Sunday, October 30, 2016

Before and After Bathroom Reno from the Undead blog!

I figured Halloween would be an appropriate time to publish a new blog post. Its been eerily quiet here on the old blog. So this post is like a posting from the beyond the...grave!

A few reasons are to blame for the lack of posts, mainly I don't have time for blogging, although we have had many projects over the years that were blog worthy. I simply post pics on social media keeping loved ones in the loop and using that as my main way to show off our accomplishments. Also Blogger has been really difficult to compose on, it takes way too long, and I just don't like it anymore. I'm sure there is a way to make it more user friendly, but I just don't want to put my time into researching that fix...I've got things to craft.

I did however block out some time for this project. The main reason I've always been pro blogging is it gets the information "out there".  I am always so pleasantly surprised at the good DIY renovation pics you can find online. It gives me inspiration, ideas, and hope that we can DIY this kind of project, and that's HUGE!

So without further gabbing, and for those that clicked beyond the facebook post for more details here is our guest bath renovation, before and after!

On September 12th I text messaged Mr. B at work saying "I think I want to renovate the guest bath" and soon after that text, our 3 year old and I took out the glass shower doors and track, while he was still at work.
It took us just under 6 weeks start to finish, of after work and weekend time to get it all done. A few hiccups as usual, but I'm really happy with the results! We (when I say we I mean Mr. B mostly) did 95% of the work, building, installing, and creating. We hired out a drywall texture guy to spray match the existing texture, and had to hire a bathtub chip repair guy when demo got a bit out of hand, and dinged up the cast iron tub. But other than that it was all us!

Of course I was so excited to start ripping the bathroom apart I forgot to take nice "before" shots, so I apologize for my afterthought messy pics.
1975 original vanity and cabinets.
Tile counter top, in a non offensive white. But you know I like to spice things up more than just white tile.

The frosted sliding glass doors had to go, I know they are practical while showering and I prefer them to a curtain for use, but not aesthetically. Someday we might have some frameless clear glass doors installed, but it wasn't in the budget this go around. So the doors were the first to go. Plus look how many towels I had hanging around on that frame, what a mess!!

The second thing to go was the lowered soffits above the bathtub, and vanity. For some reason the builders of our home in 1975 , thought it would be a good idea to lower sections of the ceiling, to give our house that cavernous small feeling everyone loves. So Mr. B lifted those sections right up to where they belong. Just as we did when we renovated our master bath.

You can see the studs here showing the area that the ceilings were lowered to, about 12" down.

Here the drywall was replaced above the vanity after the 12" soffit was lifted, waiting for the can lights to be cut back in and re textured.

Then there was a ton of tile demo.

 Mr. B made new doors for the vanity, and a template for the concrete counters. We kept the vanity box, except for the super tall cabinet on the top right, we deleted that one. We filled all the imperfections on the vanity box, sanded, primed and repainted it white. I used a foam roller to simulate a sprayed application and I was pleasantly surprised.

Here are the concrete counters drying out of their molds in the garage. Mr B had made concrete counters in our kitchen, and they were such a nice, affordable, modern, sustainable choice. I really wanted them again.

The beginnings of the tile going up! Super exciting, and a lot more work than all that square 4x4 tile we've laid in the past.

The list of the changes included: 
New cabinet doors, drawers, and drawer boxes built by Mr. B
All new faucets and fixtures, and hardware
New sink
Replace shower door with curtain
Lift ceilings
New lighting
New tile
New mirror, with a frame
Shelving above toilet
Replaced all the shower walls
Re dry walled some walls, and textured
Painted the whole bathroom, and vanity box

So after that long list of things, we got this as our final result. 


I just realized the under sink cabinet isn't shut or latched, but I'm posting it anyway! ha, that's reason #108 of why I'm not a professional blogger. They do close flush, in case you were wondering :P
You can see in the pic below, where the basket is, there used to be an upper cabinet, we that took out to open the room up even more, and added another concrete counter up there.

Once again before and after.




Thanks for reading! 
Mrs. B

Friday, March 20, 2015

We took a wall out!

I finally talked Mr. B into taking our entryway wall out!!
We always wanted to, but after 5 years of other renovations it was forgotten about. Recently I have been reminded how much I disliked the close quarters that our entryway wall caused, it was especially bad when company came over. They would walk into this small, low ceiling room where I was standing, and immediately we would all need to go left or right. It was always pretty awkward. 

I did like the decor in there, the lighting and wall were a perfect space for my painting, and the entryway table held my absolutely favorite birthday present ever, the cobalt and white chevron striped Ginger jar, hand made from Mexico, Mr. B got it for me years ago. It was quite a way to showcase those pieces.
But....the ceiling was literally almost 9" lower than the rest of the house in there, and you had to walk through a narrow area to walk into our house to the right, or step left into our sunken living room.
The space was just not very comfortable to be in.

Entryway with wall

Here is the view of the back of the wall, from the family room. We never really used that couch, it didn't lend itself to a nice place to sit. Bye bye wall!

Here is a view of the wall from our bedroom hallway (this was mid kitchen cabinet remodel)

Our framer was telling me that we may have to keep this small 18" part of the wall depending on the load bearing issues we would face once they tore into the drywall. I was really hoping that wouldn't be the case, having a weird vertical little wall would have been so hard to decorate around, let alone walk around.
Demo day! The guys found a large load bearing beam running along the ceiling, and it had to stay, but the whole wall was able to be removed. Yay!

