Watermelon (colored) Birthday Chair


You’ll notice that I’ve (yet again) updated the look of the blog. To be honest, it’s still probably not done – gosh, I feel like no project is ever really finished with me. There is always room for improvement. But loving this layout for now.

On to another project. For the past few birthdays my mother has had Allie sit in a chair to open her presents while having the gift giver sit next to her. I’ve found this little tradition to be so adorable – this way everyone knows who the gift is from and it allows the giver to feel special sitting up there with the b-day girl. Well, seeing as we were decking out this event belovely style, after passing by a chair on the curb, I couldn’t pass up making Allie her very own birthday chair!

And here’s what I started with:

With the help of my work gloves (I can’t stand the feel of sandpaper so I wear them quite often!) I got to sanding down the chair to get any extra finish off along with old sticky stuff, and/or dirt.

After I quick wipe down and dry off with my amazing microfiber cloth she was ready for color!

Boom. Watermelon. Perfect with our color scheme for the party. Miss Pinkalicious loves her some pink.

After the first coat I had some time to kill while it dried, luckily I had this guy keeping me company out back. Such a cutie.

After my second coat on the chair was all dried up I flipped it over to make sure every angle got covered…

After the chair was perfectly pink watermelon it was all ready for some pizzazz. Oh, yea…lots of ribbons! I picked up some ribbon from Michaels – specifically 3 different rolls of 3 different pink prints.

…and tied the first print on one side of the chair. I just tied the ribbon into a knot and faced the excess off to the one side filling in the void.
And I did the same for the opposite side..

Voila! Now for the center…

I got more of a shear ribbon in a more purpley-pink color to stand out in the center more. These ribbons I cut longer than the sides since I was putting less ties and needed the length to tie them into bows.


Just love the way it turned out! And the best part is now she has a chair that is clearly Allie’s! I planned for her to keep it to have as a special chair to use for every birthday, or for a tea party or pretend Barbie playhouse… haha – the kid has quite an imagination and anything pink she can find a place for.



The Lovely Life: an Etsy Shop


I know that I just posted about me finally opening an Etsy shop, and didn’t even add a link. Well that was kind of on purpose. So I could dedicate an entire post just to unveiling it! Whoopee!!

I’ve been quite obsessed with Etsy for quite some time now, and have thought about opening up a shop since basically day 1 of discovering the fantastical site. And the more projects I do, the more I think to myself “maybe other people would like this too”.

But it wasn’t until my wedding that I really decided to take the plunge. SO many people were interlay too kind and constantly paid me compliments during my wedding of all my DIY items that made my day special.  Enter confidence booster from left stage please. So I did it. I made a store. It still needs a lot of editing (as in header – I’m not 100% pleased with my quick design) – plus I kinda hate that I just used my purchasing Etsy login – not knowing that my shop name would come up as that name. But whatevs. It’s a start.

That being said my site is:  http://www.etsy.com/shop/laurenraus  and I’ve called my shop The Lovely Life (as the title to this blog post suggests haha). There’s still a lot of crafts and designs I’ve done that I should be adding (yes mom, I know that I should really put the custom abc book I made for Allie on there – it is quite amazing if I do say so myself) but admittedly it’s kind of hard figuring out how much the supplies cost + how much time it takes me to make it + an appropriate profit. But I’m getting the hang of it. Luckily, I’ve been doing watercolor paintings for realtors for years, so I already had my price lists for those. Anyway, keep checking back to my Etsy site to see what other items I’ve added. If I add anything really significant (maybe like that tease of an ‘abc book’ I just mentioned!) I’ll be sure to mention it here on the blog!

When I was still in school, my Grandma always would say I went to the “Savannah College of Arts and Crafts” …maybe she wasn’t too far off! haha!  Here’s a toast to me crafting!



