December 29, 2014

Master Bathroom Refresh

With a few days off around the holidays, the gaybors found it hard to sit still. A staycation is just an opportunity to complete some house projects!

About the "Master Bathroom": it's tiny. There are no windows, despite having an outside facing wall. This area used to be the woodstove in the kitchen area, but the guy we bought the house from turned it into a 2nd bathroom, probably for resale value. I'm grateful for the 2nd bathroom and having one right by the main bedroom. The tiles are beautiful and there are nice custom cabinets above the toilet. But not enough storage or surfaces to place everyday items. At least once a week, I hear my wife cursing in the bathroom as something crashes to the ground because all we have is a tiny 3" deep x 20" wide shelf.

We painted the bathroom a few years ago a lovely Restoration Hardware navy blue. But it turned out too dark, and all my feng shui research says that blue and water-associated colors are to be avoided in the bathroom. Makes sense.

So we washed the walls, painted it Travertine (my favorite neutral paint color and also our kitchen color). It took two coats. I thought it might take more. But we got nice Valspar paint that supposedly had primer built in (a weird concept, but it covered really nicely).

In addition, we are putting in new art (a botanical print instead of an ocean scene), new (orange!) towels, and the biggest improvement - new custom redwood shelves above the toilet.

These are from a raw slab that came from Almquist Lumber. We had them make a couple cuts, then sanded and stained. The next post will be about how the installation went!

September 25, 2014

Mini Rain Garden

We have a downspout that collects more water than the others. We've had the gutters looked at by a pro and cleaned, so maybe this gutter is just more popular. Or the house is old and a little leansy (more likely).

One year at Thanksgiving (when we were getting ready to have a bunch of people over!) it rained cats & dogs and the area by the downspout pooled and flooded pretty badly. So I scooted down to Ace Hardware (which was open for at least part of the day - thanks Ace!) and got one of those plastic tube extensions that you can attach to the downspout and move the water away from the house.

This worked great - now the water all goes into a landscaped area away from the foundation and soaks in. But we decided to up the ante and make a little rain garden/dry creekbed to collect and distribute the water, and also look pretty!

So far, with the second real rain of the year it's working great. I can't wait for those little ferns and whatever those succulents are to get a little bigger and create more of a landscape feature.