Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Kitchen and Bath Ispiration for All! It's #KBIS2016 Time!

If you love kitchen and bathroom inspiration, make a mental note to check Instagram and Twitter for images with the #KBIS2016 tag for the next few days. KBIS is the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show, a huge gathering of vendors showing off the latest products for kitchens and bathrooms.

Via @KBIS2016

Via Wellborn Cabinet

And there are plenty of appearances as well. This post from Genevieve Gorder made me smile.

A photo posted by Genevieve Gorder (@genevievegorder) on

Are you following KBIS, too? In addition to seeing a lot of posts on Instagram and Twitter, I also caught a demonstration in the Kohler exhibit by a member of the America's Test Kitchen team, which was pretty interesting. There are also a few bloggers covering the event, so I expect we'll see some more posts about what's happening at the show soon.
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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

A John Morris Spirograph from Ryland Woodard Interior Design

An old friend who lives in Manhattan tagged me in a giveaway on Instagram a few months ago and I was surprised to see that the item was just an hour away from me. The Richmond-based team at Ryland Woodard Interior Design was giving away a spirograph by John Morris, also from Richmond.

Did you have a spirograph kit as a child? I didn't have one, but I remember being mesmerized by them at friends' houses. John's spirographs are definitely quite a bit nicer than the ones we made with ball point pens and scrap paper!

I haven't felt like any space in our house was complete enough to serve as a backdrop for photos of the piece. The newly-completed bathroom makes a great backdrop and the lighting is pretty nice!

As I've mentioned before, I like art that is quirky or that makes me smile. I love the fact that this spirograph reminds me of some of my childhood friends and that I won it because of someone I knew back in elementary school. I haven't found it's permanent home in the house just yet, but I know it'll make ms smile wherever it lands.
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Friday, January 15, 2016

Our Frameless Low-Iron Shower Panel is Installed!


The glass company was able to install our shower screen on Wednesday and so we are done with the major work in our downstairs bathroom!

There's an amazing variety of options when it comes to ordering glass for a shower. We originally thought we'd get a sliding or pivot door for this bathroom, but with such a small space, we decided a simple, fixed panel would take up the least amount of space.

Next, we had to decide what kind of glass we wanted to use. Traditional glass has a green tint to it when you get to the size and thickness needed for a shower. The alternative is low-iron glass. There are lots of different names for this kind of glass. Some companies also add coatings to combat haze or stains from soaps and hard water, but we opted for just simple low-iron glass since this shower won't get daily use.

When the glass arrived, I saw the green edge and got scared that we got the wrong panel, but even low-iron glass has a green edge. I even found a chart online that showed how the color of the edge was affected by the size of the panel.

The green edge of our 76" tall glass panel was totally normal.

When looking at the glass straight on, it was totally clear. No green tint!

Our friend who did the tile left a notch for the glass when he put the chair rail in place. It was perfect!

After letting the adhesive set for 24 hours, the shower is ready to be used! Jack has taken to sitting in the shower, but I don't think he realizes that he's going to be getting a bath this weekend in his favorite hangout spot!

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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Bathroom Eye Candy from Around Central Virginia

I missed a call from the glass company that is ready install the glass screen in our newly remodeled bathroom because I was in a meeting today. I found myself flipping through Houzz last night to distract myself and stumbled upon some interesting bathrooms from right here in Central Virginia. Here's some local bathroom eye candy for you...

Everyone knows that wallpaper is back in a big way and I love seeing it in bathrooms. I also love the symmetry in the design.

I don't have a vanity, but I have a plan to get one built into our future dressing room (that might have to happy way down the line). I love a bathroom with natural light and a pretty space to sit and put on makeup.

I'm not usually attracted to rustic details, but the arch over the tub in this next bathroom is so cool. I also like the juxtaposition of that rustic arch and the gleaming surfaces around it.

More symmetry and another vanity. I guess we know what's on my mind these days!

Between that amazing wainscoting and the lamp, I'm loving this bathroom. The light fixtures are larger versions of the one I used in my condo bathroom!