A Flag Tutorial


Man oh man! Have I been busy! I’m going to try my darn hardest to post some of my projects I’ve been working on lately. Trust me when I say – there have been a lot of them. From house projects, to Belovely Events parties and photoshoots, to my very own Etsy shop (yup! finally…more on that later) and even setting up a Belovely Shop on Etsy. Phew! And that’s not even the start of it…

But first things first. On September 30th my sister turned 6 (see my birthday shout out post here), and of course Belovely had a hand in the decor! Allie asked for a ‘cat’ party, which we then adapted to a Pet Shop Party (with her blessing) to appease the other kids who may not have the same passion for cats as Allie does. (Yes, she even got a kitten from our parents for her birthday! She named her Pink Diamond – pictures to come!) And obviously this Pet Shop Party came with DIY projects! Today I’m going to share with you how I made flag banners out of felt and ribbon. A $6 project. Yes, 3 full strands of banners to span the width of a dining room all for just 6 buckaroos. The cheapest and biggest impact ever.

After being quite obsessed with flags (and even posting about the current trend on our Belovely Blog here) I wanted to add the lighthearted and festive decor element to this Pet Shop Party.  One trip to Michaels and I got some felt pieces and cheap ribbon and got to work:

First I cut the felt into triangles with this template (which I made in Photoshop – I wanted to be sure to have equal sized triangles and at the same time make them as large as possible. I was able to get 2 full triangles out of each sheet of felt (as well as smaller triangles which I evened out and made a strand of lots of small flags – unfortunately didn’t document this process, but once you get the leftovers, I’m sure your creative mind will catch on…)

I then took to my hole punch which you’ll notice that from my art school days I had at one point purchased this fancy dancy one (no idea what for!) but I loved the non traditional circle cut and figured ribbon would thread through much cleaner.

I punched two holes (about an inch and a half in from each end) and got to threading my ribbon. Note: I used an entire reel of ribbon (I believe 3 or 4 yards?) as to leave a bit on each end of the flags so I made sure it could span the room and I had something to tie off with

And here is a sneak peak of the party set up complete with flags! Unfortunately it was rainy on the day of the party (boo!) but we initially planned to hang them from a beautiful arbor on my parent’s back deck. But, as event planners we know that if there is one thing we can’t control it’s the weather. So we made the best of it and pulled our magic off indoors.


Can’t wait to share more details from this event! Not to mention the changes going on in the home! Hint: projects involve hammers, paint, lighting, and possibly a stencil…though not all at the same time!


My Labor FULL Weekend – Part 2

Alright, let’s finish up this table project!

So when I was dreaming up this table for those 2 long years I kept envisioning it being finished in a gloss white. I guess I really wanted to give a rustic table a modern and sleek look. However, once we finished building Ryan finally asked what color I was going to paint it and he threw out black legs as an option. Oh no. Now I’m doubting myself. So naturally I went to my trusty Pinterest to get some inspiration.

I knew that I wanted to keep wood chairs at the table, and possibly collect other styles to create a mixed matched look, so I tried to look for the vibe and color scheme that I thought would best fit my table project and my home.



As expected, I found myself attracted to a monochromatic, beige and white dining room. (and I apologize for the tiny pictures, but you get the point). Although, I did notice that in some of these images I did like the wood top and since I have more of a parsons leg than a spindle, maybe finishing the bottom really sleek and simple and doing the top differently might be the perfect combination to make this project a little more transitional and a little less french country. So I said my ‘thank yous’ to Pinterest and continued onto painting the base of the table white.



I started by taping off the door part so no primer or paint got on it while I painted the fresh new wood white. I started with some Kilz Latex Water-Based Primer and then had my table looking like this..



I put two coats of primer on the legs and “apron” of the table. I felt no need to paint the underside of the table since it wasn’t going to be seen. (Although, Allie, my little sister, pointed out that Cedar might be under the table and look up and it won’t be pretty for him….Ah, such a cute kid…) After the primer was all dry I moved onto off the shelf (no color added) Semi-Gloss white paint and added another two coats of this paint to the table.



You’ll notice that I painted the underside of the extra top plank white as well. At the time I still thought I was going to paint the whole piece white and in retrospect I maybe should have waited until I definitely figured out what I was going to do, but the underside just needed to be finished, and really, having a gloss white finish underneath makes fingerprints and whatnot a little easier to clean. (I don’t know why I picture my future kids sticking gum underneath the table and being happy I finished it in this way cause gum would be easier to remove on a gloss finish…..gum? at dinner? …I know it doesn’t make sense…I dunno what to tell ya, I’m weird sometimes)

So before I had Ryan help me flip this puppy over to start working on the top, I had to seal and finish off the bottom of the table. Enter Water-Based Polycrylic.



