Master Bathroom Reveal

I was a little neurotic with getting my bathroom to a place where I was ready to share it on my blog. I could have shared it last weekend, since it was mostly finished. Paint, bead board, shelves, hooks, etc. — that was all taken care of … but I hadn’t gotten bath mats! And my shower curtain was still in the mail. And I wanted art!

Finally, almost all of the pieces are together (I still can’t find a nice soap dispenser  that matches the chrome in my bathroom. They are all too warm-tones. My chrome is cool toned — like I said, neurotic!) and I can finally share my reno.

OK, back to the beginning. Here’s the bathroom when I started:

Before4

There was nothing terribly wrong with it, but I didn’t love the whole look. Our house was a Fannie Mae house and they redid a few rooms, but with not-so-great stuff. The builder-grade vanity and sink weren’t so nice and seemed to clog all the time. The drain wasn’t installed properly and the stopper wouldn’t go up or down.

We’d already replaced the mirror with a surface-mount medicine cabinet, but I quickly grew tired of having the mirror sticking out in my business when I tried to brush my teeth and do my hair.

Before

You can also see the $8 light and us using the top of the cabinet for extra storage. Part of this problem was remedied by us just having less stuff in the bathroom.

Before2

Anyway, while a lot of folks would have been fine with the bathroom the way it was, I got tired of the little annoyances and the design, errr, flaws. So I told B that for my birthday I was going to redo the bathroom. That was back in February. I couldn’t decide exactly what I wanted so I put the project on hold for a few months.

When I visited my friend’s new place a month or so ago she had a bathroom similar to what I’d been thinking for ours, inspiring me to revisit the bathroom reno!

OK, so there’s the before and the back story. Now to the project.

I researched what I wanted for weeks before starting this project. And then I stock piled supplies for a few weeks longer once things started coming in. My original idea is nowhere near what I ended up with, but I love the final product.

Let’s start with demo talk! First thing’s first, I needed to remove the tile at the baseboards.

IMG_3728

I used a pry bar to take off all of the tile, hammering it behind to get the tile to pop off the wall.

IMG_3729

This demo took all of 1o minutes and was so much fun.

IMG_3730

Next, I took off the medicine cabinet. Then I promptly hammered a hole into the wall. Muahahaha. It was AWESOME! Brian freaked out about this part, but I reassured him that it would all look nice when I put a new medicine cabinet there.

Bathroom Reno_Medicine Cabinet hole

I finished demo by taking out the vanity, toilet (thanks, Allie!) and other features.

Once I had everything taken apart, I had to put it back together The plan was simple. Bead board. Floating vanity. Tile accents. Thick moldings. Tile insets in the wall. Wall hooks. Industrial vanity lighting. Vessel sink.

Some of that stuff happened! Let’s start with the bead board.

BEAD BOARD

I used PVC bead board, which will hold up to the moisture in the bathroom. Good call.

The PVC bead board came with two options: standard plank (three per sheet) or wide plank (two per sheet). I preferred wide plank as a slight twist on the classic. Each sheet was 8 feet long and 7 inches wide. Before I could install the bead board I had to cut all of the sheets in half using a mitre saw.

Once that was complete, and my neighbor came over to help me, we jumped right on installation. It took us about four hours to make it around the whole bathroom. Corners and pipes were slightly tricky, but nothing we couldn’t handle.

Bead Board Corner

I didn’t worry about getting the corners just right because I bought corner trim. You can see the gap in the photo above.

We cut around the pipes behind the vanity, then used a hole saw for the pipe behind the toilet. It worked great. To install the bead board, I used adhesive and my nail gun.

Bead board 2

We called it a night with the bead board on the walls.

The next morning, I started installing the baseboards. Allie came over to help me with the  chair rail molding, which was wonderful. The baseboards were easy, and I tackled those no problem, but the thicker molding at the top was more of a challenge and I was grateful for Allie’s help.

The trickiest part was around the window. We opted to rip out the bottom of the window sill, cut off the top piece of molding, then install the molding around the window as if it were always like that.

Molding

You can see the little gaps that I was later able to fill with caulk.

