99.9% Done...

It's been a month since my last post. You'd think my kitchen reno would be done.  And for the most part, it is. All the tile work is done, the cabinets have all been refinished, and we even managed to get everything back into the cupboards (how is it that it seemed like we had more stuff than was actually in there to begin with?!). 
For some reason, the cabinets look white in photo's. They're not.  They're two shades down on my color chart from the wall paint. In person, you can see the contrast between the trim and cabinets, but not so much in the photos. I am LOVING the tile back splash with the counters!

So why 99.9% done?

First the obvious. The cabinet door. I have to buy a new one. The one that was there cannot be replaced. Since the shipping is about the same cost as the door, I have been procrastinating, looking for a local source. So far, no luck. So I plan to order it this week. 

Second, the cabinet door knobs. You can see the drawer pulls, but there are no knobs on the cabinet doors. Because I haven't bought them yet. New hardware totaled at about $85. Not really a bad price, but I have a senior graduating from high school, prom, and the senior's 18th birthday around the corner. So, I've been buying hardware a bit at a time. All the drawer pulls are bought, so I'll do the same with the cabinet knobs. 

I didn't put the valance up in this photo either, but I have it. I kept the red one I was using before because it works perfectly. 
I love my pops of red! 

So this is the end of kitchen "refresh" that basically was a total makeover. I'm happy to say...

The End

Did You Say Tile?

My post yesterday may gave led you to conclude that the front door was all we got done this past weekend. In fact, the door was done two weekends ago, and we've been working on the slow and grueling task of painting cabinets. It's not the most fun part of the renovation.

Last week The Builder was being incredibly stubborn particular about the tile we need to replace in our master bedroom. You see when we ripped out the first vanity months ago, we discovered that when they re-tiled, they only retiled up to the vanity, not under it. And since we've had a change of plan on the bathroom vanities, this is a problem.

Let's go back a few weeks.  The Builder and I decided that do to time constraints, we're not going to build the vanities. I really wanted something custom, but by the time we build the vanity, order the doors with the over priced shipping! and order the granite top with the dual sinks, plus the hardware, it's a time consuming chore we don't have time for. We've decided on an alternative, which I will share in another post.  But we were at a local tile store looking for a match when we found a tile that would be perfect for a back splash in our kitchen.

A back splash that we hadn't any plans to do.

But it was perfect. And after a brief discussion, we decided we only needed to do small strip above the laminate back splash to extend it up. We were confident the additional six inches would be perfect. So we bought what we needed and ran a test strip today:

And...I hate it. The Builder wasn't to fond of it either. Looking through some of my favorite inspiration sites, I realized that modern kitchens have the tile going from the counter to the cabinet and behind the stove. Not a wimpy little strip like this.

So Sunday morning, we headed back to the tile store to get enough to do the back splash properly.

Here's where we went with:

Yeah, it's much better tiled all the way up. Of course, it added extra work to the scope of our project. We had bought new outlets because someone had painted over the ones that were there. But with the tile, we needed a different cover so they would be flush with the tile. And the tile has to be cut around the outlets. As do the light switches. So while these are on a sheet that make it easier to install, The Builder had to make a bunch of small cuts to get it all to look right.

So as the end of the weekend, here is where we are with the kitchen:

I can't even imagine why I thought a small strip of tile would look better than this! Even our kids were impressed. And impressing teenagers with another home renovation project is a hard thing to do! There are still a bunch of small cuts to do around the window, as well as one more strip of tile to go on the other side of the window, but once that's done, and we've grouted, all we'll have left to do is put the cabinet doors back on (that are all painted!), refresh the trim, and put everything back.

This project wasn't as fast, or as budget friendly, as I had planned it to be, but we're getting a lovely updated kitchen when it's done and we're super excited about it!

Kitchen Paint, Cabinets and - oh my gosh!

The Builder and I had a conversation last night. There I was, drawing up a to do list for the weekend so we had a starting place, when out of the blue he said he didn't want to build the doors for the new vanity in the bathroom, he just wanted to order them and be done.

