Even I Was Surprised...

I imagine a few - if not many - of the tears that our seller cried upon returning to grab the rest of her belongings out of the garage can be attributed to what she saw lying along the side of the driveway. Curtains, drapes, blinds, wallpaper, carpet. Basically everything but the studs we threw away. And that included the circus themed bathroom below. In my defense, I offered to let her take any and all of her window treatments with her which isn't the norm when you sell a house. But I knew I wouldn't keep it and hated to see it end up in a dumpster. But in the dumpster it did go. And down her cheeks the tears did flow. Oops. 

Anyway, other than ripping down the curtains and mirror I left the rest of this bathroom untouched since possession day last month. I've been trying the to pull the trigger on wallpaper for at least one room in the house (If I had a limitless budget and no filter I'd wallpaper every single wall in the house. Major. Obsesssion.) But not having a single store in KC where I can go see things in person makes me a little trigger shy. I've ordered a few samples and bombed out. The stuff I know I'd love is out of our price range. Plus you either have to factor in the cost of labor to have it hung well, or factor in the probably poor quality of my first ever wallpaper hanging. I feel like I need a warm-up/test run before splurging and ruining it.

I know. My confidence runneth over. But in the last few days alone, I poorly hung a light fixture in our entry (which worked for a few days!!) only to have it blow the circuit (still not sure what I did wrong) and need to call an electrician. Then this morning, while trying to attach a diaper sprayer to our toilet I somehow loosened the wrong nut and had the entire 3 gallons of water in the back of the toilet come rushing out. Any wonder that my home improvement confidence is a little lacking?

Lest you still wonder, I also spilled a gallon of paint in Annie's closet on the six-day-old refinished hardwoods. And last night I knocked a big chunk of plaster out of our living room wall as I hung an expensive Restoration Hardware gold curtain rod. Definitely just paid to have that living room wall filled in, skim-coated, sanded etc. so the new hole is very, very unwelcome. And the curtain rod most certainly got scratched at some point during the whole ordeal. Why wouldn't it? Why in the world would I spend that much money only to have the damn thing go unscathed??

Shall I go on? Let's see, I need only mentally scan through each room in the house and I can easily pull out a DIY fail per room. For instance, I left a wet, but mostly clean paint roller on the vanity in the upstairs bath thinking I would replace the vanity, but have now decided to keep it and must thus live with the lovely paint stain. Basically, I'm retarded and my overzealous impatience are causing some major problems at home. I need to slow down and learn to leave some things to the professionals. Yikes. I hate that I have to write that sentence. I want so much to do it all myself. But there's no one better than a man at a his trade. And sometimes it's worth the extra money to have it done well. 

So if I ever get around to wallpaper, here are some inspiration shots that make my heart flutter...

sources found on my pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/kylie_scovell/pins/
Now, back to our bathroom. Ugh. I know some people like yellow. I'm just not one of them. And I know that in some homes yellow works to their charm. In fact, I know it's a perfect fit for some designs. And I know some shades are way better than others. But this home has not a single shade of yellow that works. And let me tell you friend, it has lots of shades of yellow. But I was prepared to live with it while I trudged on in my journey to find, buy and install wallpaper upstairs. 

Sometimes, though, John surprises me. He's coming around, kids. The one time couldn't-care-less-about-design husband is slowly getting roped into the whole home aesthetic thing. Mama's very impressed. And last week he persuaded me to just go ahead and paint the bathroom with some leftover paint for the interim. Given that I usually force a paint brush in his hand with a promise to make out with him later, the fact that he would actually propose and encourage painting was a little baffling. So I acquiesced despite my longing for wallpaper. 

And even I was surprised at what a little leftover paint could do...

I ought to slap a big ol' PROGRESS sign over these pictures because even since I took them on Friday a lot has changed. But for the sake of cranking out a post while I have some Internet at my parents' house, I'll just roll with what I've got. 

This bathroom - up until this morning's plumbing fail - has been one of those flawless afternoon redo's. Painting was quick. I didn't run out of paint. I didn't spill paint. I didn't accidentally paint the ceiling. Pat myself on the back.

(By the way, I've left nearly all the painting to John while I've stayed out of the house. But I've done a few of the small rooms given that they take so little time - less than an hour,- that they've had major ventilation going and that they were done using the more expensive, no-VOC, no-fume latex paint. Oil based is what's risky to a pregnant woman. They say there is no evidence of acrylic being harmful. But I've minimized my exposure nonetheless, amped up the air circulation and used the no-VOC paint just in case for the few times I've done the painting. So there you go for a quick little side note. I promise...I've been careful. Oh, and I look super sexy while I do it. Hello face mask.)

Back to the easiness of this upgrade. The electrical in the bathroom went up without a hitch. It was one of those days when you think you may have actually gotten the hang of this whole house flipping thing. And then the next days happens and you can't go five minutes without screwing something up.

