Thursday, April 20, 2017

One Week Challenge, Week 3 - Tile and a Demo Surprise

Hey there, it's week three of the One Room Challenge, when a bunch of bloggers work with sponsors to remodel a room in their homes and a bunch of other bloggers tag along to redo rooms without as much planning. I jumped in at the last minute because we are remodeling a bathroom.

 In reading past ORCs, it seems weeks 3 and 4 are the hardest. Some people don't post at all. I almost didn't post because there isn't much to share. The big update is that I have pictures of our beautiful floor tile to share.

Tile is getting bigger and bigger these days (have you seen slab porcelain?), but I was worried that larger format tiles would be crazy expensive. Amazingly, the NovaBell tile we picked, was around $10 per square foot and the 12x24 tiles were less than the 12x12 tiles! 

These are faux marble tiles, but they don't have the repetition that older fakes had. I laid an entire box out on the floor of our back porch and the veining on each tile was unique.

Seeing all that pretty tile is happy news, but I have some sad news as well. My tile guy broke his wrist! He's okay, but our timeline is pushed back a few weeks while he recovers. I realize that some people would just move on to find someone else, but we aren't willing to do it. This means we might not see any big changes to the bathroom until week 5.

While clearing the bathroom, I noticed something that looks odd to me. There are two layers of either drywall or cement board behind the tile in the tub area. The house was built in 1976 and I'm not sure if this is something that was typical in those days or if this is to fix something irregular behind the wall. Some googled shows that other people have found two layers of board behind their tiles. It'll be interesting to see if all three walls in the tub alcove are like this.

This isn't much of an update and I'm not sure if there will be much to share next week, either.
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Thursday, April 13, 2017

One Room Challenge, Week 2 - Gathering Materials and Thinking About the Floor Plan

It's Week 2 of the One Room Challenge and the pile of materials is growing. When I created our guest room during the ORC last year, the process was pretty easy. I painted, shopped, and then put everything together. Tackling a bathroom remodel for the ORC is a totally different project. There are so many decisions to make up front so orders can be placed and fixtures can be on site quickly. 

If we were just doing a "refresh" on the bathroom, I'm sure I could start from zero during week 1. For this remodel, I started thinking about materials months ago and talking to our contractor about our plans weeks ago.

Adjusting the Floor Plan

One of my wishes for the remodel was to change the floor plan so that the view into the room wasn't of the toilet, which is across from the door.

Current floor plan (imagine that the toilet and tub are avocado green)

 Moving pipes would be a major undertaking. It would take more time and probably require a larger budget. My contractor suggested a much easier solution - shifting the door to the left and moving the sink lines so the view from the hallway is of the vanity and not the toilet.

Proposed floor plan

I had already planned on having a smaller vanity instead of one that takes up an entire wall, so moving the door seemed like a great idea.

The rest of this post is a lot of rambling about fixtures, so feel free to bail out now. If you like shopping for plumbing and vanities, keep reading.

The Vanity

I thought finding a vanity for this bathroom would be easy. My list of desired characteristics wasn't too, too long, right?
  • White finish
  • Drawers instead of doors
  • Traditional feet (instead of modern ones)
  • White or grey top
My first thought was to shop with Pottery Barn. I'm always getting discount codes from PB and their vanities look great. Unfortunately, Pottery Barn doesn't have swatches for their bathroom furniture. That made me leery about ordering from them, especially since I ordered a white desk from PB years go that wound up being almost yellow when it arrived.

After looking at all sorts of sources, I settled on a vanity with great reviews that checked all the boxes. Amazingly, this was my first order from Wayfair. I feel like the last person to order from them! The process was smooth and delivery was pretty fast. 

A Simple Bathtub

It's interesting that finding a super simple, standard bathtub isn't very easy right now! My wish list:
  • Standard size
  • Left drain
  • No waves or indents in the apron
  • Taller than our current tub
  • Not cast iron (due to weight)
After a lot of searching, Wayfair came through again! The manufacturer wasn't one I knew well (Kingston Brass), but the bathtub's reviews were solid.