Apparently cabinet doors are a pain to make. (and while Ana White makes it look super easy to build cabinets, she bought doors to go with them - even my dad, Ultimate Builder, bought new cabinets for our kitchen reno when I was a kid.) We meed four for the bathroom vanity (that we are not starting for several more weeks) and one of the lower kitchen cabinet doors is badly damaged and my not be worth repairing (water damage - of course). 

Have you priced replacement cabinet doors? Surprisingly, they're fairly affordable. So I put what I needed in my cart and proceeded to check out. And then I stopped.  The shipping was $45. Umh. No way. There's no glass, they don't have a special finish that could get damaged in shipping (we were ordering them all unfinished), and they're not very heavy. There is no reason that shipping should be that much. Even when I took off the four for the vanity and just left the one for the kitchen, the $32 door had a $31 shipping cost. That's just stupid.

So we headed to my favorite treasure trove, ReStore, to see if we could find something that would match. They have piles of cabinet doors, but nothing that would work for our cabinet. We were headed out when the The Builder stopped at bin of doors, reached in, and pulled one out.

It was. The One.

Do you recall this post where we painted the door red? Because the door I really wanted from Lowes came in at almost $600. It wasn't in my budget then, and it's not in my budget now. But the red made me happy and I got positive comments from my neighbors, so it was a good solution.

But I wanted the one with the leaded star, similar to this
The star is what I really loved. And the one on display at my local Lowes was a rectangular window with the door red. For $569. Like I said, a budget buster for us given the renovations we have going on.

But there we were, at ReStore, and The Builder reached in and pulled out my red, leaded glass star door! In fact, it was actually a display door from Lowes and may have been the very same door that I admired for months, since Lowes is right down the street. All for the budget friendly price of $150!!!

Needless to say, we put a hold on it (had to check the dimensions to ensure it would work in our actual door!) and came back within 20 minutes to get it. And it is perfect! It did take some goo gone and a little elbow grease to clean off all the stickers from the Lowes display and the foam stickers from where it was mounted, but it was completely worth it. It also put a hamper on all projects that weekend as The Builder still had to do some frame modifications for it to fit properly, including building a new threshold.  Totally worth it though!
And a close up:
So, no kitchen updates for the last two weeks. But this door is amazing!!

Hmm, now we're going to need to paint the door trim too...

Better Late Than Never

This kitchen refresh has been s-l-o-w go. Really thought we'd be done by now. But we're not.

Thankfully, we are making progress! The repairs in the bay window are done, we've completed painting, the new blinds are in, and the curtains have been hung. It's really coming along now. You may notice that there are not baseboards. Those are still being repainted. The little things that take forever drive me crazy sometimes.

The counter tops are in and we're really very happy with them. You can see the new sink cabinet that we bought (and the small cabinet to the right, which still needs to the drawer front to be painted). Again, you can see that we're not done. We're not done painting and the upper cabinets are still white. See the vanilla colored paint we're paining over? It does make for a bright kitchen, but we are just not vanilla paint colored people!

The new sink. I LOVE it. It is amazing that we managed with the undersized sink as long as we did. I was hoping that for the final renovation, we'd install a farmhouse sink, but I may just end up keeping this one. I am that happy with! 

And the faucet. That faucet is worth every penny we paid for it. We have real water pressure again. Who knew?

The not so glamorous photo. You can really see here that we're not done paining. Also the doors are not on the lower cabinets and we haven't even started the upper cabinets. Sometimes there are really just not enough hours in the day.

The other side. Again, not good. This whole section is going to be expanded into more pantry. The hodge podge of stuff sitting out is driving me crazy. There is a coat closet behind this wall that just holds junk. We have to clean it out yearly and I'm always surprised at what we find. Because we don't use it! So we're going to enlarge the pantry, that you can catch a glimpse of to the left, so that we have more space in the kitchen where it's needed. Yes, the door is off the pantry. This whole section could pass for open concept, which I hate. I have big plans for updating and expanding this pantry!

