You mean you…DON’T like the irridescent pastel tulips? Huh…

Holy S*%#. We own a house.

I have not felt very eco friendly the last few weeks. I’ve been knee deep in cardboard boxes, bubble wrap, paint, paint brushes, plastic drop cloths, and trash trash trash.  Also allen wrenches. Because Ikea.

What the flying f am I supposed to do with 8 identical allen wrenches? Does anyone out there weld? Can you make a sculpture with them or something?

Anyway.  My most favoritist favorite part of our new house, other than the toxic mold-fiberglass insulation-and-rotting-wood situation that was going on in the garage (blog post for another day), was the downstairs bathroom.

This is what it looked like the day we officially owned the place:

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Just like a spa!  Or something…

Then I started unscrewing and ripping and scraping stuff, which was very satisfying.  Something that has always bothered me about home renovation shows – pretty much everything on HGTV – is the smashing. I mean, I get it.  Smashing stuff is awesome. But taking a sledgehammer and a crowbar to perfectly good cabinets, etc just because they are out of date or painted an ugly color or don’t quite fit the look you’re going for seems wasteful. It seems wasteful… because it is. Unless you’re taking out cabinets that are moldy, radioactive, or used to hold decaying things, someone can probably use them. I took the out-dated vanity down as gently as possible, cleaned the mirrors, and left it out on the curb. Someone took it within 2 hours. More of a passive satisfaction than smashing, but worth it!

We took the light fixture and a bunch of copper wiring from around the house to Scrap It at Minichiello Brothers in Everett.  My husband described this place as a playground for grown up boys because there is a giant mountain of cars and ovens getting picked up and dropped and smashed with heavy machinery.  Even though every dude working there looked like Vin Diesel without a dentist and sounded like they were … well… from Everett, they were very helpful and nice and gave me $9, which is 9 more dollars than I would have had if we just smashed everything and threw it away.

Back to the bathroom.  I gave myself a budget of $300 to make this bathroom less tulipy and embarrassing. That obviously means the pink tiles and vanity aren’t going anywhere for a while, but everything else was fair game.

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So with the following, I made a new bathroom:

– 1 gallon of paint, Harmony from Sherwin Williams. Very low odor and supposedly zero VOCs. On sale for $40.

– mirror, from Ikea $40

– wall sconces, from Ikea $29.99 each

– shower curtain and hooks, from Homegoods, $24.99 and $9.99

– shower curtain rod, from Home Depot, $29.99

– privacy film for the window, from Home Depot, $24.99

– shower head labeled “eco solutions” that supposedly saves water (?), from Home Depot, $12.99

– recycled jersey bathmat, from West Elm, $29.99

– recycled wood toilet seat, from Home Depot, $24.99

– electrician to rewire behind the wall for the new lights, hard to put a price here because he did a bunch of stuff for us all over the house, but I will say he was great. His name is Joe Distefano and if you need an electrician in the Boston area, look him up or ask me.

Still need:

wall storage, new sink faucet, new shower faucet, new towels , a new high efficiency toilet

And now it looks like this:

(Shep approves.)

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So that’s it! I’ll post another picture when I’m totally done. But I did promise I’d update this blog more, and I was also marginally proud of myself with this mini-renovation, and I really wanted an excuse to do something that was not unpacking boxes for a few minutes.

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