Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Hall Bath, before & after

How about I answer a question or two first?

Aren't you scared of the white couches? No! IKEA furniture is slipcovered so they can be washed. And in all honesty, our house has been FILTHY with the construction ongoing for the last month and they are not really that dirty. The couch cushions could use a wash, because, ahem, a certain person (moi) ate chocolate there, but they are livable.

What happened to the gold couch (and everything else)? This house had an incurably bad smell. I mean wear a gas mask, condemn the house, bad. I don't mean "oh someone needs to clean the litter pan" bad.

The photos you are seeing are so much more than smack a coat of paint on the walls and call it good.

We first had to throw everything in here away. Everything. It took 6 40-cubic yard dumpsters and 1 20-cubic yard dumpster to get rid of it all. The house itself has been completely gutted. That included having to lose something like 50% of the drywall and everything else. (Down to the window sills, door jams, light switches, etc.) Then everything had to be sprayed with Kilz, including the floor joists from the basement up. After we moved in I discovered that the dust inside the air ducts still smelled bad and I paid a fortune to have those cleaned and sanitized. Last week I realized that the insulation up in the attic smells bad.

Sigh. It really never ends when I say it smelled.

I have some glassware in a box that I packed here 5 months ago and when you open the box it smells BAD.

It's a long sordid tale about how and why it smelled so bad, and honestly, I am not sure I am ready to go there just yet. I will say that in some ways I wish, I wish, I wish I had pushed harder to get my grandfather into a nursing facility and in other ways I am happy that he was able to die at home like he wanted. I suppose we all do what we have to do in the moment and we deal with the consequences later. And I am still sorting out the emotions of this journey.

Anyway. We are into the "free house" for a metric ton of $$$$. We have essentially rebuilt the house. The only things that remained are the front door (which was fairly new, installed by my dad) and the bathtub in the bathroom I am about to show you.

I will NEVER look at HGTV the same again. Those glossy 30 minute programs do not even begin to tell the story of making a house over. LOL
So, here's what was the hall bathroom. That is black and white wallpaper in the world's smallest bathroom. The bathtub surround went up a few years ago to cover tiles that were rotting off the wall.
And my beautiful new subway tile. The grout turned out a lot darker than I expected, but I am over it now.
Fancy new toilets and pretty shower curtain.
View taken from inside the tub. Horrible gold tiles, black (!) sink top and a lovely view of the old laundry chute. (Which is now gone and that wall is part of my big new linen closet.)

More cottagey sink and big new medicine chest. I realize now I forgot to take a picture of my fancy light fixture in there! Oppps.

Ok, back to work with me. I have to get more stuff put away so I can show you more. :-)


  1. Anonymous10:10 AM

    I love what you have done with the house. I think you will like the darker grout on the subway tiles because they won't show dirt as much. Everything looks so good! I bet you are ready to kick back and enjoy it.

  2. That's quite the transformation!! I get the "smell" thing. When we moved into my grandparents house, the smell just lingered EVERYTHING. I totally understand having to pitch everything. It's just a necessary evil. Keep the pics coming!!

  3. Just beautiful. I have a feeling I'll be leaving this comment a lot. (Just so you know I'm laughing with you and not at you: Our first house was an 1856 fixer-upper, which we thought would be a blast to fix up because we'd watched 'This Old House' for years. Boatloads of money later ....)

  4. It's so interesting for me to see all of this. We did the same thing a few years ago and I felt so many of the same emotions, as did Jeff's family. It was hard to strike a balance between honoring the past and making the home ours. Of course, we didn't have smell to deal with. Just a LOT of orange and shag carpet and wallpaper and linoleum over hardwood floors. I really love what you've done.

  5. Looking good! I love seeing what you are doing... the transformation is amazing.

  6. Wow Sarah, that's a great transformation! I love the subway tiles!

  7. Is this where you did that neat tile treatment that looks like Grandmother's garden appliques?

    Pretty! Love the subway tiles & the new shower curtain!


Hi there. What say you?