So this weekend, the plan is to get the rest of the painting done, and at least paint the cabinet frames. The Builder has been sanding and priming the doors all week, so if I'm really lucky, we'll get cabinets closed up before the end of the weekend.

Because I really hate open concept cabinets and shelves!!

Wallpaper & Water

In every project we've taken on since buying this house, we've run into two problems. Water damage and wallpaper that was painted over. The kitchen, of course, is no exception.

The renovation has been very slow go since Christmas due to a sudden pick up in work for The Builder. While we appreciate the overtime monetarily, the timing is far from ideal. 

Today I asked The Builder (on his one day off) if would mind finishing up the painting in the bay window area so I could at least get the curtains up and feel like I'm making some progress. He reluctantly agreed, because painting would only take an hour or two, and then we could watch football playoffs. A win-win.

So he was prepping around the windows this morning, and discovered that the entire area around the windows was wallpapered and painted over

OK, a minor inconvenience, but not as bad as it could be, we've definitely had worse.

The original home builders wallpapered directly over the drywall. No primer, nothing. So most of this came out in big long strips, which made it very easy to peel off. For once. There were some small areas that someone did peel at one point in time, but gave up. Those sections were heavily textured (like in our master bathroom) but we've learned to make quick work of that with a sander. So not so bad.

Again, traces of the old, 80's wallpaper. You may recall that we've estimated that the kitchen has gone through at least four color rehabs since it was built.  Every single color was painted over the wallpaper. The Builder said he thinks it's probably at about 10 coats of paint. Ugh.

Still, just happy that this section doesn't involve any water damage, like the sink area.

Or so I thought....

So when pealing the last of the wallpaper from the baseboards, the drywall started crumbling. After removing the baseboard, this is what we came across.

It's not terrible. It's also all dry, so it's not recent. From what we can best guess, the window leaked at some point and water traced in and down wall into the baseboard. When the initial kitchen renovation was done, they filled a small hole, then painted over everything. But we didn't really want to do a patch job when there's a wide amount of damage. So The Builder spent the rest of the afternoon cutting out the drywall from under the middle and right windows, and replacing it, as well as sanding down the rough texture on the last wall.

We also decided to go ahead and replace the broken and stained faux wood blinds. We're replacing them with exactly what was there as the whole house has these blinds. The window over the sink will eventually have one as well. I like privacy the kitchen window not having any blinds has always bugged me. 

So we ended today with patching in the new drywall and the bay window area primed and ready for mud a texture. 

Counter Tops....

If there were any doubts about replacing our cabinets in the future, take a quick look at this:

All along I thought the wood grain was something similar to contact paper.  I was wrong.  It's more like rice paper, it is SO thin. 

Not that there was ever really a doubt. This kitchen has the worst cabinets of any kitchen I have ever been in. Clearly this wasn't an area the builder or the original home owners wanted to spend any money in. That's OK thought, it's my diamond in the rough and it's going to be lovely when I'm finished, even with just the soft reno.

This faux wood grain is on the outside of all the cabinets. You can see at the bottom of the panel that it's completely rotted out. Goodbye ugly and gross cabinet!

Yesterday we set the new counter on the replaced sink cabinet. We wanted an idea of how it was going to look with the wall and cabinet paint colors. I'm super excited as it looks as good in person as I was picturing it in my head.  This quick photo doesn't begin to do it justice. I think what I like best is the warm grey tones warmed up the kitchen. 

Today we did a dry fit with the new sink:
We haven't taken the protective shrink wrap off yet. Can you see how much deeper the new sink is? Even though it's not the farm sink I'm pining for, this is going to be much more practical for our family. 

