Toilet room: Take two

Alright guys, you ready for a quick, inexpensive makeover that we did to the teeniest, tiniest space in our home??    It’s one of those “why didn’t I do this sooner?” tweaks that, seriously, I should’ve done many, many moons ago.  I became especially antsy about wanting to get this done while I was nesting during my pregnancy, but alas… I feared that my belly was too big to actually fit in the space to reach all the nooks and crannies.  Haha.  Better late than never, though.

The space in question?  The toilet room. (applause! applause!)

If you’ve followed me for a while, you know that this is a space that lives up to its name….

It’s a toilet.

In a room.

And that’s it.

Literally.

When we moved in, it was a purple blank slate.  Observe….

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See what I mean??   No baby bump could safely fit next to that toilet.  😉

Back when we took possession of the house, this space had nothing, and I mean, NOTHING in it but a toilet.   And copious amounts of purple paint.  We.mustn’t.discount.the.purple.paint.  It looks greyish here, but no… it was purple.   And it made me cranky.   Not joking.   I know that color can affect mood, and I’ve never heard of purple inducing anger, but seriously guys… It made me ornery.  It needed to be gone.  Big time.

In addition to the color, there was no function, no storage, etc.  It had nothing but a *well loved* over-the-tank TP dispenser left by the previous owners.  #no

So, a while back, I painted the room a bright color, built a pipe shelf and industrial toilet paper dispenser, and hung some art, which brought us here…

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To be honest, I’m not really sure what I was thinking with this space.  I was going for “fun pool bath” and,  I mean, it was cute-ish, but not really our style at all.  Plus, every time I looked at it, I felt like there was something lacking.   It was seriously falling flat in some way.   This became blatantly obvious as the rest of our home started coming together in a way that DID feel like us.   More neutral.  More simple.  A mix of old with new.  Warmth and coziness is key in our home, and this space felt just… cold.

So, on a whim, during one of Henry’s naps, I busted out the paint roller and some leftover paint and toned down the space with my FAVORITE grey tone ever (Driftwood Grey by Glidden).

Oh look, here she is now…

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Isn’t this color the Sophia Loren of greys??  Sophisticated and rich.  For real.

This tone is also in the guest bath (stay tuned for that update) as well as the master bedroom and Lucas’s room.   It looks slightly different in each space, but just as lovely.  The power of paint, guys.  It never ceases to amaze me how just changing the color of a space can actually make it look more expensive… that’s my impression of this color.  It somehow makes the room look higher quality.

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After painting the walls, I sanded and restained the shelf I built with Varathane’s Early American stain to match the wood tones throughout the rest of the house, and then I decorated it more simply with practicality in mind.   TP = necessary.  A simple faux rosemary (from Target) and white plate (to hold jewelry and such while swimming) completed the look.

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As for art, I kept the New York print (from Urban Outfitters), and found this vintage painting at a thrift store a while ago.   I love the mix of bold and modern with subtle and old-school.   The entire space flows now, both in itself and with the rest of the house.

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I still want to do something with the ceiling in this space, whether it be simply adding crown moulding, or possibly something more architectural.   Plus, wainscoting or some sort of board and batten would be nice on the walls.   We’ll get to it.  I’m sure of it.  In any case, I spent zero dollars on this as I already had everything on hand and it took a mere afternoon to complete.   This little refresh really, REALLY goes a long way into making the space fit the vibe of our home so much better.  No more random aqua room in this Casa.  And I’m okay with that.   🙂

So, that’s our toilet room, and boy are we so much happier with it.   Next up, I’ve taken pics of our living and dining spaces as they stand now, and lemme tell ya, I’m so, SO happy with how those rooms are coming together.   I can’t wait to put those posts together for you guys, so stay tuned.

