Wednesday, March 28, 2018

In Praise of Expertise Part 2...Almost Done!

The bathroom reno is nearly finished.
All that is left to do is choose window treatments and accessories.
When I walk in.....I just look around and smile!
While My last post was all about using experts to help choose the components for our bathroom remodel.....
This one will be in praise of the people who actually made it happen.



 I almost feel guilty sharing all about the new space since we really didn't DO anything ourselves. 

It kinda feels like I am doing one of those...."look at me" deals.

So this post will NOT JUST be about how gorgeous the new space is.
It will be about....why it made sense to (gasp) spend money to get this done!

  1. Remember that Mr. S just had his ankle replaced less than 6 months ago?  Can you even imagine him trying to go up and down the steps as many times as would have been necessary.
  2. Our contractor did an amazing job of scheduling.  Because all of the people that he worked with had a relationship with him, they came when he asked and made adjustments when necessary. THAT SAVED TIME!
  3. We were able to use the discounts available to the contractor for many of the components of the project. THAT SAVED $$$$ !
  4. There were many things that needed specialized skills that we would probably have had to hire done anyway!


























ANYWAY.....during the month long process....I don't think a day went by that we didn't say "THANK GOODNESS we are NOT doing this ourselves.  

So in good old renovation show terminology......it's time for the big reveal!



Ahhh....the freestanding soaking tub that I have been dreaming about since we started is every bit as beautiful as I imagined! Taking out the old surround for the whirlpool tub that I never used freed up an enormous amount of room for the shower.  There used to be a soffitt over the shower.  Removing that makes the shower seem even bigger.  The custom glass is seamless.  The "experts" were able to install this in less than 2 hours.  


We found these tilting mirrors on Amazon of all places.  They look just like the ones in the lighting store where we found these great fixtures.  When the contractor actually "complained" about how difficult the installation of the mirrors was....I knew that a DIY session would have been extremely painful for Mr. S.!

I love the squared off under mount sinks.  The glossy white counter is a dream compared to the old molded "marble" that it replaces.  This really big vanity was another reason we were glad we had experts to rely on.....it is 78 inches long and came in one big piece.  Imagine us trying to haul that fro,

We still need to find window treatments and some towel bars and other stuff...and I imagine there will be some DIY with those things....

Less than a month total time....
Little or no hassles..... 
It really was worth the expense to save time, headaches, trips to Home Depot, arguments etc. etc. etc.

But the REAL proof of value....
The Sweetwater Grandboy gives his seal of approval!

Have A Wonderful Day!

Friday, March 16, 2018

March Madness: Bunnies and Leprechauns!

March Madness is here.




That means we are doing the schizophrenic switching between channels to catch all the action of basketball games between teams that we don't really care about. Alas our Gopher men had the worst year ever....but cheers to the women who play today.








March Madness is also about some schizophrenic decor issues....
you know....the clash between the Easter Bunnies and the St. Patrick's Day Leprechauns. 

Sadly, those Leprechauns are always out of  the race in the first round!
The Easter Bunnies are still in the race for the next rounds of play!
But for now, I thought you would like to see the highlights of the decor for both teams.


Team Leprechaun!
The components:
A print of The river dyed green in Chicago.
Copper accents with a Shamrock plant in one.
Some Celtic looking plaques.
A collage of photos from our trip this fall.
The coolest rock ever.....that looks so much like a potato that you could wrap it in foil and fool someone....not that I would ever do such a thing.

Team Bunnies!

 This little Dedham art pottery bunny sits happily in front of a framed page from a calendar.  You gotta love that floppy eared fellow.


On the mantel, there is another framed bunny along with the garden sculptures and some golden eggs for fun.  The vase and candle stick components will stay after the bunnies go back into storage.


 All the little stuffed animals the kids have gotten over the years come out.  The Grandboy and Grandgirl are sure to enjoy them this year.

There you have my subtle decor for both Team Leprechaun and Team Bunny.
Hope you enjoyed....

Now off to watch more Basketball....but before I go....

Here is my DIY tip of the day: Check out this website: CANVA.
When you sign up FOR FREE, you have access to create fabulous designs that you can download.  I used it to create this photo collage.  So fun!  Just imagine the possibilities!


 May the luck of the Irish be with you!

Have a Great Day!

 
 


Friday, March 2, 2018

When NOT to DIY....In Praise of Expertise! Part One!

Mr. S and I are confirmed DIYers.
Even if it means many trips to the hardware store....and lots of trial and error....we LOVE the feeling of a project well done by US!



A few months ago, we decided that our master bathroom had gotten pretty shabby after 25+ years of hard use.




 It wasn't AWFUL...just outdated with a few spots that were down right worn out!













We considered the option of doing a lot of the work ourselves.
We looked at the scope of the project.
We knew that Mr. S was still in recovery mode from his ankle replacement.
Even though we knew it would be more expensive to let the
experts take care of it...we GULP...decided that the DIY route wasn't in the cards for this remodel.

So....we hired a general contractor and put together a plan and got an estimate for the work.
The sticker shock was a bit hard to take....and then we thought about what was involved and decided to go for it!

It turns out that in this case....spending the money and relying on the experts was not just sensible....it probably was a pretty cost effective way to go.

Let me tell you why!


The first set of experts that we used were the people at the Tile Shop.
We went in....told them what our vision was.....and let them lead the way!

In less than an hour.....with Mr. S wheeling his way through the shop on his tricycle...we were able to choose floor tile, shower tile and all the additional pieces.  The advice we got was superb.  Our "expert" listened to our "wants" for elegant mid-range tile that would stand the test of time.

 Then it was off to find the fixtures.....
We started at the logical spots Home Depot and Menards.  That was not the way to go!  While there were many options...it was too overwhelming to put the package together.  Especially since I had my heart set on a free standing tub that was a good quality.  Many hours of on-line shopping and wandering around in a fog at the big box store....we headed to Fergusens.  This is a bath and kitchen source with a great show room.  We made an appointment for a consultation.  We shared our budget and design parameters and....Two hours later.....our salesperson guided us through the process and we had the whole kit and caboodle selected.  We got EXPERT advice and everything matches!  He even found the perfect free standing tub for way less money than I thought it would cost.


Lessons learned:
  • Do your homework....so you can tell those experts what you do like and what you don't like. This does mean lots of looking on line to see what is available.  That time pays off when you are actually making selections.
  • Set a price range and be willing to tell your expert what it is.  There is no shame in sticking to a budget.....but....if you fall in love with something see if there is something less expensive to be found.
  • Don't obsess....the choices were overwhelming....but really...once we decided on the gray marble look and the subway tile we could really shop price because the high end and low end aren't all that different.  As long as you talk quality....you can find a mid-range product that will work.  Making the decision to stay with one tile source and one fixture source saved us not just time....but money.
  • Listen and Learn...we found out so many things from these people about all the little things that were necessary and available...and how to save money as well.  If we had set out to do this without the advice we would have been making lots of trips to fix our mistakes.  Instead...we were able to have everything ready for the project to begin and stay on schedule.
Speaking of SCHEDULE....my next post will take you through the actual construction and demonstrate how using experts made sense for us!
Would you believe that the whole project started a month ago and we are only waiting for the vanity counter to be completely finished?


 I can't wait to show you how it turned out!
Stay tuned....



Have A Great Day!