Bathroom Progress

We’re about 85% of the way through this bathroom renovation, so I figured it’s time for an update. Our contractor had to head out of town for a job and, true to form, he wanted to get all of his work in the bathroom done before he left.  So he installed the fixtures, toilet, vanity, floor, and he finished the grouting and painting.  So now we have a working bathroom!

Since he offered to paint the bathroom before putting in the toilet and vanity, we had little time to pick a color. But thanks to Pinterest and Kylie M Interiors, I was able to make a quick decision: Sherwin Williams’ Sea Salt. 


I thought of doing a grey, but I’m thinking of doing some sort of greige for the rest of the house and I just wasn’t ready to make a whole-house decision that quickly. So I figured this would lend itself to the calm, neutral-but-spa-like look that I was going for. And hopefully it wouldn’t clash with the accent tile. 


Of course, then I chickened out. Or at least chickened out halfway. When I got to the Sherwin Williams store, I had them lighten the Sea Salt by 50%. I kept thinking how small the bathroom was and how overpowering the color could be when the light was low and, well, I chickened out.  But I’m glad I did. The pictures make the room look whiter than it is, but it really is a calm green-blue in person. I think if I had gone full strength, then it would have been too much. 





Now the room needs baseboards, the heating vent to be painted and put back on (that’s the big hole under the window), trim around the door, window, and closet, installation of the light and other electrical, a mirror, towel rod(s), toilet paper holder, shower rod, and I’m sure some other things I’m forgetting. 

So what do you think? Look good so far?  Hopefully Mr. Bunches will have some time over the next few weeks to get the rest of the house painted. Anyone ever rent a paint sprayer? Any tips/suggestions?

And just cuz I can’t get enough of these two . . .  


Bathroom Mood Board

The plan for this bathroom came together very quickly. Most people who know me know that I like to research and weigh design decisions forever, to the point that I often end up crippling myself in the process (our fireplace is a perfect example of this). But the nice thing about designing this house is that I’m not obsessing over it because I know I won’t have to be the one to look at it everyday. Wait, that makes it sound like I don’t care, which is far from the truth. I do care. A lot. But there’s something about making decisions for another, as yet unknown, person that makes them easier. Does that make sense? Anyhoo, here’s the plan:


  1. Style Selections Drayden Grey Integral Single Sink Bathroom Vanity with Cultured Marble Top, find it here for $199.  The space is really tight, so we could only do a 24″ wide cabinet. If there were another bathroom in the house, then I might have done a pedestal to make the space feel bigger but since this is the only bathroom I wanted to do something that had storage. I know there’s a closet in there, but I always think it’s a good idea to have a storage spot for extra toilet paper that’s within reach of the toilet.  You know why. 
  2. Moen Caldwell Brushed Nickel Faucet, available here for $89.  This is definitely a more traditional style than what I would pick for my own house, but I think the classic look will work well in this bath. Plus, it’s a Moen, so it’s built to last (or so say the plumbers and online reviewers) and the price was right.
  3. allen + roth 3-Light Kenross Brushed Nickel Bathroom Vanity Light from Lowe’s for $79. I liked the nod to an industrial vibe while still being a pretty straightforward piece. And again, for a 3-light piece in the finish I needed, the price was great. 
  4. White subway tile with grey grout. We bought the subway tile from Home Depot–it’s super cheap (only $1.76/sqft, so the whole shower surround of 70 sqft only cost us ~$123; I actually priced out subway tile from The Tile Shop and they offered me a discounted 70 sqft for ~$450 so it pays to shop around). 
  5. Moen Caldwell Spot Resist Brushed Nickel 1-Handle WaterSense Bathtub and Shower with Single Function Showerhead, available here for $144. This kit came with the necessary valve, so that was a big reason I chose it. From quickly looking at the other options in the store, the valves weren’t included in a lot of them and that would raise the price up another $150-300 just for the valve. No thank you. 
  6. Accent tile from The Tile Shop. This particular tile is discontinued which is why I got it for such a good price. The Tile Shop is great for cutting deals–don’t ever buy anything from there at their sticker price. Just ask for a discount and you’ll get it. Or, more often than not, they’ll offer a discount before you even have a chance to ask.  Because this tile was discontinued, and they only had 11 sqft in stock, they were eager to get rid of it. So they sold it to me for ~$10.75/sqft. I only needed 8 feet but they gave me all of it. Deal. 
  7. GBI Tile & Stone Inc. Aversa Frost Ceramic Floor Tile from here for $1.09/sqft.  Now that we tore out the old floor, we needed something new. I was pleasantly surprised at all the options at Lowe’s,which was really the only place I looked since I knew the vanity was on display there and that way I could do a little mock up in the store to see how it all looked. I also brought a subway tile sample and an Exalt sample so I could get the full picture. I had a hard time making the decision by myself though, although Baby Bunches did offer his suggestions, but thanks to Mr. B and another like-minded-in-design friend of ours, I was able to get some help. 

