1.03.2008

A New Year, A New Bathroom

over the "holiday break" i was fortunate to have off from the friday before christmas through the next solid 11 days till the day after new year's day. during this time, i did two major things. for the first half or so i went up to dallas to spend "xmas" with the parents and some relative who also had stopped into town. it was a relatively uneventful yet relaxing few days filled with listening to the parents buzzing and all the minutia of their life. a nice break from my ordinary existince if nothing else.
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but come christmas day i was outta there though and on my way back to houston. oh before i go on, a quick re-cap of this year's gifts ... two dessert books, a creme brulee cooking set, a silly calendar, lovely clothes, headgear, various small minutia, and the best gift of all from my well-knowing parents ... money! haha, actually it came at a great time because the check they wrote me was perfectly timed for what i did for the rest of the holiday break ... finally renovate my bathroom!
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haha, keep in mind... the "original" idea was to devote weekends of October (that is 2007!) to finishing the bathroom, and then weekends of November to the kitchen ... in order to make my technical owning a house for a full year anniversary. ok... so i re-plastered the ceilings the first week and painted them and painted two big splotches of blue on my wall to test the color.... hmmm... that same condition existed till the day i came back from dallas for christmas. ha. now, sheer laziness aside though, there was ALOT of happenings in October and November, from travel to work to just other social functions ... hello... Halloween and Thanksgiving? anyways, so since i had six days of nothing to do, i really had no excuse to not get at least a decent start.
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and so the following pictures document in roughly chronicle order the transformation of my plain jain, and teetering on a little drab bathroom ... into a hmmm ... frenchy, funky, sea side escape ... hmmm sort of like miami, only if it was taken over by the french as opposed to the cubans?
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in general, like most of my "reno" projects... it was mainly a surface treatment ... paint, lots of trim and molding, some exploration with accessories and with this particular project, a fun reinterpretation of a light fixture that was inspiring yet pricey at its store price ($2500!). eventually, i would like to re-tile the floor, but as i believe i've probably hit mty budget already, i think i'll leave this DIY to the next parental gift ... and anyways... surprisingly the vinyle ( i know... shameful huh?) ... kinda... matches the new color.
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all the walls originally has this DISGUSTING "popcorn" texture all over making the walls like sandpaper (i might as well rubbed my face against the walls to get a shave). 3 tubs of spackle and lots of hand action later... and then some sanding ... re-spackle... and re-sanding ... i got relatively smooth walls ... yay!
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after smoothing the walls, came installing the "trim package". i designed a composite trim that would act sort of as a chair rail / wainscoating and integrated a strip of embossed texture wall paper so i could give it a little extra "oomph" of detail. the small ledge gave a small (but lengthy) place for putting small items (having a pedestal sink allows no counter space) but i wanted to keep it small as not to cramp the space). don't mind all the funky colors... all the items in this pacakge were leftovers from previous reno i did and i knew i'd paint all over it anyways.
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behind the door there was a shallow bit of empty wall that i decided would be a great place to have a small shelf of sorts. so i designed and built a very shallow shelf that would be as high as the chair rail trim on teh other side of the room and would have the same trim/wallpaper detail in order to simulate a continous look around the room. it fun proving to myself i really could build something. awesome.
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EVERYTHING then receives a 2 coats of primer, and the next pictures show the result after the wall under the chair rail are painted an ever so greyer shade of white (try painting white on white and wondering where you've painted already) and the walls above the chair rail a beautiful blue-green called "Surfer".
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although i do love the color i chose, after putting it on i began realizing that my original idea of painting both the walls AND ceiling this blue might just be a little too over-powering. backing up from that move made me then realize that i had to add some more molding, specifically crown. despite having done crown molding a few times before, it was already day 3 or 4 by then and i was already getting tired of DIY and decided i didn't want to deal with the needed precision in installing crown molding well ... so as a compromise i looked into an alternative that involve neat little corner blocks that sit well in the ceiling corners so that the ends of the molding trips could just hit it flush as opposed to a mitered cut if it hit another molding strip ... trust me ... a lot easier! also after the blue went on, i applied the small detail of molding "frames" the walls making it tre french. ooh la la.
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the mirror was a fun little project in that i took the glass from an old mirror that had a much too small frame and put it into a open frame that i had that was much thicker in scale and nicer in ornament. by the way, the "sunflower" mirror in the earlier pictures i just didn't feel fit the space after all so that'll be used somewhere else now. the next few pictures are at a stage of about 90% done. the remaining items are filling in the holes and cracks in the crown, painting the crown, adhering the faux stain glass, and then lots and lots of detail clean and touch up... oh yes, and completing my "classiest" item in the bathroom ... my custom "retrofitted" chandelier. the inspiration piece was from "design within (meaning out of) reach" and was basically a chrome bar with light hanging from it but also a thick wall of beautiful crystal baubles ... price tag? $2500. so my "design on a dime" mentality took a cheapo walmart bought acrylic "chandelier" that was bought for $15, cut apart the baubles and then attcahed a wood trim piece to the ceiling and meticulously hung from string strands of "crystal" in a line in front of the already handsome yet conventional fixture, whose original shades had been removed, leaving the naked light bulbs, which in this application become sort of big crystals themselves. not excatly the same replica, but when you compare $2500 and tops $20 ... come on!
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ahhh... a new year... a new fresh retreat from the world ... i feel relaxed already!
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