At the moment The Builder is prepping the two corner pieces of the new counter tops:
K, not an exciting photo. But those bolts are key to getting the counter leveled properly, which is super important. Once the glue dries (we used Locktite Wood Liquid Nails) the counter will be ready to install. Since we're still living with the small two foot section the right of the stove as our only counter space, the whole family is now anxious for this counter to be installed. Also it means we can move on to fixing all the doors for the lower cabinets and get things put back in place. My house looks like a war zone between all the Christmas stuff that is still out and the boxes of kitchen stuff from the lower cabinets. Living in a reno zone is never fun, but I didn't contemplate reno zone AND Christmas stuff prior to demoing the kitchen. 

By the end of today, I figure we'll be 50% finished with the renovation project. We still need to fix a few of the lower cabinet doors, prime and paint them, install the new hinges, and then move on to the upper cabinets. But we're not expecting any water damage issues, so that portion should go fairly quick!

When the Bad Gets Worse...

The last two days, The Builder has been priming the cabinets for paint. I was willing to wait until the weekend, but we've got tickets to the football game on Sunday and we'll loose a solid day of work. So he didn't want to waste any time this week.

The worst cabinet in our kitchen by far was the sink cabinet:
Under the Sink
That board in the bottom was replaced when we bought the home in 2013. The prior bottom was rotted out and we couldn't really use the cabinet for storage. 

So you can imagine our surprise when we pulled out the bottom to repaint it and found this:

Umh.  Yuck!!

And let's not forget the other side:

Those pieces on the floor?  That's the rotted right side of the cabinet. It pulled right out when The Builder took the bottom out. And the smell. It's terrible. The kids even noticed. Gross is an understatement.

So we had a decision to make. 

Replacing all of the cabinets is still completely out of the budget.

But replacing one cabinet maybe wasn't such a bad idea.

Umh, two may not be a bad idea either! Thankfully they're on sale at the orange home improvement store so we headed out to pick them up. They'll get a coat of primer and then paint. You may have noticed that we're ditching the drawers on the smaller of the cabinets in favor of a door. When we bought our new stove, we lost the bottom drawer that we used to store our baking pans. We planned to find a place to store them once the kitchen reno was done - maybe in the new pantry we plan to build this spring. But now I'll use this cabinet space and it will be much more efficient for us. We never used all four drawers. We have drawers on the other side of the kitchen that were filled with junk. So we'll do some reorganizing and this cabinet will work much better for us. 

As to "The Plan" all but the new cabinets are primed and have the first coat of paint on. So all in all, not bad for the first two days of work!

The Plan

The Builder worked all Sunday afternoon on the kitchen. We have quite a hefty to do list on this "soft reno". The humidity is a huge issue because everything was so wet when we tore it out, that's adding to our time line as we have to allow for things to dry out.  The original four day estimate is out, but while the to do list looks extensive, most of it is all cosmetic and will go faster than many of our other projects.  So here is our basic timeline:
  • Prime all the bottom cabinets
  • Paint all the lower cabinets
    • humidity allowing, this could be done during the week when we get home from work.  But we need the humidity to go way down to allow things to dry out properly
  • level the counters properly and install the new counter tops - huge issue, we have sections that are as much as 3/8 out of level.
  • turn the water off and install the new sink and faucet
  • install all the new hinges - a total of 30 - and put the doors back on.
  • empty and prep the upper cabinets
  • prime and paint the upper cabinets
  • turn off the water and install the new sink and faucet
  • install the new base boards
  • repaint the kitchen
  • rehang the curtain rod in the bay window
Stay tuned!

The Bad, The Uh Oh, and The OMG!

Merry Christmas!  Most people are still enjoying the remnants of Christmas - the lights, leftover food, the last of the decorations. Me? I'm moving on to the next project.

So my master bath is on hold while we get ready to build a new vanity. Not ideal, but I need to order a new granite top and sinks for it and my budget is always tight this time of year. Our only sink and vanity is now not functioning (bad clog that we managed to work out of the  shower drain, but is now firmly logged in the pipe for the sink...sigh) so we're getting by using the sink in the powder room. Super fun, these renos!

