Saturday, July 15, 2017

We're Back!

Whew! It's been ages since the last post, and it's been a wild ride around here. Between new jobs (both of us within a month or so of each other), travel, gardening, and trying to squeeze in a little time to do some actual work in the house, I haven't had much time to do anything but collapse in an exhausted heap.

Thankfully, we've been able to enjoy some much-needed spa-like relaxation in our finished new bathroom!

We put on a few finishing touches:
Brett practicing his contortionist act while trying to caulk around the back of the bathtub. He made it!

Just after the shower enclosure glass install. Since we had to wait a couple of days before getting it wet, it's imaginary shower time!
In what feels like an incredibly significant home-renovation milestone, I have officially moved my toothbrush upstairs. WOOHOO!  Also, I may occasionally be showering/bathing twice a day now out of pure happiness. (Please send moisturizer.)

Here it is, all finished:




Of course, if you look the other direction, you'll see that we still have a ways to go on the rest of the upstairs... but that's for the next few weeks!


Saturday, June 10, 2017

A Spoonful of Sugar Helps the Medicine Cabinets Go Up

Every new step at this point just feels completely amazing, and adds a whole new level of functionality to the bathroom. I can't get over how fast it comes together now, especially know that literally years of work went into getting here.

So, we mounted the medicine cabinets. Because of the angled framing in our wall, we decided to go with externally mounted ones instead of inset. We bought them ages ago, and HOLY COW I had forgotten how heavy these things are.

Installation sounded simple. It uses a french cleat. Basically, you mount a bracket on the wall, and then just slide the cabinet down on top of it, so a matching bracket on the back slots in. Easy, right?

Well, first, you have to get the bracket into EXACTLY the right spot on the wall. And of course it doesn't come with a template, so you have to figure out just where the cabinet will actually sit. And it must be perfectly level (making it probably the only level thing in the entire house). And then you have to get the second one even with the first. And then you have to heft the ten million pound cabinets over your head and into place.

What could go wrong?

Long story short, we only had to re-mount the brackets a couple of times, and a cabinet only came crashing down on us once. So I'm calling that a win.



So although there are still some small things to take care of, all the main pieces are in and the look is basically finished.

Here's the original Pinterest picture that was our main design inspiration for the sink area:


And here's our finished product!


I love how it turned out. It's just what I hoped for, and best of all, it's full of natural light. I can't wait to move upstairs!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Bath Mitzvah!

Today, our bathroom became a grown-up. I took my first bath in the new bathtub!!!




Sadly, my spoilsport husband says I'm not allowed to shower before the glass enclosure is installed, even though the water works. I promised to stand up really straight and not to accidentally turn on the sprayer or body jets AT ALL. He was not convinced.


Not that I have any experience with accidentally turning on the sprayer instead of the rain shower head.
It looks so innocent.
We're not 100% done yet. We still need to hang the medicine cabinets, install the vanity hardware and towel hooks,  caulk the sink and tub base, and touch up some drywall and paint. And of course there are a few minor issues to resolve. We turned on the chandelier and the breaker immediately blew. The tub filler is kind of wobbly. But these seem like small things with easy fixes. More importantly, the tub didn't leak into our bed in the room underneath or just fall straight through the floor. (As you can see, our standards are very high.)

But that said, all the big pieces are really in place now. Check it out!


I'm hoping to take care of a lot of the remaining details over the long weekend.

Because a finished project means more time to relax in the sun with our pupper!

Monday, May 22, 2017

The Unbearable Lightness of Seeing

Every light in our house is on.

I repeat.

Every. Light.

Not just every light that happens to work at the moment. Not just every light that isn't on one of the many breakers we've had turned off for a year. Not just every light that's plugged into that one outlet that still works for no apparent reason.

Every light.

Today, the electrician turned all the wires that have been dangling in the upstairs bathroom for months into lovely lights, power, fan, and heat. So not only does that mean the electrical work in our new bathroom is basically done(!!!!!), it means the breakers that they connect to are back on too. And those breakers also control our kitchen vent hood, hallway light, and bedroom light. It's like we got half our house back overnight!

Brett and I spent half an hour running around the house, flipping switches and cackling like movie super-villains.

