Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Our bathroom upstairs is no master suite, but it's in a lot better shape now than it was when we started! It's made up of two small rooms--the front one with a sink and linen closet, and the back one housing the shower, toilet, and window. Shockingly, the doorway between the two used to have a real door hung there. I don't know how you would have gotten them all open/closed at once. That's one door in the house that was long gone when we got here.

Like the downstairs half bath, this bathroom was wallpapered. But this bathroom has a shower, and over time the moisture inherent in that type of room had done its work. The paper was dirty and peeling. Some seams were taped shut with Scotch tape. We were thrilled to strip that baby clean! 

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Under the wall paper were all kinds of surprises, and once again, Tom had some fairly major drywall repair work to do before we could get to the pretty stuff.

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Also on my wishlist for this room was a new fan. The fan-light combo in the shower portion of the room was awful. A yellowy-brown horrible color with a yellowed plastic light lens. I just knew a new, white fixture would go a long way to cheering the whole room up. And since the same fan was in the guest bathroom downstairs, we could make that one a bit more cheerful too.

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I priced replacement fans and for the size we needed (that fit the hole in the ceiling), we were looking at about $70 each. Which is a bit more than I wanted to invest in bathroom fans.

Then Kyle pointed out that there was actually nothing WRONG with the fan. Or the light. Both worked admirably. My complaint was purely aesthetic. So we looked into focusing our fix there.

Turns out, you can buy a replacement lens for our model of light for less than $10. And Home Depot delivers to the store for free, so no shipping. So for $10 each plus one can of white spray paint, we went from awful to much, much, much better.

HUGE improvement! One of those things that was so easy once we actually did it, and makes me much happier.

Once Tom had fixed all the drywall issues (including some out and out holes hidden by the wallpaper). It was on to painting. And here's where I'm not 100% pleased with my choice. I picked Sherwin Williams Cucumber, a pale green that is down the card from Pickle that we used in the dining room.

Kyle did the painting in this room because we ran out of time/money to pay Tom for another room, and we went with a painted ceiling and walls the same color. In the shower room--with its big window and new, white light fixture, I love it. It's cool and cheerful and feels clean. In the sink/vanity room--with inset can lights that are a bit more yellow and at night when daylight isn't pouring in--it feels more yellow, more neon.

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When Jennifer came to tour the finished product one evening, she said thoughtfully, "I really like that color (the shower room), but I'm not sure about this one (the sink space)." Unfortunately, it's the same color. Same can of paint. Just really different lighting. I think there's a lesson in there somewhere.

But even so, it's a WORLD better than the wallpaper that was there before. It'll stay for a while because for most of the day it's just fine--and I really like the color! If we get to any other bathroom renovations in here eventually (we have ideas) then we can rework everything--color, lighting, layout, the whole nine yards.

But right now we're just so happy with the fresh clean paint and that nothing is held together with tape!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

As I think we've explained before, rather than taking the downstairs, ensuite master bedroom, we are upstairs with Hamish. This has worked out SO well for us and our guests. We're closer to her if she needs us, and guests have plenty of space, privacy, and quiet downstairs.

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While in Hamish's room the focus was on trim painting, here the focus was more on drywall repair. This was just a spare room to the previous owners and it had some of the worst drywall issues. It definitely needed some love. Here are some (oddly lit) photos of joints in the room:

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We went the same gray that we used downstairs in the office and guest room (Knoxville Gray by Benjamin Moore). We again painted the eaves to match the ceiling rather than the walls. In 2D pictures, I might like the eaves-as-walls better, but in person it felt like the walls were leaning in on you. Because they were sort of. A very tall friend helped us move furniture, and I swear he stood more upright in here after the paint job. 

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We've only hung one picture in here (over the tall dresser), but that is on reclaimed wall! That section of wall was created fairly recently to house the upstairs HVAC system (behind the dresser, creating those shelves to the left). The upstairs thermostat was RIGHT in the middle of that wall. For us, that was right at the foot of the bed. Kyle, being awesome, moved it before Tom got there to patch and paint so that we can actually use the wall. Yay!

Still on the list for in here...
1. Hang the 2 things propped up on that chair, probably in that corner.
2. Come up with the best use for those HVAC-created shelves. Buy some hampers that fit the space? Buy some trim to make the shelves look slightly more fancy that plywood? Some more baskets?
3. Rework the inside of the closets. They are decent sized, but the storage is really inefficient.
4. A new bed frame. That's been on my list for a while, but I have to find something I really love. When we get a new one, though, this one will go downstairs to the guest room, and we would love to get our guests up off the floor fairly soon. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Germaine left a comment on our last blog post pointing out that it has been a week! Updates already!! We had family visiting Sunday-Wednesday, so that's one excuse. And we still haven't rehung all of the art upstairs, which I'd really like to do, so that's another excuse. But let's go ahead and get this party started anyway.

We are SO thrilled with the way everything turned out. It looks a MILLION times better and happier and cleaner and more us. So let's celebrate with lots and lots of before and afters! 

Here's Hamish's room on our second walk through of the house: 

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You may notice that everything is a pale blue-gray. And I mean everything--doors, window trim, baseboards. This room was likely "unfinished space" when the house was bought and was finished later. The carpet was different from the rest of the upstairs, and the baseboards (which you can't see in any of the walk through pics) were different from the rest of the house. They must have been cheaper (they were smooth, wide rounded trim), but I thought it was so odd.

We took down most of the window treatments and replaced the carpet when we re-carpeted the upstairs before we moved in. Here's an early iteration (carpet in, window treatments still up, air mattress for playing on):

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That (and just way less furniture) went a long way toward making this room feel more open and like a deliberate part of the upstairs.

Here are more recent pics taken during bedtime stories (with an iPhone camera filter that Hamish turned on, so ignore the colors). Hamish has been on her mattress/box springs for several months now (since Paris), but both were still sitting on the floor.

  Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug The blue-blue-blue and the mismatched, invisible baseboards were still high on my list to fix.

And then there was the closet door. All of these mini-doors lead to storage space under the eaves, but it's not really tall enough for clothes storage. So the previous owners created a closet behind the hallway. It's large and works well, but the door (adjacent to the bedroom door and a set of mini doors) was awkward. Kyle added a real doorknob right away (it had a little wooden cabinet knob that occasionally came off in your hand) but there was still definitely room for improvement.

Ok, that's a lot of build up. Ready for the (art-not-hung) afters?

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After all that, we still  painted the room blue. :)

But we love the contrast, the bright white trim and new baseboards. And I love that new strip of baseboard at the bottom of the closet door in a way that is unreasonable. It looks SO MUCH BETTER!

The color is Benjamin Moore's Van Deusen Blue. It's the same blue we used for the front door, bookshelf backs downstairs, and the mud closet. The trim is Simply White (Ben Moore).

Hamish is up in the real bed--bed frame and all--and has been up there for a few nights and naps. So far it's gone really well.

Still on the list for this room...
1. Hang the stack of art that's currently sitting on the dresser/floor.
2. Window treatments with more personality, though these plain roller shades do a great job of light blocking so they're staying up until we have something better.
3. Paint the fan body and blades white. It's not killing us, but it would look fresher and blend into the white ceiling with a new coat of paint, and I am told that's an easy process. Our painter recommended a spray primer and paint, which we bought, so now we just need to do it.
4. Pretty, fluffy big girl bedding. Yay!