Now, if you’re refinishing a piece of furniture, make sure you use WATER-BASED poly, as regular poly will yellow on white painted furniture. I opted to get the clear semi-gloss finish instead of the high gloss. Why? No idea. It just seemed right. The finish would still be kinda glossy so I knew it’d still be easy to clean and wouldn’t be insanely glossy and take away from the transitional feel.

Two more thin and even coats of poly on the base, and it was finally done!



And now onto figuring out what to do with the top piece. Since I initially thought of painting it white, I thought I had to at least see what that option would look like. And after taking a look at the colors around my home and some of the colors in the door, I thought maybe staining the wood piece grey might blend nicely with the door. So onto my good ole trusty Photoshop…


And after some flipping back and forth between the two photoshopped pictures, and talking it over with Ryan, we decided that the grey option definitely was the better choice. Even though the white would feel nice and modern, it made the door stand out in a  ‘what the heck is this door doing here’ kind of way.  So it was on to Home Depot to get some stain!


I grabbed a pamphlet of Behr stains at Home Depot and opened it up to see a lot of grey stain colors. I stood in the store, wanting to leave with a stain and not spend the time traveling back home to hold up these tiny little swatches next to the door to figure out which grey worked best just to then travel all the way back to HD to purchase it. But the massive amount of grey options was a little overwhelming. Luckily I took a picture of the table on my iPhone and referenced the picture when selecting a stain. I knew I wanted a mid grey tone that wasn’t too cool or wasn’t too warm. THEN I had the internal debate between getting the solid vs the semi transparent color. Gah! I hate making decisions sometimes! Thank god I had my mom expecting me at her house in 10 minutes so I had to make a decision fast. I selected Pewter in semi-transparent and picked up a tiny little sample can (costing less that $3! Score!), got my color mixed and left HD confident in my decision.


Note that the color with the pen park is the one I chose, however the paint mixer expert at HD pointed out to me that the color wasn’t Dark Gray (as I asked for) but that the names were on the bottom and that the color I was pointing to was in fact Pewter. Whatever, so the spacing makes the color label look closer to the one below it than the one above it. Way to be confusing Behr. Regardless, I left with the color I wanted and got two thin and even coats of stain on the last piece of unfinished wood.




After the stain was all dry, all the table top needed was some Poly finish. I put two coats of the same Water-Based Poly on both the stained wood as well as the old door and was finally done with the painting/staining/poly-ing portion of this project!

Ryan then helped me place the table (once it was all dry) in the dining room and here you can see the (almost) final product!



All this table needs now is a nice glass top to finish it off. (I’m currently waiting on a few more quotes to get the best price!)  And now to the project breakdown:

Old Door: $0 (already owned)

Wood purchased for rest of table construction + wood filler and screws: Roughly $70 (somehow this receipt went missing)

Primer: $0 (already owned – but roughly $20)

Behr Semi-Gloss White Paint: $0 (already owned – but roughly $10)

Water-Based Polycrylic: $18

Pewter Behr Semi-Transparent Stain: $3

Glass Top: TBD


So far this dining table has cost me roughly $91 dollars. Definitely beats spending hundreds of dollars for even an Ikea dining table. Plus, every day that we eat at this table we’ll be able to bask in the glow of our success – I still can’t believe it turned out so good! I couldn’t be more pleased, and it turned out exactly as I imagined it would two years ago when I trucked the door home with me. Ha! Take that crazy looks from mom and Ryan!  And I’ll also mention that I even have enough left over wood to make a bench! Woop! Woop! More projects. Although I can’t quite decide if I’d want the bench at the table or if it could be put to better use upstairs in the hallway…. hmm….

Now my dining room is certainly screaming for a new chandelier, this I know. I can’t seem to decide if I should go with a more traditional chandelier, a rustic and farmhouse look chandelier or a more modern pendant chandelier. This may call for more photoshopping. Not to mention my $50 buffet desperately needs to be refinished as well. Oh and I need some curtains…man the list just gets longer and longer (Ryan I hope you stopped reading already!).  But for now I’m very very happy with my new dining table, and I’ll be sure to update with new pictures (and prices) once I get a glass top on it to really finish it off!