Sconces! Outlets!
Light switches, fan timer, THERMOSTAT! (Er, and a little drywall patching to do. I didn't say we were done with that part.)
And finally, thrillingly, we had confirmation that the heated floor works!! It was terrifying to cement in something before being able to really test it. I needed to feel it turn on to really believe we hadn't screwed it up. But then I didn't expect this conundrum... it was 80 degrees out today. How do you test a heater in that?

Obviously, I cranked it up to 90, and then splayed out face-down like a sea star for maximum skin exposure to the floor. That's clearly the logical response.

Since it heats up really gradually, this led to a lot of weird mind games as I tried to differentiate between the effect of my own body heat and the radiant floor. It's heating up! No wait, it's just warm from my arm. No wait, it's really working! No wait, it isn't and we broke it and my life is over! Oh no, actually, it's definitely working now.

So, long story short, it works. And now I need therapy.

Now please excuse, me, I need to go flip some more lights on and off and giggle maniacally.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

A Brush with Joy

This morning, Brett turned to me and asked "Want to do something naughty?"
Me: Ooooh.... yes please.
Brett: Let's go brush our teeth in the new sink!

When people tell you about major life milestones, they usually focus on things like getting married, buying a house, having kids. Nobody ever told me about the intense joy of the first-teeth-brushing-in-a-new-sink milestone.

I can't imagine why this has been left out of the standard literature.

A truly life-changing moment. Look at those (very hygienic) smiles!

And because I still need to keep repeatedly going upstairs to make sure I didn't just dream this - I give you proof!

It's aliiiiiiiiive!

Friday, May 19, 2017

More Plumbing Progress!

Every day is a new present! It's amazing that it took us three years to get to this point, and now it's only taking about a week to go from empty room to fully functioning bathroom.

First - running water!

The sink and toilet are in and ACTUALLY HAVE RUNNING WATER. And the electrician even got started with a couple of fixtures.

I've never wanted to pee so badly in my life. Should probably wait until it's not up on shims, though...

A sconce over the vanity. Not sure why the electrician only hung one of the two today, but... okay?

Shut up, it's really hard to take a picture of a light fixture that doesn't light up yet, in front of a window in full daylight.

Pretty soon the whole house will have running water and electricity! A girl could get spoiled with all these frivolous modern conveniences.

Of course, some of us are already spoiled rotten. But who could resist those puppy eyes?

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Sink your Teeth into This!

SINK SINK SINK OH MY GOD WE HAVE A SINK

Is this even real life? Am I experiencing hallucinations brought on by three years of breathing drywall dust? Did I manifest this mirage out of sheer desperation?

 No, it's still there! I double checked.

So it's not 100% installed yet - there's some caulking to do and the water is still turned off until we also get the rest of the fixtures in. But that is going to take literally just a few days! In one mere week, we will have functional running water upstairs for THE VERY FIRST TIME EVER.

Can you tell I am a wee little bitty bit happy? Having our first bathroom fixture installed is an enormous milestone.

PS - you know you are officially an adult when Grownup You is more excited about the plumber than Little Kid You was about Santa.


I guess I need to tone down the hyperactive celebrations, because even the dog is looking at me like I'm nuts.

More close-ups of the fixtures and shots of the whole room to come. I just couldn't wait to post the first photo! It's going to be an amazing week. Yesterday we had an empty room with a bunch of holes in the floor and walls; by next week, it will look like a bathroom. Squee!

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Spring Vegetable Gardening in the Pacific Northwest: A Step by Step Guide

It's been an unusually long, dreary winter. Climate scientists (like my beloved gravelly-voiced weather siren Cliff Mass) say that spring weather generally starts to roll in around the third week of February. Conventional wisdom says that March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. Well, this year it waddled in like a platypus and came out screeching like a wet cat.

Thankfully, after an incredibly long wait, it finally feels like spring. The dandelions, tansy ragwort, and scotch broom are blooming happily. It's time for spring veggie gardening!

I'm always looking for local planting guides that tell me exactly what to plant and when in my local climate. So I've decided to create my own, and share it for your gardening convenience. Here we go!

