It’s been a couple weeks since I updated you on our main bath progress. I didn’t bridge the gap between last two updates very well, so today I’m going to fill you in on how we got from no grout to the almost finished product. We still don’t have a mirror, or a shower door. I refuse to hang a shower curtain and cover up all that beautiful tile. So until we throw down on a frame-less shower door, we’ll continue using our garage bathroom until all is complete.
Here we were a few weeks ago, tile was up but not yet grouted.
I remember clearly, it was at this point I wasn’t convinced one way or the other to go with black or white grout on the walls. Our tile guy was really great with us, he mocked up two sample boards, one with white grout and the other with black. Initially I was leaning towards black grout for two reasons, it helped define the pattern and is the classic choice when you think of subway tile. We ended up choosing white grout for two completely different reasons, white hides any imperfections in the tile job, and although we inspected every element of these walls and the imperfections were slim to none, dark grout can make a beautiful tile job go bad REALLY fast. I felt that the risk of regretting the grout decision weighed heavier with black grout over white. The second reason I realized was the black grout would look a little busy in this small bathroom, and distract from the other elements in the space that should really be more in the spotlight, like the vanity and the floors.
White grout it was!
The tile wraps from the door frame around the shower and back to the opposite wall about two feet. I had our contractor install ship lap on the opposite wall, which wraps around the door as well. I’m really happy we did this, I love the look of ship lap!
Next, we installed the vanity! OH how I LOVE this vanity. This was my first go at customizing a piece of furniture, and since I like being honest, it was part headache and part a total dream. I would definitely do this again. But differently. So many lessons learned with this piece.
One of the headaches with the vanity was over the marble remnant. The cabinet builder we used works with a marble shop, literally right next door. All we needed for the vanity was a marble remnant measuring 20″x 40″, basically a really tiny left over piece. I went to the neighboring marble shop, picked out a slab that I loved (so far so good!), and requested a quote for fabrication as our contractor would install. I waited 4 days.. 7 days.. 10 days! 10 days before they sent me a quote. OK fine I understated our project is small, but you’d think the quote would come a lot faster, right? Maybe the business world has me jaded, that turning things around same day is too much to ask for? Whatever.. anyway, so we finally got the quote, 10 days later. Can you guess how much they quoted us?
What the! Did you just fat finger an extra zero?! No, thank you. I’ll continue my search.
I was estimating like $400, maybe. So I went home, complained a little to our contractor and he offered to check out some places in his neighborhood. We also talked about a sad fact – if the homeowner (me, a woman, shopping for a remnant in the middle of the day looking like a rich stay-at-home wife-y) goes shopping they’re bound to get quoted double, maybe quadruple the price compared to if the contractor (a work-boot wearing sweaty dude) shopped for the remnant and mentions self install. The truth hurts. Our contractor was able to get the remnant you see above for $350, including fabrication! There’s still a lot of sex-ism out there. Whatever, I saved a ton of money having him shop for us!
Here she is! Remnant installed, gorgeous light fixtures installed, hardware installed. Although this mirror-less thing is seriously cramping my style.
Catch up on the remodel!
Happy Monday!!! Get your Pin-it buttons ready friends, this is the brittanyMakes moment you’ve all been waiting for!
The full kitchen tour is here. If you’re new to the blog, check the bottom of this post for quick links to the progress on this makeover. Now, get ready to feast your eyes…
This is the view of the kitchen/dining area from our sofa. It’s hard to believe less than a year ago there was a giant wall blocking this view.
I love this angle. There’s nothing like a farmhouse sink flanked by symmetrical doors and drawers. And that gold faucet. Heart eyes all day long.
You remember the before? Woof, right?
In hindsight, I kind of wish we had waterfall-ed our island. It would have added $$$, and the space is rather small, so we probably made the right decision. The other thing I’d like to fix are the switch plates under the island. It’s not something that keeps me up at night, so I’m cool for now.
I really lucked out with those roman shades. They match the cabinet color perfectly! More details on those soon!
Our sliding door broke within the first week of owning the house. We used the remodel as an opportunity to widen the doorframe and install outward swinging French doors. We LOVE how they look! When both doors are open, the sunroom feels like an extension of the house, when before it felt completely closed off.
We usually have a third counter stool in the below photo, but I move it out of the way to take the picture. You can really see the wood tile in these photos too. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about how much I love these floors.