We haven’t decided on a paint color yet, but I’ll make that decision once the tiling is done (spoiler alert: the shots of the tile in the mood board are the actual shots of the tile as they currently are in the bathroom–so exciting!). 

Progress shots coming very soon, but here’s a teaser:


So what do you think? Did we do alright? Any wall color suggestions? Anything you would change/add/throw out? Do tell!

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

Remember how we redid our half bath?  If not, you can check it all out here.  If you’ll recall, when we last updated you, we were mirror-less in the half bath.  Womp, womp.

Well, I’m happy to report that the situation has been remedied.  I decided that I could no longer make decisions.  Well, I guess I made that one decision to no longer decide.  Confused yet?  Anyways, I also figured that we should start using what we already owned instead of going out and buying new stuff.  So I went on a mirror hunt in the basement, and I came up with this:

It was the old mirror from our dining room back in Boston (and apparently it was from Bed Bath & Beyond, although I have a hard time believing I spent that much money on it, but whatever).

Anyways, I wasn’t crazy about the black frame.  But the shape and size were good, so I figured I’d try my hand at spray-painting it.  And just to keep everything neutral, I decided to go with silver.  Titanium Silver to be precise.

I then proceeded to tape off the mirror with blue painter’s tape . . .

I used a bunch of smaller pieces so that I could tuck them in along the curves.

Then, I added newspaper to cover the entire mirror so that I wouldn’t end up with paint everywhere.

Then the operation moved outside.  I set the mirror up on a large broken-down box and got my spray on.

Oh, and I also decided I’d spray some old frames while I was at it.  Here it is after one coat . . .

After two coats (I started finding frames everywhere and kept adding them in) . . .

And finally after three coats (I had to actually stop and buy another can of spray paint–I really don’t understand how people cover stuff in only two coats using one can?  Am I over-doing it or something?  What am I missing?) . . .

Pretty good, right?  And little ol’ naive me then just figured I had to let it all dry, remove the tape, and I’d be good to go, right?  So I put it all in the garage to dry for a few days so that it was good and cured.  And then I removed the tape.

And I guess from a distance it looked okay, but that dang spray paint got everywhere!  Including underneath my newspapers.  Grrr.

So out came the handy-dandy razor . . .

And the spray paint scraped right off.  Voila!

All that was left was hanging it.  Now, in retrospect, I think I hung it too high.  That seems a common problem in our house–I think it has something to do with being tall.  Oh well, at least it’s up, right?

What do you think?  It’s an improvement, at least, right?

Now our guests won’t be freaking out wondering whether they’ve got boogers hanging out of their noses.  You’re welcome guests.  You’re welcome.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering who’s the fairest of them all, well, it’s this girl.  Duh.

Half Bath: The Afters

I know you’ve missed me.  It’s okay–you can admit it.  Sorry for the delay in posting updates, but things have been hectic ever since the contractors left–it’s amazing just how long it takes to get rid of all that dust and to try to get your lives back together (operative word there is try).  BUT, it’s time to share some after pictures with you.  First up, the half bath!  Stepping into our way-back machine, let’s peruse what it looked like on move-in day:

And what it looks like now . . .

Obviously that’s not where the toilet paper will go–I just still need to install the holder next to the toilet.  Oops!

Total transformation, right?

The slightly funny thing about this picture is that my bump got in the way . . .

Totally amazing difference, right?  Of course, we still need a mirror (if you have any suggestions, let me know) and some other accessories (soap dispenser, towel holder, etc.), but I’m considering it just about done for now.  And just because I love them so much, here’s a close-up of one of the pendant lights in all its mercury-glass-glory:

And just because I like to overshare, here’s a breakdown of what went into the overhaul (a lot more detail about the decision-making process can be found here):

