Thursday, October 30, 2008

upstairs bathroom choices...

IKEA Höllviken sink:

Discovering the oval shaped IKEA Höllviken sink was very exciting. The only options I could see to fit in the small 22" space were pedestal sinks or a custom made vanity. I personally don't really like pedestal sinks. A custom made vanity would not work for us - for budget reasons and time constraints. I would rather just utilize the small closet next to the bathroom for toiletries. The IKEA Höllviken is only $90.00! It can be mounted on a wall or to a base. Most importantly, it measures 22 1/2" across - wide enough for us to use and not get water everywhere and small enough to fit into our space. Since we will be floating it on the wall we can have a little overhang over the tub.

I just need to decide on a faucet.

I don't think anyone will appreciate its size more than our cat Toby, whose favorite pastime is drinking water from the bathroom sink:

Kohler Cimarron Comfort Height two-piece round-front toilet:

This toilet is one of the first things that we purchased for the bathroom. The previous toilet was cracked (and gross.) In its short life it's already been installed upstairs and moved downstairs while we're working on the bathroom. When it makes its final trip upstairs we'll put a shorter toilet in the "powder closet."
Daltile 4" X 8" subway tile in Desert Gray on the walls:

I really love this tile. I love the larger scale for this small bathroom - 4"X8".
2" Carrara marble mosaic tile in a Hexagon pattern for the floors:

Again - we bought this in a larger scale. I think the 2" size will compliment the proportions of the subway tile. We were entirely inspired by the lovely Anna of Doorsixteen's bathroom renovation. She used Carrara marble hex on her floor and the results were amazing.
LaToscana Ornellaia Single Control Pressure Balanced Tub and Shower Kit:
One thing I learned while trying to find bathroom fixtures is that if you know nothing about plumbing, talk to your plumber before you shop. A few wrong purchases later and we now have this shower set by Latoscana. We did not purchase it in the "oil rubbed bronze" finish shown here but rather chrome (I couldn't find a photo of it in chrome.) Bathroom fixtures are frustrating - we liked different items but to get the diverter/volume control of this set we had to buy the entire thing. The piece we wanted only came separate in "oil rubbed bronze."

Danze 4" Lamp Downpour Shower Head with Arm in Chrome:

Danze makes another shower head similar to this but the design is more modern. I liked it better but for the sake of matching the other fixtures and the tub I compromised with this. The smooth face with the pinhole shower sprays was a huge attraction.

LaToscana USCR430 - Chrome Tub Spout:
We are still debating on whether or not to buy this tub spout but I'm sure we'll give in and purchase it soon. The design is more elegant than the tub spout assigned to the set. I suppose I could always give the other tub spout (and shower head) to my Mom if she wants them or list them on Craigslist?

I'm going to turn into a zombie just in time for Halloween.

I'm still alive! We've lost almost all of our workers in my blogging absence. Stanley stopped showing up in typical contractor style (I'm guessing he has another job or two) and he was sending his people over to work without supervision. The problem with that is that his workers are clueless without someone telling them what to do every moment. Areas that were patched and ready to sand were primed and painted before being sanded. Regular sheetrock was going up on my upstairs bathroom ceiling instead of greenboard. All of this and we were PAYING them to mess up our house. Two weeks ago we said enough and good riddence. All of the major things except for the upstairs bathroom are pretty much finished anyway. We have a lot of finishing work and painting to do and of course the dining room molding repair (I'm dreading this the most.)

We have not interviewed any new replacements for the work left. We've just been doing it ourselves. I'm exhausted.
My Father has been putting our upstairs bathroom back together again - and doing an amazing job. He did a bathroom for my Aunt and for my Mother in the past but I didn't realize that he could skim coat! We're hoping that it will be almost entirely done over this coming weekend.

Fernando, my Sister, my Mother and I have all been working on getting the trim sanded, primed and painted. Here's the foyer trim freshly painted in Benjamin Moore's Winter Snow:

I'm dreading painting the ceilings and walls so we may have to hire someone to do that after the floors are done. I'm not very good with a roller and it's hard for me to get walls and ceilings coated evenly. In our last apartment, I painted our bedroom ceiling. It was so uneven and I never got around to covering everything and painting it again. I would lie in bed in the morning and stare at all of the mistakes.

You can see how gross some of our doors were (right, silly) and what they look like now (left) here:

That's our poor kitchen up there. It's definitely going to be the last room we finish. The new cabinets have been ready for weeks and we're going to just have them delivered soon and installed at a later date.
We finally had our little sink re-installed in the powder closet on Sunday. The new faucet is by Pegasus and is from the Halo series. It was only available in brushed nickel which was not my first choice - I usually prefer polished nickel or chrome. Since we don't have any other major things going in here to match to it, I'm sure the brushed finish will be fine. I do like it and it makes washing hands in this small sink easier because with the faucet so high, there is more space to move around. Unfortunately, we didn't plan anything for underneath the sink... so I'll have to figure something out to make it look a little nicer.

Speaking of plumbing, when we did our waterproofing project (now finished) we found a cracked waste pipe in our yard! Most of the ground happens to be clay and the clay was packed around the pipe covering the old crack and stopping it from leaking. As soon as the dirt was removed the yard was getting a little "wash" everytime we flushed. Luckily, we had an amazing plumber named Christopher fix it for us for a nominal fee. Christopher also fixed the pipes behind the wall in our upstairs bathroom and installed that little sink for us.

Here's a shot of the cracked pipe:

And here's Christopher in the hole fixing it:

How brave is he? That hole was underneath our mud room... cramped and scary.

We also had a vintage ball lamp installed in our vestibule. It's on a motion sensor - which makes it even more fun.

I do have a better photo somewhere... next time.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

i'm digging for dryer

Let me introduce you to our new moat.

It's not completely finished yet... but not bad for one person and two days of digging. It's not all in madness, we're digging down so that we can waterproof our basement. It's not a really damp basement but we do get water accumulating in one area when there are big storms. That one area happens to be the exact spot where we want to put our future washer and dryer. We've already installed the hook-ups and the vintage sink that we just added a drainage pump to is right there, so we can't change the w/d location. When we had the roof and gutters fixed we thought it might fix the problem but twice since then we've had bad storms and about an inch of water in that corner.
This is all the handiwork of Keith. Keith was once a grave digger. More excitingly he used to work on a tugboat. I have an irrational love of tugboats. When you love tugboats, St. George, Staten Island is the place to be... I get to see them every day. ;)
Keith's been having problems with finding a place to store all of the fill. It's already piled up the length of our fence and now we have an enormous mountain in our yard. I swear - the yard really was clean - right before we started our very own Big Dig.