Monday, September 17, 2012

Our adventures in remodeling!

It all started with an idea. One day, it hit me, it's way passed the time to do something with my powder room. I remembered years ago, seeing a home improvement show where they used Behr Bleached Denim in a room and I was immediately in love. Yep, that's it, I'll paint the powder room! How hard can that be?

That went to, I'll do white bead board about chair rail height and paint the rest with the Bleached Denim, yep, that's it! How hard can that be? I know the hubby will go for this!

Well, okay, I go to bed that night thinking I'll spend the next day researching all this and start on the planning. Suddenly, I bolted upright and said to myself, a 1950's bathroom!! That's what I'll do, how hard can that be? Woohoo, that's it, that's what I want! Now to convince the hubby. But even if he doesn't go for that one, I still have two other plans to back me up.

I spent the next few days, looking for examples of old bathrooms and what others have done, then went out and looked around. Finally, I was ready to present this idea to the hubby, armed with photos and all kinds of ideas. Much to my surprise, he went for it! I said to him, you don't even want to hear Plan B or Plan C? Nope, go ahead with the planning. Oh my gosh, I was so excited. Little did I know.

Off I went to Lowe's and found this wonderful sea glass type tiles, LOVE! Purchased two colors and went home. Wow, this was WAY over my budget so off I go to look for different tiles. I found out that places like Lowe's and Home Depot only carry a few ceramic tiles in a bright navy blue, white, biscuit and a few things in black. Now what? In speaking to salespeople, I could special order other colors! Okay, show them to me, they point me to a special order book. HUH? You think those books really show the true colors? They always seem to just blink at me like I'm the one that is crazy. Order samples, they'd say. Well, you can't order samples. One salesperson finally asked me if I had ever been to the Daltile Showroom. Gives me directions and off I go.

 Now, I had an idea of what I wanted, it was just a matter of finding it. By now, it's been days, I'm getting tired and frustrated that I can't find the tiles I want. I get to the showroom, look through what they have on the floor and there it is, the tile of my dreams!!

It's called Aqua Glow and it's perfect!! The lady walks in the back and comes out and says, it's discontinued to which I replied, of course it is! LOL! That's my luck. She gave me three sample tiles of it that they had laying around the back and said I might be able to find some sitting around somewhere and also gave me a few places I might want to check out.

I go home with my beautiful samples and search the Internet. What I found was a few web sites that still showed it. But that they wanted just $2.00 less to ship it as it would cost to purchase the tiles. There must be something I can do.

In the meantime, I had decided on the accent pieces I wanted, so that much was settled and while I'm out searching for tiles, I may as well start looking for the flooring. No one had that either. sigh.

We stopped at this tile store named Garden State Tile and what a great place that is, highly recommend them! While there, I found this one tile that was called Mint. It was a nice second choice for me, so I asked about it and the lady almost passed out. She tells me it's so cheap, it's sick! LOL! It came out to .7 cents a tile, that would be about $52.00 to do the whole room! I walked away with that in mind, still looking and sleeping with my dream tile, the aqua glow. My photos are just not showing how pretty this tile is! It's a bluish green color and just perfect.

The next day, the hubby says to me, you know what? You should go get that cheap tile so you at least have something but keep looking for the other one. So, okay, let's do that. I go over and place the order for the Mint color.

The next day while my hubby was home, we decided to try this Re-Store shop that is located pretty far away but it's a great place. It's run by Habitat for Humanity and they get a lot of items donated by contractors etc. They are like a thrift shop but the only thing they don't carry is clothing. We didn't have any luck with the items we were looking for, but I would highly recommend you stop by one of these, if there's one in your area.

As we were driving home and stopped at a red light, my hubby says, look over there!!! On the other side of the highway is this huge and I mean HUGE tile and flooring warehouse. He says, do you want to stop? I said yes or we'll always wonder if we should have. We walk in and tell the lady behind the counter we want to see what they have in the way of 50's tiles and flooring. As we walked around the corner, there was a man coming towards us and the lady says to him, Rick, you'll LOVE this, tell him what you are doing. We did and his eyes glazed. He was the one to help us! When I told him I was looking for the Daltile #197 Aqua Glow, he immediately knew what it was and said it was discontinued. sigh.  

As we spoke, he said to me, if he could go back and live in another time, it would be the 50's. I loved this man! I wandered back towards the flooring and then the hubby comes back with a puzzled look on his face, Rick decided he had to make a phone call. Well, okay then. A few minutes later, here comes Rick and he says, I can get those tiles for you. WHAT? I was no longer listening to his words, I was pinching my hubby (seriously) as Rick was explaining, it's NOT really discontinued but a special order! They make it only when it's ordered. I must have had a very strange look on my face because Rick asked me if he said something wrong! LOLOL! Since it's a special order, it would take about 6 weeks to get it. We had heard this from 2 places we found online, too, so that didn't surprise us but this way, we could save on freight costs! So, we place the order and I spend the time searching for flooring, accessories, sinks, toilets, faucets and whatever else we need.

It's a very tiny room, so just finding a small size vanity is a trip. I found one and only one I liked at Lowes. I knew I wanted a cross handled faucet with white ceramic inserts that said Hot and Cold. The salesman there helped me for a long time, trying to find one, no luck. Home Depot had one online only but it was expensive and suddenly out of stock, this is my luck!

