Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Beach House Bath Remodel- Stunning Before & After

When remodeling our tiny little beach house bathroom, I wanted some kind of WOW factor. When I was looking online for tile, there wasn't much out there in a bright, fun, beachy color. Then I found this aqua tile at Lowe's. How's this for wow?

I wanted a large tile that was relatively quick to put up and didn't have a lot of grout to keep clean. 

The tile is Interceramic Aquarelle Sky Blue. I ordered it online, which is risky, but I absolutely love the color and size of it. 

But before I get into the details, I have to show you the yucky "before" pictures of this dark, tiny bathroom. 

One of the biggest problems with the bathroom aside from the finishes, was the layout.   

The toilet and sink were crowded together, and there was this weird step up when you entered the room. 

We quickly learned when doing the demo that that step was hiding an atrocious amount of plumbing bits and pieces. 

You can see in this picture that the vanity was only about 21" wide. and the toilet was one of those round, short bowls. Not good. Time for an upgrade!

 Everything OUT!

After the demo of the original bathroom and a whole lot of plumbing work, we got to the fun stuff. 

Are you already in disbelief? Me too. 

The cement board and new shower pan went in. Ready for tile!

After grouting the shower tiles, we installed new wood paneling. The beach house was built in 1960, so there isn't any wallboard in the entire house. The paneling really fits with the era of the house.

A couple coats of paint on the paneling and the toilet and sink can go back in. 

I should mention that we ordered this tile eons ago to do the entire downstairs. I love the faux wood, porcelain. It's durable and looks fantastic. The color is like a washed up piece of driftwood. We also used it in our outside shower.



We picked up the sink, faucet and vanity stand at our local Habitat Restore, but they sell them at Lowe's. Here's the link for the stand and the sink basin.

 If you want to see more of our adorable beach escape, go here for the tour!

Loving the color too! Benjamin Moore Seattle Gray.


It's fun making selections for a beach house. I tend to still lean toward keeping it simple, without getting too theme-y. I think it turned out great!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Why You Want a Vent-Free Fireplace

Fireplaces have always been among THE amenities for prospective new homeowners. Just behind patios, decks and porches, fireplaces are at the top of home-buyers' wish lists.

The cost of adding a fireplace to an existing home used to be prohibitively expensive- requiring the creation of an exterior stone chimney, flue, firebox and, in many cases, floor supports to accommodate the weight of the hearth. But today's options are not only affordable, but a relatively easy home improvement project. 

When we moved in, I knew that 1993 green marble had to go...quick. What I didn't know was that it was 2 for 1 day at the Poovey's!

Family room fireplace before transformation: gas insert in a wood burning fire box. 

Since no actual combustion occurs in gas fireplaces, zero-clearance installation is possible, which means that these fireplaces can be installed in direct contact with combustible walls and floors. 

Fireplace: Before

Vent-free: A ventless gas fireplace works on a fairly simple principle. When installed, the "fire" is adjusted to burn at optimum efficiency, minimizing the production of harmful carbon monoxide gas and moisture to a safe level that can be vented into the home. The result is a comfortable, clean burning fire that burns much more efficiently than ventless fireplaces, saving you money on your gas bill in the process.

Hellloooooo, Habitat Reuse Store! Someone donated this brand new (likely a floor model) beauty to Habitat. It's exactly what we needed for our family room.

The first step was to remove the existing mantel and marble surround. In the spirit of "reuse" the old fireplace was turned around and installed on the screened porch. The existing flue was used to vent the fireplace out through the chimney. 

The old fireplace (gas insert removed) turned around to the exterior of the house. More on the screened in porch to come!

My wall color is SW Worldly Gray in case you were wondering.

I found this split-face quartz stacked stone at Lowe's. It took about 60 square feet to finish the fireplace. I love how Patrick cut the edges. It looks seamless. 


It's called Dessert Quartz Natural Ledgestone and costs $4 per piece.

Now, for a mantle. I was inspired by Thrifty Decor Chick's amazing fireplace transformation. LOVE the gray color. I like the dark charcoal gray in her room, but for mine, I wanted something a little lighter. 
I'm considering SW Anonymous which has a slight green undertone.

     I wanted to have it painted before I blogged about it, but I just couldn't wait!



There are other venting options available for gas fireplace installations:
Natural vent, often called B vent, utilizes an existing masonry chimney or a factory-built metal chimney.  Room air exhausts combustion by-products to the outside via a flexible liner or single pipe installed within the chimney.
Direct-vent fireplaces draw in outdoor air for combustion, then expel spent air to the outside through a dual (co-linear) venting system, eliminating the heat loss associated with conventional chimneys.They can be vented up through the roof or out to the side or back of a house; a perfect solution for homes without an existing chimney.  Direct-vent units must, however, have a sealed glass door to maintain proper combustion and ensure efficiency and indoor air quality.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Family Room...A Tale of Two Curtains.

I am a window treater. That's it. I like to have something beyond the blinds on my windows. 

Here's a tale of two curtains. It was painful. But stay tuned, it's going to be awesome.

It started when I saw some chairs I loved in Pier 1 a few years ago:

But, I thought the pattern would be limiting for the rest of my living room decor. Time passed but I didn't forget that pattern. 

Enter the captain's chairs at my breakfast table:

It was a way to ease into the pattern. It's a transitional room so the chairs in the "eating area" kind of tie into the living room. 

I really loved the chairs and if a little is good, more is better, right? 

So, I got busy and found the matching curtains. 

OK, here's the thing...my grandma called and wants her curtains back. Floor to ceiling floral is not where it's at.

Being a Certified Master Returner, I called Home Decorators to get my return authorization. Guess what? No dice. Apparently if you order one of the "additional colors available" that is considered custom and therefore non-returnable. Rut-ro. 

Enter Craig and his fab list. 


No takers. 

Hmmm...this is not good.

So, now I have 2 108" super floral-y curtains that I hate on the windows. Of course I got them on sale but that is no consolation since I hate them (on the windows). A sale item that you can't use, might as well be, dare I say, full price (hoarders, take note). 

At the very same time that my floral curtains were taking up space in a drawer, the holidays were quickly approaching. And, I had two empty curtain rods in my living room. The absolute horror.

I went back to my old friend Pottery Barn and ordered two, plain white panels. Yes, I do see the ironic 180 that just happened here. 

OK, problem solved for the moment. 

Then the holidays pass and I need the drawer space for holiday decor. The curtains need to go. I love the pattern. I'm confused. 

Epiphany strikes! I have been looking for the perfect fabric for a table topper for the skirted round next to the couch. This could be it. 

Don't judge me for all the beige and tan. Rome wasn't built in a day people.
Curtain, folded in half for a visual trial run. 
I quickly make the trip to my favorite fabric store with curtain in hand. The trim diva hooks me up with some ah-mazing fringe trim.

Since I have ZERO sewing skill, I took the curtain and the trim (with written directions from the trim diva) to the tailor shop. Two days later, I picked up this little piece of magic. 

I had some fabric left from the making of the table topper, so I sent it to my fave seamstress to make a lumbar pillow for the corner of my sectional. It will be super legit.

Now I have one entire curtain left. What will I do? I will make I will have someone make valances for those little windows over the couch. I'll keep you posted.

I still need a print for over the couch. I have one and it is actually a pic my husband took of our beloved little downtown. It's at the canvas shop now. Stay tuned. 

Sorry about the glare and the two dog butts. They ignored repeated pleas for them to move.

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