On April 15, 2008 we closed on a 1955 Mid-Century Modern home in Merriam, KS that was custom designed by the late Donald R. Hollis of Hollis + Miller Architects. We will be sharing our journey as we update the house to make it our own, while trying to stay as close to the original design as possible.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Herman Miller Eames' Table Base and Phoenix's First Christmas

Well, since we are at a standstill with the hall bathroom, what else could we do but shop!!!!

We need a dining table, so last weekend we went shopping at some of our favorite spots looking for one.  We have a list of several of our favorite table types: Saarinen tulip, Noguchi cyclone,  Eames round, Platner, or a current model with to die for lines.  We found a Noguchi cyclone table about 3 months ago, but it was too small!  We were sooo disappointed.

So we continued to hunt for a table that we could bring home.  Well we finally found one!  It was an early Herman Miller Eames table base from the aluminum group line.  Now all we have to do is find a top!  And we know exactly where to find one, but it will have to wait until the snow melts up north.

We also cleared the central backyard once again.  We also piled the leaves and burned them!  That's always fun.

This is Phoenix's first Christmas.  LD bought her our traditional Christmas stocking and placed it with the others on the fireplace.  I can't wait to for Santa to put some nice smelly treats in there, and see if she picks up on it.

We were afraid to put up the Christmas tree(s) because she has been getting into everything.  So last week, we finally put it up, but with no ornaments.  Then we let the Phoenix out.  She smelled it and walked under it several times, then left it alone.  So we decided to put up some of the ornaments, but left the lower part of the tree empty.  It's been 4 days, and so far so good!

Merry Christmas to All!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Bathroom Progress is Out of Our Hands at this Point

Well the bathroom has gone as far as we can take it for now.  After we got done grouting, we noticed that the grout had left some haze in our tile.  I took a trip to Home Depot in search of a grout haze cleaner but the salesperson told me that cleaning the tile with the product they carried would require that I wait 10 days before sealing.  He encouraged me to go home and just try scrubbing it down with a sponge.  I tried it, but it only took care of a little bit of the haze.  I then tried a tile and grout cleaner I had purchased for our other bathroom, and it took a little bit off but not enough.  So I decided to go see what Lowes had to offer.  I found a very low VOC grout haze cleaner that did a very good job of taking care of the remaining haze.   After a couple of days, I finally sealed the grout!

I also installed the shower head, tub spout, and handle.  We decided to go with fixtures with a detachable showerhead, so we can give the dogs a bath without having to re-attach the cheesy white sprayer we had been using prior to our remodel.  So we ended up selecting Delta's In2ition Hand Held Shower Head (which we have nicknamed the Alien Head).  Phoenix is certainly due for a bath.

LD and I tackled the baseboards, and after a few mistakes we finally got it right.  Maybe that will inspire us to finally install baseboards in the rest of the house.

I managed to prime and give the windows a coat of paint.  They definitely need a second coat of paint, but I am afraid that it will have to wait until Spring once the temperature goes up again.  We have had some 60 degree days, but unfortunately I have either been working or we have been out of town.

LD and I also installed some shelves we purchased during our last IKEA trip.  I was initially not too thrilled with the look, but they are growing on me.

We also reinstalled our toilet, and the install went way smoother than the first time.  Our first install had been a nightmare, the instructions for attaching the tank to the bowl were really screwed up.  This time around we decided to ignore the instructions, and attach the tank to the bowl based on instructions I saw on the internet.  A few minutes after we had installed it, however, I noticed that there was a small puddle next to the supply valve.  I was afraid that it might mean that the supply valve was faulty, but fortunately it turned out to be just our old supply line.  We purchased a new one, and it took care of the problem.

Other than installing some towel bars, there is nothing much we can do at this point.  We can't do anything until the vanity is done.  But we haven't heard from the cabinet maker since October, and we are getting worried.

So we are stuck.  We can't order our countertop until the vanity gets installed.  For the countertop, we selected recycled glass Eco by Consentino in the white diamond color.  We think it will complement the tile very nicely.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

It's Starting to Look Like a Bathroom Again!

Well we have been busy since our last post, and our efforts are starting to pay off.