I hope that my next update with be about that glass shower screen being installed!
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Monday, January 11, 2016

An Unconventional Mirror for the Bathroom

I didn't select a vanity mirror for the new bathroom in advance. In the back of my mind, I thought I'd buy the same style of mirror I used in our last bathroom. The pivot mirror from Restoration Hardware was great in the condo. These days, you can find the same style at Pottery Barn, Rejuvenation, and discount sites like Wayfair and Overstock.

At some point, I decided that I wanted something unexpected and different for the mirror in the new bathroom. I had been looking at mirrors designed for the bathroom and nothing really excited me. I decided to look at mirrors not really meant for the bathroom instead.

After looking at dozens of websites, I found a scalloped, frameless mirror on One Kings Lane. I looked it up with Google Images and was thrilled to see that I could order the mirror through Horchow. Between getting a percentage back through Ebates and a 25% off bed and bath sale, I got a great deal on the mirror.

When the box arrived, I was thrilled to see that the mirror was from right here in Virginia. This is the second time I have ordered something from Horchow and the item has been made in the Commonwealth. This mirror was from Bassett Mirror Company (not the same as Bassett Furniture, which someone commented has moved production abroad when I considered a bed by them). My china cabinet was the other piece and it was made by Pulaski Furniture.

So the mirror didn't come with much documentation. There was a sticker on the back saying to use anchors that could hold 100 pounds and that was pretty much it. The mirror weighs about 20 pounds, but I am totally the type of person to use a 100 pound hanger for a 20 pound mirror. I approve of their cautiousness.

One of the reviews I read of the mirror said it was hard to hang straight because of the odd shape. I decided to make a template with kraft paper to get it right.

I traced the mirror and then used the side of a pencil to mark where I'd need to drill for the anchors.

I folded the paper to mark the center horizontally and to show where the hangers would be. Then, I used a laser level to hang the paper on the wall in the right. A traditional level helped double check the placement.

While I love my power tools, I am always a little nervous using my drill when I need to use a large drill bit (the drywall anchors called for a 5/16 drill bit). I've had to fill my share of incorrectly placed holes, so I usually start with a tiny bit and then slowly move up in size until I get to the big one. It takes a little longer, but patching a hole and waiting for things to dry takes even longer.

Anyway, using my baby steps drilling method, we arrived at this point in about 5 minutes:

We're closer to being done with the room every day. We're expecting to hear from the glass company this week and that will complete the shower!
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Thursday, January 7, 2016

Our First Bathroom Remodel (a pre-accessorizing reveal)

The first and second posts that I wrote this week were covering the progress on our bathroom from July to December. Today's post is about where we are today.

There are still a few things left on our checklist (the glass shower screen, a vanity mirror, and towel bars), but we're at the point where there is not more major work to be done.

I should note that I don't love the paint color on the walls (Benjamin Moore Ice Mist), but it works for now. We might opt to put some color on the walls once we have other rooms decorated.

I can't believe Whole Foods has peonies right now. Are they going to be a year-round flower? 

I was so nervous about buying our vanity online, but I am really impressed with it.  

 I held my breath as I installed the toilet paper holder. I have a whole post about the hardware coming. Needless to say, Restoration Hardware can be such a challenge to work with...but their hardware is so darn pretty. 

No monograms on the towels yet, but I'll get to them eventually. 

The niche! You can't really tell here, but it's super deep.

The floor and shower tiles side-by-side, with a nice, marble threshold between them. 

We expect the shower screen and mirror to be done within the next week, so I'll still have some developments to share!

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Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Our First Bathroom Remodel in the "New" House, Part 2

I shared so many ugly pictures in the first part of this bathroom reveal that I think I need to just get something pretty on here quickly.

So, here's our floor and shower tile:

I picked the Tagina tile at Wainwright Tile and Stone here in Charlottesville. They had the sample of the tile we'd use in the main part of the bathroom, that larger tile above. They didn't have a sample of the mosaic we'd use in the shower. Tagina didn't even have a picture of it. We ordered it off a drawing.

Here's our second speed bump. The gray and white color combination and this pattern weren't in stock in the United States. I tried to look for something else, but nothing really spoke to me, so we ordered this tile in July and it didn't arrive until October.  At the time, I said it was worth it because I loved the tile so much.


