So, for the sake of being able to take a bath again, and have an oasis in the chaos, we're seriously thinking about doing the bathroom.
Due to it being the only full bathroom in the house, the plumbing to the bathtub can't be disconnected for very long. We can shower at work if we have to, but it would be better if it didn't come to that. At least not for any length of time. Of course, we also don't know jack about plumbing. I can install a water filter, and Shayne can unclog a drain, but that's about the limit to our experience. We're going to have to hire this one out.
It's looking like every fixture in the room will be moved. I can't say that I'm thrilled with that, but the current layout sucks and doesn't leave us with much useable floor space. By moving the fixtures, it will open up the room and make it feel larger than it does now. It might also cause problems, since the long wall is an outside wall... Below are the current and expected floor plans. The boxes next to the tub and sink are ceiling-height cabinets.
We've got the basics figured out for the materials: beadboard wainscot, subway tile shower surround, 1" hex tile floor, pedestal sink, and a cast iron drop-in tub. I really wanted a clawfoot tub, but Shayne's dimensions apparently aren't standard enough for a standard tub. 14" of water in a 5' tub means that almost all of him will be out of the water, making a bath rather pointless. Kohler's Tea-for-Two tub is the deepest (19.5" of water at the overflow!) cast iron tub I can find that is under 6' long, so I'm hoping to find one of them on sale...!
Here is what we've accomplished in our first year:
- Removed the ugly shower door and replaced it with a rod and curtain
- Painted the basement
- Removed the carpet, wallpaper, and ceiling tiles from the living room and upstairs hall
- Repaired and skimcoated the plaster in the living room and upstairs hall
- Refinished the living room floor (twice)
- Installed an "invisible fence" to teach the dog where the yard boundaries are
- Tore out 4 yew bushes in the front of the house and replaced them with a raised flower bed
- Tore off and rebuilt the roof of the connector between the two garages
- Stripped and sanded lots of woodwork
- Tore out the carpet in the upstairs office and closet
It hasn't been a super-productive year, but we are learning as we go. With both of us working full-time jobs and having limited funds, I think we're doing okay.
Here is what we hope to accomplish in the year to come:
- Completely finish living room and purchase furnishings
- Remove paneling, wallpaper, laminate floor, and ceiling tiles from the dining room
- Repair dining room plaster and skimcoat
- Paint the dining room and install board and batten wainscoting
- Refinish dining room floor
- Install built-in cupboard
- Remove carpet, wallpaper, and ceiling tiles from the kitchen
- Strip, repair, and repaint the original kitchen cabinets
- Build new cabinets to match originals
- Reconstruct smaller original doorway between the dining room and kitchen
- Run new duct to the office in its original location
Sounds a little ambitious, doesn't it...?
I've also been plugging away at the stairway. The railing is a bitch to strip, and I'm not sure if there's a way to make it go faster. I've been using steel wool and denatured alcohol to trip off the shellac and remaining paint flakes. As with everything worth doing, it is tedious and labor intensive. But it looks so much nicer without the paint!
We are having a cookout/open house on September 16, so we are going to be busting our butts until then to get the living room totally finished. We might not have our furniture by then, but I plan on having the woodwork, walls, and floors completely done. That gives us 3 and a half weeks to buckle down and "git 'er done!"
Maybe it's time to suck it up and buy some Peel Away...
Hopefully, our porch will have columns and stairs(!), but I really like the green. All of the houses in the area are either white, cream, or gray, so it would really stand out.
Sounds simple, right? In the end, it will be. For right now... We already have a surplus of non-useful, non-beautiful items, but as we decide how the living room will take shape, I'm confident that the beautiful and useful items will rise to the top, and the rest we can donate to Goodwill.
The issue that I'm most struggling with right now is the couch. Specifically, since we don't have one, what kind of couch would look good in the living room. We really, REALLY like leather, but I'm afraid that a dark color will not look right against the dark walls (and neither of us is fond of light-colored leather). I'm actually considering getting a new frame for our futon, since it has a nice mattress with springs, and it could double as a guest bed until we get the upstairs done. I found a futon frame online at Creative Futons that looks like Craftsman-style sofa, but is actually a futon. And, best of all, you don't have to move it away from the wall to turn it into a bed.
Once we get a little closer to completion, we can take a look in town to see if there's anything comparable.
I'm still going to put one more coat of shellac on, but it looks awesome. The floor is glossy with a depth of color that is amazing. I've been doing the happy dance for the past 2 hours, since I'm so relieved that I didn't screw it up this time...