But in addition to not being a frustrating experience, I'm also super stoked about this bathroom because it wasn't a bank breaker. Not even close. Like I said the paint was left over. We obviously already had all the painting supplies...brush, rollers, pan, etc. We re-used the original medicine cabinet. I found the sconce for above it on Ebay for half-price. The towel holder came from Urban Outfitters for a mere $14. The waffle shower curtain, rod and rings came from our condo.

Even though we planned to replace this sink vanity with a similar, but more modern one, we basically lost steam after installing the two downstairs and are learning to appreciate the datedness of this one. It works and it's white and that's good enough.

Now that more unpacking has occurred, the toothbrushes have moved to a different cup and a different spot. And an outlet cover was located at long last.

Our trip to Ikea in Denver left us with a few odds and ends that I guessed we'd want adding two bathrooms to the mix.

Slight rewind, here's what the bathroom was looking like post-paint. No light fixture on the window wall. Because the electrical box was hung so close to the soffit that I was having a hard time finding one that would not only fit, but work with the George Kovacs one from Ebay. Plus I couldn't decided if I really wanted another mirror to hang there. Mainly because that meant buying another mirror.

But to my sheer joy, unpacking later that afternoon I came across a fixture I bought from the Habitat Restore last year for $4 which I had then promptly forgot all about. Holla! Not only was it totally in line with where I wanted to take the bathroom, but the fixture itself was from the same era as the one I took down. So, all the hardware matched, and I did nothing more than attach the wires before we were golden. Literally. And figuratively. No installing a new mounting plate. No searching for screws that didn't make it home from the Restore. Just solid success. And icing on the cake...the wires from the wall were neither white, nor black. So I hadn't a clue which was hot and which was neutral. I guessed. And would you believe that the Lord above was on my side and I guessed right. In yo face. Modern day electrical miracle.

The other miracle you see below is the precious baby in that picture frame taken back at our townhouse rental in Branson. Couldn't love her more. Even on days like today when she's a total brat. :) Gotta love the terrible twos. And really I suppose that I should be thankful that she wants to fix her own lunch so I don't have to do it anymore. But somehow her insisting on making her own peanut butter and jelly sandwich is the absolute OPPOSITE of helpful to mommy. I must learn to welcome stickiness into my home and heart in order to make it through this stage of life. Purple jelly shall become my new best friend. It shall. It shall. It shall.

Anyway, as for the jewelry box labelled garbage in the shot above, before I begin sounding too green (and too cheap) I found it in a pile in our old condo's basement that was gathered together to be taken to the dumpster. I think someone was moving out and didn't want it. I forgot to take a close up of it. But it's leather with an embedded sort of Moroccan design thing happening. So no true dumpster diving went down. I'm not that eco-friendly.

And the clothing hamper that you can barely see is one of those unlikely scores that you never knew you'd like so much. I probably bought it ten years ago when I was heavy into Shabby Chic and it made the cut for it's major shabbiness. It was labelled "potato basket?" at a flea market and I bought it for less than $10. For a while I had it lined and used it for fabric scraps, but for the last 7+ years it's been our dirty clothes basket. It's perfect in that it can breathe and in that it, oddly, doesn't rub off any sort of rust on our clothes. Plus it has handles. And for whatever reason, it probably makes my list for top ten favorite things I own. I can't explain it. I just love it.

What you can also barely see and what I also forgot to take a picture of is our new Q-tip holder. My husband is nothing if not a Q-tip lover. Weird obsession. He must clean his ears daily. Is that normal? Maybe I'm the weird one. Anyway, it was basically his only request. Make the Q-tips accessible. And what better way to make them accessible than to dump two boxes into an old sangria carafe that my mom was going to pitch because it leaked. You can see it hiding beneath the Ikea mirror in the picture above.

And I can't end without giving a major shout out to the major storage going on in this bathroom. Although we have two full baths in the house, this is the only one upstairs and the only we'll be using on a daily basis as a family. Oh, I just can't say enough about all the storage. A closet AND a two-door, deep cabinet AND a medicine cabinet. Plus an odd little cubby where our extra toilet paper will be living. Anyway, I'm pumped about finally having a spot for towels and sheets. Instead of being tucked inside this old chest. It's glorious. So glorious. And oh happy day that I also found a shelf deep enough for a big, random drawer my mom brought home from an antique store years ago. It now holds our hair dryer, curling iron, etc. I can't tell you how many times I almost threw that odd drawer away. But thanks be to God, it now has a purpose.

And that is that. Except I'm going to take a few more pictures and do a follow up later this week. You're probably wondering what more can I say about these 25 square feet? And what more could you possibly care to read about? Well for one, I can tell you about the amazing music-playing shower head my dad won at a golf tournament and gave to us. And I can tell you about my plans for the window and the vanity top.

But for now, I'm just forever grateful to John for persuading me to paint the bathroom after all. Wallpaper is still in it's future. But now the future can wait a little and maybe in the meantime I can deliver a baby. For reals. When is this kid coming out of my body??

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