Vegetable Gardening in the Pacific Northwest, Step-by-Step:

March:
  1. Weed beds and work in fresh compost. Your vegetable beds and pathways have started growing all manner of invasive whatnots while you hid in the nice dry house all winter, no matter how diligently you mulched them. 
  2. Realize you got over-excited on the first nice day, and you have to wait three weeks until you can actually plant anything. 
April:
  1. Weed. Since you made such nice, healthy, empty beds, a whole new crop of blackberries has moved in. Good job. 
  2. Go to the store and buy fresh vegetables.
May:
  1. Purchase the most rot, damp, and mildew-resistant varieties of seeds you can find. 
    • If your selection is green and leafy, start looking up spinach and zucchini recipes right now. You're going to need a lot of them.
    • If your selection has any kind of colorful fruit on it, pick a god and start praying. You may also want to make a sacrifice at the altar of Amazon (or preferably your friendly local garden store) and order a whole lot of mini-greenhouse and irrigation supplies. 
  2. Weed again. In the hour it took you to get to the garden store and back, every weed you struck down earlier has sprung back, Jedi-like, more powerful than you can possibly imagine. Clearly, weeds are just flowers that have turned to the dark side of the Force.
  3. Plant! Feel satisfied.
  4. Realize that you planted seeds, not starts, and so your freshly planted bed still looks an empty box full of dirt. Feel unsatisfied.
June:
  1.  Spend every waking moment trying to tamp down the weeds without accidentally yanking out your young plants. 
  2. Engage in a battle of the wits with your local slug and vole populations. Lose.
  3. Let the dog into the vegetable garden to deter the slugs and voles. Immediately regret this decision. Evict the dog and fill in the terrier-dug holes.
  4. Wonder why it isn't summer yet.
July-September:
  1. Enjoy! Your garden is going to give you incredibly bounty and beauty. Bask in the warm-but-not-too-hot sun, feast on fresh organic veggies and eggs from right outside your door, and soak up the unparalleled lushness and beauty of this part of the world. Remember that you wouldn't trade living here for anything! 
  2. Weed. 
So as you can see, we have a lot to look forward to this season!

Front left: strawberries. Back left: garlic and onions. Front right: peas, empty space for tomatoes. Back right: lettuce, carrots.
Far small boxes: fennel, mint. Back border: lavender.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Inching Closer...

We dragged the vanity into place!


You can almost get an idea of what it's going to look like when it's fully installed. The plumber is supposed to come this week to take a look...

This is a photograph of my soul on the day the plumber hooks everything up.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Shiplap Dance

It's been a while since I've posted, in part because life has been bananas, and in part because my weekends have been busy with house projects. So now I'm ready to do my happy shiplap dance!

And yes, I've obviously watched too much Fixer Upper. But come on... if you could do anything you wanted in your house, wouldn't you channel a little Chip and Joanna gorgeous farmhouse shiplap? Of course you would. And of course I did. We chose the wall behind the vanity since it's the one we'll be facing most of the time, and because I think the oil-rubbed bronze fixtures and wood vanity will look amazing against that backdrop.

Like most decorative shiplap, ours is totally faked. It's not the main wall material at all - it's just laid on top of drywall. This is for fire safety, and in this case also for moisture resistance since we're in a bathroom.

That wet environment raised another issue that we wouldn't have faced in another room. Most Pinterest tutorials on adding shiplap to a wall don't use real tongue-and-groove paneling. They use straight boards, and create the look of a tongue by leaving a small gap that exposes the drywall behind. However, we were worried that water would get between the wood and the drywall, resulting in mold, mildew, and rot. So we sprang for the real thing, which completely covers the wall in wood.

We sanded and primed the wood first for easy painting later. Then we just cut it to length and nailed the boards up!



This would have been a lot easier if the studs were in any kind of reasonable places. But since this wall originally had a niche cut out of it, there's a weird angle running through the inside. Plus, the bottom half of the wall is full of pipes and electrical wires. Thankfully, my brilliant husband thought to take a photograph of the inside of the wall before we put up the drywall. That little inspiration has been a lifesaver!

Also, see those perfectly-placed holes near the ceiling? Those are where the j-boxes for the sconces will go. The electrician refused to install them until the vanity was in place. Unfortunately, we realized when we were ready to start the shiplap that the wires were poking through the drywall in completely the wrong place. So the entire project was delayed for a week while we measured (and measured, and measured again), drilled the holes, and pulled the wire through. Which was further complicated by the wonky framing inside the wall.

This part was not fun.

Then my darling husband unleashed his inner perfectionist and caulked the living daylights out of everything. He said he was going upstairs to fill in the gaps. Six hours later I found him carefully smoothing every single joint with his pinky finger. We're still going to be renovating this house when we're 104, but at least it will look amazing.

