Monday, May 31, 2010

Framed the huge mirror

Here you see our wonderfully plain builders mirror that we had cut down to this size so we could frame it and still have a bit of space between the outlets and the backsplash without losing too much mirror.
Before frame

We framed it with just Home Depot oak that Rory ran through his table saw to notch out a channel for the frame to sit on the mirror and wrap around it.

We had all of these stains already, so I used to them get the oak to match our hickory floor. You can see the sample of the floor to the right of my 4 tester pieces.

Here they are with mitered corners & drying after I stained them.


In this shot (I had to stand on the toilet) you can see the floor and how well it matches!
We used silicone to adhere it to the mirror, and that's it!

Before & After!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

One step closer

We have knocked a few more things off the check list, and have gotten closer to finishing some, but the one thing we completed today was the baseboards.
I painted them and Rory cut and installed them all, then I patched the holes and caulked the seams and then touched up with paint.
We went with a slightly creamier white for the base boards to contrast with the super white walls.



Sunday, May 23, 2010

So tired, and here's why

Here are some snap shots of today's progress. While Rory does all the difficult cuts and corner pieces I lay down the bulk of it. We work well this way, and we got it almost all done including the ceiling.

I got a bit of a second wind and decided to lay down the whole floor in the shower. It consists of over 500 2"x2" tiles. It came out pretty good, and I'm glad that's over!

Calm before the storm

Well a storm of tiling that is. Here is my current but brief Sunday morning scene. I am enjoying a cup of delicious Costa Rica coffee and the morning light is coming in to greet me. Soon, like in minutes we will be mixing up thin set (thanks to my parents that picked us up an extra bag yesterday at Home Depot) and tiling for most of the day. We are about 80% done with the shower and that's not too bad. Wish us lots of energy today, we'll need it!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


We grouted the tub and the counter top, and now it looks finished, well almost. We still have a few more steps, like sealing the tile a few more times and then caulking and installing the faucets. We also need to finish tiling the shower, we got just a little bit of that done on Sunday.

Sorry about the really weird angle on this shot, I was trying to get the whole counter in and it's a long one.

We just temporarily placed the sink and faucet in place to see how it looks and fits and we LOVE it!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Baby cakes

I spent last night making 45 of these pretty pink cupcakes with a twist. They were for our friends Sandee and Adam's baby shower today. They are expecting a baby girl and are serious fans of the pirate theme, and why not have pirate pride, right?
I had to make them girly, so the pink buttercream was a must. I love the metallic pink dragées that I got from Rory's sister and I am sad to say I can't find anything like them near me. I wish we had a great cake decorating store near by.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Beauty in Mexican tile

I know that Mexican Talavera tile is bold & in your face, it can be a bit much for some. But we LOVE it. Each tile is unique and has a character that only hand painted tiles with real brush strokes and glaze variances could express.
Sometimes I get responses to our renovation choices that are not ideal. People mention that our tile choice isn't subtle enough or they say it's too busy. But it can work, and our house craves the theme we are running freely and maybe too carelessly with.

Here are some amazing inspirational photos of what inspires me. I could spend everyday in these very bold rooms and never tire of the color.

This doorway is so welcoming, you just know the inside of this home is warm and comfortable with fun style and one day it will be mine, oh yes it will be mine.


This kitchen could not be more stunning. The turquoise tiles vary so much from one to the next, they look like they were something found in the Caribbean sea.


I love all the deco tile around this sunken tub, it looks like a beautiful bowl.


This huge bathroom has used contrasting solid colors, cobalt and terracotta orange to make a warm inviting statement with accents of deco Talavera tiles.


This range hood is amazing. The colors are similar to the bathroom above, with the use of the terracotta tile contrasting with the bright blue of the range oven.


Sunday, May 9, 2010

Countertops are on

First I want to say Happy Mothers day to my beautiful mom, and to Rory's. Thanks for being so wonderful, sweet and supportive through our crazy renovations!
This is what we accomplished today, tiling the countertops for our vanity. It doesn't seem like much, but we worked on this for 6 hours today. It was a lot of cutting, and sanding tiles just perfect to fit our sinks and faucets. So we are going to leave the grout for another day.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

A days work

Our bathtub looked like this just this morning. With a good day to ourselves we got all the tile laid for the tub. Tomorrow we can grout, and do the counter top on the vanity!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

New cast

Not much to report on the bathroom remodel so here its the latest on Ginger. She got a new cast yesterday, despite her efforts to avoid it. The Vet tech said she was a perfect angel when they took off the old one, but when they went to wrap it back up she gave the a bit of trouble. Actually that's quite the understatement.
So here she is with a slightly larger cast, which I am happy about. She has been so wild and difficult to confine so all the padding will hopefully protect her leg.
Here she had easily jumped up on my parents table about to knock over that tall glass vase, I think she is doing fine ~but best to confine this little kitty to the mudroom I think!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Bathroom remodel checklist

With the master bathroom getting closer to being finished I thought I would start a list of what we have accomplished and what is still left on the list. This may not be every little detail but it's the majority. I will most likely add to it as my list grows, or when I remember what we have done in the last 4 months.

What's been done...
  • Demoed the closet, floor, vanity with counter, shower tile & glass blocks
  • Rebuild entire whirlpool plumbing system on tub
  • Jackhammer out shower mortar floor
  • Lift ceiling & can light above shower so it's flush with rest of bathroom
  • Lift ceiling & 4 can lights above vanity so it's flush with rest of bathroom
  • Pour new mortar shower floor, line and pour rest of mortar floor
  • Remove all existing drywall in shower
  • Replace all moldy decaying studs in shower
  • Install new purple board in shower with complete water barrier behind it
  • Install Hardiebacker board everywhere tile is going
  • Jackhammer trench for new tub plumbing
  • Plumb in sewer line, hot & cold water lines (done by pros, kind of)
  • Move toilet water valve to the back so it's hidden
  • Run electrical to area for whirlpool tub motor
  • Fill in trench with concrete
  • Set cast iron tub in place
  • Plumb water lines for roman tub valves
  • Build tub box anchor to floor
  • Build Vanity, prime, paint, install hinges & hardware.
  • Had large wall mirror removed and cut down (by pros)
  • Resurface all walls in bathroom with hand troweled finish
  • Prime & paint walls
  • Have hardwood floor installed (done by pros)
  • Install all faucets and valves for Tub
  • Install vanity
  • Cut out sink holes
  • Install sinks
  • Tile, install over 3000 tiles,
  • Grout
  • Caulk everything
  • Paint and install baseboards
  • Install faucets and valves for 2 sinks
  • Install faucets and valves for shower
  • Frame mirror

Still need to do...
  • Seal all tiles
  • Install all accessories, such as towel bars & hooks
  • Install Shower Door
  • Have shower glass walls made and installed (by pros)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Wedding with a view

We attended a beautiful wedding yesterday for our old friend Phil. It took place at one of his in-law's gorgeous home that over looked a private beach. The view was spectacular, it was a bit windy, note the hair, and the two of us got too much sun as the whole event was uncovered.
But the mood was great the food was too, and the spot was definitely unique.

The house was just fantastic, the style of the home went so well with the landscaping like it blended right in. Someone got in my shot, but I loved the use of the mature olive trees and you should have seen the hibiscus they had growing. I wish we could grow those here!
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