My Labor FULL Weekend – Part 1

According to my husband, I woke up this past Saturday and just decided that I was we were going to make a table. But truth be told, I’ve been planning on building a dining room table for the past two years. Yes, I said 2 years. Holy bananas! How on earth have I let this project go that long!? The answer? Nerves.

Two years ago at one of my past jobs, my boss was gutting and redoing a carriage house and had two beautiful old doors out waiting for trash. I of course saw a gleaming pile of projects! So that day I drove home with one of the doors strapped to the top of my Jeep. (Insert as many “Lauren what the heck are you doing” faces as possible from both Ryan and my mother).

My goal? To make that puppy my dream dining room table. And so yes, this weekend I decided it was about time to get cracking on the building and stop stressing about how it was going to turn out. (labor day weekend shmayborday weekend). So after a bunch more of those weird looks from Ryan, I finally convinced him to help me and off to Home Depot we went.

Now, I didn’t just go diving into a new project with out a plan (though Ryan seemed to think otherwise when we left the house and I had forgotten to plug in the drill to charge – man will he do anything to try to get out of helping me and my crazy ideas!). I had taken all the measurements and thanks to Ana-White had a good idea of how to construct the support for the table. As an interior designer, I of course had to try to build this thing in my head and on paper first, so I ended up with a (to scale) drawing of the underside construction of the table. I then made a list of the wood sizes and cuts needed so we new exactly how much to purchase.



Since the door measured only 28″ wide, I decided to add an asymmetrical plant to one side to add some width to our table. I just couldn’t imagine having at least 6 people around the table and trying to fit food on it as well. I know I could have done a narrower plank on each side for some symmetry, but as this table is a little “out of the box”, and I love me some asymmetry anyway, I went for the artistic angle.
Adding a  2″x12″  (which is actually 11 1/4″) gave us 39 1/4″ total with for the table – perfect for family entertaining.

Anyway…on to our Home Depot Trip…
Ryan of course had to pick the shiny new cart (out of a sea of old and rusty ones) I don’t know why, but I got a good laugh out of his selection.



So this is our loot. We were smart enough to have our 2×12 cut at HD to 80″ long since we didn’t have a table saw and the miter saw that we did have access to wouldn’t be able to cut that width accurately.

Along with our wood pile we also picked up some screws and wood filler. And if you’re looking at our list above, note that we did not use 2x4s for the legs, and instead opted to use 2×6 planks instead to look a little more proportionate to the table top.

And on to my parent’s house to use their miter saw…(and no we didn’t cut the wood like that, we made sure it was nice and straight before we made our cuts.


And this is what we were left with after all the cuts were made:


Let me show you the breakdown of all these pieces…



So we packed all the cuts (and extra wood) into the Jeep and brought it back to the Traub Mansion to assemble. But not before my little sister Allie (and Mom) talked Ryan into some chalk fun (Allie’s request was a teddy bear… I’m quite impress with my hub’s artistic skills).



First we screwed together the Leg Aprons – this essentially is the frame for the table,however we used nice 1×4 wood since it would be visible once the table was built. We were sure to use a right angle to make sure the table was square. We then attached the corner braces (cut at 45 degree angles) for extra support (and squareness).



After adding the corners, we added the “Support Frame” (as noted in our wood pile above). These are 5  2x4s (not 2x2s as noted in the supply list – the list I was going off of was from Ana-White, but our table was a bit beefier, thus we decided to go with thicker wood pieces) and we decided to lay them face down since we needed to screw through them an into the table top in order to attach the top to the under framing…



That’s the frame all constructed and ready for it’s top! We went back to our garage and got the door…in all of it’s dirty looking state. (I had previously sanded it down when I first brought the table home with an electric sander). We laid the door and extra plank top side down and proceeded to lay the frame on top and attach the two together with 2.5″ screws. (Note: we predrilled all our screw holes which made it easer to countersink the screws, allowing us to fill them with wood filler and hide the construction away)



Thanks hun for snapping a picture of me at work! (His patience and support for all my crazy blogging and stopping to snap pictures is so wonderful and I can’t thank him enough! Especially during a project he wasn’t quite excited for to begin with). While I’m confessing…I wouldn’t recommend wearing flip flops while making a dining table, but heck! I guess I like to live dangerously 😉

We measured on all sides to make sure the frame was centered on table top and screwed the frame into the door first. Ryan then pushed (with all his muscles) the extra plank as close to the door as possible while I screwed the frame to the plank.