We also had our guys rip the drywall off the ceiling in the entry way and raise it up 9" to match the ceiling in the family room. It was then covered in the same tongue and groove wood and beams to match as well.  

What a mess!!! But it was looking better already :) So open!

The ceiling being elevated was a huge help, you can see it here just slightly, but in person the feel is really quite a difference.
You can see here where the ceiling started in the entryway (the yellow drywall stopped where the ceiling was). Bringing it up to match was a great help. But like I said, that giant beam running through the room had to stay, I would have preferred it gone, but we plan to paint it all white to blend in.

The craziest thing about this wall removal, is that we discovered the wall was at some point an addition! Must have been added sometime in the late 1980's. I thought for sure it was part of the original 1970's cavernous design, but in this photo you can see the original tongue and groove is painted brown, showing that the room was once all opened up, just as we would have liked it (well aside from the color scheme, who paints a ceiling dark brown?).

Here is a view from the kitchen to our front doors. It's so much brighter in our family room, I just love it! Now we just need, drywall, tile, and then paint.

The drywall guy did a fast and a great job matching our texture. Our Saltillo tile floor was in need of some patching. Our tile guys popped out the partial tiles and matched (as well as possible) the older tiles.

You can see the newly laid tile here, before sealer. They should darken up to match the older ones, with a few coats of glossy seal. Mr. B got right on paint, here is a shot of the first coat on the ceiling and beam, the walls are done. 

Mr. B also cut in the holes for our can lights to go back in for the entryway. Looking better with paint!

• • • 

All done!!!
Here is our new entryway/family room! One step closer to an open concept home. I think it's made a HUGE improvement. It has brightened the whole living space up. The flow of the house just feels better, and certainly makes more sense. We are actually using the room, where before we just used it as a walkway to the kitchen. Its so much more inviting and comfortable, it's one of my new favorite rooms to hangout in now.

Every time I walk in the front door, I'm pleasantly shocked at how open it is.

 Just a little fun before and after, I think its like having a new house!

Till the next project!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Kitchen Cabinet Reface!

I never blog anymore.. I'm a bad, boring Mrs. B
But in reality I have been doing blog worthy things, just never taking the time to record them on the interwebs anymore.
So here is my attempt at getting our recent remodel permanently out to the world wide web.

Mainly I wanted to post about our very recently completed (today actually was the last day in this month long journey) kitchen cabinet refacing we had done, because when searching for inspiration I couldn't find many blog posts about it. I was nervous to invest time, money, and emotion in a refacing not knowing if it would be enough of a change, and concerned that a complete gut and all new cabinets may have been a better choice, eeek!

Well in the end I am really glad we went with a refacing, it was a huge improvement and a big money saver too! We got to keep our concrete counters that Mr. B built in 2009 before we moved in. 
The cabinets we had in our kitchen I imagine were installed around the late 80's to early 90's, so they were somewhere in the 20-25 year old range, and for particle board, painted cabinets, they had some major wear starting to show. I had thought about just repainting them, but I hated to put that kind of money into a style door I didn't like, and with the doors and hinges that didn't well I decided to go for it.

Here are our before and after photos of the kitchen cabinets. (we also did our laundry and hall cabinets doors to match)

First major change we removed the hanging cabinet above the large peninsula, to give the flow from kitchen to dining room a more open feel.
I love the removal of the hanging cabinets, yes I lost some storage, but those polls holding it up drove me crazy! Good grief, who designed that?

We also had about 4 sections of cabinet doors converted into large drawers, you'll see lots of drawers in this kitchen now, but its a look I wanted and a functionality Mr. B really pushed for. 
Oh we also deleted the two pull out cutting boards, because eew. Those things gross me out, and they killed the clean lines of the cabinets, so bye bye!

The original cabinet boxes all stayed, we removed all the old arched topped doors and drawers, hinges and slides. The remaining boxes patched sanded and were spray primed and painted in Dunn Edwards Swan White in a low sheen finish. 
Worst part about that was the spray primer smell, although our painters did a great job plasticine off the kitchen like a spray booth the smell was super overwhelming for a couple days. We had to camp out at my moms, (thank you mom) and when we came back the smell lingered for a couple weeks!

The style door we picked is a standard "shaker" door. We upgraded all the interior drawer boxes to pre-finished maple, all the interior shelves were remade, and all the hinges and drawer slides are soft closure Blum hardware all hidden. That upgrade really made a huge difference with it feeling like a total new cabinet remodel, for just a bit more cost. I highly recommend that if you are thinking of refacing your cabinets instead of getting all new.

The cup pulls and knobs are by Top Knobs, and I L-O-V-E them!
m1211 cup pull 
m25 knob

I christened our beautiful new kitchen with a marvelous new baked good that I plan to keep in my permanent recipe book.

My mom has a very giving kumquat tree on the property, that always graces us with a bounty of these amazing fruits. I looked up some inspiration online for something to do with them, other than marmalade. I saw a post on kumquat upside down cake! I used my go to recipe from my red and white Better Homes and Garden book, and I subbed out the pineapple for kumquats, increased the brown sugar in the topping a bit to help with the sourness of the fruit. I added a little clove and cardamom to the cake to add a little spice to go with that burst of citrus, so the cake wouldn't get lost, and it was almost too good.

From now on I'll know exactly what to do with all those kumquats, and I will have a beautiful kitchen to cook them in for years to come!

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