It's About Living Better, Our Girl Project, Thoughts of the Day

Time for a New Project

We are officially remodeling.

Last summer, we worked diligently on the yard. I hired my girlfriends to come “help”.

For me, that meant I get to take baby steps into this new world.

1. I don’t have to dig.

2. I don’t have to plant.

3. I will water.

4. I will shop for plants and other fun stuff.

5. I will still be organizing the world around me. (control freak).

6. I will pay money to NOT dig and plant.

Ha! I enjoy sitting outdoors looking at “our” hard work. When I drive up the driveway, I am pleased and proud that “we” did all that hot work!

Fast forward 4 months. Here we are in January, starting a new project. No girlfriends. Just us.  You can pray for us, if you are so inclined.

So step one was to get Ronnie to commit to the project.

Wow! I can’t tell you how many objections I had to overcome.  I know that objections are just requests for more information, so I tried to use my best marketing techniques to answer his questions and sell him on the idea.

It must have worked, because three months after I began the campaign, he showed up for the appointment with our new friend Gail at Lowe’s.   She’s a magician, let me tell you!  We know we are over our head when you talk about construction.

The new project:

The front bathroom. The one our visitors see.  Our home is around 30 years old, and it needed to be redone.  We didn’t want to spend a lot, just enough to update it for selling purposes, in case we decide to downsize.

We decided to use a GC (General Contractor) to install a simple walk in shower and hardware and replace the vanity and counter top.  We were pleased that Gail came by first to take a peek and take some general measurements. Then, she brought the GC by and took even more measurements.

We spent a lot of time talking about what we thought it should look like when it’s done, the colors, textures and any changes we might consider.  I really felt like they listened well, and didn’t try to sell us on anything extravagant. The budget was always at the top of mind.

I’ve always loved the furniture vanities popular in some custom homes, so it was decided that I would be in charge of acquiring that piece of furniture and finishing it to match.

Gail found the most beautiful granite top, called Chaldonea, so the race is on!

I searched all the online garage sales and used a couple of apps to locate the perfect piece.  A beautiful maple Basset Buffet.

vanity buffet
This was a great purchase at $100.00. It will be perfect for the vanity.

Today, I find we are starting in 6 days! We were so excited, it’s like finding out you won a prize!   I ran to my favorite “paint” store and quickly got directions from Melanie at Sisters Reclaimed, in our cute little downtown .  I picked up a few supplies and off we went!

Step one:   WASH the buffet.  Really, that’s what she said.  With Dawn.    That was too easy.

Step two:  Ronnie will repair the one drawer that has a loose groove.   GLUE.

Step three:  Let it dry.   I got this!

Step four : Paint.  We are using Annie Sloan Graphite… recommended by Melanie.  I added three coats of paint, then finished it with a clear wax.  I have to say, I almost choked when I saw the price because I haven’t had time to be familiar with the cost of paint lately, but it is so worth the cost. The paint is smooth, pretty and the coverage was thorough.   The brush recommended for the wax was awesome.  I will treasure it always for future projects.

After three weeks, it appears very durable and I love it!

And BAM! The magic of the internet.

It only took a few days, a couple of guys running in and out of the house and some banging and clanging (which drove Ronnie crazy).  I must say, my favorite thing is the buffet and the space we gained.

chalk painted buffet, now vanity
Finished, well almost. Just a couple small pieces to add to each side to camo the plumbing.

I apologize for the lighting of this picture, but I wanted you to see, because there are still a couple of slight problems with which to deal.

  1. Hardware.  The old hardware is quaint and I’m debating about adding some sleek new replacements- in bronze.
  2. The water connectors to the next room.   My first thought is to build little “doors” on each side, and finish them to match the buffet-turned-vanity.  Another option may be to place inserts that are painted to match the wall, giving the vanity more attention.
  3. I’m still looking for some farmhouse type of container for my airbrush system.
  4. I think I’d love a small flower arrangement in the corner (or a lamp).

I’m curious about your thoughts.

Further, we chose a simple walk in shower insert and opted out of having a shower door because I like (love) my shower curtain, and I don’t like cleaning shower doors and tracks. I replaced the stainless curtain rod with one that matched the shower, and we purchased bronzed fixtures throughout.  Ronnie spent a couple hours patching the shower curtain rod holes and touching up the wall and trim paint.  We had to rehang the towel and toilet paper holders.  I stole the mirror from the mud room bath because it was just asking to be moved to a new home.

When the tub/shower combo was removed, the contractor discovered some work not properly completed during the original construction.  After a day of correction and new concrete work, the shower was installed with lots of banging and noise.

Note to self: remove everything from the wall behind the new shower before they start installation!

In all, we are happy with the process. We learned a lot and are still trying to make some decisions regarding the few unexpected items.

We gained 3 inches of floor space… which means my flooring doesn’t fit, so that’s another project, and of course, what to do about the view of the plumbing.

It’s bright, and replacing the tub with a walk-in makes the room look so much larger.  The insert cleans easily and the counter top is beautiful.  The green is still my favorite.

When I was a kid, my mom and dad would always suggest we “live with it awhile” before making decisions on change.  We are at that stage now.  We are living with it.  Happily.

This project definitely fits with our goals of keeping our projects about living better!

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