January 16, 2010

New year, big projects.

Last year was the year of getting the shorehouse infrastructure in place. Installing a central air conditioning system in a hundred-ish year-old home was our big project for 2009, and while I don't have any pretty pictures to show (there's not much pretty about duct work and air compressors), we couldn't be more pleased with our little HVAC that could.

Since the majority of the installation work was done in our half-finished attic, this has left us with a third floor in need of some love. Love in the form of major duct-hiding, laminate-floor lifting, bathroom-relocating, ceiling-lifting, good times. So to kick-off the New Year, we spent last weekend shopping everything from upscale showrooms (I never knew just how expensive a toilet could be), to local mom and pops, to the trifecta of home makeover big box stores -- IKEA, Lowe's and Home Depot.

Do you know what IKEA is like on a weekend? Bang your head against the wall really hard for ten minutes and you'll get a similar sensation. But I love their $90 vessel sink:

And I like these faucets:

Mike has placed me in charge of finding a small vintage piece to potentially rest a vessel sink on. I've accepted the challenge. The duo will (hopefully) go in a teeny tiny half bath on our first floor (another project)which currently looks like this:

It is as we inherited it. There is so much stuff in there it kind of looks like ten pounds of potatoes in a five pound sack. The goal is to re-do this room on a $500 budget. Since I love me a thrifty challenge, I'm embracing this one (and leaving the monstrous attic to the menfolk).

After looking at sheets and sheets of tile, we both keep coming back to the old school, black and white hexagonal ones. And the price is right, too.

Our inspiration is the old floors you can still sometimes find on the Lower East Side of Manhattan (an odd inspiration, I admit). We'll grout in a pewter-color to add a little something-something.

Today we're headed to the Jersey Shore Home Show, where we'll be able see everything from toilets to tile under one roof. Even Top Design's Eddie Ross will be in on the action.

If you're looking to get your house in tip-top shape for 2010, Reclaimed Home put together a fantastic list of "all those little jobs you've been putting off around the house." So embrace the New Year and the caulk gun, and get sealing!

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Ed note: I am overwhelmed by the kindness of everyone who's commented, linked to and bid on my tote bag to support the Haiti earthquake victims. My heart is filled with love and hope. The bidding has gone higher than I ever expected so I'll update the post tomorrow with more goodies to add to the bag.


Keetha Broyles said...

I've never been to Ikea, weekend or otherwise. I wait with great anticipation to see the new and improved bathroom - - - AND I wish you luck and happy shopping for the RIGHT pieces.

Anonymous said...

See you soon!!

Eddie + Jaithan

Blondie's Journal said...

I love how you love a challenge and look forward to seeing the bath progress. I already love the flooring!


Renovation Therapy said...

Love the Ikea sink. The last faucet pictured immediately made me scream "I don't want to wash all those grooves!". So, umm, don't ask me to. OK?

LOVE the b/w tiles!

Pinch Jaithan's bottom for me. I have suppa crush on him.

Purple Flowers said...

Can't wait to see the progress you have challenged yourself with. I love old homes; they have such character.

desiree said...

Ikea on the weekend???? You are the bravest woman I know! Love that black and white tile myself--The first sink is my fav--I look at that tiny one and can only imagine the mess my boys would make!

Maureen said...

We are in the middle of our master bath redo. What a mess! But I was excited to see what you liked, and -little surprise - we like the same things! Went to check out faucets tonight. Not as much fun as I thought! Why do the big box places put their things up so high. It makes my neck hurt.

Cant wait to see what you pick.

And was that Eddie commenting on your blog?!?! Famous girl, you!

Weef! said...


Laura: I KNOW that you are up to this challenge and I can't wait to see how it all turns out!! I love the hexagonal white tile (and wish that I had used it in my bathroom makeover...) Above is a link to my blog where I have a post about our bathroom remodel. If you are getting a new toilet and you need a small one I do recommend the Kohler Rialto-- fyi, it has a 10 inch hole. If you need a 12 inch you'll find the market is much more limited (ugh.)

I love the idea of a vessel sink and a cool vintage cabinet for it to rest in!! Looking forward to updates and pictures!!

Leigh of Bloggeritaville said...

HAHA Bang your head against the wall! LOL!
I couldnt handle it. Though I do wish we had an Ikea!
The vessle sink, so pretty...but have you used a sink that is above the cabinet? Not very functional. Just an FYI. Its difficult to wash your face and brush your teeth. And forgetabout it if you have kids....

Tales from Bloggeritaville

Maya said...

I spared myself the IKEA on the weekend experience! We bought our kitchen isle there, and I'm in love with it! Will post my new kitchen eventually, still this and that to do. Does it ever end!?

Anonymous said...


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rh said...

I love the Ikea sinks! But before buying anything new, I always check out Craigs and other used merch places like Build it Green and ReStores, etc. Could save ya a ton of $$!

And thanks for the link love, which I just noticed 2 days later because I've been away from the computer. :)

JennyMac said...

Went to Ikea on Friday. During the week it is mildy better here. LOL.

I LOVE that sink. Its gorgeous.

black eyed susans kitchen said...

Okay, so I love that first sink!!! You have the best taste.
♥, Susan

Kwana said...

Good luck. I can't wait to see how it all works out. I'm dying to redo my bathrooms.