Thursday, January 30, 2014

Quick "before" snack

3: Upstairs bathroom

bath_mirrorThought I'd work in a quick post for the bathroom, since I've got the itch to get to demo. As you can see, this is a bit of Victorian glory, from the floral lights (matched in an overhead fixture) to the Monet wallpaper that covers every surface. However, all that excess disguises the fact that the tile on the walls here is actually pretty decent -- a sort of variegated khaki, and matched by an inoffensive biscuit-colored tub. So I decided to try to get back some of the additional kitchen cost by saving a few pennies here, and we'll keep this tile and just update the look with other elements. This means keeping the built-in towel bar and toilet paper accesories too; however, those cup and toothbrush holders just scream 1970 (Edit: 1950?) to me, so they have to go, and we'll put a nice glass mosaic tile backsplash there above the new vanity to bring some color and pull us into the current century. (Also unlikely to see in the "after" photos anything like that brass outlet plate or any of the other rather baroque switch plates that fill this place!)

bath_vanityOk, here's the current vanity, which is just beat up and old. Will replace it with something that maintains a bunch of storage while adding a modern widespread faucet set and a stone or composite top -- am rather smitten with an inexpensive option from Lowes (after looking at a million pricier ones) that actually works with all the biscuit, a color that is not part of my usual mental repertoire. The new medicine cabinet/mirror will also add more storage, which seems important when you have a three-bedroom house sharing one upstairs bathroom that can't fit anything larger than a 24-inch vanity. There's also a narrow closet in the bathroom, which will help with linens and other stuff, but I'm big on More Storage Is Always Better in tight city townhouse life!

Finally, here's the shower. Because there's a tub, we won't be doing any fancy glass enclosures or the like, but we can get a lot out of regrouting the tile and updating the hardware to something hyper-modern, probably something in the rain shower head family like the one at right.bath_shower Probably a new curtain rod, or I'll just remove it for showing unless the staging folks think they have just the curtain for the job. The main thing I'm still pondering is the grab bars -- I'm all for having one, but two is a bit overkill, and they're (a) chrome, making me want to replace them, but also (b) screwed through the tile, which means it could be hard or impossible. I think I'll be bringing a few candidate replacements home to see how well they could cover the existing holes, before making the final decision. If I had to do a band of accent tile all the way around to make up for removing them, I think I'd have lost all the proposed savings for this part of the project...

I think that's it for the bathroom. The toilet is fine, and will be kept. The floor tile is hokey and will be replaced, but after going in and out with a dozen tile samples, I have yet to settle on the right one -- I just can't get my head around the color of the wall tile, and I need to harmonize with it without being too close in color, so many promising candidates have fallen by the wayside. I may have to switch my notion from tan to grey, but still have another round of trials before I pull the trigger -- have decided not to let this hold me up from ordering all the other parts for the project, though, as some things will need to get moving soon...

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