Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Of toilets and tile...and lessons learned.

There really is no glamorous way to describe the work done in our bathroom. It's not as though it's a large and luxurious bathroom now with a clawfoot tub positioned ever so delicately on a marble floor with the fireplace burning crackling logs over in the corner...No, it's not that. It's still small, and it's just a bathroom.

And I wish I were more excited to share the updates, but these updates only came about because we learned our lessons the hard way and hired a general handyman the first around instead of real and licensed contractor.

Lesson learned on that one. Ouch.

So, after tile being done the first time, to only come loose and break apart, we revisited our modest little bathroom once more. This time the end product is much better and shows no signs of falling apart! Here's the best shot I could grab of the whole bathroom. I took this picture lying on the floor so I could try and capture the whole look of the new tile both on the floor and around the shower - boy, I am dedicated!

A close-up shot of the border going around the shower now.

Now this next picture, well...this is kind of a big deal.

For anyone who's EVER showered at our place prior to this update, I am sorry. Very sorry.

As you can see, we now have a standard shower lever that is as easy to use as it appears. Not so much the case in the past. In order to operate our shower before - you had to take one sock off, paint your body blue, jump in a circle, all while chanting a magical verse to the water gods in hopes of the shower turning on without busting the handle off...really. It was pretty much that bad. I'm so glad that's over. It was an exhausting way to start out a morning;)

Then one final look at the new shower head, it looks a little water spotted and dusty cause we took these pics right after the work was done so the grout was still really giving off a lot of residual dust. But you get the idea!

And that's it:) Those are the new additions and we're so happy to be done. Having a contractor in and out of our place, day after day, really got tiring. But it was worth it in the end.

You're all invited over to come sit by our windows, test out the shower, and walk up and down our stairs while holding the new railing! Don't you all call me at once...I know it sounds thrilling!

Letting the Light In...

In addition to the iron railing, we also ripped out our downstairs window and sliding glass door.

And for a very good reason too. Owners prior to us must have been concerned that WWIII was right around the corner and had taken it upon themselves to lock in the bottom floor windows, and had enclosed it with plastic casing and foam insulating spray that fills to expand where it lands.

Oh, and the casing they put on top of that was a lovely shade of commercial gray. It was nothing short of magical. So magical, that I decided to never, ever, ever let our drapes open so that I didn't have to see how ugly the framing was.

So, our little condo never saw the light of day, which made it sad. And me too. And Ty too. And Raleigh too...you get the drift? BUT not anymore...we now have the brightest and sun-filled condo you ever did see!

Window #1, Outside View: All nice and new, and white NOT gray!

Window #1, Inside-View: Notice the open drapes, hooray! I sit here all the time now with window open and it's just wonderful. Ahhh...I never thought opening a window would bring me so much joy, but it does. Oh it does.

Window #2, Outside-View: Ha! I know what you're thinking, that's not a window, tis a French Door! And you're right. But I call it a window because that's what purpose it serves for us, since it's RIGHT next to our front door. Why a door next to a door? Absurd, you cry! I know. Take it up with our HOA, losers wouldn't let us put in a window and build up the wall. Apparently a door next to a door is mandatory. So, I'm over it...and really I rather like the way the paned door looks..err.., I mean my paned window!

Window #2, Inside-View: So bright and shiny! I love the amount of light that pours in during the morning hours. A cup of coffee and the sun, nothing much better:)

And that finishes up the window segment! Now you need to come over and share a glass of wine and take it all in with me!

P.S. Did anyone notice Raleigh's special appearance in one of the photos above? I didn't even notice him till I posted the blog:) Too funny!

Pumping Iron

So, while trying to figure out a creative way to explain why I haven't blogged for a whole entire MONTH...I decided that I'd just own up. I have been O.V.E.R. it lately. What a downer way to start out a post, huh? I know:) For the last two months or so... we've been battling home improvement woes and at the end of the day there was always so little progress, it didn't feel worth the blog.

But that's all changed now! We are officially done with Chief Yellow-Horse (that's our code name for our contractor, more on that later)and we are pretty much done with the work we're putting into our condo. So, I guess that means we just sit back and relax the fruits of our labor (or the labor of which we paid dearly for;) AND share on the blog...

First up - the real piece de resistance....our new wrought-iron stair railing!! I so badly wish I could try and describe how it went picking this all out...Ty and I literally had to pick out every piece, and it looks NOTHING like the pictures I'm going to show you. Instead imagine each piece segmented and in different places across a HUGE warehouse and then having to pick them all out and imagine what you were actually putting together. Let's just say that Ty and I had a real communication breakdown, and it was not a pretty sight for a while.

In the end it all came together just as we had hoped and it seems we have a real knack for designing iron staircase railings - who knew?!?!

Okay, so here's part une: Imagine the landing of our stairs (also note pretty new carpet!). This is what it looks like now...

Part deux: I took this picture with a slight angle to try and capture as much of the center piece of the railing, so pretty!

Part trois: Top of the stairs right by our bedroom/hallway area upstairs. I am loving the curved end that we went with...

Okay, so that's it for the railing. I'm posting final pics of the bathroom, doors and windows next!!!