Luckily, I noticed early on that the completely assembled door was not going to fit through our front door. So after we finished attaching the frame to the table top we carried it inside to screw in the legs.




After attaching all the legs I had Ryan help me flip it over, and finally his assistance was no longer needed. He was sure to tell me how awesome he thought it looked, and he was happy that we were able to build something so cool. He won’t take any credit for the table, which is so sweet – but honestly I couldn’t have done it without him.

My next step? Wood filler.



Here you can see a countersunk screw and all I had to do was squeeze some filler in the hole, smooth it out and wait for it to dry. Once the filler was dry I just took a sand blog and sanded all the previous screw spots smooth.



And there you have a view of our new dining room table. I’m going to take a breather and wait to show you how I decided to finish off this baby in my next post, but for now just picture me beaming with pride that 2 years of planning wasn’t put to waste. To get to this point, it took us about 7 hours of work – from shopping to sanding (and also included some family chalk time, a Chipotle dinner stop and some excited dance breaks from me).

Even better, Ryan had snapped the last photo from his iPhone and had briefly posted it on Facebook with the caption “my baby can build a table”, which totally made me blush and gleam with pride. Until I realized people were going to see it on his fb post before they saw the project on my blog. (hence the ‘briefly on fb’ part). Be sure to check back to see the final product!

Anyone else do any building this Labor Day weekend? Or am I the only one more excited about constructing than relaxing on such a weekend?

“Play On” by The Traubs

I’m sure as you saw in our wedding video (if not check it out here), Ryan and I gave away CDs for our favor at our wedding. Now these weren’t just a mix-tape-like CD …we actually had ourselves recorded singing our favorite love songs!

Music is something that Ryan and I just understand together and has always been a rock in our relationship.


Yea, we even had some of our engagement photos taken outside of our favorite record store, Siren Records in Doylestown PA. Photos taken by Nicole Polk.

It may seem like an incredibly expensive favor to give away at a wedding, seeing as most favors are around $2-3 each and having a professionally recorded CD made and printed just for our wedding may seem a little silly. However, we were able to make it happen in precisely in that price range!

My younger brother, Douglas is a sound engineer and has been recording music since he was …well gosh, I’m not even sure I even know – 12 years old maybe? Anyway, quite a long time. So I came up with this brilliant idea to record a CD for the wedding (as music is such a huge part of Ryan and I’s relationship, why not share that on our wedding day?) and went straight to my brother. He happily agreed to help us out, recording our voices and providing the music for each of the recreated songs. (such a talented brother we have!). As sweet of a brother he is, he refused to let us pay him for his time, energy and talents and basically gave us the gift of music for our wedding gift. Be sure to check out more of his recording talents here.

Since I was doing the CD Artwork design all myself the only thing we had to pay for was the printing and shipping. Which came out to exactly $2.50 per CD. Exactly in the favor price range! Not to mention it was a one of a kind favor and certainly something that wouldn’t get tossed away the following week. I did a lot of research and finally went with Beyond Concepts for our printing. As for the artwork, well – take a look!



We obviously named our CD based off of a Shakespeare quote which I featured on the inside of the sleeve along with our formal ‘Thank You’ to all of our guests for helping celebrate our wedding day with us. The love birds page is the tray holder (where the CD gets placed on) and the two blue love birds are also on the back of the CD in the tree. (This also ties into another design element of our wedding which I’ll be sure to mention in a future post)

The front design is an illustration of Ryan and I in our wedding day attire – Pumas and all – (drawn by yours truly) and the back features the list of songs and their origin. I also highlighted special songs with a heart as the zero and coloring one number pink. The numbers that I highlighted?  7-9-11 Our wedding date.

