29 Sep 2013
27 Sep 2013
This is the story of how I attempted to de-ugly an ugly bathroom. Given all of the other expenses that we have going on in the house (hello....new windows....which could have bought us a small car instead...) the de-ugly the bathroom project had a very small budget. Ripping out the almond colored tub and the lovely almond molded sink isn't in the foreseeable future. Yes, we could have replaced the vanity top, or painted the tub, but it just didn't seem worth it since some day down the line (waaaay down the line), we will redo this bathroom.
So, here's how our main upstairs bathroom looked the day we moved in.
That accordion door thing made me have the heebie jeebies. I couldn't even imagine what might have been living in there, so it was very high on my priority list to kick it to the curb (literally).
I went all crazy on it one afternoon with my X-Acto knife and pulled off all of the caulking. After a bit of scrubbing and lots of Glue Gone (thanks Mom!), we were free of the grossness.
I painted the whole room (including the ceiling) in Benjamin Moore's Baby Fawn to match the rest of the main walls.
Here's how happy I was before I started the painting extravaganza (before cutting in the shower, cabinets, lights, ugly mirror, etc). Sorry it's out of focus....I work better when my eye is actually looking through the view finder.
And then do you remember this picture after I was 3 coats in?
(Also out of focus....that's how the bathroom made me feel.)
After the painting was complete, the next step was to do something about the floors. The old floor was linoleum that I don't think had been replaced since 1979 when the house was built. Since again this was a budget facelift, my answer to the linoleum issue was peel and stick vinyl tiles. I wish I had a better picture of the 'before floor', but you can see it in the first picture above.
I found some tiles on clearance at Rona, and they ended up only being $18 for a box of 45. They sort of remind me of tiles that would be in a school or a hospital, but I find them kind of retro and nostalgic. Plus, they have lots of coloured flecks in them, so it left the design possibilities wide open.
My Mom and I tackled the floor one afternoon and after a few hours we had a shiny new floor. The tiles were super easy to cut (just use a knife and snap), but somehow it still took us longer than we thought. I blame cutting around the curved bath and the toilet for the extra time. We used about 3/4 of the $18 box.
Although they aren't super fancy, the new tiles really make the whole space feel clean and fresh.
The other new addition was a shiny white throne. The old toilet had to go - I won't go into details, but it just HAD to go. I was insistent on a one piece toilet. We actually had this exact one in the basement of our old house and loved it. It is also from Rona (we picked it up during a 15% off day).
The one thing that made the biggest difference in the space was the new shower curtain.
We also added the blue bathmat which is from Ikea and a new towel bar from Ikea.
I love that it's double tiered so that the towels can actually have a chance to dry. I had hooks in our last bathroom and started to loathe them since the towels never dried and would sometimes start to smell.
So, that's where I am at today.
- painting the vanity
- dealing with the light fixture
- doing something with the ceiling (it will involve paint)
- baseboards and door trim
- change out the electrical (we are changing all of the light switches and plugs room by room).
Not a huge list, but enough to keep me busy for a while. I feel a bit scattered that I am doing the bathroom as one of the first 'rooms' in the house, but I feel like I need a bit of a sane space to get ready in every morning. Our Master Bathroom is a total gong show right now and I haven't even cleaned the tub, so for now we are all using this bathroom.
Have a great weekend. We are finishing up painting all of the doors in the hallway and I can't wait to show you....it looks fantastic if I do say so myself!
24 Sep 2013
When we moved into our house one of the first problems I had to solve was where to put my computer. I wanted to be in one of the main living areas, but not right smack dab in the middle of everything. Our old computer desk was great in the basement of the old house, but was too big to fit in any sort of nook in the new house. I set the computer up on the dining room table for a few days while I figured out the right spot. After getting used to the flow of the house, I realized that a little wall in the living room (close to the front door) would be the perfect spot. The only problem was that we didn't have the perfect furniture for the space.
So, we did what any good consumer would do and hit up Ikea. As soon as I saw the Vittjso Laptop Table I knew it would be perfect. It's skinny, doesn't feel too heavy in the space, and the best part...it was $39.99! You seriously can't go wrong for that price.
Mr. Swell assembled it for me in a matter of minutes and I set myself up.
It was good, but it felt a little bit blah. I wanted something a little fancier for the space.
Enter my favourite bling-er. Liquid Leaf Gilding in Brass. I've used both the Martha Stewart and the Liquid Leaf brand and find that they both work equally as well. I used a 40% off Michael's coupon and picked up a small jar for $6.
On Sunday morning while Fin and Mr. Swell were still sleeping, I removed the glass on the desk, moved it onto the tile (in case of any drips), and started gilding.
I know I've said it before, but my method of gilding is highly technical and fancy. Wrap your finger in plastic wrap. Tear a sheet of paper towel in half and wrap that over the plastic wrap. Dip your finger into the gilding and rub it on. Easy.
Here's how it looked after one coat.
The gilding covers quite well with just one coat, but I usually go back and do another one just to fill in any gaps. Unless you lay it on really thick, by the time you are done your first coat, it should be dry enough to do a second.
(A little dirty laundry and some random shoes are just par for the course around here).
Even with the saran wrap/paper towel combo, if you are doing a piece this big you will probably get at least some gold on your fingers.
I should have been more careful with my other fingers as I really had to scrub the gilding off of those ones!
The actual gilding took me about an hour and then the rest of the house was awake and I had to put the gold on hold for a few hours. And then this happened.....
I decided that the little brown shelf needed a little somethin' somethin' too. I grabbed some frog tape and sort of just went to town.
I was originally thinking that I'd do a starburst, but then it evolved into the triangles and I sort of fell in love with it.
While the gilding was still wet I pulled off all the tape. I seriously love Frog Tape...nice crisp lines!
It's a bit like a backgammon board, right?
I let the whole thing dry for a few hours and then moved it back into its little space.
So much better already. Just ignore the cords and the fact that there aren't any baseboards, ok? I can gild a desk in a morning, but trim is a whole other story!
I like the depth that gilding has as opposed to spray paint. It has a bit of streakiness and it gives a sort of worn quality that you can't achieve with spray paint. I also like that there is zero prep work before applying it, and once it's on it's tough as nails.
The space was looking good, but it needed one more thing to be complete.
We picked this guy up in Canmore when we were on vacation last month. I fell in love hard. He simply had to come home with us.
He's found his new home above my work space, and I think we are both pretty happy.
Yup, it's gold and bison love around here!
p.s. Thanks for all the love on The Week's End post on Sunday. I am glad I am not the only sentimental one around here. Love the conversations we had going in the comments!
Linking to: Thrifty Decor Chick