With all of the moldings up, I caulked the whole bathroom — twice. We installed the chair rail molding on top of the bead board, which left a decent gap from the wall. Because of that, I had to fill in with a lot of caulk. When it dried, it needed a second round. It was amazing was the caulk did to “finish off” the molding.

Up next, paint! The bead board and trim got three coats of white paint.

Then, the hubby and I reinstalled the toilet. And then the sink. Our neighbor Chad helped us a great deal with this since neither of us have any experience with plumbing.

The vanity I bought (not the floating one) had a shelf that (of course) hit right at the pipe coming out of the wall. SOOOOOO, we had to cut up the vanity to make it work.

Plumbing1

Plumbing2

It’s not pretty, but it got the job done. AND, you can’t see this little jigsaw action until you open the cabinets. There’s plenty of storage on either side, so overall we didn’t lose too much space.

The plumbing with the sink wasn’t a joy ride either. It seems the sink and faucet (not a vessel sink) weren’t the easiest things to install. We got it kind of hooked up a few weeks ago, but the hot water leaked and the center faucet could easily turn (not good, not good). Thankfully plumber Chad came to our rescue again, installing the faucet the proper way last weekend.

OK, so I’m gonna jump around a little in the timeline here since we did parts of the medicine cabinet project early on, and other parts later.

I shared the hole in the wall photo already. After we installed the bead board, but before we added the chair rail molding, Allie and I cut out the hole for the medicine cabinet. This was one of my favorite parts.

I knocked out a bunch of the wall with a hammer first. When I made sure I wasn’t going to totally destroy any wiring by using a saw, I starting cutting along the edges of the 2x4s with a drywall saw. The tricky part, which I didn’t photograph, was there were two 2×4 supports running horizontally in this portion of the wall. We removed both, but then relocated the bottom 2×4 so it could add extra support for the cabinet.

Medicine Cabinet

Then, we popped the mirror into the wall — it fit perfectly!

Medicine Cabinet2

OK, so I said I had to jump around for this part — I partially installed the medicine cabinet when we put up the molding because I wanted it flush with the bottom of the cabinet. Then, I removed the cabinet again and left it out until the room was painted.

Now let’s talk paint. I wanted the bathroom to feel really bright, hence the all-white molding, sink and vanity. I continued this idea with paint choices, opting to go with Breath of Fresh Air from Benjamin Moore. The other thing I did with the paint that I’ve never done before was painting the ceiling the same color as the walls. I absolutely love this choice — it really separated the top of the bathroom from the stark white of the bottom and ended up being one of my favorite design choices in the whole room. You can see the color in the next few photos.

Once the paint was dry, the last thing to do was install the fixtures. I went with chrome for everything, even though the rest of the house is brushed nickel. I added a new toilet paper holder, two hooks for hanging our towels (instead of a towel bar) and a floating glass shelf. I permanently installed the medicine cabinet, too.

Then it was time for the light. The light was tricky for me. You can see in the photo below that the junction box is fairly close to the medicine cabinet hole, which we had to make higher on the wall since the hubster is 6’2″ and would like to be able to see his face in the mirror instead of his chest.

Because of this, finding the light was tricky. On the plus side, the light I ended up going with (not the industrial lighting) ended up being super cheap — $26, plus the globes.

Lighting

I bought two kinds of globes from Lowes. You can see the large white globes on the fixture and the clear option on the vanity. The white globes were too large, the clear globes were WAYYYYYY too bright. It was blinding in that room.

Lighting2

We ended up with smaller frosted glass globes that we are both really happy with. Brian liked the white color of the first globes. I liked the size of the second globes. The final choice was a happy marriage of the two.

Lighting3

All right…. I’ve given you more pictures of the actual process then you probably ever could have wanted. Time for the reveal!

Ta daaaaaaa! My first renovation where I didn’t have to run to my dad, step dad or family friend/contractor for help. Damn, that feels good :)

FINAL_WINDOW SHOT

I am beyond pleased with how the bathroom turned out. And I’m beyond proud of myself for everything that I tackled on my own. I manned the saws and all of the power tools. That list included a compound mitre saw (SO MUCH FUN), a circular saw, a jigsaw, a nail gun, a drywall saw, a pry bar (also so much fun) and a brief stint with the reciprocating saw…. then I decided that was a surefire way to cut through the wall in my other bathroom by accident.

