Friday, November 12, 2010

The Bathroom Post

Remember when, oh, a year ago, I said I was going to reno the bathroom?

Remember how I kept promising pictures of the finished product?

Remember The Saga of the Arch? You don't? OH. That's because I never blogged about it.

The Saga of the Arch
I hate medicine cabinets. I think they are incredibly ugly and just barely functional. I heard a rumor once about a functional and attractive medicine cabinet, but I don't believe it. So I ripped ours out, and decided to build a niche in its place. An ARCHED niche.

Hole left by medicine cabinet
using enormous knitting needles
to hold the arch shape

Framing out the shelves

It's so much harder than you think, unless you've done it, and also have more than the rudimentary carpentry skills that I have taught myself by trial and error (mostly error).

Also, and I don't know if you knew this, but - almost nothing in a house is ever really square.
using drywall tape
LOTS of drywall tape
to fill in the gaps

And if you're me, and are using a handsaw and a mitre box to cut your pieces, they're never, ever, ever going to fit into the not-square hole left by the medicine cabinet. So you just keep adding drywall tape and joint compound and drywall and little scraps of paint stirrers to fill in all the gaps and holes. and you just keep covering it with more drywall tape and joint compound.

And it's not square,
and it's not level,
and it's not flush with the plane of the wall. But at some point, you are tired of sanding, and plastering, and cursing, and you decide that you are DONE. DONE, I tell you!

And after you've decided that you are done, you STILL have to texture it, prime it, and paint it.

And after three or four months, you decide that it's kind of okay that the curve of the arch isn't exactly what you wish it was, and that the texture really does kind of match the texture on the rest of the walls, and that you might not notice so much that the shelves aren't perfect, and you might put some sweet little painted terra cotta birds in the tiny shelf that you realized afterwards wasn't really the right size for ANYTHING, and then really, really love the niche.

And then you realize that you have no storage in the bathroom.

So you buy two slightly damaged narrow kitchen cabinets in the clearance aisle at Lowe's, paint them black, connect them with some scraps of MDF and lots of screws and glue, and then realize that they are not going to screw into the studs on the wall. Ever.

So you go back to Lowe's, buy some 1x4, cut three pieces to span the studs, mitre the ends to make it look somewhat intentional or architecturally interesting or ANYTHING other than what it is, paint it back, screw it into the studs, and then screw the cabinets into the 1x4.

Don't look too closely, you will see EVERYTHING I did wrong, and also, everything else I did wrong.


With doors! 

Here's a wider shot with the light I hung. I can't begin to tell you how proud I am of installing that vanity light!!! I only almost electrocuted myself once.

(OH. You want to know about the "almost electrocuting"? Okay. FINE.)

You know how you're supposed to turn off the electricity before you do anything with lights? Well, so do I, but Jules was working from home that day and was right in the middle of something, so I had to wait. No problem. I'd ripped out the old, ugly light bar weeks earlier, and pulled off the mounting bracket. I wanted to see where I needed to hang the new mounting bracket and light and make sure it was centered and level. I figured I didn't need to disconnect the power for this step.

Unfortunately, I forgot that the outlet box STILL HAS ELECTRICITY RUNNING THROUGH IT and that there was a thick copper grounding wire hanging from the new light fixture. When I lifted the fixture to the wall, the copper wire scraped against the outlet box, shooting sparks everywhere and killing the circuit.

The smell was awful and, once I realized that I hadn't electrocuted myself, I shakily climbed down -- yeah, I forgot to mention that I was balancing precariously on the granite countertop -- and flipped the circuit back before Jules noticed that the power was out. Good thing she's wireless.

(Oh. Crap. But she also reads this blog. Sorry, babe. But look! No electrocution here, no sirree!)

So, that's the bathroom. It's not finished. I had planned to put up crown moulding and install a nice brushed nickel curtain rod with a nice shower curtain, and I was going to put a glass shelf under the arch, and I was going to paint the sink cabinet black and change the faucet, and do some kind of fancy thing to the switchplates with silver leaf and texture paint .

But I probably won't do any of that, because we're talking seriously about moving. So I figured I needed to post and brag (???!!!) while it was still slightly relevant.


Howard Collett said...

Very nice, Kelly! We're going to do a similar thing with our medicine cabinet in our new house... recessed into the wall and covered by a mirror.

P.S. Better sitting on the granite than standing on the toilet. That's how Doc discovered the 1.21 gigawatts needed to power his DeLorean.

P.P.S How do you keep your bathroom counter so clean? Oh, yeah, when you nearly got electrocuted, you took everything with you when you fell!

km said...

I was standing on the granite. Which, yes, is probably better than sitting on the toilet.

And actually, that's how Doc came up with the FLUX CAPACITOR! From hitting his head on the sink after slipping and falling off the toilet. Marty's the one who told him about the 1.21 gigawatts.

The bathroom counter only looks clean. It's a trick of light.

The Taylors said...

SSOOO CUTE!! I love that. both things! you've got talent!
and what a great post, its fun to hear about things you are doing.

PipneyJane said...

The bathroom looks great! And nobody'd know about the flaws if you don't point them out.

- Pam