Move In Day August 2011
This is a photo of my kitchen when we first moved in. The kitchen space was a selling point for me. It was BIG. Much bigger than the kitchen we'd had in the previous rental (I probably could fit three of that kitchen into this one). Lots of counter space, decent storage, and that bay window - lovely natural light!

This photo doesn't reveal what is hidden behind the doors and the counter top. The reality is, my kitchen is a soggy, bug attracting mess. What looks presentable in photos is actually a crumbling pile of particle board. With The Teen graduating this coming June, there is no way I am going to have all our family over with the sorry thing I call a kitchen. For the past two years, we slowly been replacing things as they give out. The garbage disposal. The fridge. The dishwasher. Just this past Black Friday, the stove. The only appliance we haven't replaced was the microwave - because the previous owner replaced it right before we bought it. It's just a hot mess, as they say here in the south.

So I've been gearing up for this soft reno. When I told my dad he said "what on earth is a soft reno?". Good question, right? Essentially, we're not replacing any cupboards or flooring, nor are we changing any of the footprint. It's just supposed to be a cosmetic update.

See, I desperately need to gut my entire kitchen - starting with the cabinets. They're half of the soggy mess. I've priced them and I'm fairly certain I know what I want. RTA cabinets - Ready To Assemble. Real wood, dove tailed, solid cabinets. They come unassembled which is a big portion of the savings. The Builder is more than capable of assembling and installing them. It's about $3000 for the entire kitchen. A huge saving if you've ever priced new cabinets.

But they're not in my budget this year.  Or next year.  I have this silly thing called an HVAC system that has to be replaced. No one can live in Texas without a good a/c system (we're not actually sure our heater will turn on this winter, yikes!!) and mine is on life support. So that's my budget buster this year (again, before the family arrives!).

Since new cabinets are out, I'm repainting mine. Paint is cheap and it will allow us to fix some drawers and doors that have seen better days, as well as refresh them.  Along with that, the vanilla, 1987 Formica counter tops are being swapped out for the granite looking, bull nosed laminate counter tops we found at the Blue home improvement store. We also discovered all the hinges have rusted out on the cabinet doors, so those are being replaced too. Sounds simple, right?

The Builder informed me my projects are never simple.

When we started taking off the doors to clean, sand, prime, and paint them, we discovered that everything is saturated. I have no idea how long my kitchen has been absorbing the humidity that is Houston, but saying it's a soggy mess is an understatement. We've added new base boards to the list of things that need to be replaced.

So how bad is this project?

Under the Kitchen Sink
The sink has had many water problems over year, even before we moved in. The bottom was completely rotted out, so we put a board in it about two  years ago. You can see, it's already warping again. It's just gross. We're going to pull that bottom out and replace it. Again. There's not much I can do about the warping cabinet wall, so we'll sand it, prime it, and hope the paint will hold up.

What are those marks in the cabinet? Is that were someone left food?  Nope. It's rust. The hinges are completely rusted through on the doors. Did I mention Houston is humid?! We bought all new hinges. Thankfully we had to take the old ones off to paint the doors anyway, so it was more the expense than a time factor. And yes, every single door has this rust when we took the doors and hinges off.

Yes, that shelf is bowing. We're going to shore it up with a brace since it's built into the cabinet. It's not the best shelf, and I'm looking at better storage solutions, but it's what I have to work with for now. This is the cabinet that stores my mixing bowls and baking supplies, so that shelf allows me to store without stacking everything on top of each other.

And when we pulled off the counter, this is what we found hiding in the corner:
Dead Corner
Dead space. Literally a big empty cavity. I don't know who did the space planning for this kitchen when the house was built, but this makes no sense to me at all. When we replace the cabinets eventually, this will be a cabinet with a lazy susan.

What are the other problem areas lurking in this kitchen?

Multi Colors
This is the area under the sink. The area isn't important. Take a look at the various colors of paint this kitchen has had over the years. There's a bit of Marigold peaking through. That appears to have been covered up by a minty pastel green, which then has a dull grey over that. I had no idea when I viewed it in it's vanilla splendor when we moved in that the vanilla color was probably the best paint color this kitchen has ever had.

