December 19, 2018:


I can't believe we're less than a week away from Christmas and I haven't yet really decorated the kitchen and dinette! I've got the small cardinal tree up on the peninsula counter and my Christmas cards are shaped in the form of a Christmas tree and taped to a wall by the dining table; I put up my colorful teal floral curtains with lots of gold and red, my cardinal prints and added a red tablecloth to the dining table, but that's it! Enough, I suppose.

The tree is done! It seemed to take forever this year to decorate but I am loving the result. It looks like the kind of mish-mash everything on it but the kitchen sink kind of tree I remember from my childhood. The only thing missing is the bubble lights, but I'm too frugal to buy them!

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season and that the dreaded Polar Vortex stays away!


Monday, February 17, 2014

Bathroom Blues, Part 4

Hola Darlings!

We are in the middle of a snow storm (yes, another one).  Tomorrow is supposed to bring relief in the form of above freezing temperatures, but today there's already a foot of drifted snow in the abbreviated area of driveway that I have been able to keep "clear" this winter.  I shoveled for an hour when I got home from the office (we closed at 4 p.m., that's how bad the roads are) and barely made a dent.  Still snowing until 8 or 9 p.m. this evening, according to the latest forecast. 

Oh the weather outside is frightful --

But I've been keeping myself well entertained and driving myself crazy (what! You thought I was already insane???) online shopping for the components of my soon to be new downstairs powder room/bath!!!

I was soooo disappointed when nobody stepped forward to enter my design competition but, that's the way it goes.  I know my 12 readers are busy people and, after all, none of you knows me from Adam, so I don't blame anyone for being maybe just a wee bit suspicious that I wasn't on the up and up.

So, you saw some of my inspiration rooms here.  Aren't they beautiful!!!!!!

Decorating, of course, would never be an issue for Maison Newton if money was no object, LOL!  But, it is, and I am on a $350 budget.  Well, I'm going to top that budget, but by less than $100, and here's why:

1.  Light Fixture. 

I had originally picked out a nice three-light fixture with glass shades and chrome for under $30, WELL within the budget parameters, and I was quite pleased with myself:

This is from Home Depot, the Hampton Bay 3-Light Chrome Vanity Fixture, with a polish chrome finish and 3 frosted glass shades.  Priced at - get ready - $26.88!

I was very attracted by its clean lines, very different from my existing really inexpensive box light fixture.  Since I had decided upon a silvery color scheme, chrome or polished nickel fixtures were what I was focusing on.

I printed off the information for this fixture after looking at several others, all 3-light styles.  My size limit is no larger than 24 inches wide.  I felt this Hampton Bay light could go either very formal or more casual and look good in both. 

But still, I continued to look at light fixtures.  I was looking for THE light fixture that would sing to me with the voices of the Heavenly Choir when I laid eyes on it.  I really really wanted a light fixture with upright cloth shades and a little bling!  I wanted something that would echo some of those gorgeous light fixtures in my inspiration photos.

I looked and looked and looked.  This is what I finally pulled the trigger on:

I also found this light fixture at Home Depot.  It is the Hampton Bay Waterton Collection 3-Light Chrome Sconce, 20 1/2 inches wide (just perfect!) and $119.  Now darlings, I have to tell you, I have NEVER paid that much for a light fixture in my life!  It was a break-through moment for me.  I mean, to travel all the way from under $30 to $119 (not including shipping charges).  HOLY HATHOR!  The Heavenly Choir did, indeed, sing for me when I saw this fixture.

It's got cloth shades!  It's got clear glass finials with little silver ball endings!  It's got curved arms!  It was love at first sight.  And I decided that I was worth it, and was well on the way to blowing my budget when I purchased this light fixture.

