September 24, 2016: I finally removed that Christmas header from last year, oh my! Much of the last half of 2015 and the first half of 2016 was absorbed in family matters. Now I'm returning to making this retirement home into a dream place for moi. The outside has been my passion this summer. There is just something about working with your hands in the earth. I established a new garden along the south side of the driveway and it is doing very well. I will do a feature on it soon. Fall is here, we've been getting too much rain here after a very dry summer that jacked up my water/sewer bill (if you use more water here, they automatically also raise your sewer bill, even if you are a single member household and your sewer usage hasn't increased) because my gardens needed watering and so did my front and backyards. I can't stand to let the grass go brown/dormant, it drives me nuts! And with the sod-web worm epidemic around here, not keeping the parts of the lawn NOT under attack by sod-web worm healthy can actually kill off your lawn altogether. My neighbor across the street three houses down learned that lesson the hard way, oh my! The entire curb-cut area across the front of his house died off from lack of water and no relief from the scorching sun we had all summer, in combination with a severe infestation of sod-web worm. Record temperatures and humidity in SE Wisconsin. May as well be living in southern Florida, for pete's sake! Yuk! Now I've got my Shezebo up, though, and I'm loving it! And too soon it will be time to put away all the summer furniture and accessories. But not yet! The trees are still very green in these parts, so I figure I have maybe another month to enjoy my Shezebo before getting her ready for winter. Meanwhile, I'm loving what the rain and slightly cooler weather has done for my lawns! And in a few weeks my new privacy fence along the north lot line is going to be installed! Whoop whoop! Take care! Jan

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Bathroom Blues, Part 3 -- Inspiration Looks

Hola everyone!

The cold refuses to relent.  I don't think it will ever be warm again.  My buddy Ellen is in Orlando and wants me to come down for a weekend, but I can't afford it with the powder/bath redo on the not too distant horizon.  So I'm stuck here in 20 below windchills.  It actually was a balmy 10 below zero F yesterday, the walk to the bus stop was a breeze.  The sun is out again today.  Not that it's helping, it's such a teeze!  The forecasters say it will get up to about 17 above zero F today, woo woo!  Snow is expected later on.  In fact, I should be getting my butt dressed and to the Pick 'n Save before the weather turns instead of sitting here in my robe doing this!

Inspiration photographs, the joy and bane of my (and yours?) existence.  Wonderful because they get the ideas flowing, most of the time.  Horrible because they create cravings for things that are ridiculously expensive and excessive dissatisfaction with my home as it currently looks.  Sigh.  Why wasn't I born a billionaire?  Why didn't I marry the millionaire when he asked?  Geesh.

One thing scootching around the internet looking at pics has taught me is that I want to live like European royalty.  RICH European royalty. Or someone on Fifth Avenue, across from Central Park.  Near the MET, in a penthouse, not in a cardboard box over a subway grate (just to clarify).

From la Dolce Vita, April 13, 2011 guest blog entry by the Decorista, on what her
dream house would look like. 
Nancy Corzine's powder room.  The mirror is probably worth more than my entire house.
Posted at New York Social Diary, along with lots of other photos of her spectacular
household with breathtaking views of New York city. 
This is from a home in Raleigh (NC) by Debbie Golmulka Designs.
I found this gorgeous room at The Lennoxx, near the end of the article. 
Have you been blinded by my preference for bling, glam and glitter?  Here are the final two photographs that fully encapsulate what it is I want in my powder room/bath redo:

From Digs Digs, near the end of the article on dramatic powder rooms. 
From Archimagz, May 2013
I found this entire process sooooo revealing.  I never thought I was a grey/silver tones gal.  That was a shock.

I am keeping my dark vanity cabinet.  I cannot afford to replace it and storage is an issue. My current vanity, besides being in excellent shape even after all these years, has traditional styling in a dark cherry finish, no dated hardware, and offers good storage for bathroom necessities and a place where guests (who use this bath when visiting) can stash their stuff too. 

I love the marble (?) tile floor in photograph 4, but a pattern kept repeating itself in photos of rooms I was drawn into -- dark wood (or wood look) floors. First choice would be going dark wood look.  I am not a tile fan.  A bathroom floor should be water-resistant at the least, and waterproof at best.  I discovered vinyl plank flooring a few weeks ago at Lumber Liquidators website and there are some amazing cost effective options available.  The technology has come a long way in the past few years and the higher-end products look and feel like wood, but are waterproof and can be scored and cut to fit without a saw.  Some don't even have a glue strip on them but are designed to entirely float across an existing surface and can be moved with you when you move.  I could totally do this flooring by myself, would not have to hire Kevin the Wonder Handy Man to do it for me. Wow!  Check out Centsational Girl's February 5, 2014 posting on the topic. 

White or cream woodwork.  My bathroom woodwork was stained a deep, dark red mahogany almost 24 years ago and I still love it.  I tried to get a color as close to matching as I could the vanity color.  But I think the bathroom woodwork would look great painted a creamy white and would balance out a dark floor.  Once committed, though, I would not be able to go back to stain unless I replaced the woodwork!  I have read over and over again that one can paint over stain, but one cannot stain over paint. 

A gorgeous mirror is a must.  I cannot afford a Venetian glass mirror, or even a faux Venetian glass mirror.  Well, you see what I was drawn to, and you know my budget ($350).  LOL!  I started pricing out mirrors while I was waiting for someone (anyone) to email me and say they would love to win $50 for designing a powder room/bath for me.  Sticker shock! 

I cannot afford to replace my over the mirror lighting with sconces, and the way the room is configured, sconces would not work, they would be off-kilter to each other as the toilet is next to the vanity and there is no room on the right side of the mirror for a wall sconce.  I want the look of glitter (crystal), glam, and cloth lamp shades!  Surely I can find something that will go above a new mirror centered over the vanity.  Current builder's grade mirror is 24" wide and 36" tall.  I'm aiming for approximately the same dimensions, but it depends on cost.

Oh, the wallpaper!  Holy Hathor!  A quick way to get an eye-popping design without the hassle of stenciling.  I've no patience for stenciling.  I've seen gorgeous stenciled walls done by very patient and persistent d-i-y'ers, that's not me :)

Okay, it's starting to snow, I've really got to get dressed and get to the Pick 'n Save!


  1. I am sure your bathroom is going to turn out great. It looks like you have done a lot of research on what you want. I love the inspiration photographs you have shown. Over a year ago HomeGoods had a bunch of Venetian mirrors - of course you weren't looking them - but they were not expensive - might want to check them out - you never know.
    Patty at Home and Lifestyle Design

    1. Hi Patty, thanks for stopping by. There is no HomeGoods near me, unfortunately, and I do not drive. It's difficult sometimes to line up rides when one just wants to go window shopping. Usually I hitch a ride with a friend a couple of times year to go to Menard's and get all of my home improvement things in big batches. Of course there is always something I need after the fact. As a consequence, I do lots of shopping on-line. I don't like paying shipping charges, but that is just the way it is. I always look for free or flat-rate shipping and sometimes I even find it :) I have been looking at many different vendors of mirrors and I have pretty much narrowed my choices down to 2 mirrors, one is at Wayfair, the other is at I have found several truly beautiful Venetian styled mirrors, but some were several hundred dollars. As my budget is only $350 and I need to stretch those dollars as far as possible, an expensive mirror that I love is just not in the cards. I am happy, though, with the two I finally narrowed my choice down to. Now it's eeeny-meeeny time!