December 4, 2016: Hola everyone! Winter has arrived in Milwaukee and there are snow flurries today. Despite several hard freezes remarkably my "spikes" in two of my patio planters have absolutely refused to die. The rosemary and thyme plants I nursed inside the house through last winter spent the summer in their pot outside next to the side stoop off the driveway, where they get plenty of sunshine all day long. I transplanted them into a cozy sheltered spot right next to the stoop in October and they are still green and growing, too! With the delay in getting the drywall patching done in the relatively minor "reconstruction" work I had done in my kitchen, I am way behind my time in getting the house decorated. But yesterday I got my wreath decked out with extra lights and dressed the front door of the house, and my battery-operated traditional candles were put up on the window sills all around the house Friday evening. It becomes a ritual to go around at dusk and turn the tops to the right to turn the candles "on" and at bedtime to go around and turn the tops to the left to turn the candles "off." Today I put some "glittery" throw pillow covers purchased new last month from H&M on three of my sofa pillows to glam things up a bit in the living room and add some sparkle. Later on, after I sufficiently fuel myself up with wine and snacks and probably to distract myself while I listen to the Packers game on the radio, I will huff and puff and pull my artificial tree up from storage in the basement. I will decorate it simply this year. Every year I say that, and every year I end up throwing just about everything except the kitchen sink on the tree. I am very proud of myself this year, though. I did not buy a single new ornament or Christmas doo-dad for the house (throw pillow covers don't count!!!) Happy Holidays to all, with hope and fervent prayers for 2017. I've a feeling we're all going to need a lot of help from Goddess in the coming year. Jan

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Bathroom Finished!

Hola darlings!

Well, it's as finished as it is going to be unless I find just the right wall candle sconces to go on either side of the mirror. "Before" pics are interpersed.

After.  New items are the mirror and light fixture, and a rearranging of accessories
and "cleaning off clutter" from vanity top.

For the time being, I'm using glass candlesticks with solid black metal shades, silver-colored candle-followers (to tie into my still chrome vanity sink fixtures) and cream-colored candles, which is about as close as I can come to duplicating on the countertop the look I would like on the walls flanking the mirror. 

As I mentioned, this revamp/updating was started in October, 2009.  The room was in dire need!  It had the same tired looking "ANTIQUE WHITE" it had been painted in 1990 when I first moved in.  The paint had held up well but I was sick of it after 19 years. I decided I wanted something deep, dark, dramatic!  Something totally different.

So what did I choose?  A color not too far off from the original Sears Easy Living ANTIQUE WHITE.  LOL!

I call the new color "wet sand" or "peanut butter," but in reality, it is neither - it is too light!  Oh well.  It's a dramatic enough change for me.  I like how the creamy shower surround and the creamy white shower curtain  and the vanity top "pop" against the somewhat darker tone of the walls.  I don't remember what the color is -- I had to take off the paint labels and mail them in for a $5 per can rebate.  It wasn't a stock color, it was mixed from one of those little cards I picked out.

After - interim.  New wall color, new light fixture, new mirror, everything else pretty much the same
except for the addition of some black towels - a new dramatic change for moi!  Old prints/artwork had been
stripped fromj the walls and nothing was installed in its place.  It was a very bare-bones bath, and felt "cold."
This photo was taken in December, 2009!  The photo above was taken a few weeks ago, after I
FINALLY got off my duff and finished accessoring and adding finishing touches.

Before - redo in progress.  New light fixture (a good photo of it, actually), had been installed.  You can see the
vague outlines of the old paint line where the original "box" light fixture had been removed.  Old pics and blah beige
 towels in place, you can see the remains of where the wallpaper border removed, and the old builder's plate glass mirror,
the old wall color, with old accessories, all in place.  B-O-R-I-N-G!
 
CHANGES:

(1)  New vinyl flooring.  The old flooring had, over the years, shrunk away from the walls, revealing the underlayment!  I finally got sick of looking at it!

After. New vinyl flooring, seamless and waterproof.  New movable towel stand - no more
wall mount towel holder on this wall.

(2)  New light fixture (see top and second photos).  The old "box" fixture I had originally purchased was not only cheap, but also dated, a major dust collector, and just plain ugly!  It also used small "hollywood" style light bulbs that are going to be phased out. One of the three lamps had developed a short, too, and no longer lit.  It was time to say adios! 

I purchased the new light fixture on sale at Menards.  It is "oiled bronze" with white glass shades,  It has a smaller profile than the original "box" fixture and provides good light. It's transitional styling fits with many different decorating schemes.  I am very happy with it. 

(3)  Tore off so-1980's colored wallpaper border and scrubbed away all the residue paper backing and glue!  Major work-out for upper body and arms!

Before.  You can see the remains of the old wallpaper border and the blah wall color.  I still really like the shower
curtain, though! (Of course I saved it - never know when you might need another shower curtain...)
 Maybe in its next incarnation, the bathroom will go a dramatic reddish-burgundy wall color and
everything else will be shades of green, with this shower curtain anchoring the whole...

(4) New paint color. (See above).

(5)  New mirror (see photo 3 above).  The builder's standard plate glass mirror.  It would have cost a small fortune to "frame" buying "to-order" glue-one framing online.  I am not equipped nor adequately skilled to attempt such a project by myself as custom-framing myself.  I ended up giving away the plate glass mirror (you cannot SELL them on Craig's List, no takers!) and replaced it with a much smaller, framed, beveled-edge mirror I liked that I bought on clearance at Menard's.  Way less expensive and way less hassle!