2.  Faucet.

I had picked out two chrome faucet options, both at Home Depot, to replace the single lever ancient Moen faucet that was installed when the house was finished in 1990.  One was under $20; one was under $30.  And then I found this faucet also at Home Depot online for under $43:

This is the Pfister Avalon 4 in. 2-Handle High-Arc Bathroom Faucet in Polished Chrome.  I selected it for two reasons:  (1) it is water efficient (green) and (2) it was named Avalon and while I was shopping for bathroom redo items I found a mirror at Kirkland's also named Avalon, on sale, that I liked a whole lot and wanted to buy.  So, I thought it was a match made in Heaven.  Or Synchronicity.

But --- problems!  Kirkland's did not offer home shipping on the Avalon mirror I liked so much and the Avalon faucet was on back-order!

I ended up buying the Avalon faucet from for a much higher price -- $71.88.  Lowes' website said it was in stock.  I ordered it on February 2nd, and it STILL HAS NOT ARRIVED. 

This faucet was another budget blower.  I could have had either of the under $30 faucets by now from Home Depot and would have been fine with them.  I could have arranged for Kevin the wonder handyman to come and install the new faucet and the new light fixture!

I now suspect that Lowe's also had the Avalon faucet on back order but its website omitted this rather important detail.  So I ended up paying nearly twice as much as if I had ordered it on back order from Home Depot, and still do not have my product!

3.  Mirror.

I'll bet most of you know just how exhausting it is shopping for a new bathroom mirror!

I really wanted one of those gorgeous Venetian mirrors, or a Venetian-style mirror, like so many in my inspiration photos.  But I was not willing to pay the price for one.

So, what I was shopping for was something that would give me the feel of a Venetian-style mirror, without the big price tag. 

I looked at dozens of mirrors.  As noted above, I really liked the Avalon mirror at Kirkland's.  It is not a Venetian-style (or curvy) mirror at all, but rather faithfully duplicates the form of mirrors I saw online that cost a lot more!  For instance, compare Kirkland's Avalon mirror to Ren-Wil's Emma Mirror for $218, on back order at Wayfair until April 1, 2014.

Here is the Avalon mirror from Kirkland's.  At the time I was shopping online, it was nearly 50% off it's approximately $80 price:

But, like I said, home delivery was not offered.  So sad.  I don't drive.  The nearest Kirkland's to me is in Brookfield, WI, may as well be on the Moon!  No way to get there by public transportation, I would have to impose upon a friend with a car to take me there and back.  Wasn't going to happen for a one trick trip to pick up a mirror.

So, I passed up the lovely Avalon mirror, but in the meantime ended up buying the Avalon faucet at a much higher price than planned. 

My planned vision for the bath was NOT going well.

Back to mirror shopping!  I looked and looked.  At Wayfair, I found a different Emma Mirror by Ren-Wil and fell in love.  Not with it's price, at $86.  I have not paid so much for a mirror - ever. But in all my searching, I had set aside less expensive options as just not quite right.  They didn't have the feel I wanted, and I did not want to "settle."  I've spent so much of my life settling.  At 62 I think it's damn well time I stopped settling for the reasonable or the compromise option and go for the gusto!  The Emma Mirror spoke to me.  I fell in love with its curves and deep beveled edge:

This Emma mirror measures 28" tall by 22.5" wide and is $86 with free shipping.  When I first saw it at Wayfair, it was on back order until March 8, 2014.  I looked for it elsewhere and eventually found it at DCG Stores for the same price, with free shipping.  Supposedly in stock.  But it has yet to ship.  Am I ticked off.  Definitely!  Fooled again!

Why would a manufacturer name two so very different mirrors the "Emma" mirror?  I don't get it.  I like both Emma mirrors, but the curvy one definitely rings my chimes.  It's got the feel of an ornate mirror without being over the top. 

Soooo, I've pretty much blown my budget and have yet to have faucet and mirror in hand!  Or flooring, wallpaper and paint.

Light Fixture: $119.00 (not including shipping)
Mirror:  $86.00 (free shipping)
Faucet:  $71.88 (from Lowe's, not including shipping)

Total thus far:  $276.88 not including shipping charges by Home Depot and Lowe's

Budget Left to buy flooring, wallpaper and paint:  $73.12.  Hmmmm....

More in my next post! 

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