Tag Archive | bathroom renovation

A Long Awaited Photoshoot

This post is to prevent Community Forklift from having the complete scoop on my bathroom. I’ve been prodded into action by a co-worker, because Community Forklift has a blog-post scheduled about sustainability and design, featuring MY bathroom.

Why, what bathroom is that? The one we’ve just added, of course! The others already existed, so their sustainability was never in question.

Ooh la la!

I had trouble photographing the new bathroom because there is always someone in it. Can’t find the dogs? They’re probably lying on the heated floor. The youngest child? She’s sitting on the seat playing in the spa-like shower. Fortunately, almost all are afraid of the toilet as the bidet/toilet combo has scared them off entirely. We are now properly prepared for any toilet paper shortage that might come in 2021. You can’t be too careful.

An open European style shower.

So, feast your eyes. The sink is an American Standard commercial fixture from 1928. The towel bar is made of milk glass. The hardware is vintage art-deco and the lines mimic the lines on the sink. The shelves are reclaimed heart pine from Brick + Board. The door, the glass block window, and the soap dish all represent elements of reuse in this luxurious bathroom. The tile is Portuguese ceramic from a high-end donation that came to Community Forklift. The design evolved around all of these reusable items we wanted to incorporate. Not only is it a sustainable option to include reclaimed items in your renovations, but it is affordable. The quality of these older materials are not what you find in newer items made today, unless you are prepared to go for broke.

A mini-tour of the new bathroom.

This bathroom was gifted to us by my in-laws who wanted to upgrade our (their) guest space. I am grateful because it is something many people will enjoy for years to come, including us!

A milk glass towel bar!
Heart pine floating shelves.
1928 American Standard commercial wall sink with legs!

Our contractor who did the work? An artisan craftsman (who moonlights as a therapist) shall remain anonymous because I am not finished with him yet.

© Mariam d’Eustachio at Simply Turquoise 2020.

Shower Doors-1, Marriage-0

Why does the word divorcee seem so glamorous? In my mind, that word evokes images of socialite Wallis Simpson, holding a martini and seeming free of obligations or burden.

When I tell you that ripping out the shower doors in my downstairs bathroom almost caused the demise of my marriage, I am mostly not kidding. But that glamorized version in my mind of the divorcee causes me to proceed with reckless abandon. This is not good. Not good at all.

The Before

The Before.

It all started with an innocent search of the Internet. My downfall came when I read that one woman had removed her shower doors in half an hour. Liar.

Easy Going

Easy Going

Things went smoothly at first. Parts of the doors just fell off (with the help of the drill) while my husband was in a huff about how he can’t ever turn his back on me because I’ll start removing pieces of the house if he isn’t looking and other such nonsense. Normally, he is very supportive of my DIY projects, as long as I give him three years’ notice.

Almost done!

Almost done! This is what was left of a 2×4.

After he exited the scene, I started running into trouble. The frame came out, but there was wood behind it and it was glued to the tile.

I struggled and struggled and finally got it free. In my moment of glory the three year old said, “I knew you could do it Mommy!” Of course, she was the only one willing to hang out with me, and I had been wrestling with that wood for an hour. It was either IT or ME.

They are gone!

They are gone!

I like how visually clean it looks now. I had to grout the tile behind the frame, wrestle with all the caulk and glue, and re-do the caulk in the shower. But I did it. All by myself! Well, me and my mini cheerleader together.

Pretty in Pink

Pretty in Pink!

Now that calls for a martini!
© copyright 2015 Mariam d’Eustachio at Simply Turquoise.

Modernizing My Mom and Her Bathroom.

The 1960’s was generally an unfortunate time for houses. Mad Men aside, I cannot quite bring myself to embrace this era. Something was lost in the necessary transition from houses only for the wealthy, to houses for the rising middle class, and now available for the masses. Even the earlier era catalog houses from Sears, modest in scale, still had some charm.

The Blue Bathroom Before.

The Blue Bathroom in my own mother’s house, before.

There is no need to dwell on this photo. You can see the horror for yourself.

Gutted to the studs.

Gutted to the studs.

The bathrooms in these homes are not only cramped, but come in any color of the rainbow. I wish I could figure out what the goal for bathrooms of this era was: “Hooray! We have indoor plumbing! Let’s make it pink!”or “blue!” or “avocado!” Or maybe the thinking was: “Have no fear! Your guests will be blinded by the brightest, shiniest tile and not see a single spec of dirt or stray hair!” In any case, this one bathroom in particular had to go. There was no band-aid solution and it needed to be gutted. The End.

The bathroom team.

The bathroom team, Oscar and Douglas (from left to right).

The contractor, Douglas Barreras, was ruthless in this renovation. He took no prisoners. The craftsmanship and care were evident throughout the whole process. As with any old house, there were a few unexpected glitches, and yet they finished on time and on budget. This is a rare combination in the world of renovation and I am carefully storing away his information for future use, or for anyone who sends me an e-mail asking for his contact information.

Tile set on the diagonal.

Tile set on the diagonal.

Setting the tile on the diagonal will trick the eye into thinking the space is larger than it actually is.

Greenboard on the walls, a new vanity and grout.

Greenboard on the walls, a new vanity and grout.

An open vanity adds a little storage, but helps the bathroom feel spacious.

Bathroom accent tile.

Accent tile.

The paint color is Benjamin Moore's Wedgewood Grey.

The paint color is Benjamin Moore’s Wedgewood Gray.

The paint color is Benjamin Moore’s Wedgewood Gray from the “Historical Colors” collection. This collection often provides my go-to colors. The medicine cabinet was set into the wall and is completely mirrored, both inside and out. It came from Ikea and provides a lot of extra storage. The Asian-inspired prints over the commode are stolen from another part of the house and while the commode is not a Toto,  it is supposed to be just as good: an American Standard Champion 4. (Toto is the ONLY brand of toilet I ever buy. In fact, I hear singing  in my head when I think of the Toto toilet and even once asked for one for Christmas. Sadly, I did not get my wish.)

Closet wall.

Closet wall.

The towel bars are hanging on a wall that was cut back about six inches to create space for towels. This space is taken from the adjacent linen closet that opens into the hallway. The added room allows the door to open all the way and helps the bathroom feel much bigger.

The new bathroom.

The new bathroom.

It took my dear mom about fifteen years, prodding by her dearest friend, suggestions of adding rooms and porches and other made-up renovations until this little bathroom project did not seem so bad after all, for her to take the plunge. Now lets hope it is not another fifteen years before she decides to tackle the pink bathroom right under it.

© copyright 2013 Mariam d’Eustachio.