I did not have any luck finding a seller with a small section of Kerdi locally, but I did find it online by the square foot.  After I placed my order, however, the company told me it was back ordered.  Not knowing how much of a wait that would be, I emailed the company and told them to cancel my order.  I then started searching Craigslist, and found someone in Columbia who happened to be selling a Kerdi drain.  Wishfully thinking, I contacted him and asked if he had any leftover Kerdi fabric that he would sell to me.  Luckily he did, and I picked it up last Saturday.  On Sunday we went to work and finished the last of our Kerdi install.

On Wednesday evening we installed the first two rows of tile.

On Veteran's Day we finished setting the tile, and we grouted today.  In 3 days, we'll be ready to seal!

At first we were planning on painting the bathroom gray, but we could not find the right shade of gray and finally decided that we did not really want to walk into a gray bathroom.  So we picked up a few more paint chips. 

We finally decided on Home Depot's no VOC Freshaire's "Still Moment". 

I have to wait for a warm day to finish priming and painting the windows.  Our next immediate steps are to purchase and install baseboards, and reinstall the toilet.  

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween = Orange Tub Surround

Well we didn't meet our Oct. 30 deadline for our hall bathroom renovation.  We had hoped to get the bathroom done in time to host a Halloween party, but it didn't quite work out.  One of our neighbors hosted a Halloween party yesterday, so we celebrated a day early.

Today we went to work on waterproofing our walls.  It went a lot faster and easier than the first time around.  Unfortunately, we ran out of Kerdi before we could waterproof the third wall.  If anyone has 6 linear feet of Kerdi laying around, shoot us an email.

 Hope everybody had a safe and happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Hall Bathroom Status Update

I have been meaning to blog, but we've been pretty busy with work, the bathroom, the pups, and life in general!

All the walls have been primed, and the ceiling primed and painted.  We are still trying to decide on a color for the walls.  We are leaning towards gray (but have yet to select the right shade).

This weekend we installed the floor tile. It was not easy because not a single wall was square!  We tried 2 different laser levels, but they did not work on the floor.   So we had to lay them out in several rows first, then drew the lines.

Phoenix was trying to be a little to helpful and ended up with some thinset on her nose.

And today we finished grouting.  The Shore Playela tiles came out really nice, and gives us the feeling of walking on the beach.

Shawn, the cabinet maker, came out today to take final measurements for the vanity.  We are so excited to see the finished product.  We're not sure yet if we want to stain the birch or leave it natural.  We'll see.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Walls Up in the Hall Bathroom & Vanity Design

The walls are up!  (for the most part anyways.)  Next-finishing the walls.

As far as the vanity goes, LD designed a vanity (birch with stainless steel legs from Ikea) that will fit really well into the house.  She combined the lines from the kitchen cabinets and the buffet (August 2009 blog posts) to create the vanity.  The door "mechanics" will be exactly like the buffet's-all wood.  Originally LD was thinking walnut or teak with wooden legs, but change the legs and the type of wood and it becomes fresh.

The countertop?  Well, we're not sure yet, we have some hopes and dreams of getting a recycled glass countertop, but we are realistic too.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Plumbing, Electrical, and Insulation

This week things started to come together in our bathroom thanks to Steve's handy work.

Our new bathtub is in.

Our old electrical outlet got moved a little to the left and got replaced with a GFCI outlet.  Steve also added a second outlet to the other end of the vanity area.

Our two old recessed light fixtures got replaced with eight 4" recessed lights.  I thought it was overkill, but it does light up the bathroom pretty nicely.  The good thing is that each switch controls half of the lights.  

Once Steve got done with the electrical and plumbing, I got to work and re-insulated the ceiling and outer walls.  I walked in there this morning and it stood up to the 38 degree temperature quite well.  

Given that we could not find a stock vanity that we both liked, we asked the cabinet maker that built our infill kitchen cabinets to give us a quote on a couple of vanity designs.  Once we decide on a design, I will post a rough sketch of what we are going for.

We are still trying to decided on a bathroom sink and faucet.  Unfortunately the sink I had fallen in love with would be too big for the space.  So we are pretty much back to the drawing board.  Good thing is we have a little bit of time to decide.

Drywall is supposed to get started tomorrow, we are hoping that it will get done by next weekend.  Once the drywall get done, we can start priming and working on the floor.  