FINAL_TOILET SHOT

I tackled demo on my own (except the toilet… thanks to my neighbor Allie for being such a good friend and helping me remove our toilet. That’s a real friend, guys.) Using a pry bar was so fun, although quite nerve wracking the first time. I knew I wanted to get rid of the baseboard tile, but I didn’t want to mess up the floor tile. Luckily, it came off without a problem.

FINAL_SHOWER SHOT2

I’m also really pumped that B and I reinstalled the toilet ourselves. That involved scraping off an old wax ring, which Brian was SO grossed out by. He went downstairs to get gloves (he grabbed gardening gloves instead of rubber guys…. poor choice) and while he was looking for them I tackled the wax ring issue on my own. Gross, but oddly satisfying.

FINAL-GARDEN STOOL

The design looks on point, for sure. I think the all while bottom, including the sink and vanity, looks really crisp. I chose beige bath mats to blend in with the floors versus having a color pop out on the floor. My only color rebellion is my new garden stool that I rest my hairdryer and brush on when I get ready.

FINAL-SINK SHOT

The sink was like my zillionth choice. I wanted a larger, longer vanity to fill all of the space to the left of our vanity (where the garden stool lives). But that would have involved moving plumbing, which would have been much more costly and such a pain. The other issue with that was my bathroom is so narrow that the depth of the vanity (19 inches) didn’t seem to exist with the width I wanted.

That’s when I had the idea to to the floating vanity with a vessel sink. Brian loves vessel sinks, so I thought that would be a nice way to get his taste in the bathroom. That ended up being a logistical nightmare. I wasn’t confident in our ability to support the sink.

So then I toyed with the idea of essentially building an open box with legs as more of a modern look. 1. I’m glad I didn’t do that. Modern is not my style. 2. I wasn’t feeling my wood options at Home Depot or Lowes and was finding it tricky to find other sources for a super small order of lumber. That and I have ZERO experience with building a sturdy piece of furniture. There’s a first time for everything, but maybeeee not when it is attached to plumbing that could rip out of the wall if something went wrong.

My investigation finally led me to the vanity you see. I found it on Amazon, of all places. And that’s where I got the sink (Kohler) and the faucet (Phister). The first vanity came damaged, which actually worked out great because we used it as a test vanity for cutting out the shelf for the pipe.  Overall, the vanity I ended up with is very much my style. Had I thought to look on Amazon for a vanity in the first place (versus Home Depot and Lowes), I think this would have been one of my top choices. I wasn’t having the Home Depot or Lowes vanities since they are made of not-so-lovely materials. My vanity is sturdy with soft-close cabinets. Awesome!

FINAL-SINK

The faucet, although a pain to install, is one of my favorite parts. It was expensive and worth every penny. I love the look. I love the feel of the water. I love the chrome. I love it.

FINAL-FROM THE SHOWER SHOT

And last, but not least… the bead board. Oh how I love my bead board. I love my molding. I don’t miss the tile that I thought about installing between the top of the bead board and the thick molding. It is so classic. It is so clean. I freakin’ adore it. Look for more bead board projects whenever we have a nursery to do. It is happening.

So there you have it folks. Possibly the longest blog post on A Smith of All Trades to date. I am so damn pleased and proud of this bathroom. It was a labor of love during which I proved to myself that I am a bad ass chica who can do construction and not totally botch it up. And, like so many of our other projects, I am reminded of how awesome and helpful our friends are. Without them, I couldn’t have made it through sane.

One last before & after for good measure…

BEFORE:

Before4

AFTER:

FINAL_WINDOW SHOT

It is magical.

100 Days of Real Food Cookbook review

Between bathroom renovations and power outages, I almost forgot to share a different kind of post for A Smith of All Trades — a book review!

