Category Archives: Bathroom

There’s a Toilet in Mah’ Kitchen

Second only to the kitchen, the downstairs bathroom is another of our main targets for pre-move-in renovations.

We’ve removed the three layers of floral wallpaper, the floor tile, the wood paneling, the sink and vanity, the toilet and everything else in the room except for the lights and the bathtub (curses! We haven’t found an affordable clawfoot tub yet so that’ll have to wait).

Screen shot 2013-03-08 at 10.22.00 PM
images courtesy of

As soon as the walls are textured we can install the floor tile and move the toilet from the kitchen back into the bathroom where it belongs. We’ll have to put a hold on the wall tile in the bathroom for now but it’ll be worth the wait in order to afford the texturing. I’ve always wanted white subway wall tiles with the little white hexagon floor tiles. It’s just a classic look that can be dressed up any-which-way you please.  I’m thinking white subway tiles with charcoal grout and a finishing ledge 4′ up the wall and then a warm green earthy paint up to the ceiling. I also found an industrial shelf/towel rack that I can make for under $90 at my home box store:

Add some wood planks on a few of the horizontals and it makes a mean shelf unit.
Add some wood planks on a few of the horizontals and it makes one mean shelf unit.

One Man’s Trash…

I haven’t quite finished writing my post about removing Thin-Set from concrete, but I just had to gush about this wicked Craigslist find I picked up.

I was looking for a simple, maybe vintage or shabby-chic pedestal sink to replace the outdated vanity in the downstairs restroom of Brake Manor when I noticed a fairly unique post that I just couldn’t pass up. Most of the sinks I had found were between $60-120, but even the $120 sinks were all fairly plain and boring. There was one posting, however, that offered a strikingly unique modern sink (one I didn’t think I’d normally have been drawn to) with little porcelain shelf wings on the sides, metal towel bars, and a side mounted faucet… all for only $75.

I emailed the gal, we chatted back and forth, and I told her I was smitten and wanted to come pick it up ASAP. We set a time for the next night since she was located about an hour away, and that was that. …I thought.

I emailed her again on the day I was to pick up the sink, thinking it would have been smarter of me to get the dimensions before committing to the purchase, but she must’ve been at work and didn’t respond. So, being the resourceful gal I am I started Googling for similar images trying to find this sink and it’s dimensions. After a few minutes, I found it. ….aaand I also found the original cost of the sink:

Though I'm not a materialistic girl I have an unexplained penchant for expensive items. I could walk into any store and be immediately drawn to the most expensive item - I found this still rings true, even on Craigslist.
Though I’m not a materialistic girl I have an unexplained penchant for expensive items. I could walk into any store and be immediately drawn to the most expensive item – I found this still rings true, even on Craigslist.

The sink we picked up has the European drain option -which brings the cost up to the $1010- and a slightly fancier faucet mounted on the left side of the bowl. Once I knew the original cost of the sink and factored in the cute faucet I couldn’t help but laugh. I am known for being drawn to the most expensive item in a store, even if I have no previous knowledge about the product at hand. I know nothing of mountain bikes, but if I were to walk into a specialty shop I have zero doubt I’d be drawn to the only $15k bike in the store.

When Jason and I picked up the sink we learned the gal selling it is an architect in Denver and routinely receives rejected items from high-end projects when the client decides to change their mind last-minute.

So now, in our modest shabby-chic DIY cottage, we will be sporting a very out-of-place $1000+ Porcher designer sink that only set us back $75 and an evening of drive time. I am thoroughly entertained by this! It just goes to show how one man’s trash is most certainly another man’s treasure. Someone originally paid $1k for a stinkin’ sink, then tossed it aside on a whim, and someone who either didn’t know how much the sink cost -or didn’t care- sold it to a second-hand-seeking DIYer for $75.

Next steal I’m hoping to make is a vintage iron claw-foot tub. Any suggestions on where to look in Northern Colorado?

Now how do I get one of these bad boys for a steal?
Now how do I get one of these bad boys for a steal?


Renovations: Day 6

This past week has been so much fun for me; ripping into walls and smashing tiles, tearing down cabinets and diligently learning -via YouTube videos- how to do each step of all of these projects.  I’ve spent the week alone in Brake Manor (while my sweet hubby works the day job so we can afford to do this…) with the tunes cranked and donning my dust mask and goggles like a rockstar.  Jason was able to come work with me this weekend and the job was even more fun with him at my side. [insert girly swoon here]

As of this morning, here’s where we’re at:

Gas Leak1. the final gas leak has been found and repaired. I eventually gave up and had to call in a pro. It turns out the leak was a lengthwise split in one of the pipes deep in an inaccessible attic-space.  It was an expensive fix but the fact that I didn’t have to swim in loose fiberglass insulation made it totally worth it.

No Wallpaper2. all wallpaper has been removed, sans behind the toilet in the downstairs bath. I’m still a little afraid to remove the toilet yet. I also scraped all the popcorn (non-asbestos popcorn, don’t worry) from the ceiling.

3. the vanity in the bathroom has been removed, walls have been cleaned off and are ready for a skim coat (sans, of course, behind the toilet. I figure I’ll try to do that tonight when Jason can help me lift it).

4. all kitchen wall cabinets and backsplash tiles have been removed, and all lower cupboards except for the one with the sink have been detached so they can be shifted around as we work on the floor.

With Kitchen CabinetsWithout Kitchen Cabinets

5. demo on the kitchen tile is about halfway done. We wanted to leave the cute white tile with charcoal grout but the floor wasn’t tiled under the cabinets (as you can see on the right hand side of the above photos), and we were unable to find the same tile anywhere so we had to do it since we don’t plan on keeping the same cabinet configuration.

I’ve taken today off to catch up on my day-job duties and research options for grinding the Thin-set off of the concrete where the tiles used to be, but hopefully this evening I can head back over to the Manor to kock out a few more floor tiles and move that toilet. The rest of the week is supposed to be a balmy 46-48˚which will make it a little less miserable to run the fresh-air fan with an open door while sanding; but then it’s supposed to drop back into the 20’s and snow on Saturday. Here’s hoping I can manage to finish tearing up the floor and make all the runs to the dump before the snow hits.