DIY Home Improvement Adventures Part One

I’ve been MIA in the blogosphere lately, and that’s because all my time and energy have been spent on a couple of home improvement projects that I’m excited to share because they are finally done!

Have you ever had a place in your house that was downright ugly, but it had been that way so long that you just went into denial and didn’t notice anymore? That’s the situation I was in with our downstairs bathroom, aka the bathroom that all guests use. I am mortified thinking of all the parties we’ve thrown over the years, and all of the people that saw the hideousness. I can only hope that our friends were using the bathroom because they had had a lot to drink, thereby in a state of mind to not notice or at least not remember the epitome of tacky bathrooms they found themselves in. I can sum it up in one word…gold. I had always hated all that gold (faucet, light fixture, shower enclosure, TP holder…) but when our boys were little, my priorities were elsewhere and I just ignored it. A couple of months ago my blinders were removed and I attacked that bathroom with a vengeance, taking great pleasure in removing all that atrocious gold.

I was so anxious to get the gold faucet out that I didn’t even take a before photo, but I’m sure you can imagine it. Getting the new matte black faucet in was quite exciting, especially when it worked and didn’t leak.

Originally I wanted to remove the big mirror and get a framed mirror, but when I tried to pry it off the wall, it was stuck tight and I kept picturing it breaking into a million pieces, so I decided to just build a frame for the existing mirror. It was a perfect solution.

I began the crown molding and laying the ceiling tiles. “Measure twice, cut once” became my mantra. Next was painting. What a difference a coat of paint makes! It’s definitely the most economical way to get a whole new look.

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Brett works for 3M and set me up with industrial grade caulking but forgot to tell me it wasn’t water soluble. :/

After changing out the light fixture, towel racks, TP holder, and toilet lever, the last thing was the shower door. I was dreading it. The instructions were 16 pages long and I had to add a hack saw to my tool repertoire. Two hundred pounds of glass and metal sat in my garage for 3 weeks before I gathered up the courage to attempt the install. Everything was going well at first and then things took a turn. I won’t bore you with the details, but let’s just say that after a very painful injury that resulted in a lot of blood, I cried out of frustration for almost an hour. It wasn’t pretty. I can’t imagine Bob Vila has ever sobbed on the couch when experiencing a home improvement setback, but what can I say? I was so frustrated! And bleeding! And in pain!

After a few days, I was ready to continue, but the shower wasn’t going to be tamed without one last attempt to bring me down. Screwing in self-drilling metal screws is hard; really hard. You have to push with all your might, your whole body straining. I was on one side of the door trying to get these confounded screws in, and Brett was on the other pushing back. Long story short, he threw out his back and I prolapsed my bladder. I’m not even kidding. But the good thing is that there were no tears this time, just laughter. It’s so ridiculous. What in the world just happened??? Life is boring without lots of experiences, right? I can check that one off the list. Prolapsed bladder, done.

The final step was to see if it leaked (the shower door, not the bladder) and I almost cried with joy that there was not one drop of water anywhere. They say that the reward is sweeter with things that are difficult and I can attest that this is absolutely true. I’ve done a lot of projects over the years, but the literal blood, sweat and tears involved in this bathroom remodel has made it one of the things I am most proud of because I didn’t give up when it would have been a lot easier to just hire some guy to come out and finish it.

A couple of years ago we hiked the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and then climbed Huayna Picchu to the summit when we got there. We did the Portuguese Route of the Camino de Santiago last year and we are hiking to Everest Base Camp this year. We’ve also summited ten Colorado 14ers. I got photos and prints of those accomplishments to adorn the bathroom, but the funny thing is that I have just as much pride in that stupid shower door.

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47 Comments on “DIY Home Improvement Adventures Part One

  1. Hi! It’s awesome that you did it all by your self and see how beautiful it is looking. I really loved the new look compared to the old one described by you. The matte black faucet is looking great. You had also kept it creative by keeping the wall frames. 👍

    Liked by 2 people

  2. It looks great! That’s also a great idea to build a molding around the current mirror – I may borrow that idea as I have been looking for a new mirror forever to fit an odd sized space.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you! And yes, it’s a great solution and so easy. I used wood glue and it worked really well. It isn’t an instant hold so you can align the pieces perfectly, but it does bond fairly quickly. Then just paint it! I used double sided 3M tape to affix it to the mirror.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. WOW – that’s a gorgeous renovation! And so worth all the blood, sweat, tears, and bladder issues. The irony of the bladder issues in a bathroom made me smile. Sorry, that’s mean I suppose?! Congrats on a job well done!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Pingback: Backsliding | Daily Inkling – Normal Happenings

  5. Thought I’d let you know, I tried to open the Charming Adventure post on WordPress Reader and my antivirus said it looked malicious and wouldn’t open. Not sure if you posted it differently than usual, or what the cause was. Happy renovating!

    Liked by 1 person

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