Faucet and Shower Trim

I'll be honest. This is one area where I have champagne taste and a prosecco budget. I saw a Kallista (a luxury line by Kohler) faucet over a year ago that I loved and kept looking for something similar. I finally found it online, via Newport Brass. I love the shape of the faucet and the handles.

For shower trim, I went with a version of Kohler's Margaux set that has a cross handle. I've never been one of those people who feels the need to have all fixtures from the same company. I think these compliment each other well!

And then, there's tile

I usually spend a lot of time on tile, but that wasn't the case for this project. There was leftover subway tile from our first bathroom remodel and it made sense to use it for this bathroom. For the flooring, I wanted large tiles (fewer grout lines to clean) in either cararra marble or a very good lookalike.

As always, Diane Mort at Wainright Tile here in Charlottesville came to the rescue and showed me a new, 12x24 porcelain tile that has a marble design on it. This tile has more variation than older faux marbles, so it's easy to mistake it for the real thing!

What am I missing?

I haven't finished gathering all of the accessories (medicine cabinet, towel bars, hooks, etc), but most of the big ticket items are here or en route right now. You may notice that I didn't talk about toilets. Kohler's Memoirs Stately is my favorite toilet (is it possible to have a favorite toilet?). Any time I look for other options, I come back to that one. This was the case for this project.

The to-do list is long, but we are well on our way!
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Friday, April 7, 2017

The 2017 Bundoran Farm Show Home in Charlottesville

Design House season in many parts of Virginia and DC has shifted to the fall, but I'm so excited to share a few images from this season's show house at Bundoran Farm in Charlottesville. You may remember the 2015 Southern Living Idea House, decorated by Bunny Williams, was at Bundoran Farm. This year, Charlottesville designer Wendi Smith took on the tremendous task of decorating an entire show house and the results are amazing.

The house is currently open for tours with the proceeds from tickets sales benefiting the Shelter for Help in Emergency.

I like that Derry Cottage, built by Green Mountain Construction, is spacious (this 4-bedroom home is just a hair over 3,600 square feet) without feeling absurdly large. The ceilings are high, but details like shiplap and robust trim make the home feel cozy. The house is situation on a beautiful six-acre piece of property, making for gorgeous views.

I'm not going to share too many pictures from the house because I think you should go see it in person. I'm deliberately not showing you the kitchen, most of the bathrooms, or the incredible in-law suite. You have to go see those in person!

The house is open Wednesday-Sunday (see hours above). Visitor parking is at the Baldwin Center, 5005 Edge Valley Road, North Garden, VA 22959. A very nice shuttle will drop you off at the front door of the house.

After visiting the show house, hop over to Pippin Hill Farm and Vineyards for wine and lunch! Bring your ticket to the show home and Pippin will treat you to a gelato!

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Thursday, April 6, 2017

One Room Challenge, Week 1 - The Before

Last night, I decided to join the One Room Challenge for the second time. The One Room Challenge (ORC) started years ago as a way for bloggers to spruce up a room in their house over the course of six weeks. These days, there are incredible partnerships between bloggers and sponsors resulting in truly incredible room transformations. I'm tagging on as an unsponsored guest participant.

This is so last minute that I'm writing this post at 10:30 PM, the night before the first link up. I know other bloggers who have had their projects planned out for weeks, with blog posts written and scheduled. Basically, I'm insane and you should make sure you have plenty of popcorn on hand, because this might be a train wreck.

Let's talk before pictures. The project is the upstairs, hallway bathroom in our house. The photo below is from when we first saw our house. Do you see the avocado toilet and tub in the mirror? The tank is as big as an aquarium. I put a half-gallon jug in there soon after we moved in to cut down on how much water it used. The flooring is really fabulous. It's a beautiful cream and moss green vinyl. Everything is original to this 1976 house.The lights give off a wonderful, yellow cast (even with Reveal bulbs installed).