To the Left of the Sink
The burnt breakfast counter? Yeah that was The Builder. We were deep frying some wings before a football game and apparently the fryer was a bit too close. Oops. The plan for the bar is to replace it with a wood top, since we don't have the option to replace it with laminate to match the new counters. Eventually, we plan to tear it out and drop it down to counter height. We'll be ordering quartz counter tops when the time comes, so it will be seamless. But that's several years off.

Finally, some photo's of the demo itself:
Removing a counter
The Builder is tearing out the counter. We left the small counter to the right of the stove (have to have a place to plug in the coffee pot!!!) but tore out the other two. The Builder also left the counter in place holding the sink. We weren't going to replace the sink with this soft reno because sinks are expensive and I would really like a farm house sink eventually. However, we had a change of heart on this and wound up at the orange home improvement store looking at sinks. And somehow one found its way into our cart, along with a new faucet (which we had actually planned to buy because the one we bought to replace the other broken one is now broken as well, sigh...)

Delta Lakeview Single-Handle Pull-Down Sprayer Kitchen Faucet in Stainless with Soap Dispenser
Delta Lakeview Single Handle Pull-Down Sprayer Faucet
So we went with a sink from Delta because of the Magna Tite docking. The sink we have right now doesn't have a magnet to hold in the faucet head and hose. It clicked in securely when we first bought it...for all of three months. Now it just sort of hangs loosely. Also, the neck was never tall enough. You couldn't get a pot under it comfortably. Probably because the sink is so shallows - more on that in a minute. But also because the neck wasn't tall enough. That will no longer be an issue with this faucet. Super excited about this faucet!

And then the sink that found it's way into our cart:

KOHLER Verse Top Mount Stainless Steel 33 in. 4-Hole Double Bowl Kitchen Sink
KOHLER Verse Stainless Steel Sink
We had quite the debate about our current sink. I was positive it was no deeper than seven inches, which appears to be a standard size carried at the orange box store. The Builder was convinced it was eight inches. I promptly told him he was crazy. I've washed my hair in that sink. There was no way it was eight inches deep. After some friendly banter back and forth about the depth of the sink, we took a serious look at this Kohler sink, that's nine inches deep. It's the same width as the current sink, 36", but we new the deeper sink would be better.

When we got home, The Builder was quick to break out the tape measure to show me he was right.  At which we saw that our sink is only six inches deep.  Not even the standard seven!! Up until that point, I was feeling slight guilty spending the money on a new sink, since ours mostly likely needed to be re-sealed properly so it wouldn't leak anymore, and then would work fine. I don't feel guilty anymore. Even if I end up keeping this sink when we do our full kitchen reno in a few years, I can live with that.

The Builder put our kids to good work as well.
The boys scrubbed down all the cabinets with TSP so that they'd be ready to prime. The Teen cleared and scrubbed all the counter before we removed them (I don't know why, but I can't put dirty counters out on the curb for trash day).  All of them helped box up all the cookware stored in the cabinets as well. It only took a couple of hours with them all helping - we had anticipated this being a full day to clean and clear it all out.

The Builder and Oldest DS1
Did I mention it's hot and HUMID here in TX right now? We've been in shorts all week and finally turned the barely working a/c on Christmas day. But the boys were looking forward to the demo portion. The Builder showed them how to use the hammer to knock a solid hole into the counter. The Teen and I don't quite get it, but if it helped the boys work better, then by all means, knock a hole in the counter! Of course, it might slightly be my fault as well.  I watch a lot of Property Brothers on HGTV. The homeowners always take great delight in punching holes in walls that are coming out. Since we're not taking out any walls at this point, this is the closest they could get.

Our original goal was to have this done in 4 days. That was before we realized the sink was a bigger mess than we thought, that the cabinets have been absorbing the humidity for a few years, and that some of the doors now need to be rebuilt. Thankfully we have another 3 day weekend next weekend, and that might allow us to get finished up.