7. Lucky  – this is the song that I walked up the aisle to.

9. Here, There and Everywhere  – our first dance song

11. All You Need Is Love – doesn’t that say it all? ❤

For the actual disk design I decided to refer back to a more classic design. The Record. Seeing as majority of the songs on the CD are Beatles songs it just seemed appropriate.



Now on to the music. I’m sure you’re all curious as to how we sound! I must say my brother did a beyond fantastic job and we couldn’t be more pleased (and happily shocked) with the results! Just click on the tracks below to take a listen to each song.

01 July Flame

02 Eight Days A Week

03 Got Me

04 I Just Do

05 Such Great Heights

06 When I’m Sixty Four

07 Lucky

08 Anyone Else But You

09 Here, There and Everywhere

10 True Love Will Find You In The End

11 All You Need Is Love


Don’t be to cruel with your reviews of our CD! We’re by no means professional singers, but we did have a blast recording! And of course I was sure to document it!



If the blanket and scarf didn’t give it away, we recorded the vocals of the CD back in January 2011. Unfortunately, Ryan and I weren’t able to make a trip up to visit my brother to record in a studio so he magically did the vocals in my parents basement. But, if you took a listen to the tracks – I bet you wouldn’t even have been able to tell the difference. He did such an amazing job. However, us having to record at home allowed us to include our little sister, Allie on our recording of ‘All You Need Is Love’ ! She’s so cute and we’re so glad we could include our flower girl on our CD.

Amazeballs right?! We have a CD woop woop! I feel slightly famous. But then again not. Anyway, after we had our part of the CD all recorded I then had a brainchild and realized we could also use the CDs as our escort cards! Boom! Smart!



So basically all I did was type up each guests name and their table assignment. I then printed out the document on full sheet label paper, cut it into strips and then stuck them on to the top of the CDs. This gave the effect of purchasing a CD from a record store.

I then made the bins by trash picking some drawers, sanding and re-staining them. Adding some knobs from Anthropologie gave the perfect decorative touch!  To separate the drawers into sections I took some scrap wood, cut it to size and screwed it into place.
The dividers were made from illustration board with a alphabet sticker (purchased from Michaels). And voilà! A CD store selling only ‘Play On’ featured at our wedding!
More on the other table signage in later posts….


So, that about wraps up our wedding musical adventure! I’ll admit the hardest part was keeping the printed CDs and the design of my dress from Ryan. When asking for his opinion it went something like this..



Haha! I crack myself up some times. Though, in retrospect I should have drawn out some insanely fru fru dress covered in bows just to throw him off the scent.

I hope that you enjoyed this rather lengthy post about our CD debut! For as much energy, time and basically putting ourselves out there for an immense amount of criticism… it was totally worth it and we couldn’t have come up with a more awesome favor gift to give to all of our friends and family on our wedding day!



Bad Bathroom Goes Good

Here it is. What you’ve all been waiting for…and the biggest change in our house to date.

Remember this?

…I know what you’re thinking – I wish I didn’t! But alas this bathroom came with the mortgage and I was in no way taking a shower and getting ready for work in its (then) current state.  So as I mentioned before, our tax refund went directly to this project.
Almost as soon as we signed the 2,500  50 odd pages officially giving us the house, Ryan started taking the hammer to this guy. Soon enough the bathroom started looking a little more like this:

Toilet was the first to go! And I’ll throw in for laughs that it sat on our front porch for a good couple of weeks before we figured out what to do with it. (habitat for humanity wouldn’t accept toilets, so donating was out… and seeing as it wasn’t in the best condition – who would want it?). My mother continually joked every time coming over that we should put a plant in it. (which we did end up hiding keys for our contractor in the tank part later on funny enough – oh hide-a-key how we toilet thee). But in the end it became trash. (apologies to all those who were excited at the hint of suggestion that I might turn it in to a planter)

Anyway, we quickly discovered that the walls were more of a plasticy material that was just placed over layer, upon layer, upon layer of wall. Poor Ry ended up demoing really like 4 times the amount he thought he would.

