Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Boy Bathroom Remodel

The Headlines:

A boy deserves a good bathroom. 

And so does his mom! 

Here's how to get one.

As some of of you may know... I like to remodel.  The home in which you live not only matters to your eyes... it can matter to your heart.  People who have a space in which they are proud are more productive, organized and happy.  I'm sure there's a study some where that says that however I know not where it is...

When remodeling I have 3 steps:

Step 1 -  Make A Design Plan 
Think long term, classic (do what you like, not what Pinterest tells you).  Always.
I call it "Defining Your Style..." read about it HERE

Step 2 - Pick Materials
What or whom will the space be used for?  Then consider that when planning/buying.

Step 3 - Get to Work
How can it be done in the most cost effective manner?

Here is one of my latest projects:

Below was we started with.  No bueno.  See?

If you look around a bit on this blog you'll see some serious white in my house.  I know white is HOT right now but I love it for different reasons.  I wrote a blog about it HERE but one of the main reasons I use it so much is because it's just doesn't go out of style.   It can certainly be not "on-trend" but white is forever.  Ahhhhhhhh that's why BRIDES use it!

Step 1 - Make a Design Plan
However, with all of that said, unlike in all my other bathrooms, I did not want to use white in this room.  For a Boy Bath I took the stained cabinet approach.  My husband sanded furiously and stained for days.  It does take a lot of sweat and tears if you do it yourself - the right way.  There are kits out there where you don't have to sand but BP (the husband) is perhaps pickier than I am, in some cases, and wanted to do it this way.

With the dark cabinets, and dark brick floor (which was put in a couple years ago - knowing the long term plan in my head) I knew I needed to lighten it up a bit so I wanted a light countertop to balance the dark.  I also knew I wanted an overall rustic/rugged look.

Step 2 - Pick Materials (go shopping)
I used this stain from Home Depot.  The color is espresso.  It's a dark color.  It's dark here but can go darker depending on the application process.

I also picked out the industrial lights pretty early.  I happen to love the industrial look.  I'm hoping it's not a fad because I'm kind of using it a lot.

I got square, white, ceramic sinks to go with the white/grey Carrera looking Quartz.  It clearly looks so different in different light.  These are pictures of the same counter.

Sidenote, for those not familiar, Quartz is a man made material which people have been using for a while now since it's pretty durable and consistent.  There are MANY brands of Quartz out there.  Some really expensive... some more well priced.

As you can see above... I use CHROME FAUCETS.  Here's why:  they're classic.  I know I sound like a broken record.  But they just won't go out of style.  Oil rubbed bronze was all the rage and today it's passe'.   Now everyone is using the Antique Brass for hardware.  It is gorge.  It could stay current for a while.  Heck, anything with the word Antique in it will stick around I suppose.  But I believe it will never be as classic as chrome.   So, the faucets I picked were a small goose neck chrome.

One more thought on faucets.  Pick wide spread.  They are a much more "upgraded" look and don't typically cost a lot.

Next, I went with a small Subway tile back splash.  Which (skips the mirror but) extends all the way to the ceiling.  You can never go wrong with Subway tile people.  I also did it because of  the shower/bath which is across from the vanity.  I have not re-done that yet.  But if and when I do... it will be done in a subway tile which ties everything together!

Next up... fishing touches like the cabinet "jewelry".  That's what I call drawer pulls/handles/knobs.

I got Francisco pulls for most of the cabinets but in the middle I used the Cup pulls.  I thought the difference made it look more like furniture.  And yes, you CAN MIX METALS!  I get that question all the time.  Mix... for the most part.  But it may also depend on the entire design of the room so do so carefully.  I often times go with a Satin Nickel drawer pull and a chrome faucet.  Like in this case.

Step 3 - Get to Work. 
After you've designed and shopped you need to put it altogether and get crap done!  There are a few way to accomplish this.