Fingers crossed!

Coming Together

The tub skirting and touch up paint in our master bedroom has been done for a couple of weeks now. I just now managed to get around to taking photo's.  It's been crazy busy at work, plus my kids schedule's and then my school schedule.  Yikes!  

I LOVE it!! The tile, the trim, the deep soaking tub. All of it is perfect. The built in is also finished now:

I still don't have the dial from the old jetted tub covered. Eventually it may end up being a light switch. Maybe. I'm not done with the planning stage of phase 3, so it's anybodies guess at this point.

I love how the built in mimics the window. same profile on the header and ledge, same molding and trim on the sides. So much more storage space than I had before!

You may have noticed I haven't accessorized yet. I'm waiting until the new vanity is built. I still need towel racks and bathroom rugs. The purple won't be staying. The built in needs baskets (I stole those from my sewing area!). Small details. They will all come together in the end. But I'm not at the end. Yet.

Since we bought a bigger tub, it's no longer centered under the window. This is bothering The Builder. A LOT. I think the solution will be several floating shelves to fill the space.  We'll build those too. The Builder has made me several already throughout the house and they're easy to make. 

I was hoping that the vanity would be built by Christmas. But that isn't going to happen. So we'll start that project after the first of the year. 

AFTER we complete a small kitchen renovation to refresh our tired kitchen!!! The goal for that is to complete it over our four day Christmas weekend - which is really 3 days for since we won't work on Christmas day.  More on that later...

Let's Talk Molding

So I've showed this 80's, built in medicine cabinet before:
BLAH. Let's talk about what I don't like.
  1. The 80's shutter door. Yes, it's been painted white (I've seen photo's of homes in our neighborhood that still have it the original honey oak) so this is actually an improvement - yikes! But even in the 80's, I didn't like the country shutter door look.
  2. The size. It's terrible. I have tall bottles that don't fit. I have small things that I have to stack because there's not enough space. To say this doesn't work for storage is an understatement. Wider and taller so that I can have a second shelf would be ideal.
  3. That it's a traditional medicine cabinet. Which is weird, because as a rule, I like traditional decor. For this one though, I actually wanted an open concept shelving. I am not usually a fan of open concept. But maybe that's just in the kitchen. In this bathroom, in this spot, I wanted something pretty and open. 
This.  This is what I want. I love what this blogger did with this project. Well, for the most part. This looks pretty narrow in the photo. But the two shelves for tall items and the shelf for smaller items? Yep, totally envisioned that in my bathroom. The Builder liked it too, so it's a done deal. 

You may remember the opening when we took out the medicine cabinet, there was pink wallpaper from the original bathroom on back of the drywall.  We did decide to leave it there, but we used construction adhesive to adhere 1/4 wood to the back of the drywall. I wanted the shelved to be as deep as possible so I could have some decorative baskets to hold my miscellaneous junk.The blogger I got the inspiration for the built in used hers for nail polish. I love that I can customize this to make it something that will work for me. Ironically, the wall she built hers on is next to a diagonal wall as well. Go figure.

So here's what we have so far.
We started by making the cabinet wider. There was just a 2x4 in wall to hold in the medicine cabinet in place, so we opened it up all the way to the stud. That added about 2 inches. Not huge, put just a little wider. Ignore the switch, it won't be staying. It used to operate the incredibly noisy, leaking jets on the old tub. One day we might run a light fixture off of it, but the plan for now is that we'll cap it and close it up. The screws in the wall are wear we installed 2x4's to adhere the 1/4 inch MDF.  Where we gained the most space was in the height. Overall, we added 4 inches to the height. This will let me hold some of my taller bottles here instead of all crammed under the sink. Even when we're not sharing a single vanity, I never had enough storage for my makeup and toiletries.
Then we added a ledge to match the one at the window. This one is lower profile. The wall to the right is actually on a diagonal. I didn't want one of us to come around the corner and walk into a ledge that was jutting out too far. You can really see how out of plumb these walls are! A lot of this will be covered with the molding. We have to work with what we have. There was no way we were going to rip out and replace any more studs! The Builder is fussing about it still, but I think it will be fine. I'm completely over tearing out any more studs in bathrooms!

