design

guest room before after

I’m mostly German, but my husband has Scandinavian in his blood, and as I began looking around at ideas for our guest room, I kept coming back to the simple, clean lines and white, with touches of red that I found online. Here’s the board I started.

It was such an antidote to the conglomeration of leftovers that had been put in there.guest room from hallway

You know how it is. You have a room. It needs stuff. So you grab what you have and throw it together. There’s no shame in that – that’s life!

But after several years of beige walls and mismatched furniture, it was time for a change.

Here’s the BEFORE tour.

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Doesn’t exactly scream, “welcome to our house! relax!”

So I went to work.

First, time to lose the beige walls. I went for Nano White from the Home Decorators paint collection at the Home Depot.

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Since I was doing this room on a budget, I found a headboard on Craigslist. It was bad 60’s brown, fake wood, and the perfect candidate to paint a nice semi-gloss black.

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I knew the room needed help in the lighting department. I love the look of wall sconces, so I chose almost-black, swing-arm, plug-in sconcesIMG_7544 IMG_7547 IMG_7576

For the remaining furniture, besides the bed, I shopped from around the house, or bought second-hand. I used an old pair of end tables that used to be in my living room two houses ago, as the nightstands. As luck would have it, they were already black.IMG_7594 IMG_7597

The antique dresser was handed down from my husband’s aunt and uncle. The mirror used to be in our dining room, in our last house.

I picked up the vintage wood luggage rack at a flea market for about $20, and found a small bench at the World’s Longest Yard Sale for $6. Both needed a makeover to fit into the black, white, and red color scheme.guest room bench in progress

I picked up the great suzani fabric from Online Fabric Store a while back, and had enough to make the two curtain panels as well as cover the small bench seat.

curtain panel fixed

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I gave the mismatched picture frames a cohesive coat of black paint. and got some black curtain tiebacks.

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For the bedding, I reused a plain white quilt I had. I found some red striped sheets at HomeGoods, as well as the map throw pillow. I used a needle and thread to add a small heart over our hometown. IMG_7580 IMG_7585The grain sack pillows were a find from the Country Living fair in Columbus, OH, last year. (Highly recommend going sometime – great stuff!) I also found a red throw blanket on clearance at Pottery Barn.

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The bed skirt I found at Target on clearance, and it was about an inch or so too long, so it was bunching up on the floor. I put it on the bed, and pinned to where it needed to be hemmed, then did a simple straight stitch all the way around with my sewing machine. IMG_7569 IMG_7581

Now for the finishing touches.  I had a piece of reclaimed lumber that someone had given me. IMG_7542I painted a little message for our guests on it, added a sawtooth hanger to the back and hung it up. I also grabbed a set of wall hooks from the home improvement store, so people have somewhere to hang their purse, hat, keys, whatever. I hung both over the painted luggage rack. guest room wall hooks

guest room corner

Also from the Country Living fair, came this adorable little tin with a chalkboard inside. I put our wi-fi info on it and hung it up.IMG_7549

The walls still needed a little something so I pulled out a great, neutral boat pic that I’ve had forever, and hung it opposite the bed.IMG_7583

OK…Are you ready for the AFTER tour? Let’s do it!guest room tour1

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One last word on pulling this room together. Picking out lighting, bedding, decorative touches, and fabric took me over a year, easily. Did I get frustrated that making this room over was taking SO LONG? Sometimes. But I live in the real world. I do what I can, when I can, with as much DIY and fiscal sense as I can. That’s how we roll. It’s easy to go online and see a reveal post, and think the process is faster or easier for other people. Making things better, making them beautiful takes time, money, and energy. What combination of those things it takes will be a little different for everyone.  I’ve learned to be OK with that.

guest room before collage

guest room after collage

We’ve had several friends and family members stay here since the makeover, and all have slept well. So I’m calling the room a success.   :-) Thanks so much for stopping by!

guest room before after

Anne

 

 

 

 

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wall organizer

Hello! I wanted to share one of those short and sweet projects that I asked my Dad to build.