By now, I've put more mileage on my car in two weeks than I had the whole rest of the time I had the car! And oh, now tiles are coming in fast. I now had 700 Mint tiles and 50 black tiles in 6 inch square. LOLOL! I have the accent pieces I need and I'm keeping busy by ordering a toilet paper holder in black ceramic from the same place I ordered the aqua glow tiles, so I had that when the tiles came in. I did find a flooring I liked and purchased that, too. I'm well on my way!

With one day left to the six week period, the hubby calls to find out where are tiles are. We are informed, that 5 out of the 6 boxes came in and the toilet paper holder arrived broken. sigh. I didn't want to run down there and then have to go back down for one more box and the TP holder. That's when he tells me he has the week coming up off and thought he'd start working on the room! I wasn't expecting to start for another month! I was excited and scared at the same time but the next day, we went down, picked up the tiles they had and they let us bring the broken TP holder home with us so we could use it for placement.
I just so happened to have found a faucet I loved and had ordered that a few days before, so I had that on the way, the vanity and sink were picked out, so I really got to work on the accessories.

 I found these wonderful black porcelain switch plate and receptacle covers and ordered those, so much had to be done online!

I have a ton of photos to show you, so let's get started! (You can click on the photos to enlarge them)

We ripped out the heater, it wasn't working anyway! What you see now is 6" black semi-gloss tiles along the bottom of the wall. Then, the 4.25" aqua glow tiles, seven courses high, a black semi-gloss pencil accent, another aqua glow with black semi-gloss bull nose to top it off. The walls are painted with Behr primer and paint in one in semi-gloss bright white. The floor is white octagon (matte) with semi-gloss black dot mosaic.
This is behind the door to the left (yes, I had Pez dispensers in there)!

Now I have wonderful chalkware poodles by Miller Studios from the 70's.

Next is the corner:
Paint by number trash can!

As you can see, the rest of the bathroom was all decorated with watermelon items! The heater was dark green and so was the trim. What was I thinking?

This is the back wall:
Area by the sink on the back wall:
Look at how nice and bright it is now!

Here is what was above the toilet and what is there now, yep, a paint by number caddy which is holding extra towels.

The switchplate area:

Sink Area:




I have some miscellaneous and a few items to point out! Even since I started taking photos, things have changed!

Latch hook poodle rug I found on Etsy!
My hubby found a toilet handle to match my brushed nickel faucet!! I was so proud of him and who knew they made toilet handles in different finishes?

First photo shows the black ceramic toilet tissue holder and the second photos shows our new old stock enameled tissue holder and spare toilet paper holder! I found that on eBay!! The sides lift up for spare toilet paper and the center holds a square box of tissues. Please note the special toilet tank top mat my friend, Jennie from made for me!

We had to cover the old heater control and since there are wires there, we replaced it with a white blank cover. The black scroll shelf is from eBay and was a bright gold that we painted black and there's my new bowl made from teal button fabric, also from SoSoRosey! I purchased bar towels to use until I come up with a great vintage towel.

We were getting company on Sunday and still had a lot to do on Sat. If anything can go wrong, it will. We started out by getting the new toilet in, well, it was missing hardware. One trip to Home Depot. Goes to put the new sink and vanity in, need a new type of pipe since we are going from a one handle faucet to a two handle faucet, second trip to Home Depot. The faucet plunger wouldn't go into the hole, so we had to drill that out. Get the sink installed with the faucet and found a crack in the sink. sigh. People were scheduled to arrive on Sunday and up to the last second, I was still putting things together! But it all worked out.

A few words of advice that we learned along the way. If you think a project will take a week, expect a two week project! Allow plenty of time for things to go wrong. The floor alone took us a lot longer than expected due to what we found once we ripped up the old flooring. This was my hubby's first attempt at tiling and I think he did an awesome job. I still can't believe it's my bathroom! It all looks so good.

If you want any information on what we used or where we got something, let me know, I'd be happy to answer any questions you might have. You can reach me at

Now, I have about 800 extra tiles, if anyone is interested. LOLOL! We will probably use the Mint tiles I got in the kitchen and re-do the countertop with them but my hubby needs to get over doing the bathroom first.

It's a real shame I can't show you how really wonderful the room looks, my photos just aren't showing the correct colors!  The tiles are a true aqua color, not the blue or gray some of the photos appear.


Jennie said...

What an amazing adventure! Your bathroom looks amazing, and your narrative is wonderful. Tell hubby he did a fine, fine job- you two should do a side business of making modern bathrooms over into 50s masterpieces!!

Runs With Scissors said...

Thanks for everything, Jennie and I mean EVERYTHING! I still can't believe this is my powder room and I so want to sleep in it! LOL!

VintageVendor said...

Oh Karen. I just love what you did and enjoyed the way you described it every step of the way. Fantastic job.

Runs With Scissors said...

Well, I did leave out the cussing and swearing so I didn't really describe it step by step!

Doodle said...

What a fantastic job! The color combo is great. You know, with your step by step, you can have an online DIY help line! haha
Yes, give hubby a break before the kitchen start up. And make sure you have everything before you start.
Love it, just love it!!!