And here's where we are at the end of the weekend.
Already, you can see that the trim makes up for a lot of the edge not being plumb. We think the molding really adds height to the look of the cabinet. And now that switch looks really close! Clearly we have some more drywall work in the not to distant future. 

We still need to fill the back of the built in so there isn't a seam, as well as fill the nail holes on the molding. We still have 2-3 shelves that will need to be installed, as well as paint and primer. So a little more work still on this one. I really like how it mimics the window on the next wall:

OK, don't look out the window. It lets in beautiful natural light, but sadly, the fence seems even worse than it did when we started this project a few months ago.  The temperatures have finally cooled down for Houston, so I suspect here in another month or two, a new fence is in our future. Thankfully I have blinds! But you can see that the molding and the casing matches the built in as well. 

Again, we still have primer and paint to go, but we're down to what The Builder would refer to as "the punch list". The light at the end of tunnel!!  However, that means we're going to have to get started on the vanity next so we can say the entire project is done. We're so close to being done in here!

Back To The Tub

The front door is done.  It looks fantastic. But I don't have a good photo! It's been crazy around here and keep forgetting to grab a photo of it. My neighbors have commented that they love it, so that's got to be a good sign.  Photo's soon for the door.

Today we're talking about the tub again!  It's been awhile, but actually, The Builder we've done a lot of work.  Last I posted, it looked something like this:
The tile looked good. But there was no grout. Nothing was painted. The ugly medicine cabinet is still in the wall. There's no tub skirt or molding and none of the drywall repairs had been done. Basically, it's about as unfinished as it could possibly be. 

See that list above? It's all been completed!

So no, we didn't do it all this weekend. We've been working on it for a few weeks. Oops. Let's get caught up, shall we?

This is the molding we decided on. This is actually one of those happy accidents. I originally wanted this molding just to frame out the window and the medicine cabinet. You may recall my inspiration project here for my medicine cabinet. The Builder put the piece right under the bottom of the window too, and I realized I really liked it. So he grabbed an extra piece and we realized it butted up against the tile almost perfectly! We hadn't decided how we were going to finish the top of the tile or frame out the tub and skirt, so this was a happy discovery. Back to Home Depot we went to get enough trim for the entire project:
Total cost?  Right at $50. We had considered a 'pencil' carrera marble trim that would have been $9 for 10 inches. Significantly more in cost. And if I had really like it, I would have spent it. But I didn't. It was all wrong for our bathroom. I didn't even bother to bring home a sample. The Builder didn't like it any better than I did, so there was no point. We looked at a LOT of tile to trim it out, but nothing seemed right. So I'm very happy we discovered an affordable option that we think is perfect.

Nothing is painted yet. In fact, you can see the rounded edge of the window sill The Builder installed. We bought the trim pre-primered and this photo shows the nail holes filled. We didn't want to paint until it was all ready to be painted, and we still had the tub skirt to finish - which you can't see in this photo.

So this weekend, we worked on framing out the tub, the window, and the medicine cabinet. I thought it wouldn't take long. I was wrong. It took most of Saturday to get it all installed, and even then, we're waiting for the construction adhesive to set.

You may notice the walls have been painted as well. The walls have all been correctly textured and look so much better!! I can't wait to put artwork up on the wall. But that's still a ways off. Did I mention I love this trim?!

And last but not least, the tub skirt has been filled, primered, and trim added as well:
I'd love to get a shot of the entire tub, but the old vanity is still in the way. And since we haven't build a new vanity yet, it's going to stay there a bit longer. Again, this is just filled and primered. We still need to caulk the edge and then paint it all out. Still, it's really nice to see it not sitting in the wood frame.

Tomorrow I'll post the updates to what was the medicine cabinet!

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