Then finally... paint! 


Now all we have to do is install the window trim, then call the pros (the plumber, electrician and shower-door installers) to hook everything up, and sit back while our bathroom materializes! So exciting!!!

It's almost time to stop and smell the flowers!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Paper Face-Off

It's amazing how quickly projects are moving at this point. I think my very favorite thing about tile is that installation MUST get done in one sitting (unless you want a bucket full of hardened mortar.) So pretty much no matter what, at the end of the day, you're done. It's extremely satisfying, especially after months of sloooooow progress and projects that will be hidden under floors and behind walls.

That said... we may have gotten a little overconfident on the tile. After we did the shower floor, we were feeling like mosaic ninjas. We knew our next project would be the much more expensive, fragile, and complex tile for the shower wall, but we were feeling ready.

What's that saying... something like "man makes plans and God laughs"?

So now, just like I have a favorite thing about tile, I also have a least favorite thing about tile. Or at least, one type of tile. I introduce you to my newest nemesis ... paper-faced mosaic.


Paper facing is used for clear mosaic tile. Normal mosaic is mounted on a webbed mat backing, but since this contains tiles that are clear or translucent, that webbing would show through. So instead of putting a mat on the back, these sheets are held together by a piece of paper glued to the front. The glue is water-soluble, so you install the tile and then wipe it all down with water to remove the paper.

Going in, we knew this meant that the mortar would have to be perfect, because you can see it through the tiles. We also knew the paper mounted sheets would probably be a little more brittle and harder to work with than the flexible webbing. We thought we were ready for all of this. We were not.

Some glass tiles come with a white paper backing instead of a removable paper facing, which eliminates all of these problems. But did we get that kind? Nooooo, of course not. Because we absolutely had to have this one, very specific, very fancy tile.

But here's what we missed. When you cut tile, you do it on a WET saw. A saw that literally has a steady stream of water running over the blade. Over the blade, and straight onto your water-soluble glue.

The first piece we tried to cut almost literally melted in front of our eyes. The paper promptly got soaked, lost its grip, and started shedding little glass tiles all over the place. The ones that didn't actually hit the floor still got knocked off-kilter so the whole thing looked snaggle-toothed.

An hour later, we were back in business after finding a video from the tile manufacturer that basically explained how to create a waterproof box for the tile before cutting it. Of course that slowed us down even more. Instead of getting through the entire tiling process that day, we ended up spending the whole day just getting the cuts done.

Install day did finally arrive, but as usual, we underestimated how long it would take by about 7000%. I think this photo was taken at 2am.  At some point I basically fell asleep on my feet, and Brett valiantly finished up by himself.


When we went to check on the finished wall the next day, several of the little tiles from below this point fell off completely. We had to buy more mortar, chisel out the gaps, and re-mount new pieces. Don't tile in the middle of the night, kids.

But, then it was finally done and we were ready to peel of the paper. Since we had done that so effectively by accident early on, we knew that part would be easy, right?

Note the giant pile of shredded paper on the floor. And the bits still stuck to the wall.
Several days and lots of very numb fingers later, we finally managed to get the last scraps cleaned off and the grout applied.

Done!
Which means we are... drumroll, please... done with our work on the shower! We'll order the glass enclosure and have the plumber come install the fixtures, which are both tasks we're leaving to the pros.

Leaving us more time to do the important things in life,
like taking adorable pictures of the dog posing with her matching pillow.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Prime Cometh Before a Fall

Today I'm prepping to install a shiplap wall in the bathroom. And first, I just want to say that we bought a house with shiplap siding before it was cool. Or at least before I knew it was cool. Take THAT, Chip and Joanna.

We talked about 9,000 different ways to do this on the cheap. Pinterest is literally riddled with faux-shiplap tutorials. Usually, they use MDF strips and spacers over drywall to mimic the look of tongue and groove. I was all for this approach, but we had a complication.

Our shiplap wall is in the bathroom, specifically behind the sink. It's going to get wet. And if moisture gets between the wood and the drywall, we would have all kinds of problems like mold or rot. So we decided on real tongue-and-groove boards, which wouldn't leave any drywall exposed. We also wanted wood grain to be visible, so we picked boards instead of MDF. We talked about using reclaimed boards, but ultimately we decided that a store-bought product would save us enough time and money that we should just cave and buy new.