The last thing we have to finish is the void above the refrigerator. We need to add a piece of trim or whatever to finish off the fridge. It’s just kind of a bummer to see the bottom of the plywood cabinet. I could probably just paint the bottom of the cabinet and it wouldn’t be so noticeable. Whatever! It all still looks good to me.
For those who have been here with me through this entire process, thank you! It’s taken a while for us to finally get here. I feel so lucky that we were able to make improvements to our home, I love everything we’ve done so far. If you haven’t seen the before yet, click on the posts linked up below. You’ll be shocked what we started out with!
Have a great Monday!
Sources: Wood tile floors | Carrera marble counters | subway tile backsplash | farmhouse sink | exhaust hood | refrigerator | range | lower cabinet paint color: Cyberspace by Sherwin Williams color matched to Kelly Moore Dura Poxy | Target Windsor style counter height stools | Lew’s brass hardware | Cedar & Moss pendant lights | CB2 bell flush mount light | Delta faucet | Target polka dot vases (in stores only) | Target gold & cement vase (in stores only) | Oh Joy for Target gold pitcher | footed chopping board | vintage rugs | brass globe chandelier | dining table | dining chairs – vintage | black china cabinet – vintage | mid-century style bar cabinet | Roman shades
Get caught up on the remodel!
- We’re finally remodeling our kitchen & living room!
- The wall is gone and the beam is in!
- The kitchen take-down
- 5 kitchens influencing our design
- Countertops & 3D rendering of our plans
- Walls are up, floors are bare
- Cabinets installed!
- Painted cabinet drama
- Kitchen (pre flooring)
- Why wood tile
My first woven wall hanging
Summer is practically here! We’re essentially done with our indoor and outdoor renovations, just those annoying finishing touches like sealing the concrete and paint touch ups. I plan to tackle some of these projects this weekend. How about you?
- I can’t stop making this recipe, seriously. I have a rather large piece in my hand right now.
- Totally obsessed with The Flea
- Congrats to The Classroom Collective on reaching their goal! I can’t wait for my hand dyed indigo dyed fabric to arrive
- Enter to win in $1000 to Anthro!
- Damn it. I signed up for Snapchat. I’m @brittanymakes. Someone needs to show me how to use it.
Our kitchen/dining area has pretty much held the spotlight on the blog here since we began renovating last September. Soon the rest of our house will finally get some attention! It’s like our kitchen is our first child – we’re the parents posting way too many photos of our kitchen on social media, talking ‘kitchen this’ and ‘kitchen that’, and almost going as far as saying our kitchen is so smart for it’s age, it’s going to grow up and be the president of the United States!
We’ve been doting on it for way too long. It’s about time we turned the spotlight onto our next “children” – the bathroom, the sunroom, the backyard! And maybe even the nursery. Oh yeah. The nursery…
BUT! Before we do that I must share the after-afters of our kitchen and dining space. And don’t be mad, but I’m going to break them up into two posts because, well, I feel like it.
Let me remind you of the before, taken the day we bought the house. My goodness, can there be any more beige?
And after a lot of blood, sweat and tears, we have the after!
Please tell me you see that chandelier! Holy crap, right? It’s incredible. Let me introduce you, that is if you haven’t yet been introduced, to the uber talented Sarah of Lucent Lightshop. Sarah made this chandy with her bare hands!
Sarah is known for her ever popular line of brass light fixtures. She is a downright genius, a crazy talented maker and has her finger on he pulse of today’s hot modern lighting. There is something for everyone, and the price point is so right.
Make sure you check back here on Monday! I’ll be posting the full kitchen reveal. If you can’t wait that long, you can read more about the dining room AND get a sneak peek of the kitchen over on domino.com today!
Behold, our floors!
New flooring is one of those things I thought we would never have. That we would perpetually live with this Bermuda Triangle of hideous flooring only able to go on each day with the thought of ‘some day we’ll have flooring’. I barely remember what it was like not to have our tile floors. Goes to show you just how good I am at compartmentalizing memories, ha! Let’s take that to a therapy sesh..
The process of installing new flooring (and any remodel for that matter) is not magic like it is on TV. It’s not a before & after with a 4 minute commercial break in between. It’s exhausting, and we didn’t even do the work! Maybe I take that back. Our contractor is pretty much a magician. Our floors are so beautiful! I’m so happy we didn’t DIY them ourselves. I’m a firm believer some things are just meant to be done by a professional.