We’d designed and built some wall organizers to hold papers, files, and keys.

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He used various pieces of plywood, and simple trim. I added the hooks from the home improvement store.

Then we got a request for a custom organizer for a teen girl’s room. She needed a place to pin up photos in addition to a place for papers and keys.

We got the dimensions, and Dad used the same basic principles to construct this.

My memory has failed to recall exactly which Minwax stain I used here – I believe it was Dark Walnut. I’ve used that shade on lots of things before and I really like it. I may have also used a coat of Red Mahogany. I finished it with water-based Polycrylic in satin finish, two coats. Dries in a snap.

Then I added dark cork tiles, which I cut using a craft knife, and simply glued in place. They weren’t as wide as I needed, so I butted two tiles up next to one another and it worked out just fine.

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Once the stain and poly were dry, I stenciled the girl’s name on.

 

 

 

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The customer was thrilled with how this turned out, and so was I!

I love the richness that dark wood brings to a space.  plain wall organizer

Thanks for stopping by!

Anne

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It’s almost the end of the year.  Hard to believe.  And there seems to be a lot of people who have things they want to get rid of, because Craigslist has been smokin’ hot this week!

I’ll get right to it.

1. This settee.  $60


I know I’ve included settees before on the blog, and explained why, so I won’t do that again, but I included this piece for a different reason (besides the fact that I just plain like it – excellent lines and very pretty wood carvings on the back.)
If you look carefully at the post, you might notice that the seller spelled settee wrong.  I’m not trying to harp on anyone’s grammar or spelling, because that’s not why I’m here, but I point it out to you to because it may hurt the seller’s chances of finding a buyer. If someone is indeed searching for a settee, they very well may not find this listing. That may mean you have an advantage as a buyer.  And likewise, if you’re selling, use spell check! (This goes for eBay, too.)

2. This vanity… is awesome. It is so so so pretty. And $50!!



You’d need to reconstruct the seat, but it would be equally as lovely in a grown woman’s room as it would in a little girl’s.  I love how petite looking it is and just classic with beautiful hardware and those vintage casters.
And here’s a little secret –  I did actually buy it on Craigslist this week this for someone special! (I’ll share more later on that)

My Dad and I are going to refinish it for my sister for her birthday in March! I’m already looking at finish options.
White with a dark stained top?


Or red? I’m getting ready to buy a quart of Annie Sloan Emperor’s Silk which would be gorgeous…and my sister is the “red” girl so she would love this.


Lots of fun. My parents and I sort of raced over to the seller’s house because he said he had someone else coming to look at it. No way was I letting this one get away. Can’t wait to get started on it.

3. This is something I haven’t seen before. It looks like an old table that would have been in a hospital, perhaps?



I’m assuming it also lays flat. That opens up possibilities for this piece. What about making it the bedside table in your guest room?  This woman found one and put it to work as an end table in the living room.


So cool! Or you could give your child who is studying an instrument a place to put his or her sheet music. It’s just a great conversation piece. They’re asking $100.

4. Here’s a piece that has an issue.


It’s an awesome old dresser but it’s missing a drawer. What to do?
For $75 here’s what you do. Buy it. And then you get creative.
Like this piece from Sweet Pickins


Or this piece

Or this piece from Shabby Story.


5. When I saw this piece, pinned to someone’s board, I fell in love.


Of course, it’s Pottery Barn Teen and a gazillion dollars. *eye roll*  Nonetheless, this is sort of a dream project for me. I would love to put this in my daughter’s room, which is the smallest bedroom in our house, where floor space is at a premium.
So when I saw these on Craigslist, you can imagine…the wheels started turning.



For $100 you could do so much with these!! They would work equally as well for either a boy or a girl.
And they are solid wood. Amazing. You just don’t run across stuff like this every day. I just don’t know if I can take on a project of this size right now……hmm….

That’s it for 2013!
Thank you for sharing part of your lives with me here, even if it is just a little bit.
I feel blessed and lucky to do what I love.

May health and happiness be yours in the New Year.

