One Year Later

I thought I’d do a post or two about the renovations I made to my house last year. What I liked best, and the few things I might not like as well. Just in case anybody is considering having work done on their house.

I’ll start with the kitchen. Sometimes it seems like I’ve always had this kitchen, and then other times I can’t believe that I have such a nice place to work. And such a big kitchen, compared to what I had before. (My kitchen was about 48 square feet, and the new kitchen is about 165 SF.) There’s really nothing I would change about the way we built the kitchen. It is very user friendly and practical. One of the things I originally wanted was three large windows. Well, that would greatly cut down on the space available for cabinets. So we compromised, and the window over the sink is bigger than J. the contractor originally planned, and then I got glass-fronted cabinets on either side of the sink instead of the windows.

But here is one of the things I like the most: my BIG white sink! When I was making decisions, sometimes I would just get “the best.” But most of the time I was looking for what I wanted, and also trying to get a good product while being financially conservative. My first choice was a farmhouse sink. They were quite expensive, but I wanted one. Then I found out that it would not fit with the cabinets we had already started. So then I found a dark blue enamel sink, which was even more expensive, and I decided to splurge on that. Turns out it was no longer being manufactured. So then I just started looking at white sinks, and when I found this one, which was just the way I wanted, and it was also a really low price, I went for it! And I do love how big it is, and how white it is. I have worked at keeping up with my housework, and keeping the sink clean is one of the things I stay on top of.

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There are so many things I love in the kitchen–the granite countertops are great, and so far have been very easy to keep clean. I still like the wood cabinets, which kind of started this whole idea. The toaster oven was just a cheapie from Walmart. I use it almost every day. I love the butcher block island (not shown, it was the only place cluttered when I was taking pictures,) and I love having the drawer pull-out in the island with double containers–one for garbage, and one for cans. My dishwasher love knows no bounds. That was one of the things I was completely ambivalent about ordering, and I like the most. No more dishes drying on the countertops, and they all come out so sparkly and clean!

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This was one more clever idea. A friend said that if you had an odd corner, you could put a pantry in there. So its just a small corner (J. the contractor had to make a special small door,) but as you can see, there’s plenty of room in there for lots of stuff.

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In the bathroom, one of the things I like the most is the medicine cabinet! That was another thing I didn’t really want. I told J. “no” quite a few times, and he just said, he framed in a space for it “just in case I changed my mind.” So finally, I saw a little $15 cabinet that I liked (white wooden frame.) I love having it. It keeps the counter from being so cluttered. Oh, see that dark towel there? If you remember, I got navy blue towels to go with the picture that I put in the room. Well… I guess all towels shed, but that navy blue fuzz is still showing up a year later. I still like those towels, but I’m not sure I’ll ever get dark colored towels again.

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The bathtub (the room is not all pink like this looks.) I chose this bathtub because it was inexpensive and I liked the way it curved out. I still like that. But it is an acrylic tub. I think its harder to keep clean, and there are quite a few products that say “not recommended for acrylic.” I might go for a cast iron tub if I was doing this again. That little square indent that J. put in? I LOVE those. Just right for all my bathing implements. There’s one in the shower too.

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Here’s the shower. If there’s one thing that I am slightly unhappy about, it is the shower. We had a lot of conversations about the size of the shower. I really wanted it to be 40 inches. But 36 was all the space there was. Okay. But one day a couple of months after the construction was all done, I started counting tiles. The inside of the shower is only about 30 inches. It is too small. But do you know what I think about EVERY SINGLE TIME I take a shower and start to grouse about the size? Yes, I think, well, hot water comes out every single time you turn it on. Shut up and enjoy. If you are ever unhappy with your shower, I recommend a trip to a third world country. I paid extra for the plain clear glass door. I like it, although I’m not sure it was worth the extra expense. Also, I paid extra for some kind of coating that would keep it from getting water spots. I would NOT recommend that. It didn’t even last 6 months.

The floor, which you can just see a bit of, is marble. I got it because it was pink and it was cheap at Lowe’s. I love the way it looks, but marble is very finicky. I ruined the finish on four of the tiles by using diluted vinegar on them. One of these days I’ll get that fixed. One other thing in the bathroom that I really wish I had done differently: they have one thousand and one options for light/fan/nightlight/heater combos. I got a fairly expensive one because I thought it had all those things, and also because the fan was supposed to be quiet. Well, the fan is quiet, and I like the nightlight. But somehow, I got home without the heater. And I was so frustrated at that point that I told J. to go ahead and install it. I wish I had a heater. My old bathroom was smaller, and it seemed like the hot water would heat up the bathroom. But its cold when I get out of the shower. That is something that can be fixed, and eventually I will get that replaced. Maybe in ten years or so 🙂

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And lastly, the indoor laundry room. I used to have to go out on the deck and down the stairs to my “laundry dungeon.” Washing clothes has always been one of my favorite chores, and how fun it is to have the washer and dryer inside the house. I lost some closet space to make enough room for this, and it was totally worth it.