The shiplap arrived a few weeks ago, and it's been acclimating upstairs. Pretty much as soon as it arrived, I was ready to prime it. The last thing I wanted was to get all the way to the point where we were ready to install it, mere steps away from totally finishing the bathroom, and have to stop to literally watch paint dry.

The boards were rough - much, much rougher than we expected, especially since the whole point of buying this product was to avoid having to do a lot of sanding and filling. But I figured, there isn't much a good coat of primer won't solve. You can stick that in your book of Auntie Audrey's Wisdom for the Ages.

Well, the paint dried and.... apparently there are things that a coat of primer won't solve.

The boards were just too tattered. Which meant we'd need to sand them - AFTER already having primed them once. And then we'd have to prime them again.

Nope.

Today was the day to sand. I schlepped all the boards down the stairs and set them up on sawhorses outside. I grabbed the orbital sander, the coarsest sandpaper we had, and got to work. Then Brett came outside. It seems that the side I thought was the front because it was generally less ratty, he thought was the back because he liked the look of the grain better the other way.

Me: Okay... *deep, calming breaths* Well, at least you told me before I got too far. So... can I just sand the other side?
Him: Oh no, go ahead and sand both sides. Then everything will sit so nicely against the wall!
Me: Of course my dear, that's oh so very reasonable. *Silently wonders if it's possible to murder someone with an orbital sander.*



So, several hours later, I have so many splinters sticking out of my hands, and my fingers are so frozen in place from gripping the power sander, that I look like the child of Freddy Krueger and a porcupine.

But those boards do look darn good.


Hermie, on the other hand, is a mess.

What happens when you spend the first warm, muddy spring day outside and distracted. 

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Floored!

The bathroom floor is done! IT'S DONE! DONE, I SAY!

AAAAAAAAAHHHH!!!!

(Can you tell I'm excited?)

The last few steps have actually taken a couple of weeks, but I've been too focused on powering through to stop and write about it. So this will look like a "yay, we finished it all at once" post, but that's not really how it all went down.

When last I left you, dear reader, we had just mortared down the main floor tiles. Our next step was to tile the shower pan.



The shower pan floor is the same material as the rest of the floor, but in a smaller 2x2 mosaic. Each little tile is mounted on a webbed mat to make a 12x12 square. I found it incredibly satisfying to set these - you plop down one sheet, and suddenly there are 36 perfectly-aligned tiny tiles in place.

Unfortunately, between the size of the shower pan and the unusual hidden drain system (see the tiled cover on the floor next to the shower pan), we had to cut practically every sheet in some way. We were a little worried about cutting the mosaic evenly, without chipping or knocking tiles off the mat backing. So, as we do whenever the world is an uncertain place, we turned to the collected wisdom of the ages known as YouTube.

We found a tip that said to tape the mosaic sheet to a full piece of regular tile, so the large piece serves as a stiff backing to send through the tile saw. Also, the tape all the way along the cut edge would help prevent chipping. I've used the tape trick before, so this made a lot of sense to me.

But there was one problem... we didn't have enough tile to waste whole pieces as backing. And most of our scrap wasn't big enough to fully support the mosaic sheets.

Here, our habit of never putting anything away came in handy. (See, I KNEW there was a good reason to procrastinate on cleaning up...) Brett spotted a stash of rigid pink foam insulation left over from an earlier project. It was stiff enough, plentiful, and wouldn't turn to mush in the wet saw.

By popular demand, a rare photo of me. Here, prepping a sheet of mosaic tile for the  saw.
By the way, Donald, this is how I #dresslikeawoman. 
This worked like an absolute charm. It cuts smoothly, the edges look great, and the sheet stayed together. We feel like total pros now. (Which is great, because our next project will be cutting really, really tricky and extremely expensive mosaic for the back of the shower, so now we're slightly less terrified.)

The shower floor uses a special epoxy mortar, to make it extra-super-duper waterproof. I believe that is the technical term.

When the shower pan floor was dry a day later, we cut tile for the sides of the shower pan. We mocked that up, along with the baseboard tile for the whole room. This basically took a day by itself.

Our Smaug-like hoarding of blue painter's tape finally pays off.

At this point I would have skipped over the bit about mortaring the tile in place, because you know the drill by now. But. BUT.

