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Archive for the ‘Ze Bathroom’ Category

But here’s the progress so far. For the previous sink post (back in April, I’m not even kidding) go here.

We’d cut the sink holes and put Minwax Satin Polyurethane all over everything (including the inside) and were ready to place the Kohler Maratea sink basins.

Here they are!
Sink Basins 1

They’re so pretty and white!
Sink Basins 2

I love Kohler.

Then we attached the Pfister Ashfield Tuscan Bronze faucets.
Faucets

When we started to actually figure out how to split the plumbing so that we could both run water in and drain two sinks from one pipe, we thought it might be a good bet to get a plumber in on it with us. But the plumbers in our town must not own phones. Or calendars. Or pencils with which to make notes regarding the phone numbers of people would like to give them large sums of money. Because they never call us back, or come when they say that they will.

Not that I’m bitter.

While we were feeling sorry for our local, phoneless, calendarless and pencil-lacking plumbers, the old green sink that lived in the bathroom had started to leak everywhere every time we turned it on, so it was time to go it alone.

Now, I picked out the faucets, but Lobsterface did just about everything else, and he claims to remember none of the specifics, except the fact that it took us approximately seven trips to various hardware stores to get the right combination of PVC pipes and joiners. And we haven’t even split the sink yet.

We’re actually going to need a plumber to do that.

If you would like to donate phones, calendars and/or pencils to the plumbers of Rome, New York. Please let me know. I’m taking up a collection.

Anyway, we did get one sink up and running (and draining). Here’s how it went:

First, we removed the grody old sink. It’s so grody that I didn’t bother taking a picture of it. We set the old sink out on the curb, and by morning it had been spirited away by some vintage sink enthusiast. We hope he’s happy with it.

After we turned off the water to the upstairs bathroom, unscrewed some bolts, and heaved the sink off the wall, we were left with two naked supply lines.
supply lines

Please continue to ignore my neglected baseboards.

Then Lobsterface screwed on these bendy, white pipe things. He says that they are ALSO called “supply lines”, and I’m far too lazy to actually look it up. If you want to know what they really are, print this out, take it to your local hardware store and ask them.
white bendy pipes

Then he did some of this:
pipes!

And then there was this!
water!

I’m going to try to ignore this patch of wall behind the sink. You can’t even see it unless you’re craning around to peer back there.
patch

Here’s what it looks like right now:
sink!

With all the plumbing going on underneath, there isn’t any room for the drawers that originally came with the sink/dresser, so we’re going to remove the drawer faces and attach them to the front on their own. We’re still trying to figure out how we’re going to do that. They need to be removable so that we can get in there to finally split the sink, repair the pipes when they need it, and generally fiddle about. We might use heavy-duty Velcro, or magnetic strips, or maybe a hook and eye situation.

If you have any suggestions, let me know!

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Sinkholes and Romance

My original plan was to wait until our double sink for the bathroom was all done and installed and pretty to write a post about it, but that project is taking a VERY long time. Not because it’s a particularly difficult project, but because Lobsterface and I are both rather easily distracted. But we’re about halfway through!

We were inspired by this post by John and Sherry over at Young House Love, but we decided to do things a bit differently. We turned a tall (because Lobsterface is 6′ 4″ and doesn’t like to hunch over if he doesn’t have to), wide (because we both want to hog the mirrors), shallow (because, if I haven’t mentioned before, our bathroom is Lilliputian. It was most likely designed by a man back when indoor plumbing was the height of modern technology.) dresser into a double sink with drop-in basins.

Our first step was finding a dresser to fit the space. Anything deeper than 18″ would leave almost no room for walking into the bathroom, so that eliminated about 70% of the dressers out there from our search. The first one we LOVED was the Hemnes dressing table from IKEA. The color was perfect, the height was perfect, but it was just a bit too wide for our space. Harumph.

On to the next!

We were all set to buy the Aspelund dresser, but we don’t actually live near an IKEA, so we’d either have to drive 5 hours to pick it up or pay hundreds of dollars to have it shipped here. I’m not kidding. Literally hundreds of dollars. Not happening. Also, we’d have to paint it when it got here, because it only comes in white.

So we started hunting around our local furniture stores and eventually found this one (this was before Nikon came to live with me, so it’s another crappy cell phone pic).

dresser1

Don’t worry, we didn’t pay $799 for it. That was the price for the whole bedroom set. We payed something like $300 (it’s been a while, I don’t remember exactly how much).

Next, we tore it apart. Here’s a tip: if you’re going to deconstruct a piece of furniture, don’t buy a well-built, high quality piece. Go for the junk. This solid dresser was a pain in the hindquarters.

dresser2

We removed the particleboard back, the drawers, and the metal tracks to which the drawers had been previously affixed. And yes, while the dresser waited to be turned into a sink, it served as our tool bench. One of these days we’ll have to actually build ourselves a tool bench.

I would like to take a moment to point out the groovilicous pink shag carpet. Isn’t it horrible/fabulous? It’ll be going away soon, our plan for The Pink Room is to turn it into my design studio/yarn habitat. I’m a graphic designer with a very severe yarn problem.  If anyone has any ideas for yarn storage, send them on over! Currently it’s stuffed in bags and cabinets and baskets all over the house AND my apartment. I’m pretty sure there’s some left at my parents’ house from years ago, too.