XO,
Anne
PS – As always, if you buy from Craigslist be careful and take a friend with you. I can’t vouch for these sellers or their items.  If you end up buying any of these, please let me know!

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It took 6 weeks, a couple hundred man or woman hours of labor, and about $2,000 in materials to get this job done.  And I am SO proud to finally be able to show you this!! Step right in!
(Here is the complete background on this room. In short, a family friend’s house caught fire last year. Insurance paid for everything except her only bathroom, which dated to the prehistoric era. She desperately needed a complete gut job and reno, so my Dad, his good friend, and I set out to give it to her, pro bono.)

 The light, you might recall, came from National Builder Supply. It is a Seagull Lighting fixture from their Sussex line and Dad chose to hang it with the bulbs facing up.  The light gets bounced around on the ceiling and diffused nicely in the space. Bathrooms must have enough light! This fixture is like the crown in this room.



 The vanity came from Lowe’s and included the granite countertop.

 The faucets are Moen, the Caldwell line.



 We really wanted to be able to get rid of a storage tower over the toilet.  Really.



It was taking up way too much space in this tiny bath.  Here was the inspiration photo we worked from.





And here’s the design I sketched out once we found out that we wouldn’t be able to do one wide set of shelves because there is a pipe that runs vertically right behind the toilet.  

The thick white arrow represents where the pipe runs.


I had to either abandon the built-in idea, which I did not want to do, or work around it.  So I worked around it. I’m very pleased with how this turned out!  It adds architecture and storage and I think makes the room feel much more well thought-out.


We went with a mirrored medicine cabinet with storage behind it, to maximize the amount of storage Ms. H gets overall.  This is a small bathroom, and the only one in her house.  Storage is important!

Moving on… The shower curtain, I will confess, I chose myself and surprised Ms. H.  When I saw it on the JCPenney website, I knew it would be perfect for this space. It lends a great pattern and color to the room and the brown in it ties in with the oil rubbed bronze fixtures beautifully. A HUGE thank you to JCPenney for supplying this curtain to Ms. H.  It totally makes the room, if you ask me!  I’m impressed with the newer offerings in JCPenney’s home department.  This ain’t your grandma’s JCP!





Dad also added a privacy film to the window – you can get them at the home improvement store.  It was a necessity as this bathroom is on the first floor. 


When we began, Ms. H needed a space that was brought into the current decade.  But it also needed to withstand the test of time.  We wanted this room to look current and lovely 30 years from now, and if all goes as planned, this space should last at least that long!  It was built to last!
That guided our design choices – white subway tile, beadboard wainscoting, neutral floors and counter.  Timeless and versatile, clean and classic.  




Last, I wanted to give you my best accounting of time and money that was spent on this room. 
Labor was free for this project – but please remember if you are hiring someone to do this kind of job for you, that labor costs are at least half the total budget.  This is hard work and if you want it done right, expect to pay someone for their time.  We had the ability to volunteer our time for this project, and we wanted to… even then, the cost for materials was about $2000.


That includes everything – new subfloor and waterproof backer board around the shower. Tile, mortar, grout, and sealer for the floor and shower walls. Beadboard sheets, chair rail, baseboard, lumber for the built-ins, and trim around them. Mirrored medicine cabinet. Vanity, countertop, shower and tub fixtures, and some new copper pipe, as well as some plumbing supplies to install the vanity faucet. Primer, ceiling paint, and trim paint. Safety handles for the shower. Caulk and spackle. Privacy film for the window. Shower curtain rod and towel bars.


The light fixture and shower curtain were generously donated, as was the incredible RIDGID tile saw from the great folks at The Home Depot, which all would have increased our costs.  Not that you have to buy a tile saw to do a project like this – you can certainly rent one, but that too has a cost.


As for time, my Dad was at Ms. H’s house 5 days a week, almost without exception.  I was there an average of 3-4 days as was Keith.  I worked about 5 hours per day when I was there.  Dad and Keith probably worked closer to 7 hours per day.  And from demo to completion, it took us the better part of 6 weeks to complete this project.  We did everything ourselves – demo, plumbing, electrical, carpentry, tiling, and painting. 

