Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year, New Bath.

Hope everybody had a great holiday and a fun, safe new year! I can't believe they are both over.

So, I had a long (okay, i lie - it actually felt like the shortest week of the year....), relaxing, awesome week off  with Mr. 31. We slept in (glorious!), ate a lot and spent some quality time with family and each other. He even agreed to go outlet shopping with me, although I can't get overly excited about that because I know the underlying truth is he went more for the Auntie Anne's pretzel stand than for me. No biggie though, he is a great shopping buddy while he is munching happily on his treat.

Anyway, at some point during the week my wonderful husband threw a major wrench (kind of literally) into my calm, stress-less week. This is how it happened: 
Mr.31: I think I am going to replace the exhaust fan in the bathroom.
Me: Awesome! No more screechy, whoa-is-there-a-plane-landing-in-my-shower fan.

And so we went to Lowe's and picked out a fan. Hence, where the trouble began. You know how it goes: the fan/light combo we currently had was 20 years old, square, plastic and ugly. We can buy that same thing (just 20 years newer) for $30. Or, for $65 we can get a sleek, round, frosted lamp with a nearly silent fan. (sigh) Of course, we leave with the nicer one. And on the way home Mr. 31 says, "well, since I am going to be cutting the ceiling and doing the work for a different light, I think i will just go ahead and rip out all the wallpaper."

Time-out: Ok, let me take a quick minute to give you some crucial info regarding our bathroom. When I bought our house, way back before I even met Mr. 31, the bathroom couldn't hide it's scariness. Old, stained tub. Dark, wood wainscoting (as in nearly black!). Wallpaper everywhere - wall and ceiling - in a hideous 80's floral print. Huge cabinets, vanity and mirror that overpower the room, leaving a space so narrow that Mr. 31 and I can't both move in the bathroom at the same time. Scary place! But, still livable. And so, as you all know, time just keeps ticking on and we just keep using the ugly, narrow, scary bathroom. Mainly for the money aspect, but also for the 'when-will-we-really-find-the-motivation-to-remodel' aspect.

Apparently, Mr. 31 found that motivation this week.

He put in the new light and stripped off all the wallpaper. Then he patched the walls and put on a coat of primer. Then he sanded it all and caulked and removed all the existing hardware on the walls, cabinets and doors. And then he traipsed downstairs in his dust covered boots and looked at me sitting at the kitchen table quietly sewing my curtains for the mudroom and he uttered the scary, inevitable words that I knew in the bottom of my heart were coming: "Well, I think we should just go ahead and do the bathroom remodel now. Whaddya think?"
What do I think? What do I THINK??
I think that you can't just spring this on a girl. Especially not this girl. I think that I normally spend weeks, months, planning remodels out in my head, drawing pictures and searching for discount materials. I think that I need much more time to stress, and waver over decisions,  while flipping furiously through home decor magazines. I think that I need countless nights spent lying awake in bed, agonizing over prices and questioning if we can really afford to take on a remodel. I think, I think, I think....that I was not ready for this!
But, lucky for my(indecisive)self, my husband is a just-get-it-done type of guy. He also hates to sit on a unfinished project in the house - as he puts it, 'it makes him feel like he can't breathe if there is a project half done.' And so while I hemmed and hawed and wrung my hands on the sofa he set a budget, picked a wall color (with my approval, of course - i am not totally out of my mind!), and carted me to all the local home improvement centers. And, therefore, I guess we are embarking on a bathroom remodel. Here are the plans: (any thoughts??)

- New floor. Probably going to go with the vinyl tiles that you can grout. My cousin put them in his kitchen recently and gave us rave reviews. Price is right on, too.
- Restoring the tub and tiles. Experimenting with a new product that is some sort of epoxy material. Have heard good reviews for this and Mr. 31 has been wanting to try it.  
- Ripping out the large vanity and cabinets and replacing with a streamlined cabinet that is designed for narrow rooms. I am not wildly in love with our options - all look cookie-cutter to me- but it is the best option for our space, especially since we don't want to spend a lot of extra dough on changing the plumbing all around. I can help temper the cookie cutter-ness in other ways.
 - New mirror. I think I am going to use this as a way to help add character into the room. Hoping to find a decent mirror from an antique/thrift store that I can re-finish.  Some ideas I like: this
and this.
 - Paint. All dark wood work will be painted white and we are using a bright, vibrant red on the upper half of the walls.
- New hardware : knobs, towel racks, tp holder. Maybe I should just spray paint the old ones...???
-  New light fixture. We already have this - bought one at a yardsale a year ago that was brand new. At the time I squawked about it, but Mr. 31 insisted. Thank goodness he is so smart.
- New shower curtain.  
- New accessories - I'll have to use my nifty thrifty skills for those.....

Our budget for all this is small, so it will take a lot of squeezing and scouring for deals, but I am starting to get a little excited about the ideas. If anyone has ideas, or experience with this, please pass your advice along - I would love to hear it! Meanwhile, if you need me, I will be busy stressing over towel racks.....  
Before' shots:

Old medicine cabinets. Currently have white primer on them but will be ripped out.

Narrow, narrow!
Huge, bulky vanity.

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