For the most part, the door to this bathroom stayed closed for the first year we lived in the house.  When we remodeled a downstairs bathroom, we had to use this bathroom a little bit. I painted the vanity pink, bought a floral shower curtain, and a piece of art to brighten things up a bit.

Oh, and while we were doing our first bathroom remodel, the tub faucet in this bathroom broke, so our plumber had to break a hole in the tub wall to fix it. A part failed due to old age. The curtain stays closed to hide the horror.

It's all still pretty bad...even a bit embarrassing.

So what's the plan? We want to update this bathroom to be classic, with a few quirks. I've always preferred really timeless bathrooms, sometimes with a little color, but often with a simple palette. I guess it's no surprise that my bathroom inspiration board is one of my most followed boards on Pinterest!

 Here's where I'm going with this bathroom:

I have a few orders placed and a few to make, but a lot of our materials should be here by next week. One thing I learned during our last bathroom reno was to avoid materials with long lead times. Our tile had to come from Italy and it took 10-12 weeks to arrive. The entire project got pushed back because I HAD to have that tile.

Next time, I'll go over materials and the general plan for the bathroom. We're making one significant change that I'm excited to share!

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Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Converting Rod-Pocket Drapes to Pinch Pleats

I wrote a "tutorial" about converting rod-pocket drapes to pinch pleats years ago. Back then, I stitched pleating tape (you can find it at JoAnn's Fabric) to some drapery panels by hand. It took me days and days to do and my hands were sore after I was done. I was quite proud of the finished project, but I cringe a little when I look back at those drapes.

In searching for drapes for our current living room, I exhausted every fabric resource I could find both online and in person. Nothing was quite right. Lesson learned: pick fabric first and then paint. I painted the living room first, mostly because it was such a depressing room for me. The pink made me so much happier.

I turned to ordering swatches from catalogs that sell pre-made drapes and the one store I didn't want to deal with was the winner. Some pink drapes from Restoration Hardware's baby line gave me the tone-on-tone look that I wanted.

The discount program RH put into place about a year ago made me so irritated that I almost didn't order anything. If you aren't aware, they want people to pay $100 to get a 20% discount for one year. Their usual sales are pretty much over, per the articles about the move. I found someone selling a discount code on ebay, but it had expired by the time I was ready to purchase. Amazingly, though, RH announced a 20% sale on everything in February. The sale only ran for a week or two, but I was ready and placed my order right away.

When the drapes came, I was pretty happy with them. They had a nice lining and came with drapery pins. I guess they thought people would just shove the pins in the rod pocket to cover them? Anyway, I slide the panels over my Ballard Designs acrylic curtain rods and liked what I saw...

Converting the rod pockets to a simple, two-finger pinch pleat was much easier with a sewing machine. The preparation took longer than the actual sewing.

First, you have to figure out how many pleats you can make with your fabric. I made my pleats with 5 inches of fabric and had about 4 inches of space between each.

I marked my pleats with colored pins. The start of forming each pleat is sewing down the panel so that each set of colored pins meets. You wind up forming "loops."

Once the loops are formed, ironing will help train the fabric to fold in the right place.

The line of stitching will hold the drapery pins eventually, so these stitches have to be strong and tight.

This looks like a lot of nothing until you get to the next stop. You smush your loops down evenly and iron again.

At this point, you marvel at how quickly this has come together and pat yourself on the back.

Now you lift each side of the smushed loop and form the pinch pleat. 

I used binder clips to hold the pleats together and I hand sewed to bind the pleat in two spots: where the pleat meets the fabric at the very top of the panel and where the fabric is pinched about 4 inches down.

I was pretty amazed that they actually looked like drapes. Of course, there are more ornate pleat styles, but this is about as much as I could handle with the fabric that I had. If I had wider panels, I might have got for a three-finger pleat.

 I have do spend a little more time training the fabric to hang properly, but I'm pretty happy with the results!

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