of days, she's started to get upset if she sees something she wants and I take it out of her sight.  Good times are ahead, I can tell.

She's also growing and will soon be leaving her 3-6 month clothes behind.  She's grown out of a few things already and has moved up a diaper size.  She's also more accepting of the camera and is just happy and smiley in general.  She loves to chase Scout around.  I hold her and chase the dog and sing, "get the puppy, get the puppy" as we go and she thinks it's the best thing.  She also loves it when we sing to her and dance around with her.  And we're getting excited (and nervous) for her first long road trip when we head to Idaho and Utah next week.  We'll see how she does.  She also still loves her mama, but is getting a little better about letting other people hold her.  We left her with my sister the other night so we could go to dinner for our anniversary and she did pretty well.  She didn't cry the entire time, so we feel it was a success.  She actually reached for Mr. Frisby during Sunday School a couple weeks ago while I was holding her.  That's a first for her.  So, she went to her daddy and fell asleep in his arms for the rest of the Sunday School lesson.  It was great.

And that's our little 6-month-old.  We love watching her grow!