  • Toilet: Already installed here, it’s the Jacuzzi Maxima from Lowe’s for $149.  With an American Standard upgraded seat for $35.
  • Sink: The Kraus 19″ ceramic vessel sink combined with a Kraus faucet for $194.95 from (with eBates).
  • Floor Tiles: White Gloss Penny Tile from the Tile Shop at $4.75 per sf.
  • Grout: Laticrete Sanded Grout in Smoke Grey from Lowe’s (provided by my contractor, but I think it costs ~$11).
  • Cove Base Tiles: American Olean 6″x4-1/4″ Bright White ceramic cove base tile from Lowe’s at ~$2.00 each.
  • Vanity Top: Donna Sandra Granite remnant from CFM Stone in Buffalo.  All of their remnants are $55/sf installed, so this cost ~$480 total.
  • Vanity: We used the existing vanity and just painted it.  Paint is BM’s Decorator’s White in Sherwin Williams’ ProClassic paint.  (More on the painting process in another post.)
  • Vanity Hardware: All from Home Depot, knobs are the Liberty 1-1/2″ Caitlin for $3.99 each; pulls are satin nickel cup pulls (I can’t find them online, but they’re stocked in most Home Depot stores) and they cost ~$4 each.
  • Pendant Lights:  We found these beauties at a Pittsburgh furniture boutique, Hot Haute Hot, for $79 each.  The store was amazing btw–if you’re ever in the Pittsburgh area, I highly recommend it.  Lots of unique finds
  • Mirror?  Taking suggestions . . .
  • Walls:  I chickened out here.  Well, not exactly.  I just couldn’t make any more decisions, and I wanted everything done.  So when the contractor offered to paint the walls after removing the wallpaper, I said yes.  And because I couldn’t handle picking a paint color, I went with my tried-and-true favorite (which is also on practically every wall in our house): Benjamin Moore’s Decorator’s White, but in Sherwin Williams’ Duration paint.

So there you have it.

What do you think?  Big improvement?  Hopefully I’ll get some after pics of the kitchen taken this weekend so I can share next week (we’re having issues with cabinet hardware, so that’s been the hold-up–sorry!).

Kitchen Renovation Week #3

Is it any surprise that the one-week renovation turned into a three-week job?  I guess you could say it was a bit of a surprise to Mr. Bunches and I–we knew not to hold our breaths for completion in a week, but we did (foolishly) think that two weeks was a real possibility.  In fact, we were anticipating arriving home this past Monday to a final reveal (akin to Extreme Makeover’s “MOVE THAT BUS!”), but that didn’t happen.  No sense whining about it, though, right?  Right.

While this week’s earlier post was how we left things looking as of last Thursday (when we headed out of town for a whirlwind east coast tour–more on that later), here’s how things were looking earlier this week . . .

Not too shabby, eh?  Walls have been painted, pendant lights have been hung, tile backsplash has been grouted, and the ceiling has been patched.  We’re loving the stainless steel shelves, and I have to give credit where credit is due: Mr. Bunches picked these out himself.  I wanted white wooden shelves, but that would have involved a bit more work on our parts.  So thank goodness for Mr. Bunches’ laziness, eh?  Er, I mean ingenuity honey :).

And how great do the pendant lights look?  Keep in mind that all will be better once the trim and cabinets are painted white . . .

And how about our gorgeous faucet?  We love it!  (All the excruciating details of that decision are posted here.)

The laundry room also got a new coat of paint, along with a new laundry sink and faucet.  With the removal of the lower cabinets, and the trimming of the upper cabinet, we were able to push the washer/dryer back another 8 inches.  Now, that may not seem like much to you, but to me, well, it’s a little bit of laundry heaven.  Especially since I’ve grown about 8 inches out front these days . . .

And the half bath also saw progress–the new penny tile floor and cove base was put in and grouted . . .

and the faucet, sink, and placeholders for the pendants were in.  Plus, all had been freshened with a bright white coat of paint . . .

So what’s next?  Well, the big project left is kitchen flooring, and that may or may not be happening today (fingers crossed).  Also, Mr. Bunches has decided that we should forge ahead and just paint the cabinets now instead of waiting for the bambino to arrive.  So I’ve already chiseled off the trim from the kitchen cabinets, filled the knob holes with wood putty, and Mr. B has begun the process of sanding everything down.  Here’s where the cabinets stand now (you can also see that the trim has been removed in the pictures of the kitchen above):

If all goes well this weekend, we’ll be wrapping this kitchen project up with a bow!  Hallelujah.

Oh, and some of you loyal readers may be wondering what happened to our sexy range hood (c’mon–I know that’s what you were thinking).  Well, to make a long story short, let’s just say it didn’t work out:

Sorry for the crappy phone pic, but I was a bit distraught at the time.  See, the problem was that hood was only 24″ above our cooktop, which meant that it came to my chin.  Not cool.  Especially since I love to cook.  And it was also just a lot bigger than we had thought–we took down all those upper cabinets to open up the kitchen, and now it felt closed off again.  So we made the difficult decision–no range hood.  And now we’re trying to sell it on craigslist–so if you know of anyone in need of an island range hood, please let us know!

Progress: Countertops, Sinks, and Tiles, Oh My!