I have been following 100 Days of Real Food for a few years now and the woman behind the blog, Lisa Leake, just published her first cookbook. Lisa’s blog is about cooking with real ingredients and cutting out processed foods. She has a ton of great recipes to share, as well as tips for cutting back on pre-packaged, over-processed foods. While I’m not 100% processed food free — I might not even be 50% — following her blog has been eye-opening for me as to the simple changes I can make to get rid of some, well, crap. Instead of buying frozen pizzas, we make our own from scratch. Box-mix cookies? A thing of the past. Bisquick for pancakes and biscuits — I can easily make my own. I even make our whipped cream instead of buying the canned stuff!

And you guys know I love to can some food from my garden veggies. And it is always yummier than if I buy it from a store. Real food = delicious food.

Some of our favorite meals have come from Lisa’s blog (The Best Whole Chicken in a Crock Pot – it really is the best and we are actually having it for dinner tonight!), so when I had to opportunity to review her cookbook I couldn’t refuse. Turns out, this recipe is also in her book.

100 Days of Real Food cookbook

100 Days of Real Food is a beautiful cookbook. That might seem a strange thing to mention first instead of, say, the recipes. But it truly is beautiful. Every page has a photo, which is essential (in my opinion) to a good cookbook.

It also has all sorts of recipes (it is a cookbook after all), from simple to more complex. She also explains in great detail about transitioning to real food. I’ve read some of her tips on her blog, but just from flipping through it seems like there is a lot I haven’t seen yet. She has a whole section on tips to convince skeptics (ahem, my hubby) that real food is the way to go. I’ll definitely be reading that section.

I think I might be most excited for her recipes for kitchen staples like salad dressings, bbq sauce, tomato sauce (hello, new recipe to can!) — these are the things that I am so used to just buying from the store but that have sooo many added ingredients. I think having these recipes on hand will make replacing the over-processed versions much easier.

OK, enough of my rambling. Obviously I like it. Check it out!

Here’s a few of the pages from the book so you can see just how pretty it is and how yummy the recipes look.

Shortcut Eggplant Parm RecipeShortcut Eggplant Parm Photo

Veggie Corn Chowder recipe

Veggie Corn Chowder2

Frozen Yogurt Pops recipe

Frozen Yogurt Pops photo

My whole family has been getting into the real food lifestyle, so I know they are gonna want to borrow this one.

 

Next time you hear from me, I’ll be showing off our new bathroom :) Hope you all have a great weekend!

I received a free copy of 100 Days of Real Food — all opinions are my own.

Bathroom Reno, Part 2

Our bathroom is almost finished. Almost! I am so excited to share the finished room, but not quite yet. I am still touching up paint, installing fixtures and re-caulking in a few spots. Plus, I need to accessorize! (That’s a really important part of a renovation, duh.) Home Goods is calling my name.

Until then, I figured I’d throw a few more sneak peeks your way.

Enjoy :)

Here’s the bead board, freshly installed:

Bead Board

Here’s the same wall with the molding and baseboards installed (not caulked).

Molding

And here’s a shot of the opposite wall with the sink and medicine cabinet resting in place.

Bathroom_molding

Do you love it so far?!? I love it so far.

Look for the reveal early next week!

Bathroom Reno

It took six months, but I am finally starting on my master bath renovation. It was supposed to be my birthday gift, but I couldn’t figure out exactly what I wanted.

I don’t want to give too much away, so I”m only sharing a few demo pictures today.

Bathroom Reno_Medicine Cabinet hole

Who am I kidding… all I’ve done is demo! My Labor Day weekend will be spent putting the bathroom back together. So exciting!

Here’s a sneak peek at the bottom of our new vanity.

Bathroom Reno_new vanity

I am hoping to get the whole thing finished this weekend. Brian has his doubts ;)

Happy Labor Day — enjoy your long weekends!

Revamped antique dresser

I grew up with this antique dresser always somewhere in my house. Ever have an affinity for something just because you grew up with it? Well, that’s how I feel about this dresser. It’s not quite my style, but I love it nonetheless. With four drawers, each with their own keyhole, and a beautiful curve — this piece is exactly what comes to my mind when I think of an antique dresser. My dresser comes with an added bonus — a small teal bead that me and my sisters stuck in one of the keyholes. We could easily remove the bead, but it has become sort of sentimental through the year — like, oh, is that the dresser with the bead stuck in it?