I won’t lie.  It was a TON of work. 

 

 That said, I think there is enormous value in choosing to do this kind of work…
 

 
 learning new skills…

 

 

 becoming more self-sufficient… 


 and going beyond your comfort zone when it comes to getting your hands dirty and getting to know how a home functions, from the inside out.


 I encourage you to educate yourself…

 do your homework..

 look around at the other phenomenal projects that people are taking on… 

 roll up your sleeves…


 and take a risk.

 


Try something new. 

Learn. 

 Work.


 Ask for help.

And reach out and give help to someone if you see that they need it.

 (that’s my cute mom, with Ms. H.  Decades-long friends.)

 I especially encourage you to find those around you who know how to do things that you do not.  If you are fortunate enough to find them, take full advantage of it.  People like my Dad and our friend Keith, pictured in many of the photos above, are wealths of information – and kindness.  They are do-ers.  Take a page from their playbook.  Use your own two hands, your intelligence, and the unprecedented amount of information that exists in the world, and do something good.  
This has been such a valuable experience for me personally.  Spending this time with my Dad is an experience for which I’ll always be grateful. 
It’s my hope that this room will give Ms. H much joy in the years to come. It has given us much joy to see it through to completion.

Thank you so much for coming along with me on this journey.  I would absolutely love to hear your thoughts.  I’d love to read about your projects.  Why? Simple.  Because Home Should Be GREAT.

XO,

Anne

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Hi friends!

There is a chill in the morning air, I have a cup of Pumpkin Spice coffee in my hand, and we’re plotting a trip to the pumpkin patch.  Fall is lovely right now.

Here’s a few gems I found on my local (Cincinnati) Craigslist this week.  See what you think.  I also have a few tips for how I mine CL for the best and most useful things.

1. Buffet/server/sideboard.  This piece is classic, can be used in a million different ways and rooms, and did I mention it’s $60?

 Put it in a foyer or front hall with a beautiful lamp and a mirror. This piece from the Turquoise Iris looks so gorgeous.

Use it in a bathroom as a vanity – just add a sink – there are tutorials all over Pinterest.
It just so happens that the super talented Traci and her husband Cy over at Beneath my Heart found almost the exact same piece as the one I picked this week.  It’s in their master bath and it looks like a million bucks.

Or put your TV on it and have the classiest media stand around, like Carrie at Hooked on Decorating did.  (Again, almost the exact same piece – so cool!) I love that she took out the top drawer for technology stuff and had a piece of glass cut to fit the top.  Fantastic.

PS – tip #1 look at the other stuff in the picture/listing.  Be observant.  The other items this seller has – table and chairs, etc. are all awesome!

2. Vintage Gun Cabinet.

Stay with me.  Look at it for a minute.  What else does it look like to you?

It screamed hallway bench to me.  Apparently I’m not alone! Ericka at Rose Colored Glasses did exactly that.

Her piece rocks!

3. Pick up this entry bench for $20.  It looks like it’s in great shape.

Yes, you can use it in the front hall or mudroom.  But a la Pottery Barn, you can also stick it at the foot of a bed

or use it as a coffee table. It’s $20!!

4. Waterfall hutch

This can be turned into a lovely storage and display piece for just about any room.  Just as shown at The Weathered Door. Charming.

Tips for searching Craiglist with the best results?  Use the CraigsPro app.  It’s far better than the actual website.  You can set up searches and it will notify you when there is a match.  You can also mark your favorites (which you can do online, too.)

Use the search limiting functions.  I usually start my searches looking only at items that are listed from $5 to $75.  It’s a pet peeve of mine when people put $1 in the cost for the listing, so I just start above there.  Sort from the lowest price up, then check the most recent listings.  But don’t forget to check the oldest listings.  If the item is still around, the seller may be very willing to negotiate and get rid of the thing they’re selling!  Once you’ve skimmed through the items up to $75, you can then go higher if you want.  Remember – the price is just what the seller is asking.  It by no means is what you are required to pay…it’s all up for negotiation, unless the seller says the price is firm.

