Sunday, April 29, 2007

Makin' progress: the nook is almost done!

Okey dokey, so it's been a while.

The good news is: Sarah turned in her dissertation. So almost done with that, and had a little 'spare time' (wait, what is this fabled 'spare time'? I've never heard of such a thing!) to get the bathroom going again.

So, we decided to get the nook whipped together. Most of the ridiculously large amount of bathroom stuff we have stored in the guest room actually will live in the nook, so we get the guest room back if we can finish it out. Like a 2-for-1 deal.

So, first, you should know we finished all the plastering, did some more tile, primed & painted the upper half of walls & the ceiling. No more paint falling on you when you get out of the shower!!!

Oh, and hooked up all the electrical fixtures (all wiring was pulled last year) - so there's light in the bathroom again! Woo hoo!

Second, we re-purposed the flooring that originally was in the 'closet' that became part of the bathroom (which was really nice, never-finished vertical grain fir or straight grain pine (my money's on the fir, it's a touch reddish & the flat-sawn spots we saw were very fir-like)), to make a shelving system for storage. Just involved cutting, stripping the tongue off the front board, staining, and ripping a piece to make supports. Et voila! We got the baskets (see bottom picture) on sale a while ago and built the whole area to fit them. Still haven't broken out the new towels - waiting till we're really truly done!

Third, we were going to re-purpose a bit more flooring to build a wood frame for the mirror mom & dad gave us (old sliding shower door, so it's tempered glass, all to code, etc.), but when we were testing it out for size, we realized it might be too much wood, plus it looked damn good how it was. So we did a couple minutes research and some creative fitting, and found out we can get screw cap dealies from Lee Valley to cover the 2 screws that fill the holes from the old handles. That was the only design issue, so that's done! Thanks Mom & Dad for hauling that old thing up here & taking such good care of it!

Next was the floor, our first foray into the world of parquet. Worked really well, and dang, they go much quicker than the itty-bitty tiles in the shower! Done. We're leaving the ugly paper coating on it until we're ready to sand & finish.

Still to do in the nook: lay the cut tiles around the mirror and base of floor; clean the light (sloppy painting job we did!), and eventually sand & finish the floor. Oh, and the threshold. Then on to the rest of the bathroom...

Stay tuned in May!
Up next: the $2 kitchen table - we snuck in this side project, finishing a mission-style trestle table/island that will go in the middle of the kitchen. And it ended up costing about $2!
Also: tales from the yard sale...

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The giving house

We've officially been in the house for two years as of the end of March. We haven't been doing much work on the house lately (work that pays the bills is in high gear this month!), but wanted to take a moment to thank the house for, well, being such a great house.

Not only did the house come with virtually all of its original hardware, wood trim, doors, windows, and various other cool features, but it came with a basement and garage chock full of stuff. Some stuff was scary, gross, creepy, or just plain dirty. Some stuff, however, has been invaluable (and not just the yucky Barbie that got us $60 on ebay!)

Rather, we're talking about the extra house parts and aged lumber that were ready and waiting for our various projects so far. We found in the garage a spare interior door (perfect condition), most of a never-used window casing and windowsill, loads of random table leaves, and the mother lode, a dazzling array of old wood that matches the patina of all the old wood currently in the house.

So recently, on a short break from work, I decided to plunge into the garage wood pile to find a couple of things for the ongoing bathroom project: we want to replace the 50s style chrome sink legs with wood, square posts, and we need a threshold to join the bathroom nook to the main part of the room. I thought I had seen a threshold somewhere in there, but both Ken and I thought it was a small one, and hopes weren't real high.

Well, the house came through again - not only did I realize that the sink legs were in the pile, but the threshold was exactly (I mean exactly) the right length, even with a big chunk sawed out partway down. Yes, it needs paint stripped off, but what else is new? Thanks house!

We're still plugging away at the plaster fixes, mudding and taping, and just got some underlayment for the floor; work should settle down soon so we can wrap the bathroom up!