A) If you're super handy you can do this all by yourself.  But you need skills, time and patience.
B) The other option is to be you own general.  That means you find your materials and workers, then organize it.  Don't worry there's still 2 more options.
C) You can also get a designer from a top notch, fancy firm.  They're out there.  But it will cost ya... plenty.
D) The final option is to hire a local blogger/designer where you live to help you pick out, organize, schedule and find your trade people.  Someone like me.  But who lives by you.  There are plenty of talented, smart, go get it done people where you live who can help you, you just have to find them.

When you do... they can help you with just Step number 3... or start you back on Step number 1.  Depending upon your needs.

Finally tonight,
We were basically done with the bathroom but I needed to frame the mirror.  I wanted something super simple to make it feel kind of hardy.  I went to a reclaimed wood place to see what they had.  They had great stuff... just a little too rustic for what I wanted.  So we did it on our own.

We went to Home Depot again and grabbed some (not warped) Red Oak.  Turns out they had wood with some character which is what I wanted.  Then we stained it with the same brand as above but got a much lighter color... I didn't want it to be too matchy with the cabinets.  We pulled out the saw, grabbed some wood glue and bada-bing, bada bang.  Done.

I absolutely love it.  I hope you do too!

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Monday, August 7, 2017

What I Will Tell My Child About Junior High

The Headlines:

We all remember Junior High sucks.

Can it ever be good?

It can.

I sit here quietly in my home for the first time in months.  Summer is over and the kids are back in school.  But this year is different.  This year my daughter starts Junior High.

She's a 6th grader.  Back in my time, when I went to JUNIOR HIGH it didn't start until 7th grade.  I'm not sure what's better but that's not the point.  Here's the point: we're at the point of no return.  It's big time from here on out.  Life is no longer as simple as it once was... and she knows it.

The other day she said, I kid you not:

"I think when I was "little-er" things were more fun.  Now everyone's on their phone."  

WOW.  As I listened to her make that slightly profound statement I may have been texting someone.  That's a whole other subject we should delve into but for now... she's right.  And it's not changing anytime soon.  Because with a locker, no recess, algebra and lunch time tutoring comes a whole lot more.  Stuff they can't really teach you at the best school... like hormones, relationships, "mean" girls, make-up and yes everything that comes with that darn phone.

So what do you tell your child?  I say this:  Junior High is tough.  Ask anyone.  You will not get out unscathed.  Because everyone has something.  The prettiest girl gets a pimple.  The smartest boy blows a major test.  The mean one gets bullied.  Make-up runs.  Pick 6's happen.  People say awful things.  It is complicated, it's difficult and it can be down right devestating at times.  But you will get through it.  Right alongside the rest of your friends.  You all will be going through the same kind of crappy stuff together.  You can trust that.

But while there will be many bad things that happen... there will also be bright spots.  

You will ace a test you studied for.  The girl or boy you smile at will smile back (even if it's just on the inside).  Your team will win.  You will walk into a room one day and everyone will turn.  Your birthday will be big.  You will meet a best friend.  Someone will vote for you.  You will be a part of a group/club/sport that matters.  People will laugh at your joke.  You will get a compliment.  All these things will happen... just not at once.  Everyday you will not hit the jackpot - but that will make the winning days even sweeter.

I tell my daughter she has to be strong.  And on the days she's not, her father and I will be strong for her.  I remind her that she can lean on good friends but that she needs to let them lean right back.  I want her to know if she's helping others more she may care about herself a little less.  I assure her tears will come and she can grab a tissue or even better yet.. someone may hand her one.

Because even though Junior High may feel like the end of the world... it's just the beginning.

No, I'm not a psychologist or a counselor, I'm not a doctor or teacher of any kind.  But I am a mother who remembers being in Junior High, like all of us were at one point.  It was exactly all of the things I mentioned above and more.  It doesn't make me an expert but it does qualify me to remind my pre-teen, we've all been there.  While it feels super big - it's just a moment in time - and everyone's standing in that moment with her.

Junior High will not define her... but it will begin to refine her.  She just needs to remember to toss the phone aside.  Here and there.

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