You can kind of get the idea that basically wherever the brown color is was glue holding up the plastic type wall on top. Plus the wall that you just saw wasn’t standard drywall, but more of a hardboard. And that yellow tub? Ok, maybe having a yellow tub wouldn’t be the worst thing (if it were new!) cause I’m sure I could have designed around it, but since we were demoing we took it out, and took it ALL down…

I should mention that the “we” I just mentioned was really just Ryan. He did the demo work.
He took down all the walls and dealt with the insane amount of dust (yes he wore a mask) seeing as the final wall (beneath all the other crap) was plaster. He also put up that sweet temporary light. Strange that I would call a temporary light sweet, but I still hadn’t really seen my honey in action putting up lights (he’s an electrician) until this this bathroom project and the temp light seemed so professional in its temporary way. And just wait till you see what else he did…

…wait for it…


Voila! A new bathroom!

…And check out that super awesome light in the shower! – Thanks Ry!

Ok, not the fanciest of pictures (I’ve got to work on taking/staging photos specifically for the blog) but this is real – and at the time I was using Garnier Frutis (I just use whatever is on sale) haha, and we had a paint stick in our trash can. Whatever.

So the labor breakdown:

Ryan did all the demo and electrical… then we had a contractor (Jeff) come in and frame and put the walls and new toilet/tub/sink/window as well as tile work in. I did some spackling and did all the sanding, and then I did the priming and painting. Result of all that hard work and many ‘sweating in a tiny room working hard during the summer in a house with no a.c.’ hours = new bathroom.

Oh, I guess I should also give myself design credit, cause it does look pretty dang good if I do say so myself. I’m a huge fan of subway tile so I knew right off the bat that I wanted to use them in the shower. Then Ryan and his dad found that perfect light fixture (maybe my favorite thing in the bathroom) and it looked like it was meant to go with the tile.
I decided we needed a pedestal sink due to the strange layout and lack of space, and we were not going to spill even more money into this project to relocate things. So yes, the mirror not being centered is a little awkward and weird – but hey, it works for us. I guess I could put one on a swinging arm and have it hang overlapping the window a bit just to have it centered with the sink, but we also wanted a medicine cabinet for a little extra sink storage. Not to mention having a mirror cover part of the window would possibly irritate me even more than our solution.

We did get a Water Sense toilet and are loving it. Have not had one problem with it in the year we’ve had it. It flushes so fast and there’s no hearing the water filling the bowl back up for the next 3 minutes. It’s almost instant. So quiet. I recommend em. We’re thinking about replacing the downstairs toilet with the same in the near future. My only note about the toilet is that it did come with a plastic seat, but that didn’t last long –  about $15 and a trip to Home Depot later and I had that problem fixed.
Since we already decided on the subway tile, I knew that I wanted a rectangular floor tile to mimic it. Who said I had to use floor tile? Nobody. So we used a wall tile on the floor. Smart.
The floor tile may be the thing we get the most compliments on. Not only does it mirror and work well with the subway tile, but it’s just beautiful and neutral. It was also the item that we kind of splurged on (remember the floor DIY sanding?).
I then pulled a beige color from the tile and painted the walls. I’ll note that I purchased a different color than I meant to – I initially wanted it to be a little more lighter grey-beige, but after I put this color up I didn’t hate it…  well, it grew on me. So it stays.

The ceiling lighting fixtures are just two recessed lights that Ryan put on dimmers, which may have been the smartest bathroom move (hitting up the bathroom in the middle of the night calls for a dim light so that we don’t completely hate the world (and daylight) even for a few minutes).

Lastly, we added a storage cabinet (from Bed Bath & Beyond) to hold the items you’d put under the sink. Even though we have that huge linen closet (that still needs to be painted) just outside the door, the bathroom needed another element and it’s nice having a surface to put things like Q-tips and a tissue box on (and toilet paper and cotton balls in).

All-in-all we couldn’t be more pleased with the results. Jeff even made sure to try to match the base trim of the bathroom to the thicker moldings that are throughout the rest of our home. (perfect!) So even though it’s a little more modern and up-to-date it still has a little bit of character and seems to blend well with the rest of the house.

I think this brings us up to around the end of June. The floors were finished and the bathroom was done. (Plus we had done some painting downstairs on the days Jeff was working in the bathroom). So by the time 4th of July weekend (2010) came we were moving into our first home….