Just after I posted the last update, sure enough the contractors showed up and actually banged out some pretty serious progress.  Guess that’ll show me, huh?

And in the interest of brevity, here are the pics:

Notice anything new . . . ?

That’s right!  The countertops arrived and have been installed, and they are BEAUTIFUL.  If you remember from this post, we went with Silestone quartz countertops, color Niebla, from Home Depot.

Home Depot had pretty comparable pricing to Lowe’s Allen & Roth countertops (Allen & Roth is the Lowe’s brand), but the turnaround time was going to be faster with HD, so we went that route.  And, as a bonus, we had a 10% off coupon for Lowe’s, which HD happily honored for us.  Which meant the original cost of the countertops, $3,156, was knocked down to only $2,840!  Yay for coupons, eh?  The final price per square foot, installed, was only ~$60.  And since quartz countertops are considered a capital improvement, we paid no tax for them (granite is the same, but Corian and other solid surface options are taxable)!

We love the new bar overhang, and once we paint the cabinets, we’re sure those brackets will be just about invisible.

You also can see our new subway tile backsplash in these shots–doesn’t it look great?  It still needs grout (we opted for white), but we love it.

And the new sink is in!!!  It’s huge, deep, and exactly what we wanted.

You may remember the agonizing sink decision from here.

There have also been some other kitchen updates–we had 4 6″ can lights installed.  You can see two of them in this shot . . .

That big light in the middle is actually a sun tube.  And while it may not be the most aesthetically-pleasing light in the world, we do love that it gives the kitchen a ton of natural light during the day.  With four new can lights, and two pendant lights going over the sink, I’ll finally have the bright kitchen I’ve always wanted (there’s nothing quite like cooking in the dark to make you uber-frustrated).

There was also progress made in the half bath . . .

That’s right–the new countertop was installed in there as well.  It’s Donna Sandra granite.  Looks a little brown/peach in that picture, but trust me–it’s basically all different colors of gray.

And the vessel sink is just on there for placement now.  Once the walls and cabinetry’s painted, it will look much improved, I promise.

The last update is the laundry room:

Not much has changed in there except for the walls being spackled.

In the interests of full disclosure, these pictures were all from last week.  A lot has happened since–more tile, paint, a range hood conundrum, faucets, sinks, etc.  I’ll try and get another post up soon so you can see where we really stand at the moment.  But, until then, what do you think?  Do you love the new countertops?

Contractor Slow Down

Why is that contractors can’t stay on schedule?  Or even work a full 8-hour day?  It’s seriously messing with my mind.  I feel like I need to start my own contracting firm–just by working a full day and knowing how to use the phone, I would kill it in that business.  Un-frickin-believable.

Anyways, that’s my little rant.  I’m trying to keep calm so as not to rile up Mini B in my belly . . . not sure how well I’m doing though.

But, for those that are curious, some progress has at least been made.  First up, the half bath:

As you can see, they completed the removal of the ugly light box and then patched the drywall.  Not entirely sure why there’s only one electrical cord hanging down as the plan is to put two pendant lights in there, but hopefully that will get resolved.

And now, the kitchen:

They’ve finished patching all the walls and putting new drywall up.  And they’ve also removed the chair rail from one half of the kitchen, and the cove base from the floor . . .

Looking good, right?  Not quite as much progress as I had hoped for, but I’m just trying to stay calm.  Today they’ll rip out the old counter tops and the sink and get everything ready for the new counter tops.  And since I knew today would finally be the day that introduced a bunch of dirt and dust into our lower cabinets, I decided to empty them last night.  Which further makes the family room look like a bomb went off:

Oh, and I haven’t done an update post on it yet, but obviously from that picture you can tell that stripes won out in this battle.

One other area that the contractors have been working on is the laundry room.  Here’s a quick before shot:

Our plan was to have them remove the lower cabinets–we didn’t use them, and the laundry sink had been leaking ever since we moved in.  We wanted them removed so that the stacked washer/dryer could get pushed back to the wall.  See how they’re sticking out in these shots:

And now, the lowers have been removed, and the room looks like such:

Kind of scary, huh?  We’ll have a new laundry tub installed, and once the new flooring is added throughout and the walls patched, it’ll look so much more open.  Can’t wait.

So there you have it, our renovation update.

Check out the pile of supplies waiting to go in . . . sinks, tiles, paint, lights.  Awesomeness.

And in case you were wondering how much snow we got with that big nor’easter they were forecasting, well, let’s just say that I still think the best job ever would be as a meteorologist–I mean, what other job out there exists where you can always be wrong?!

There’s just a bit of snow on the lawn, and that’s about it.  Otherwise, we got just a ton of rain.  No complaints here though 🙂


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