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That’s about it for now. I’ll try to review the other rooms in future posts.

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21 thoughts on “One Year Later

  1. This sounds as though you mostly like the changes you made. So do we. The key is putting in time during the design stage; give yourself the luxury of browsing through the many choices before you make that final decision. I think you did a great job. There is an American Standard choice called Americast that is porcelain covered, lighter than cast iron, easier to install and a good consideration as a tub for the next go-round (10 years or so). Enjoy.

    • That is interesting. I visited a real bathroom/plumbing shop and I don’t think that was offered. I didn’t like the shape of the cast iron tubs they had, so that’s why I ended up with this one.

  2. This is a fun post. I’m all in to hearing what did and didn’t worked in remodels and re-orgs. 30″ does sound kind of scrunchy to me. I’d have to pretend I was on a cruise. Actually, the huge ships now probably have bigger showers, but years ago when I went on some … well, heaven forbid I drop the soap or washcloth because at my size it was like bathing in a tube and retrieving anything dropped was a significant challenge.

    • “Bathing in a tube”–still chuckling. I guess I should be proud that I can retrieve the dropped soap in my little shower?

  3. I use a lil portable tower space heater that oscillates in my bathroom in the winter. It works great and was just a few bucks at Walmart. The master bath is in on the northwest side of the house, where the wind howls all winter long, so that space heater has saved my cold buns more than once. 😉

    Love this recap of what worked and what didn’t with your remodel. Sounds like soap-on-a-rope might be a good Christmas gift for you, with your smaller shower. That stuff is hard to find these days, though.

    • There’s really not a good spot for a portable space heater in the bathroom. I’m going to talk to J. again about putting in a little wall heater. I think he told me there was a reason he couldn’t do it. In the meantime, its only a minute or two of coldness. I can stand it 🙂

  4. So fun to read this! I love your kitchen too and many of the ideas you’ve incorporated, I would do myself if I ever got to have a do-over where I am. I’m with you on the dishwasher thing – never had one until we moved into this house and it’s my favorite appliance. I don’t even mind emptying it because I’m so happy to not do dishes all the time!

    • I KNOW! I like emptying it too. I made a routine of it–I empty it while we (me and four hungry dogs) wait for their food to soak.

  5. What a great idea to do this post! I remember that blue kitchen sink…so pretty, but I do LOVE your big white sink (and want a huge, single sink so badly myself). Your kitchen backsplash was always one of my favorite things; happy that you are enjoying the perfect pantry so much, and your pink bathroom makes me smile.

    • I think it was your suggestion to get the single sink. And I am so happy I did! One thing I didn’t write about was how easy it is to wash the little girls in the sink, with the high spout as well. I don’t really like doing it–not enough water pressure–but its kind of nice on the coldest days.

  6. Love this review! I also cracked up at your hand peeking into the bathroom shot in what looks like your robe ? 😀

    The small shower – I think you can bitch about it. You paid a lot of money for a remodel, so you want to be happy. And every single inch counts in a small space. Every watch those shows on tiny houses?

    I should do a year later thing on some of our rooms as well. Except I have to write about the ones we are working on LOL!

    • Ha! Yes, you should have seen the first picture I took that showed most of me in my robe. NOT a pretty picture, that’s for sure 🙂

  7. I would love – LOVE – to have a space of my own and I would make it look just like your cabin. Your kitchen is beautiful and I’m so jealous of your big bathtub. What a fun recap – thanks for posting this!

  8. When we lived in a house with acrylic sinks I had good luck cleaning them with vinegar. I used it full strength. Be sure to wear gloves, and don’t get it on your marble tile. Everything looks pretty in your house.

  9. After having my living room, dining room and bedroom done, I want to redo the back half of the house, but after spending so much $$ already, I need to slow my pace – I hope to get that done next year though. I love cooking and my kitchen is about as bad as it gets – when my husband was alive, he and I really couldn’t be in the kitchen at the same time because of the lack of space 😦

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