Antique Dresser_Before

Anyway, long story short, my mom and step dad had the dresser at their hose for years. Over the years, it somehow made its way into the garage and became a storage chest for nails, screws and the like. Needless to say, it got a little bit beat up.

Antique Dresser_Before_Top

The top really needed some love. With a crack 1/3 the way through it and all sorts of nastiness to the finish, it was crying for some help.

But let’s rewind….

Before I could tackle any of this, I had to clean this puppy up.

Dresser SPiders

Talk about some serious spider webs.

OK, back to the restoration.

Restor-A-Finish

I pulled out my walnut restor-a-finish and a new bottle of mahogany finish and mixed the two together. The dresser was an in-between color, so I figured a mix would be the best option.

Before I started the application of the restor-a-finish, I first wiped down the whole dresser, removed the drawers and took off the hardware.

You can really see the color variation in the finish in this next picture, especially underneath where the hardware goes. You might also notice some doggy paws keeping me company.

Drawers_no hardware

I also filled the crack in the top of the dresser using Elmer’s wood filler.

Filling crack

Once that dried, I sanded it smooth.

Then, I got to restoring. Using gloves and a ventilator mask for safety, I started applying the restor-a-finish to the whole dresser. All you have to do is put it on with a paper towel and let it soak in. In 20 minutes, wipe the finish back off. I did this twice, although that probably isn’t necessary. When that was dry, I simply added some feed-n-wax to the piece. You use the same method for the wax — wipe it on with a paper towel, then in 20 minutes remove it again.

And that’s it! I reattached the hardware and put the drawers back in.

Antique Dresser_Top_After

Check out that top! All sorts of fancy and nice.

Top

Here’s another shot. You can see there are still scratches in the top, but they don’t stand out anymore because of the treatment done. If you wanted the scratches out completely, you’d have to sand down the stop, which would remove the original finish of the piece. It’s a toss-up. The scratches don’t bother me, so I opted to let them stay with the original finish of the piece.

Ready for the whole thing?

BEFORE:

Antique Dresser_Before

AFTER:

Dresser After 2

It has such a nice color to it again!

This dresser is a perfect example of not needing to paint old furniture. Don’t get me wrong — I love a painted piece of furniture, but I hate to see beautiful antiques covered with paint because people aren’t aware of their other options!

Dresser After

My mom and stepdad will be sad they let it go. Now I need to figure out where it will live in my house. I am thinking it will go in our guest room and that we could use it as a future changing table for future babies. That seems to be a popular trend these days, anyway. Wouldn’t this be adorable in a little girl’s room? Of course it would, that’s why my mom got it for her three daughters :)

BONUS:

I don’t usually share outtakes from my projects and photo shoots, but Remmy was all over me for this project. I guess when his momma is outside, he’s gonna be glued to her side.

Remmy in project

Here he is in his cone of shame. Don’t worry, he’s OK. He just irritated his paw and wouldn’t leave it alone.

Rem2

Don’t worry, Rem. I wanted to take your picture, not one of the dresser.

Rem1

Staring contest. I won, he got bored.

Rem3

Oh, were you trying to take a picture? My bad…

Painted Wooden Signs

My girlfriends and  I got together to paint some wooden signs for our respective homes. Amy and Carrie made signs for their kiddos. I made a sign for ME!

Amy Painting

Amy's Sign_2

Amy's Sign_1We used the same process for painting the signs as I did for Carrie’s baby brother sign. Paint first, stain over it. The only thing we learned this time was that the gray stain really dulls out yellow paint. Amy’s sunshine used to be much brighter. On the other hand, her words pop even more. To make up for this, she painted the edges of her sign in yellow paint.

Carrie Painting

Carrie's Signs_1

Carrie's Signs_2

Carrie's Signs

Carrie painted two signs. One for baby brother, one for her son Eli. They turned out adorably.

For my sign, I wanted a quote from one of my favorite movies, Up!

My sign_1

I painted the words on first. I taped two lines so my words stayed straight.

My sign_2

Then I painted the house and a bunch of balloons.

MY sign_13

I made a last-minute decision to do a small Dug the Dog, who also looks a bit like Remmy!

MY sign_14

With everything painted, I stained mine gray. I liked that it dulled down my colors a bit so my sign looked a tad more grown up. It is a quote from a children’s movie after all!

