Saturday, February 23, 2008

Bathroom Bling, or "Let the Renovation Begin"

I made my first real purchase for the bathroom renovation: Bling. Otherwise known as shiny new matching hardware. I got one of these:

And one of these:

plus an oval mirror, the trendy new kind that mounts in the middle and tilts down a bit, a toilet paper holder, two robe hooks, and a matching toilet flush lever. Yes, dammit, I wanted even my toilet to match. I've never had a bathroom where things actually matched (and never one that didn't match in a cool trendy "ooh look at all that cool original stuff", it was always more like "ooohhh well, we got that on sale, then we found that one in the scratch & dent and see, it kinda matches...") and dammit, I want one!!

Oh I did also buy a wall-mounted soap dish and toothbrush holder but those are going back.

There are two things that are a little off about this purchase:

First, it wasn't planned. If I'm going to spend more than $25, I research it to death. Even my rare "impulse purchases" are carefully evaluated and done only if I am totally confident in my decision AND it's pretty much a one-chance one of a kind deal. But no, not this. We went into Lowes for a Brita pitcher and a shower organizer and I walked out with nearly $300 in bathroom hardware. It was just one of those love at first sight things: We weren't really seriously looking at the hardware, just passing through that aisle, but I looked up and just knew that was what I wanted for this bathroom reno. I really like both the knob decoration on the end, and the really rich polished nickel finish.

The other thing is that this hardware stuff is generally last on a renovation task list, like, after you rip out most of the drywall and put up the tile. But it's also one of the few parts of a renovation that can be put up then taken down again without all that huge of an effort.

I think what's happened is that now I can actually see the renovation on the horizon, the nastyass ugliness of that bathroom makes me cringe. Honestly, it just screams "cheap" and "generic" and "boarding house for young community-college baseball players." So even though the full renovation isn't starting until I start my summer break, I'm hanging this bling this weekend, baby. The mirrors - cheapest possible paper-thin glass with the silvering all mottled around the edge are coming down and the new one going up, with the glass shelf underneath. Towel rack, toilet paper holder, even the flush lever is going up. I know it will probably look it's own shade of ugly, to have those things up in contrast with the vinyl scrap floor, economy grade tub, dingy worn out looking sink base, and misplaced ugly lighting. But at least I'll have a really nice looking toilet paper holder.

Just for my own benefit, here's a running total of acquisitions and rough-budgeted items to date:

  • Antique dresser that will be used as sinkbase: free (trashpicked)
  • Nice decorative exhaust fan/light: $80 (bought long before the renovation was planned, or I would have chosen a different design, but I'm counting it in the long-term reno.
  • Hardware including mirror: $245 (after I take back the toothbrush and soap holders)
  • Beautiful custom-made all-wood medicine cabinet and matching front for the linen cabinet: Estimate $500. I'll post pics and post a link to the cabinetmaker's website once I have them. I might get these and install the medicine cabinet before the full reno, because I don't have one and need one, and medicine cabinets are pretty easy to install and take out, and it will make me happy to see it there.
  • Base/edge and other tiles for the shower and walls: Free from someone on Old House Web, as soon as I can get up there to pick them up!

I want so much to run out and get lighting, which is also something easily reinstalled, but the over-sink lighting and sink-area receptacle need to be moved to the adjacent walls, so I'm going to have to tear out a bunch of drywall and pray I can move the wiring around without over-uglifying things with those damn junction boxes required by code. Ah for the days when you could just twist a couple of wires together, slap some electrical tape around them, and shove them behind drywall. (NOT!)

Wait. I can move a fixture easily. I can put it up in the current position for now. Duh.


carina said...

cool bathroom bling! :) nice blog you got here i love reading your post... just wanted to share this link Bathroom Renovation NYCfor some useful ideas about bathroom renovation :)

hermione_havanese said...

The same thing happened to me at Lowe's: love at first sight with bling for my powder room. I was lucky and got out for only $80.

I'm having trouble finding out anything about the line. Have you had any luck researching Andrews, post purchase?

Now, I'm having a devil of a time finding just the right light. I want a double sconce with fabric shade.