Thursday, March 5, 2015

Living a Life of Vanity

This is truly one of the most wonderful times of the year. I am referring, of course, to Tax Return Season. The season that allows you to accomplish that thing or things you can't do for the rest of the year. The season of promise, hope, and at least for us, home improvement.

For Scott and I, we used our tax return in many ways. One way has been overdue for a while.

Our master bathroom has always reminded me a bit of a men's gym bathroom. The sink attached directly to the wall with no cabinet. The tile was old and a horrible color blue. The tub was practically stained yellow. It needed some work.

Avid readers of the blog will recall that I have already painted the tile and walls in there. It was a nice fix for a while, but unfortunately, it did not last. Using the sample pots of paint meant that they were matte finished. When we took showers, the paint would literally drip from the walls, leaving marks and really gross residue all over our tiny bathroom. Besides, I liked the color, but I was never in love with it. It was better than what was there, but it still wasn't at the top of its game.

Let's just say it still needed tweaking.

When we found out what our tax return looked like, we were able to say, "Okay, it's vanity time". Nothing could have made me happier than the day I realized that this bathroom had a future. To prep it, though, I wanted to get rid of the green. I was sitting in the living room the other day and I thought, "I bet the blue paint from behind the TV (of which I have half a gallon left) would look great in there". The dark color would be a nice contrast against the white tiles in such a light space plus, it was a gloss finish. One paintbrush purchase later and I was on my first step to a new room.

I even took some time out to fix our switch box. It had only ever been secured on one side, so I put a screw through the loose side. This meant that every time I unplugged something, the whole outlet wouldn't come out of the wall anymore.

It's the little things.

At this point, I had been shopping online for a vanity that fit our needs. We were aiming for under $200 with a lot of storage space, a white top, and a small footprint. I found this Glacier Bay vanity on Home Depots's website and I knew that it was the one.

Unfortunately, a couple of days later, it wasn't on the site anymore. My friend Laurie and I rushed over to the Depot and found that there was only one left. In Lexington. And it was the floor model. I was so happy they had any left, I went for it. I didn't see anything else I liked and to be frank, anything would be better than this.

Scott took little time in removing the old sink. It was attached to the wall through the tile with a large iron bracket, so once it was unhooked from the water and drainage pipes, it just lifted off the wall. We then took the faucet and drain out to reuse them on the new vanity. They were in perfect condition, so there was no use in spending extra money.

It's worth noting that during this bit of disassembly/reassembly, we had an audience watching from our bedroom.

Left to right: Scooter and Loki (who we were dogsitting) and Sam (Leela was in another room)

We brought in the new vanity and set it in place, making sure that it allowed access to all the water lines. We ended up having to purchase longer water supply lines because it is taller than the old sink. Scott also found a drain extender that looks like a bendy straw, allowing it to maneuver slightly to accommodate the space in the cabinet.

Once it was installed, we couldn't believe what an impact it made.

It has a toilet paper holder! There has never been a toilet paper holder in our bathroom before! And it's the correct height, so you don't feel like you're straining your back to wash your hands or brush your teeth. The couple of inches of counter space that surround the sink have acres of potential usable space compared to zero counter space with the old sink. Best of all is the cool shape of the sink entry and the awesome added storage of a slide out drawer at the top.

The whole room was really coming together, but there was something missing. I have been wanting to bring more plants into my home, but finding places for them where they will receive enough sun has been difficult. It occurred to be that a hanging plant in the bathroom would be a great addition to the space as well as a nice start to my indoor plant collection. Mom and I purchased a small $5 plant at Lowes which I then placed in a $5 ceramic planter I found at TJ Max. I plugged the hole in the bottom using a rubber wine cork and some caulking (at my Dad's suggestion). After purchasing some hemp twine, I followed this tutorial to create the hanger.

When Scott got home, he anchored and assembled the hook in the ceiling. Then I just planted the plant and hung it up. I love how it makes the room feel.

The whole room together feels so nice that I'm almost afraid to use it. I feel like someone is going to knock on the door while I'm taking a shower and tell me to get out of their bathroom. It just feels unreal how, in under a week, it has gone from feeling like a men's gymnasium locker room to an honest to goodness residential bath.

We also have more improvements that have taken place in the last week, but I'm saving those for another post. Make sure you like us on Facebook so you know when the next post is! It'll be a real SPLASH!

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