My sign_3

I love my sign. I opted to not add holes for rope quite yet. I might just lean it on a shelf.

My sign_6

My sign_9

As you can see, I painted my edges, too. I pulled in a teal from the balloons. Love it!My sign_7

Adventure is out there!

 

Pillow talk, part 2

It’s been a while since I’ve talked about my pillow dilemma, so now that it is mostly solved I thought I’d update you guys on what went down.

Earlier this summer I shared with you a bunch of different options I was considering for my couch. Taking a page out of Young House Love‘s (and many other bloggers) book, I photoshopped my options before actually deciding on one.

Couch_Option2

I opted to go with option 1, buying a single coral poppy pillow from decomodwalls on Etsy.

After I got the pillow I of course wished I had gotten a larger size and multiple pillows, much like one of the other options in my original pillow talk post.

Couch_Option5

I let the pillow situation fade to the background for a bit, option to live with just one pillow for the time being. Then my neighbor and I got to talking about her pillow situation (don’t worry, we solved that problem!) and I realized that she could probably turn my single pillow into two! You see, Allie is really good at sewing (something I really don’t like very much). And, I had two pillows that came with the couch that had a fabric backing the exact same material as the couch.

So I asked if she would rip apart my new pillow and my two couch pillows, and then frankenstein them together. Being the kind person she is, she happily said “yes!”

Pillow Front

Pillow Back

Pillow Side

The pillows look great and saved me some cash money, too. Gotta love when that happens!

Pillows on Couch

Loving the added color in my living room :) I still might add in a navy pillow, but for now I am quite content. 

Pasta sauce

I stockpiled tomatoes so I could make some pasta sauce from garden goodies. I finally had enough, so last night I tried my hand at a new sauce recipe.

IMG_0567.JPG
Last year, all of my sauce was too watery. The new recipe was exactly the same. Soooo I took matter into my own hands. Instead of disregarding the peel and seeds, I separated the liquid and all the pulp. I then blended pulp in a food processor, seeds, peels and all.

With this new, thicker tomato concoction, I slowly added the tomato juice back on until the sauce reached a good consistency.

We had it for dinner tonight and it was delicious! I guess whatever works for me, huh?

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I got about 4 jars out of 8 lbs. of tomatoes, which seems crazy. But considering I couldn’t eat all 8 lbs of tomatoes myself and I didn’t want them to go to waste, it’s a great way to use them even for only 4 jars!

IMG_0576-0.JPG

Baby Brother sign

My good friend Carrie is expecting her second son in September and I am so excited for her and family. This baby has been dubbed “baby brother” throughout her pregnancy (her last baby was nicknamed “Kermie”) and she jokes that it should be his actual name.

Using scrap wood from my console table project, I made her a sign for her little one’s nursery using the nickname.

Spare Wood

I pulled out a piece of wood that actually broke off where it was laminated/glued together to the other boards. (Hopefully that doesn’t happen to the larger sheets of wood I used for the tables). I sketched out “baby brother” and then immediately sanded it off because I didn’t like it.

I opted to freehand paint it instead.

Baby

I did “baby” in off-white and cursive.

Painted sign

Then, I painted “brother” in navy and a print handwriting.

I added a few dots of the opposite color to each word as a cute little accent.

Drilled hole

Then, I drilled holes in the top two corners large enough to string rope through.

Before adding the rope, I stained the board with a light weathered gray stain.

Stained word

This really helped the off-white paint pop.

Stained sign

I put the rope through each hole and knotted it so it wouldn’t pull back through, then hung the sign up to dry. Since it will just be hanging on a wall, I didn’t bother with poly.

Hanging to dry

I gave her the sign on Thursday and she loved it!

Baby Brother sign Carrie

I can’t wait to see where she puts it in her nursery and I can’t wait to meet her little boy :)

OMG 10 years!

Today the hubby and I are celebrating 10 years. We started dating when I was 16!

Me and B

I can’t believe we’ve been together for a decade. Our three year wedding anniversary is next month, which is just crazy.

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Time flies when you get to hang out with your best friend every day.

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Love this guy <3