Check different sections – Antiques, Furniture, General, Household, and yes, Garage Sale.  People list stuff everywhere, it seems.

Use keywords: cabinet, bookshelf/shelves, hutch, storage, drawers, and wood are all some of my go-to’s.

If you want to see if you can get a better price than what’s listed, I have found a good way is to simply write, “Would you be willing to work with me at all on price, please?” and then offer to pick the item up at their convenience.
Hard to say no to that… in my opinion. :-)

Hope Fall is fantastic wherever you are.
Cheers!

XO,
Anne

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It’s week FOUR, people, and things are hoppin’ in this bathroom.

Did I already mention that the toilet got re-installed?  Woo hoo! No more potty trips to the gas station for us. :-)

Besides that, we the last week putting up subway tile – and some coordinating white trim tile – from the tub all the way up to the ceiling.  It was my choice to run it all the way up.  It was a little extra work, but I don’t regret it one bit.

Getting the first, bottom row of tile straight was probably the most stressful part.  Shims – those little wood sticks – are crucial.  They kept the tiles from sliding down while the mortar was setting.  We used chalk lines and levels and our eyeballs to make sure nothing got out of line in that first row.

I chose subway tile for this bathroom for several reasons.  It is a great price performer.  Looks polished, fresh, and classic. It is the Little White Dress of kitchens and bathrooms as far as I am concerned.  I’ve used it before in two of my houses, and I’d use it again in a heartbeat.  White subway tile can do no wrong in my book.  When in doubt, use white subway tile.

These tiles were self-spacing, which just means they had slight ridges on the edges that save you from having to use spacers.  Just put your mortar on the back, and press it on the wall.  Slick it and stick it, as I like to say.  (Make sure it’s level, of course.)

Now it’s time for me to introduce you to my new bestie.  RIDGID’s 8 inch wet tile and paver saw and stand, which you can find at the Home Depot.

This thing rocks.  The tiles that needed to be cut for this bathroom were probably a couple hundred, including floor and walls.  Using an inferior machine to do that, or trying to rush because we had rented  one would not have been fun.

 The folks at RIDGID and the Home Depot supplied us with this saw, and I’m not sure I can adequately express how grateful we were to have it.  We wanted to do something good to help out our friend (she needed a new bathroom, badly in case you missed it.)  And RIDGID and the Home Depot decided to do something to help us (we needed a tile saw, badly.)  This is a win-win.

So…We marked where the tile needed to be cut.

Before turning the saw on, we lined the piece up with the blade to make sure it would be correct, and then we turned it on, lowered the blade, and smooth as silk, this thing took care of it.

Effortless, really.  I feel completely comfortable using this by myself, and am thrilled with the results.  And my Dad?   Let’s just say he petted the box when it arrived. LOL… what a fantastic tool to have in our “tool box” to pull off this job!  Thank you RIDGID and Home Depot!

It truly is one tile at a time, but it does move along pretty quickly – especially if you have several people – who can be measuring each space where a cut tile needs to go, making the cuts, putting mortar on the tiles, setting them into place, and making sure they stay where they need to be without any slipping.

The accent tile comes in a pre-cut set of four pieces, and we added a plain 4 inch white square to the center.  The rope trim is sold a single piece at a time.  All the tile came from the Home Depot.

Tiling this standard size tub all the way to the ceiling took us five solid days.  That’s two or three people working 5-7 hours per day.  It’s work.  But it is so do-able.   And the payoff is big. You know that advice that you should hang your window treatments as high up as possible to make a room feel larger?  I believe it worked here with tile, too.

A clean, white, unbroken space. I’m thrilled!

SO here’s my take-away.  If you have the ability to take accurate measurements, the patience to mix mortar and grout to the consistencies necessary for spreading, the attention to detail to make sure your pieces are level and straight, and the willingness to learn how to operate a good piece of machinery safely, then I say taking on a tile project is a MUST-DO.  It adds value to your home, and it will make you smile every time you walk into the room!