Here’s another pic of the dresser, the tools and The Pink Room:

dresser3

The next step was to carve out some holes for the sink basins. The basins came with a paper template that we cut out, taped down and cut around with a saber saw. The basins are a bit too wide for the depth of the dresser (we didn’t quite realize that until we had purchased them and noticed that there is a lip at the front that sticks out about 2 inches from the actual body of the dresser). It would have definitely been simpler to install basin sinks that sit on top of the dressersink, but after we pondered that for a while, we felt that basins were a bit too modern for our dignified old Victorian. Part of our goal is to keep the antique feel of the house without being too stodgy. Also, the faucets for those sinks are like $200. EACH. And since we were putting in two sinks, it was just too pricey.

Here are the holes. We cut one hole just a bit too wide at the back, but there isn’t really anything to be done about that, so we’ll just forge ahead and hope that it’s not terribly noticeable when all is said and done.

dresser4

dresser6

dresser5

We weren’t huge fans of the glossy finish on the dresser, so I scuffed it up with some superfine sandpaper and slapped on  a few coats of Minwax Polyurethane (someday I will learn to spell that word without Googling) in a satin finish. The poly does double duty, protecting the surface of the wood from moisture AND getting rid of the high-gloss finish (it’s still drying, so no satin pics yet).

AND that’s as far as we’ve gotten. The next step is installing the sinks, faucets and all the plumbing nonsense. Speaking of plumbing nonsense, Lobster and I spent our anniversary at two separate Lowes’ (Lowes? Loweses?) buying PVC pipes. It was very romantic.

Until next time, my darlings!

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We’ve been working on our miniscule bathroom for about a month. We both work full-time, live twelve miles apart and have friends and family that occasionally like to see our faces, so we really only get to work on the house on weekends. And sometimes not even then.

Anyway, when we started the bathroom I didn’t have an actual camera, and by the time I acquired said camera, we’d already painted the walls and put down most of the new floor. So the photos I have are really “halfway there” photos, rather than “before” photos. And one of them is a crappy cell phone pic. Also, have I mentioned that the room is miniscule? It’s almost impossible to photograph.

Removing the old, OLD wallpaper posed the biggest challenge. After about a week straight of peeling some here, peeling some there, then spending one Saturday peeling as much as I could stand to peel, I kind of gave up. I just sanded down the edges of the paper that was left on the wall and primed over everything.

Look at all the horrible, peely, nonsense (this is the crappy cellphone pic).

Peeling

The blocks of color by the window were the paint colors that we auditioned. We picked out swatches from Olympic, because all of their paint is VOC-free, although Lowe’s (my new BFF) can totally match colors if you find something you like by another manufacturer. We ended up going with one called Sea Sprite (the one in the middle). We also considered Blue Willow, which was too blue and Rain Forest, which was a little too green.

I learned after the fact that there are methods of removing wallpaper that involve more than yanking at whatever piece seems to be the loosest at the time. I’ll have to try one of those methods when we paint the front hallway and let you know how that works. For now I have to deal with my uneven bathroom walls. When we get our double sink installed (that post will come later) and a mirror (or two mirrors, we haven’t decided yet) stuck on the wall above it, it won’t be so noticeable. So that’s good.

We had three surfaces to deal with  in the bathroom, all of varying texture (Formica (I know, don’t ask), paneling and half-peeled-off wallpaper), so we bought adhesive primer from Sherwin Williams and went to town. It covered (and stuck to!) the Formica and the paneling without a problem, but it didn’t do much to hide my uneven peel job. Sadface. I didn’t take any photos of the primer. It really wasn’t that exciting.

Then I put up two coats of Sea Sprite satin paint. We just love it. In the mornings it looks misty and blue and calm, but at night in our current lighting situation it looks more green and marine. It’s like having two bathrooms in one!

See? Look!

good morning!

hanging the shower curtain

This is when Lobsterface turned around and just looked at me.

The Nikon: “snap, snap, snap”
Lobsterface: turns around, raises eyebrow
Me: “Um…do you need my help?”

So I abandoned Nikon to hold up the shower curtain (which Lobster had before I met him and is like those fantastic, curved shower curtains in hotels that make the shower seem instantly roomier. I just love it.) while Lobsterface reattached it to the wall.

Right now the shower curtain hangs a about 7.5 feet from the ground, which is just barely high enough so that my 6′ 4″ fiance doesn’t hit his head on it climbing in and out of the shower. We might get a superdeluxe long one in the future and hang it at ceiling height.

Here’s one more photo of the painted, re-floored bathroom with curtains and everything. We got the curtains from Kohls, and the floor is Surface Source self-stick vinyl tile in Glacier from Lowe’s. I’d link you to it, but for the life of me I can’t find it on the Lowe’s website.

Oh, and I still need to paint the trim and baseboard. Please ignore that for now. Really, it’s quite gross.

with curtains!

The shower curtain is one I bought for my very first apartment back in 2007. It doesn’t work with my current bathroom setup, so it lives in Lobsterface’s/our house now.

I should probably explain. Lobsterface and I don’t live together (except on weekends) but since I’ll be living here permanently in six months, I like to think of it as my house 🙂 I’m possessive like that.

Our next project is building a sink out of a dresser. We were inspired by this post from Young House Love, but we’ve taken it a step further by installing drop-in sink basins instead of the kind that sit on top. Come back soon for an update on that.

And for THE MOST EXCITING antique-store find ever. Seriously. Ever.

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