Some folks are smart during a remodel, they pack up and move into a hotel or stay with family. We didn’t. We lived in the house during the entire remodel. Something I probably wont ever do again!
The first phase was removing the existing flooring. The carpet was removed, the ‘vintage’ entryway tile was removed, and the hardwood in the bedrooms was removed.
The process of tiling the floors can be different depending on the foundation of your house. We are on a raised foundation, versus other homes that sit on cement slab. Since we’re on a raised foundation, our contractor had to create the most solid and sturdy sub floor possible. He laid cement board first over the entire house. Cement board is exactly what it sounds like it is, it’s a very thin cement material that is laid on top of the plywood subfloor, is secured with nails or screws, with the purpose to eliminate any flex in the flooring. If you laid the tile straight onto the plywood subfloor, chances are the tile would crack and the grout wouldn’t stick. Basically, a very bad situation.
I noticed there are a LOT of tools involved in laying tile. The most important being the level. Our house is fairly level, but one of the bedrooms slopes downward about an inch. Our tile guy had to float that area with extra thinset to bring that area level with the rest of the floors. We were pretty lucky that it was only that one area that needed float, because floating anything – floors or walls – adds a LOT to the cost of installing tile.
Making the grout selection was fairly painless. My best advice is to go with a grout a shade darker than your tile. We decided to lay the tile with very thin grout lines, just a hair larger than 1/16″. Standard grout size is 1/8″, and if you want your tile to look like wood, you have to go with a thinner grout joint.
Our contractor’s main trade is laying tile. He worked so quick! He would lay out all the full length tile pieces, make a cut list, then go cut the pieces he needed in one go rather than going back and forth to the tile saw. Talk about efficient! Also, you’re probably wondering what’s going on with that wall. The previous owners had a faux wood paneling focal wall surrounding the fireplace. We had to pry the paneling off, chisel and sand off all of the glue then mud & re-texture. It was kind of an annoying task but now it looks a million times better.
What a transformation, right?! Here’s the transformation process of our bedroom, just for kicks –
After the floors were tiled and grouted, our contractor installed new baseboards & trim. Seriously, our house has never looked better! I’m really glad we went with the faux wood tile. I actually walk around without shoes or socks every day, and it feels just like a normal wood floor. Someone asked if it was cold underfoot, but I have to say it doesn’t feel any different temperature wise. I think we only feel the texture difference from our floors compared to other people’s wood floors.
- What a jaw dropping makeover, right?
- What are your thoughts on this new announcement?
- We just added this to our kitchen appliances, do you have one? We LOVE it!
- We just bought these chairs for our patio. A perfect case of classic meets modern. PS they’re on sale right now, scoop them up before they’re gone!
I started running again, finally! I haven’t held a steady exercise routine since Zano was born. Last Friday was his 1 year birthday and the excuses are over! Anyway, if I put it out there on the internet I’m more inclined to stay honest about it. Finding the time is the hardest thing! How do you other mom’s do it?
Have a fantastic weekend!
I’m sure you’ve noticed, my posting schedule has slowed due to the reno work being done on our house. We are SO close to being done. You know that light at the end of the tunnel? It’s covering half of my body, we’re that close. I realized I never fully explained what the big push was to get all these projects completed. I decided to host our son’s first birthday at our house. It was an innocent thought, really! All we needed was flooring, right? One thing alway leads to another.
Antonio and I both have big families. We put together the invite list of our close family and friends, and we realized we were inviting over 50 people! Our house is tiny, and we needed a place to put all these people, and the back yard was our only option. You can check out some progress pics of our backyard on my Instagram (I’m @brittanymakes).
Anyway, I’m digressing. The exciting news here is our bathroom is almost done! We’re missing some key pieces, mainly the shower door and the mirror, and we’ve made some tweaks to the original design. I decided, since we were getting rid of the old medicine cabinet, we needed a vanity with drawers for all the random things like Antonio’s shaver and my nail polish collection that I never use.
This was the inspiration for our vanity.
I love the balance of drawers & drawers, and of course the reigning combo of walnut + brass.
I couldn’t leave you hanging with out a peek!
