Well, with just a few days to go before Christmas and the socializing and the company coming over that the holiday's brings.....you guessed it, we decided to begin the bathroom renovations. Truth be told, this first phase is a pretty small renovation, just the paint, the sink and toilet and the vanity top, but as with all things Rose related it turned out to be, shall we say....complicated!
My lovely wife loves to get a bargain and I'm all for that! But bargains can be tricky as I have learned with other projects over the years. Sometimes there is a good reason that things have been donated to the ReStore where it seems many of our renovation supplies seem to originate from. The ReStore is owned by Habitat for Humanity and according to it's website, "All proceeds from ReStore go towards Habitat for Humanity Edmonton’s administration costs so that every dollar donated to our charity goes directly towards building homes and serving families."
So when we make a purchase at the ReStore we can be happy that it's going to a good cause but we also have to be aware that their gently used and new items might be missing the odd part or have some weird design that made someone else throw up their hands in defeat and just give the item away rather than deal with it themselves.
Take the gorgeous brand new in the box Ikea sink Rose got for 20 bucks, what could possibly go wrong with that? Well there were a few challenges, including a slightly warped porcelain sink, no easy way to fasten it down, and the pièce de résistance; no overflow drain. This lovely feature means that all of the drain kits that I have including the one that came with the tap don't easily work without a lot of monkeying around, which fortunately happens to be my specialty.
|My jury-rigged drain adapter - don't ask!|
The vanity top that Rose had in mind happened to be a beautiful cherry wood table top that she scrounged from a previous job when she worked there about 15 years ago. It was the top of a broken coffee table that they were going to throw away so she rescued it from them and it sat forlornly in our basement for a few years until she decided to give it to a friend.
When we were helping to clean out that friend's garage a few years later, Rose saw it again, this time languishing away in a mouse infested garage. She rescued it for the second time and once more it sat in our basement for several more years until it resurfaced in it's latest guise as a lovely vanity top refinished with a little gray stain mixed in with the sanded down natural cherry colour.
Yes I did have to shorten it and cut a big hole in it and sand off that bulletproof cherry finish to get down to the natural grain, but at least it's now seeing the light of day once more!
When Rose first mentioned her "vision" for the bathroom I wisely choked back any misgivings that I may (or may not) have had and blithely went along, trusting and knowing that she knows what she's doing even when I don't and that between us we usually do okay.
We picked out a really nice waterfall style tap and a fancy new low flow toilet with a slam-proof, slow closing lid and 2-count em-2 buttons on top for shall we say, "different flushing requirements."
|The completed space - except for the tile back splash, floor, tub and tub surround. Phase 2 coming soon.|
We also took down the old mirror and replaced it with a round, leather wrapped one that we had on hand, we cleaned up and repainted the medicine chest and replaced the toilet paper holder and towel bar.
Renovations in our home are also a fun way of traveling back in time. Paint colours that are trapped under things like mirrors and behind toilets all of a sudden reveal the startling question, "what in the heck were we thinking!"
Besides the sink and vanity top though, finding images from our trip to Italy with just the right tone of blue/green and getting them printed, framing them using our existing stock of old frames, cutting the glass and hanging them for viewing was definitely the coolest part of the reno.
I love seeing my work in print, hanging prominently on a wall, (even if it's a bathroom wall) and they do look lovely!
This all took place over just a few days in December and is a minor reno. compared to phase 2: replacing the bathtub and re-tiling the floor and tub surround with the same tile from our kitchen renovation, but it's amazing what a difference it makes.