When the floor went down in the main part of the bathroom, I was in love!

Now we encountered our next road block. This was bizarre, but at this point not surprising. We were short on the shower tile. The shower tile that took 12 weeks to arrive. Cue everyone trying to figure out why the amount was off. I was so tired of this project that I didn't care WHY there wasn't enough tile. I just wanted to know how we could get more without waiting 12 weeks. The answer was that we had to spend a stupid amount of money.

The original order of tile came to us from Italy via a container ship. That wasn't going to work this time, so we spent more on shipping than on tile to get it here in ten days. When the shower tile went down, I wasn't so sure about it at first...but I now think that seeing it with the green backer board around it was throwing me off.

Believe it or not, once the shower tile was in, things moved pretty quickly. Our friend who does tile spent a few long days putting in the subway tile (we used a size a little larger than traditional 3x6). 

I know dark grout is still super hot, but I love white grout lines on the wall. I think it helps this tiny room look a little larger. We took the tile halfway up the wall and added chair rail all the way around.

The day fixtures went in, I deliberately stayed away until they were totally done. I had my own mini-reveal that day! The end was in sight!

We were originally going to have a long niche across the far wall in the shower, but that wall backs up to cinder block. Our tile guy suggested an extra-deep niche in the same wall as the shower. Now that we had extra mosaic tile, we could put that tile in the back of the niche for a little visual interest.

 Once again, I've gone on for way too long. I guess there's going to be a part 3 tomorrow.

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Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Our First Bathroom Remodel in the "New" House, Part 1

When we moved into this house in 2013, we knew it would take us years to get it to a comfortable place. The house had been empty and somewhat neglected for at least a year before we moved in. Aside from a lot of scrubbing and painting, the bathrooms and kitchen were in need of face lifts. In some cases, they were functioning and just ugly. In others, they weren't functioning properly.

We started with the lower-level bathroom, which would get the most use by visitors. It would also be least involved project. The upstairs bathrooms are back-to-back and we are thinking of re-configuring the spaces to change the awkward spacing in them. I also thought the downstairs bathroom would be the fastest project - just switching out fixtures and adding tile. Easy peasy, right? Not really.

Okay, so let's start with a before in all of its 1974 glory.

What you can't see is that the shower and tub fixture were no longer secure against the tile, so bathing in this room wasn't a great idea because water could get behind the wall. We washed Baxter, our golden retriever, in here every now and then. He was terrified of bathtubs, so we said we'd put in a tiled shower just for him when the time came to redo the bathroom.

Here's how the bathroom looked while we lived here:

When it was time to start, there were some surprises that prompted this:

So that simple remodel, where we were just going to switch out some fixtures and add tile became a to-the-studs job. Surprise!

TIP: We got some great advice at this point. Our friend suggested taking pictures of where the pipes and electricity lines were for future reference. If drywall ever comes down, take pictures of what's in your walls!

We were prepared for something to go wrong, so we rolled with the detour. The walls started going up and things were looking good!

I've already written about picking out tile at Wainwright Tile and Stone, the vanity from Kitchen Bath Collection, our toilet, and light fixtures from Shades of Light's outlet. After staring at websites for days trying to figure out the right configuration of plumbing pieces for the shower, I saw a 20% off coupon code from Pottery Barn as a sign and ordered a complete shower system from them. It was made in Brooklyn by Watermark Designs.

Imagine my frustration when the plumber pointed out that the installation diagram and the pieces themselves wanted the center handle installed upside down, if you're using Pottery Barn's product images as a reference.

Pottery Barn's image:

I think this is a guidance piece from that center handle. See where the hole for the diverter button is?  It wants that button to be on top.

There is also a hole in the cover plate for drips to escape and it also wanted the whole thing installed with the button on top.

I was so used to the PB image that I asked the plumber to re-install the whole thing so the button would be under the water handle. So behind the wall, the supply lines were going in like this:

And my request resulted in it looking like this:

When the future owners of this house open up the walls to remodel someday, they are going to think we were nuts.

This is getting way too long, so part 2 is going to have to come tomorrow. The pictures will be prettier, I promise!

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