A Tour Through Blogland

September 15, 2014

I have been invited on A Tour through Blogland by Michelle of Jarrah Jungle - thanks, Michelle! Be sure to stop by Michelle's blog and have a read through her renovations, recipes and book reviews, she is one busy lady over there in Perth.  

The tour consists of 4 questions for me to answer so here goes:

1) What am I working on?

Finishing up the toilet room/powder room, whatever you want to call it. We actually tiled the floor and painted the walls when we did our laundry renovation about a year ago (the toilet adjoins the laundry), but I decided about 6 weeks ago that the walls needed to be wallpapered (above left).  There is a finishing touch or two to do before that project gets a post. I liked this wallpaper as soon as I saw it (I have no particular fondness for swans in case you are wondering). We also just finished having our bathroom renovated (not posted yet either) and that's the new bath in the pic on the right.

2) How does my work differ from others in the DIY/Decorating genre?

I don't think it does, I'm just one in a sea of DIY/Decorating blogs. I make, paint and renovate like the rest of them. I decorate my home mostly with black, white and grey, while most blogs I read tend to incorporate more colour - that's a difference I guess.

3) Why do I write what I do?

Not sure, and some days I do wonder why I blog.  Maybe it is a little odd to put pictures of your house on the internet? I can't decide. I have found other blogger's posts on putting in a pool or renovating a laundry helpful though, so when I do a post on our renovations, I'm just adding my 2 cents really. I try to blog only when I have something decent to share, so maybe once a week. I did post more often a while back, but it was a bunch of nonsense so I hit the delete button on those posts.

4) How does your writing/creating process work?

I take photos and put them in the post and then write the post around the photos. I don't think too much about what I write (that's probably obvious), I just try and keep things straightforward if I'm describing how I/we did something. I include the problems and stuff ups too because it's important to show that renovating is a disaster prone endeavour at the best of times. I blog mostly on weekends, although I like to take a couple of days to write a post - it's too much work all at once. It's just a hobby after all!

So thank you for reading my A Tour through Blogland and once again, thank you Michelle for the invitation to participate. 

Now, I get to nominate 2 bloggers to pass this on to. I was supposed to email my 2 bloggers to warn them but I didn't get a chance, but I am nominating KL of Eternalicons and Laura of Elsee blog (ladies, if you are happy to play along, just answer the 4 questions above in your own blog post and then nominate your own 2 bloggers to pass this on to).  I was also meant to post a little about each of my 2 choices -  KL embraces plenty of black like me and is in the middle of building a beautiful home, while Laura has some DIYs to covet (headboard and tufted banquette to name two) and recently renovated her kitchen which is so pretty! I think you should just click over and have a read to find out more!

The Bathroom: A 12 Day Renovation [Part 2]

September 7, 2014

Following on from Part 1 of the bathroom renovation (scroll down to see or just click here), the second week rolled around and was mostly devoted to tiling. Day 5 (Monday) the tiler came and the subways were installed - I was home for this and had to keep sneaking a peak here and there, too exciting! This was a full 8am - 4pm day. Some of these photos aren't as clear as I'd like them to be, I seem to suck at photo taking lately.

This is the other side of the room, specifically the new toilet space.  At this point the area looked really small to me, but the measurements were all OK and within regulations so all good.

Day 6 (Tuesday) was grouting day for the walls, and the hex floor tiles were laid. We weren't home for this so we were dying to see it after work.  The excitement didn't last long as when we got home and saw the wall above the bath we just stared in disbelief - some of the tiles on the wall were a different white than the others and it just looked terrible, like we had tried to achieve some weird, subway tile feature wall (not really obvious here, but in person it was). Complete WTF moment. Another 8am - 4pm day for the tiler, and about 5 hours of swearing for us.

Day 7 (Wednesday) was supposed to be the end of the tiling but after the subway tile drama of Day 6, only the grouting of the floor tiles got done. We found a solution for the mismatched tiles above the bath - the tiler would remove the wrong tiles and replace them with the right ones. Luckily, we had a box of tiles spare which did match and which we had enough of to fix the problem, but the tiler couldn't do it until the following day (we checked with both the tiler and our project manager and this wouldn't affect the waterproofing on that particular wall). Only a couple of hours work this day.

Day 8 (Thursday) was re-tiling day, so we got the problem wall fixed and grouted, big sigh of relief.  This was another almost full day.

Day 9 (Friday) - the last official day, and a step closer to being able to shower at home again. Everything was installed, fitted, caulked and whatever else done to finish the room off (except for painting). This was another full day.

Next up, a full bathroom reveal!

The Bathroom: A 12 Day Renovation [Part 1]

August 28, 2014

Here's the bathroom pre-renovation. A little tired, a lot of beige. And small. We think the room was renovated by the previous owners about 20 years ago, but just a guess.  I suspect that when the last renovation happened, and going from what most homes of this era had, they took out a bath in favour of a shower, or perhaps took out a bath and shower in favour of a shower and toilet. 

The bathroom was functional but I didn't really like the shower right at the entrance to the room, as it felt a bit boxy. We decide to to change the layout and while it wouldn't make the 2.3m x 1.8m space any physically bigger, it would hopefully make it feel that way.  To do that we would swap the positioning of the toilet and shower - shower to move to back right-hand corner, toilet to move to bottom right-hand corner - and also add in a bath. We could have removed the toilet to gain more space as we have a another toilet off the laundry room, but I like to maximise my facilities where possible.

After we did the song and dance that is obtaining quotes, we selected one and found that we had 2 weeks to get supplies before work started (we thought we'd have a month or so).  We decided from the start that we wanted to supply everything ourselves, so we wouldn't be limited in choices (with taps, tiles, etc.) and could have greater control of the budget. Here's a day by day rundown of the first 6 days of the renovation:

We decided to do the demo of the old bathroom ourselves as another way to save money and also time. I think the biggest benefit of getting the demo part out of the way before official work begins is that you don't lose a day waiting for someone else to demo the room for you, and if there are any problems hidden behind your bathroom walls, they will be visible straightaway and those problems addressed quickly. On Demo Day 1 (Saturday), Paul ripped everything out. This created such a mess and there was dust everywhere.

Demo Day 2 (Sunday) was about crawling around the floor ripping out old nails, which was my job. Once I got the nails in the floor out, there were then a ton of them in the walls (what was left of them) to get rid of, so yeah, not fun. This part took a few hours.

Day 1 of the official renovation rolled around on the Monday. Day 1 was plumbing day, which meant roughing in the plumbing for the new fittings. As we were swapping the positions of the toilet and shower, this required a little extra work as the waste pipe for the shower is slightly different to that for the toilet. This took from 8am - 2.30pm.

Day 2 (Tuesday) - carpentry day. This saw the hob built for the new bath and the frame for the new shaving/medicine cabinet (depending on where you shop, names change to make things confusing for everyone).  The bath was lowered into the hob and filled with water to set it in place. This was the day we could see the layout come to life. Another 8am - 2.30pm day.

Day 3 (Wednesday) - plastering day.  New walls went up, floors down and the joins plastered, as were some small cracks around the room.  Another 8am - 2.30pm day.

Day 4 (Friday, no work occurred on Thursday) - Waterproofing. This only took a couple of hours in the morning, and then had to be left for 24 hours. We played around with our floor and wall tiles in the room once the 24 hours were up to get an idea of how they were going to look once installed.

The first week of the renovation saw no problems and everything trucked along as it was meant to, which was a relief.  Up next: Week 2 recap.