What did you do for Mother’s Day? I know it was a week ago, but I had such a wonderful first Mother’s Day, I can’t stop thinking about it.
There are a lot of things I like to do – hobbies I take on, like DIYing everything and interests I have, like blogging and decorating – that some people just don’t quite understand. I rarely force my interests and hobbies on others, including my husband. Prime example – flea markets! I think I’ve only asked my husband to go with me to the flea market twice in our history together. Both times he declined. It’s cool, I’d probably be miserable if he joined me. He’d be giving me death stares all too frequently as I touch ALL THE THINGS. Our marriage is better for it. He stays home to relax while I take a couple hours and touch other people’s garbage. It’s great!
It was my first Mother’s Day, and I think Antonio (my husband) knew it would be a special day for me. He gave me a choice between a) breakfast in bed or b) a family trip to the flea market. Well, first off, I never eat in bed, and as classic and delicious as that sounded, the way to my heart is through the flea market! We went fleaing together as a family of three. I swear, I’ve never had a better flea market day! I scored 3 killer rugs, and got to introduce my little family to all my favorite flea market vendors. Then, we grabbed a quick breakfast and shopped at my favorite cactus shop in Berkeley. As much as I love flowers, planting something in the back yard to commemorate this moment to me is much more meaningful. So, we bought two cacti to help us kick start our drought-tolerant backyard landscape.
I went to the flea market yesterday, and it just wasn’t the same without my family…
We’ve been juggling multiple projects ’round the house these last few weeks (months?). I’m starting to loose track of time. Don’t be fooled, these aren’t small projects either! Our flooring is finished, I just need to find a spare hour or so to actually photograph everything! The battle of the dust is real, and I just can’t manage to keep a surface clean for longer than a couple hours. Soon! Soon I’ll share our floors, and hopefully a few other spaces too. Everything looks SO good, I’m so glad we didn’t wait any longer to start on these upgrades.
We started tackling the back yard last week. Our yard is a desert, no tree or bush to be seen, just a vast space covered in dirt. I was chatting with our neighbors over the weekend, I’m sure they were just curious about all the jack hammering going on, but come to find out the folks who rented the house from the previous owners tore their dirt bikes all around the back yard. Weird. I think our neighborhood is pleased that a young family moved in, although our other neighbor grumbles in our direction, she must still be a little bitter.
Our bathroom is being grouted today! It was a tough decision between black and white grout. There are strong opinions for, and against both options. You’ll just have to see what we went with once it’s all complete.
Hope you’re week is going well!
With everything else going on in our house, I wasn’t planning for our bathroom to be another huge overhaul.. but as I’m sure those of you who’ve also gone through house updates understand when I say – somehow one update always leads to ten more.. and before you know it you’ve stripped everything down to the studs!
I’ve been obsessing over our bathroom design for months. It’s given me headaches, searching for the perfect finishes since I know I really only get to do this the one time. It’s given me stomach aches, seeing how expensive bathroom remodels can get. We intended to recycle anything we could, but it was time to retire our 60 year old finishes and fixtures. Not all things ‘vintage’ are good!
I’ve always loved the look of dresser-like vanities, they add a unique and custom quality to the space that you otherwise don’t find from off-the-shelf vanities. I thought I would search for the perfect vintage dresser to convert into a vanity. I searched and searched and searched. I almost bought one off Craigslist, but the dimensions weren’t quite right. We have a max of 40″ to work with, and most small dressers are in the 46″ range. As with a lot of the decisions we’ve made, my husband and I finally concluded if we’re going to spend the money, we might as well spend it on what we want, and do it right so that it fits the space and we won’t be cursing ourselves (or each other, ha!) later.
Who doesn’t love black, white and gold? No one! It’s classic, and surprisingly can be put together in so many different ways it can still look modern and unique. It took about 17 revisions, but I finally nailed down our bathroom design. The above is pretty much everything we’re doing in the bathroom. To say I’m excited is absolutely the biggest understatement of the year! A classic, yet modern Mid Century vibe is exactly what I’m going for, touches of brass are obvious but it’s the matte black fixtures that are in the spotlight this go ’round.
SOURCES: // Matte back hex tile // Starburst brackets // Matte black wall mount faucet // brass wall sconces // Dresser (inspo for vanity) // brass knobs // white vessel sink // white subway tile // brass mirror