File that under things I never thought I’d say when we moved into this house. I hinted at this project last weekend when I mentioned that Chris and I embarked on what we thought would be an easy project but actually turned out to be one of our bigger ones.
After I grouted the downstairs bathroom, I really felt thing the tide was turning in that room. Obviously, it’s still full of light green tile, and that’s not changing any time soon, but I was definitely hating it less. I took a look around and realized the one big thing I still hated was our huge mirrored vanity. The glass on the mirrors was beat up, and the whole thing was just too big for the room. It’s the type of vanity that really should have been set back in the wall, but it was hung directly in the wall, so it was about 3 inches too deep for that room.
It’s a small room, so it’s hard to take a great shot, but you can just see the mirrors and how they are not flush with the wall. Closer to the window, there’s a cabinet over the toilet. It actually has a lot of storage, and we weren’t using any of it, so I figured we didn’t really need the storage over the sink. We figured replacing the vanity with a sleek mirror and nice light fixture would make the room look a little more modern wouldn’t require too much work as we wouldn’t have to set it into the wall. Haha.
Well, we bought the mirror and a lighting fixture that I love at Lowes for less than $100. We came home eager to tear that vanity down and get to work. Imagine our surprise we we removed the vanity to find this…
Um. What? That would be electrical wire running from the outlet through a very shallow divot in the wall to where the lights on the vanity attached. Well, this was a problem. First, there was no way to attach the new, slimmer light fixture to the wall with all that extra wiring. Second, the new mirror would cover less wall, and that exposed wire would be pretty apparent. Messing with electrical stuff is not a generally great idea, so we called in the big guns: Dad Rappa. Luckily for us, he came up on a Sunday afternoon. Thanks Dad!
I was essentially useless at this point, but Chris and his dad got to work. The problem was that we thought that wall was drywall, but it was actually plaster over wood and lathe. Basically, the wire was run that way, because there was no room for it further in the wall. So, Chris and his dad first snipped the wires (with the power turned off, obviously) so the light fixture could sit flush on the wall. Then they used a drill to carve a deeper groove in the wall so the wire could sit further back. Finally, they measure what the new mirror would cover then began plaster over whatever wire was left exposed. The wire was in a conduit, so it was safe to plaster over. After that, it was a waiting game. Because of our walls as well as the size of the hole that needed covering, we couldn’t use quick drying spackle, so we had to wait a day in between each layer. Chris worked diligently all week applying two coats, sanding and painting the exposed areas. Finally, on Friday, we were able to hang the mirror and screw in the light bulbs. The result was amazing.
Thanks to daylight savings, I couldn’t manage to take a picture in daylight, but it looks even better. Just trust me. Once the mirror was hung and the lights were on, it really was like a different bathroom. It looks so, so nice. I can’t even get over it. The mirror matches the sink cupboards and cabinet over the toilet perfectly, and the lights are so pretty. It really does brighten my morning just to walk in there. I’m pretty proud of Chris too. He really dug in his heels and got down to business every day on this project. Each day I’d come home from work and find him already working on the bathroom. He did a great job.
It inspired me to finish up some lingering projects too. I finally finished edging the ceiling that I repainted, and I sealed the grout, which was more intensive than I expected. It’s so close to being “done” (because we’d like to replace the whole thing someday, and I’m slowly learning that house projects are never done) I just want to bust out a few more little projects. I’m planning on re-grouting the wall tiles because I obviously can’t get enough. I’m itching to re-caulk the tub and shower. The job is sloppy. It’s not just that it looks bad, I’m worried it’s not water-tight, so I’d definitely like to get to work on that. Also, there’s these metal fixture built into the tile. They’re not going anywhere until we rip out all the tile. so I first painted them white, but I don’t love it especially with all the dark, espresso wood we’ve got going on in there, so I’m thinking of spray painting them all brushed nickel to match the light switch and outlet plates we installed which I think look so nice. Once those projects are completed, we want to replace a bunch of the doors in the house, bathroom included, and I’d love to replace the tub faucet and handles. Those will probably be more intensive, expensive projects, so they’re on the B-list for now. So, there’s a lot to go, but we’ve already come so far.
Actually, the fall has been a busy season for us on the home front. We’ve completed a fair amount of projects, and I plan on posting some pictures with the updates. I don’t always have great “before” shots because we haven’t really planned all the upgrades, and it’s hard to tell what’s going to end up as a “before” but I’ll try and piece something together. Coming soon…