Bathroom Remodel:

When the Open Concept is Taken Too Far

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We started the hall bathroom remodel several weeks ago, a bit backwards perhaps— with a door.  Years ago, I bought an antique leaded glass door with the hopes to use it as the door for the hall bathroom, since it was so pretty and the bathroom was not.  My main objection to the hall bath was that whomever added it on, placed the toilet smack in the middle of the doorway, with the door open, it was not a pretty sight, especially since you see it from the kitchen.

My handy hubby, the engineer did another stretching job to the door, it was wide enough, but not long enough to cover the opening and hang from the sliding mechanism.  Then, there was the task of filling holes from door knobs and dead bolts.  And finally, hours of filling, sanding, priming and painting!  A substantial header needed to be put in place to hold the heavy duty sliding mechanism to allow us to hang the door.

Next up was what to do with the leaded glass that offered lots of beauty, but little privacy needed for a bathroom.  I thought an antique mirror behind the leaded glass would offer the necessary privacy, and thought it would be interesting from the kitchen/hall side.  As for the bathroom side, I am planning on a sheet of wallpaper that will compliment the bathroom, or maybe blackboard paint.

The actual tear down of the bathroom or demo to the studs was next.  The house was built in 1938, when a 2X4 was exactly that, not today’s shaved down version.  When the bath was added, this factor was not taken into consideration, hence uneven walls with odd bulges and waviness.  My engineer decided the only way to fix it was to strip it down to the studs.  Besides, the reason for the remodel was to move the toilet from, “front and center”, to under the window and move the sink to where the toilet had been for a more pleasing view.

This bathroom was “carved” out of what we expect was a “laundry area” and stolen bedroom closet space on the common wall behind where the toilet was placed.  We decided to take more out of the closet area, by removing some of the upper storage, that had been left with the previous remodel.  We wanted the new sink area to have full ceiling height, rather than the lowered ceiling that was from the previous remodel.  This would allow for a nicer lighting fixture and a more spacious feeling in this tiny three quarter hall bath.

The demolition of the surrounding walls, left the toilet standing in my husband’s office; pretty convenient for him, but lacking privacy all around!  He is wasting no time getting the remainder of the closet walls reframed, thus closing in the bathroom from the office side, at least.

Next up will be further demolition of the shower tile and floor tiles.  Floor tiles have been ordered along with a mirror/medicine cabinet. Stay tuned.

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The Art of Stretching A Door

It’s been a long time since I posted anything about the guest room makeover, so long that I forgot I had started to write about it back in January of this year.

It has been a long five months in the making…but it is finally habitable— not completely finished, but livable at least.

One of the primary things that needed to be installed was a door to cover the opening for privacy between the guest room and my husband’s office.  We actually found an entry door back in November and decided it was just the ticket for our sliding door. Except the door was a standard 6’8” door and the opening was standard for a typical inset door, to cover the opening it needed to be s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d for full coverage.

My handy husband began cleaning up the door that is 80+ years old, by filling the door handle, lockset and deadbolt openings, sanding down much of the eight to ten layers of paint and adding about three inches to the bottom of the door.  I think he used poplar to extend the door; this was done by cutting and glueing pieces together to make the extension.  Once the door had been made to the exact size to hang over the opening and offer complete coverage, top and bottom and side to side, it was nearly ready for priming.  

But, before that, the speakeasy needed to be recessed so it would pass on the wall side of the guest room when it was completely open and not scar the wall.  My husband needed to chisel out the stepped configuration of the speakeasy to match and make the depth flush with the exterior of the door.

Now, it was ready for some heavy duty priming.  I used an oil based primer, since it offers the best coverage and would prevent any ghosting of previous colors.  Priming and painting took time, since both sides of the door needed to be painted, and with this winter and all the glorious rains, it was a challenge to get good drying time.  I wanted the door painted two different colors, since one side would face my husband’s office, it would be white to match the trim in that room.  On the guest room side, I decided that I would set it up like the entry door it had been in its glory days.  Painting it the same color as the sleeping alcove, a deep blue, against a cool, pale blue on the walls outside of the sleeping alcove, allowed it to stand out on its own as a showpiece.

I was fortunate to have had a small armoire, complete with hanging space, shoe rack, shelves and drawers; perfect for the space on one side of the door.  The other side of the door was large enough for some kind of furniture piece, and went back and forth about what would be the most serviceable.  I finally found a small dresser that looked more like an entry console, perfect!  It is small enough not to crowd the available space and large enough to be serviceable for storage of sheets and towels, until guests come and then it serves well for their clothing storage; one guest gets the “closet” and one gets the dresser, they share the hanging space.

With a generous platform serving as the step down, it feels more comfortable than a small awkward step, and there is an electrical outlet in the riser for plugging in an additional lamp by the chair.

Flooring, operable windows, and at the air conditioning unit will be the next big expenses.  Guests say the room is quite comfortable, except that the newest cat can open the door!  So, maybe it is not so private after all.