I need to pause at this point and explain a little bit about how our brains work. I'm great when it comes to words, ideas, and patterns. Need some creativity or synthesis? I've got you. Want a bunch of steps arranged in a logical order? On it. But when it comes to anything spatial...  I am not your girl. I could get lost in a phone booth. I heard an NPR show once on people who have some kind of brain damage that makes them get lost in their own house, and I almost made a doctor's appointment.

Enter Brett. I imagine the inside of his brain as some kind of 4-dimensional Jenga Tetris Rubix Cube. He's a smart guy all around, but spatially he is brilliant. The way he packs the trunk of the car for a road trip is literally art. He can tell you what cardinal direction he is facing at almost any moment, like some kind of human homing pigeon. Once, we were given a free freezer and I swear to God he got it into our basement despite it being taller than the ceiling height.

So, when it came time to lay out these intricately arranged tiles to mortar them back into place, he did this.



He unfolded the shower pan tile. Imagine starting at the bottom edge of the tile, closest to the shower pan, and hinging everything up and over so it would fall perfectly back into place.

This breaks my brain. He thought it was just the most obvious way to do it.

Another 24 hours of drying time later, my aching brain had recovered, and we finished by grouting the seams.

DONE!! 
The floor is finally 100% complete. We're getting so close!

Friday, February 17, 2017

La Petite Mortar

I can't tell you how long I waited for this day to come! We are laying the bathroom tile.

Since we had already made all the cuts, we figured that mortaring them into place would probably go smoothly. Even so, we were a little nervous because once you mix up the mortar, the clock starts ticking! You only have so long to work with it before everything hardens.

The time pressure leads to some interesting time-saving shortcuts. For example, we invented an entirely new unit of measurement! I give you...  the Applejuice. As in, mixing one bucket of mortar (about half a bag) needs 1.5 Applejuices of water.


Also, 1/2 Applejuice = 1 Nalgene.
We needed a container to measure and transport water to add to the mortar. Some empty apple juice bottles in the recycling bin fit the bill perfectly. They're disposable so it's okay to get them dirty, we know exactly how much they hold, and they're easy to carry up the stairs with the top on.

We are clearly geniuses.

While the mortar mixed, we had to pick up all the tiles that were laid out on the floor dry, and stack them in such a way that we'd be able to put the same piece back in the same place later. Luckily, I'm a librarian and this is my superpower.

Then it was time to spread mortar and set tile!

I could tell it was all going well when my husband literally started to make sexy moaning noises at the floor. "Oh yeah baby... that's right. Right there. Come on, right there. Oooooh, YES!" All I can say is that I hope I'm as satisfying as a well-placed floor tile. Isn't that what all good marriages aspire to?

I admit, it's a pretty sexy sight!
We used a plastic trowel to avoid scratching or nicking the heated floor cables, and we kept the alarm plugged in just in case. Thankfully, we had no problems there, and I'm looking forward to toasty toes. We did hit a snag when we discovered that the sensor that talks to the thermostat wasn't well positioned, and it stuck up enough to interfere with one tile laying flat. It took some last-minute coaxing to get it all to sit right.

But we overcame the little obstacles and frustrations that popped up along the way, and finished up with a floor we're proud of.

Nothing is sexier than a finished project!
We still have work to do. Once this is dry and we can walk on it, we'll go back in and do the shower pan and the baseboard tile. Then we'll grout and seal it all. But for now - we have a floor! That we will be able to walk on! In 24 hours!

We lead such thrilling lives.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Tile-tastic

One step closer...

We're cutting and laying out the tile before mortaring it into place.


After much debate over the best place to start the tile (centered on the shower pan? on one corner? for the minimum number of cuts?) we decided to center the first tiles on the doorway. That added a few more cuts (and therefore time), but the real challenge is that, of course, there is not a single right angle anywhere in the entire house. We basically have to decide what looks most like "straight" - and what will best hide the room's oddly trapezoidal shape - and then make it work. I think we've invented a whole new theory of geometry, in which shape is more a function of willpower than actual space.


 I'm still madly in love with our tile. The pictures don't do justice to the gorgeous texture and tone, like tumbled unfinished marble. Just laying it out already makes the room feel like a spa!

Hermie hopes we'll spend lots of time in the new bathroom, so it's easier for her to steal the bed.