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Here We Go Again!

Demolition is something we have become pretty good at.  Given that our master bathroom is 95% done (still need to paint windows, and install a shelf), we decided we could go ahead and start working on our hallway bathroom.

So LD called Deffenbaugh and arranged for a dumpster to be delivered.  This one is half the size of the other.

Before we got started on our demolition, I thought I would capture the beauty of our bathroom.  So without further ado I present to you our bathroom as it was right before we tore it apart.  Peach tiled walls, yellow tub, paperclip tile accent wall, peach tiled floor, and a rust colored vanity with cultured marble yellow countertop.  What were they thinking?  The plastic sheeting over the accent wall was something we had to put up due to tiles popping off when we demolished the master bathroom tub (drywall was pretty much water damaged).

"Paperclip" tile on accent wall (behind plastic sheet).

I am not going to miss bending over this vanity in order to wash my hands.

We started our demo on Saturday and managed to demo the walls and ceiling.

After seeing the 1 inch mortar (almost like poured concrete) underneath the tile in the floor, we decided to leave that for Sunday.

Our neighbor was kind enough to let us borrow his hammer drill and a large crowbar.  In less than two hours all of the floor tile and the mortar bed were in the dumpster.  I suited up and took out all the old insulation from the outer wall and the ceiling (fiberglass makes LD very itchy, so that was a job I had to tackle on my own).

All we had left to remove was our "beautiful" yellow tub.  So last night, our friends Rollin and Jeannette came over to help us remove the tub from that tight space.  It wasn't too bad.  Rollin did most of the heavy lifting.  He practically lifted it up with his little pinky!!  I exaggerate, but it was scary when he lifted it up on its side (the short side so that it was straight up into the air).  We had craft paper on the floor and several pieces of plywood to protect the cork, and used 2 piano dollies to move the thing.  But it's done!!!  It took more planning than the time it actually took to move it.  But we did it safely and the house didn't get hurt either!

RIP Yellow Banana Tub
4/11/55 to 9/20/10

We ordered our new tub, and we're hoping that it will come in by the end of this week.   We need to purchase some can lights, maybe some sconces, and decide on a bathroom sink.  Oh ya, we also need to buy a countertop and a cabinet!  Stay tuned, we are hoping to get this bathroom done much faster than our previous one.

Monday, September 13, 2010

It has been a busy couple of weeks

Our Toto Aquia toilet came in right on schedule, but given the limited space in our tiny bathroom we figured we would wait to install it after the shower glass wall was installed.  Unfortunately, the installer called us a few days before our originally scheduled date to reschedule.  The glass they had received had a huge scratch right down the middle, and he had to send it back.   So Friday they finally installed it.

The tile we ordered for our backsplash arrived pretty quickly, and we installed it in less than a couple of hours on the Friday before Labor Day.

Since we had to delay the demolition work of our hall bathroom, we decided to take a trip to Ikea.  Phoenix needed a new dog house, unfortunately Snoopy was not interested in selling.

The real reason for our trip was to check out their cabinets.  We really liked their Solar Beech line, but they discontinued them!  Unfortunately, their other cabinets wouldn't work for us.  Unless we find something we both like, we might just have to go custom.  It wasn't a total wasted trip, however, we did pick up some items at Ikea and a Saarinen side table top from the Room and Board Outlet.  Phoenix also got to go on her first official long road trip (other than when we first picked her up in Ohio).  While we were there, her big sisters gave her a tour of the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge.

On Labor Day, we spent a couple of hours grouting the backsplash.  And I sealed the grout yesterday.

Although our shower glass got installed last Friday, we had to allow 48 hours for the silicone to cure.

On Saturday LD and Katy commemorated September 11th by spending the afternoon and evening participating on a joint search scenario training (both Canine and Tech Search).

Yesterday, we finally got a chance to install the toilet.  The hardest part of the install was drilling the holes in the slate.  I could not locate the diamond drill bit we had purchased, so after spending nearly an hour looking for it I drove to Home Depot and bought another one.  Once LD managed to tap the screw anchors into the holes, it was relatively easy.

We finally have a fully functioning bathroom, and now we can start with the demo of our hallway bathroom.  Maybe we can get started this weekend.