After. New mirror, rescued from the "clearance" aisle at Menards.  It's not real wood and not
the most expensive but it serves its purpose and I love the "tortoise shell" finish and
small details like the beading on the inside frame and the beveled edge on the mirror.
The outer trim around the "tortoise shell" is black, so it coordinates beautifully with the
other colors and accessories in the bath.  Oops - smudges on the mirror - me bad.

(6)  New shower curtain.  To tie into the black/white/tan theme I decided to go with in revamping my bedroom and the guest bedroom (I wanted the upstairs to appear "en suite"), and wanting to tie into the black and cream toile curtains and other red/black/white/cream/tan items I had purchased for my bedroom and the guest room, I selected an inexpensive shower curtain in a toile pattern, black on cream.

Before.  Old shower curtain, old chrome tension shower rod, you can see a part of the wallpaper border that
had not yet been removed, and the old blah wall color, along with a much loved butterly print that
I purchased and had framed in the 1970's.  I will find a new place for it, somewhere.  Right now it's stashed in a closet.
There is a distinct contrast now between the color of the walls vis a vis the shower/tub surround and the color
of the shower curtain (see photo below).

(7)  New shower curtain rod.  I had used the utilitarian chrome colored tension shower rod provided by the builder for 19 years!  My new rod was purchased at Penney's online.  It is an "oiled bronze" finish tension rod, so it was very easy to install -- I just balanced it over the old impressions left by the prior rod and turned one end until the rod was tight against the walls.

After. New toile shower curtain and rod.  The pattern is called "Antoinette" and I bought it on
the internet, but I forget from where!  It was under $30.  See how well the color
matches the color of the tub/shower surround.  And this photo also shows the
nice contrast between the wall color and the creamy color of the curtain and surround.
The curtain clips are from TJ Maxx, cost about $3 on clearance.  Tension shower curtain rod
was purchased online at Penney's - oiled bronze finish, it was around $30. 

(8)  New towel holder - floor stand model (see photo above under flooring). After I took down the standard large and old but still in good shape bright brass rod when the room was repainted, I tried to put it back up afterward, miserably failed, and determined to find a different alternative.  I also had to patch over and repaint large holes I left in the wall after my unsuccessful attempts to re-install that towel rod!  I had no problems putting up the old but still in good shape shiny brass towel holders above the toilet or on the wall along the side wall above the vanity in their former places. Doh!

(9)   A few "new" accessories added -- I shopped the house.  Glass candlesticks with candle shades and candle followers were already owned, so were the cream-colored pillar candles. They were added to the room, as was the black marble "pyramid/obelisk" and the glass "oak leaf" votive candle holder from other rooms and my cabinet stash.

(10)  Framed prints.  I purchased the black frames from Walgreens for $5 each over the years as I saw them.  I really like them because of the cream-colored mats and the 5x7 framed inset where the picture sits.  The overall look is smooth, modern and elegant.  The images were printed on photo paper from the internet -- they are black and white prints of both vintage and current scenes from around Paris, France. 

After. Black and white print of the Louvre Museum, from the internet.  In this photo you can see
one of the retained shiny brass towel rods.  Still in good shape, and I was able to reinstall this
one easily after the bathroom was painted.  Did not have any luck re-installing the towel
rod on the opposite rod, that's why I went the route of movable floor towel stand! 
 
After. Black and white print of the Seine, with Notre Dame Cathedral in the distance.  This is
the wall opposite the wall that holds the tub/shower.  The cubby opens to the linen closet
(main door in hallway outside), very convenient for stashing soaps, etc. and reaching in for
an extra towel if needed!  You can also see another of my old shiny brass towel holders.
In too good a condition to replace, and I like it's sparkle.  Marble "obelisk" was purchased
years ago to use as a book-end.  It's waterproof and adds a splash of black.


After. Old black and white photos from internet of the Eifel Tower.  This is the door wall, opposite
the vanity wall. Tub/shower is on the end wall to the left (not seen in photo).   

NOT CHANGED:

(1)  Most towel rods or toilet-paper holder -- still the original shiny brass I installed in 1990.  They are in good shape and everything doesn't have to be matchy-matchy (so I read all the time :))

(2)  Sink faucet fixture (still chrome) or bath/shower fixtures (ditto).  I thought about painting them like some adventurous bloggers have done, but I'm chicken.  Sink fixture will be replaced, coin jar money has been targeted for this purchase, so probably when I cash the money in this December.

(3)  Cabinetry and rich dark cherry finish stayed the same.  I've had the same cabinetry 21 years now and I still love it as much as the day I picked it out. 

(4)  Rugs stayed the same.

(5)  Many accessories stayed the same, including the tissue holder and"shabby chic" metal catch-all (holds an assortment of items I regularly use). Added some new decorative accessories, got rid of clutter, stashing things in the vanity drawers that were reorganized to make more sense to how I actually use things. Other items are stashed in the cabinet beneath the sink, pulled out as needed.  I admit, it takes discipline to put them away again after use instead of just tossing them aside as I run out the door for the bus to work, but the overall clean look is worth the effort!

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