Next post, grout and beadboard!

XO,
Anne (and Ken and Keith)
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Hi friends!
You know I love Craigslist, probably more than the average bear.  It is a treasure trove of things just waiting to be reinvented, or used again.  As always remember that safety is the most important thing when shopping Craigslist!!  Be smart and safe and always take someone with you if you are picking an item up, and make sure someone knows where you are going and who you are expecting to meet.  That said, I don’t know any of the people selling these items.  I haven’t seen any of them in person.  So if you want to buy one of these things, just know I can’t personally vouch for them.  But I would buy each of them myself if I could. :-)

1.  It’s not furniture.  But it’s adorable and vintage and would look fantastic sitting on a table in a hallway somewhere.  Add a vase of flowers.  Be tempted to start that novel you’ve been meaning to write (this thing still works!)  Hint: if you’re not the novel-penning type, get a cool piece of card stock.  Type out a page full of “Happy Birthday from the Smiths,” cut them up, tie them on to gifts and look COOL.

2.  Run.  Do not walk.  And someone please go buy this chair.  Why, you ask?

Because you paint it a gorgeous creamy white, and join the ranks of happy people everywhere who have cheated the Pottery Barn Gods by stealing a look of theirs FOR $300 LESS.


3.  Fuzzy picture.  Clear winner.  This coffee table has loads of character, storage, and leaves you can pull up for more space with guests or with the kids to play a board game.

Paint it and show off all the great detail (like this one that looks like it sold for $225 on Etsy although the link is broken.)

4.  Find a cozy corner of your home, fill it with books, a blanket, and this chair.

Or this one.

But first, give it a fresh blue and red color scheme. Gorgeous, right?

5. Ok this last one requires a little imagination. But it would be a conversation piece for sure!
Pick up this unique side table.

Paint the body of it white like this one.

Then paint the faux book spines a soft beige, or mod podge some burlap onto them. Grab a stencil and some white paint.  Stay with me.
You would hopefully end up with a look like this on the spines:

Would that not be cool?!
I hope you can see that in your head as I can.

Now get out there and make something awesome!!

XO,
Anne

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We are into our third week of the Bathroom Reno and things are moving right along.

Dad, Keith and I spent a few days working on installing the tile for the floor.  I picked a 6″x6″ tile and the homeowner, Ms. H. agreed.  Going smaller than a 12″x12″ tile means more grout on the floor, which means better traction overall.

This is the tile, from Home Depot.  We needed 34 square feet.  It took several hours to lay it all down.  We laid them in a staggered pattern, to echo the subway tile that will be going in the shower.

 We ran them in straight lines, the length of the floor.  I think visually it helps make the space seem a bit larger.

 I chose Bone colored sanded grout, also from Home Depot.

Love, love, love how it turned out!!  Blends extremely well and the color will help hide some stains, cat hair, etc.

We let it set overnight and it’s good to go the next morning.  Woo hoo!!

Then Dad and I set out to create the cabinets that would become the built-in, recessed shelves.  Dad did all the measurements to make sure they would fit into the space available, and taking into account the thickness of the poplar wood we used, made sure we would get as much storage space as possible.

 I had to wear my sunglasses because we were cutting these in Dad’s basement and left all the safety goggles at the job site :-)

We used Dad’s table saw, and under his supervision, I learned how to make good cuts, counter-sink screws to hold the pieces together, and they turned out beautifully!  We set them in the wall just to make sure they fit.  They do!  We’ll wait until we move the old light fixture to secure them in the wall but it was great to see them in even temporarily!

The space right below the shelves is where the toilet goes. Once we are ready to install them, we’ll prime and them paint them the same white as the beadboard and other trim in the bathroom. I cannot wait to see it all finished!!

Next up was to install a piece of beadboard paneling where the toilet will go, so we can re-install the toilet and turn the water back on.  We’ve also chosen trim for around the built-in, and a chair rail to top the beadboard.

Tired yet? 😉

I am.
Thank you so much for reading!

Next post… you’ll meet my new BFF.  Big, strong, reliable, and hard-working.  It’s a tile saw from the great people at RIDGID and the Home Depot and boy, are we ever grateful.
:-)

XO,
Anne

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Hey!

Taking a break from the bathroom reno to share some awesome things (with awesome price tags) that I found on Craigslist this week.  As I’ve said before, I don’t know these sellers.  I haven’t seen these pieces.  If you decide to buy them, be smart and be careful!

1. Chic bistro set.  $25 – Get the rust off this thing.   Paint it a hot color.  Sip coffee and look adorable.  Repeat last step as much as possible. :-)

2.   Set of four bar stools. $85 – Bar stools are ridiculously expensive.  Don’t fall for it!  Buy these.  Re-cover the seats in hip fabric.  Smile every time you sit on them.  
3. Oval wall mirror.  $25 – Gold is back.  Buy this.  Hang in on the front of a bookcase.  Look like you just fell out of House Beautiful.  (Here’s the link to where I found this pic.  However the source listed there is a dead end…)
4.  Buy this. Just trust me.  It’s $50!!  And oh my word, it’s beautiful.
5. Don’t buy this.  Because I am :-) For the money, you cannot beat an old coffee table like this.  Paint it  a soft color and distress it, then sit back and watch people ooh and aah.  
like this:
Or, skip the soft color and paint it bright yellow and watch people offer you $115 for it.   
like this:
Either way, it has great lines and storage! $10- what??
Hope you have a great weekend!
XO,
Anne

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traditional-bathroom

I will just go ahead and put it out there.  I got further into the DIY world than I had planned today.
My Dad had me cutting pipes in Ms. H’s bathroom so we could put in the new ones for the tub/shower faucet.

I learned about soldering pipes (something I never would have the guts to try on my own.  Luckily my Dad has done this before so I watched him and learned.

This pic below is a pipe cutter.  I’ve never used one before.  It has a circular blade like a can opener and it clamps onto the pipe, and each time you turn the whole thing around the pipe, you turn the knob, tightening the blade, and you keep that up, tightening and turning around until the pipe is cut through.

Then Dad cleaned it with a metal brush, inside and out.

 Next he asked me to brush some of this cream on the parts of the pipes that needed to be soldered.

 And then – the part that really freaked me out.   The blowtorch-thing that heated up the soldering metal and melted it at the spot where we needed them joined.  The soldering metal seeped into the teeny space between the pipes, then once it cooled, if all had been done right, the joint would not leak.

 And onto the next cut.

Dad made me cut the old pipes.  This went against everything in my body!  But cut I did.

Now, about that built-in dilemma?  If you missed it, you can read about the pipe in the wall that surprised us, here.

The bottom line is I wanted to put some recessed, built-in shelves in the wall above the toilet. But a vent pipe was right smack in the middle of the wall.

I’m sure for some amount of time and money we could move it.  But that’s not in the cards for us.  So, we have to work around it.

I sketched out what I’m thinking about.  I hope it translates here…Starting from left to right:
The mirror/medicine cabinet would be recessed. Then we would add a piece of drywall or wood trim, flush with the wall, about 4 inches wide.  Then a set of recessed shelves, about 10 inches wide.  Next another piece of drywall or wood flush with the wall, then the last set of recessed shelves.
The whole thing would be the same height and would be trimmed out together so it would look cohesive. You with me?

Basically, I added the first piece of trim, between the mirror/medicine cabinet so that when we put the piece of trim to cover up the pipe, the built-in as a whole would look symmetrical and not like there was a random piece of trim stuck in there.

Kind of like this but without the sconces, and another set of shelves to the right:

Traditional Bathroom by Norwich Architects & Designers Smith & Vansant Architects PC

Besides all that, the toilet got hauled out today.  And yes, they are laughing at me for constantly taking pictures.  :-)

So along with a lot of plumbing work, here’s how the day wrapped up.

Til tomorrow,
Anne

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