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The Great Crate Challenge

Howdy, Folks!   I love blogging.  I have to say.  It’s fun, rewarding, therapeutic and a great way to meet some awesome people whom I would have never met otherwise.   A while back I agreed to team up with some amazing bloggers for a project challenge.   Basically, we all had to go buy crates from Michael’s and do something with them.  Thus, The Great Crate Challenge was born….

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I thought about it for a while, and after some deliberation, decided to take my crates and make a bench for either our foyer or much-neglected front porch.

Before I began, I developed a highly technical plan…

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Impressed? 😉

Then, I purchased my materials…

– 3 crates from Michael’s

– 1″ x 12″ x 12′ whitewood board (cut down to (2) 1″ x 10 1/4″ x 55″)

– Bolts, nuts, and washers to bolt the crates together

Other materials, which I already had…

– Wood screws

– Stain/paint

– Wood legs (which I found at Goodwill for practically pennies)…

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I was cracking up as I left Goodwill that day because the cashier made such a stink that I’d found the legs before her.   Heehee!  Sorry, lady.  Finders keepers.   Anyhoo, I’d done some research prior to making my plan, and found that 17-18″ is a good height for a bench, thus these legs were too long.  So, Joey cut them down with the miter saw to 4 inch lengths.

Once I had all of my materials together, I did a dry run in the foyer so that I could figure out how I wanted to paint/stain the bench (Lucas helped).

We placed various stained items nearby and tried to visualize which finish would look best.  Lucas was no help in deciding.  He liked everything.   But somehow, I managed to convince my lovely cousin, Kristyn, to babysit AND brainstorm with me all in one day.   It was super helpful to bounce ideas off her and I came out deciding to stain the top, bottom and legs and red-wash the crates to give the bench kind of an industrial-old-schoolhouse feel.

I sanded all of my pieces to take off any splinters or harsh edges.  Then, I used Varathane’s Early American stain, applying 2 coats with dry time between to my whitewood pieces and legs.  Once the stain had dried, I treated the stained elements with several coats of Formby’s Tung Oil as discussed in this post.

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For the crates, I decided to use a red-wash technique so that the woodgrain would still show through.  I poured some of this paint…

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…into a cup and diluted it with equal parts water.  I simply painted it on and let it dry.  I experimented with wiping off the excess, but that caused the crates to take on a pinkish hue.  Not good.  Plus, the wood was so absorbent that simply painting it on didn’t leave drips anyways, so I just applied the paint and called it a day.

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Once the components had dried, it was assembly time.  Joey did most of it with some direction from me per my plan.   We started by attaching the legs to the bottom.  This was a bit of a different process for us because of the random Goodwill legs I’d found.  The screws on top were much too long for the standard brackets sold at home improvement stores.   Luckily, Joey figured out that the metal threading that held the feet in place on the bottoms of the legs (the part that he’d cut off) fit the screws perfectly.  So, he removed them…

He drilled holes in the bottom board where the legs would go and played around with the components to determine the most secure way to attach them.  Ultimately, he found that inserting the metal screw-catch thing (technical term) to the opposite side of the board allowed the legs to be attached more securely.   (Note: If you simply purchase legs from Lowe’s or Home Depot or whatever, you can purchase metal brackets right along with them to secure the legs, easy-peasy.)

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You can see here how the metal threads are on the top side.  The screw catches the thread from the opposite direction holding the legs snugly to the board…

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Next, he bolted the crates together using a clamp to keep everything flush and lined up…

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Once the crates were bolted together, he screwed the crates to the bottom using wood screws….

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…and repeated the process with the top…

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Once we’d completed our new baby bench, I tried it in the foyer and then on the porch.  And the porch won out.  Big time. (HEADLINE: Porch Engages in Victory Dance While Foyer Weeps Rocking In Fetal Position)…

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I absolutely love it!  It turned out better than I imagined.  I feel like the industrial schoolhouse vibe was totally achieved and it adds a nice punch of color to our porch.   Plus, crates + bricks are sexy.  Forhousestuff.  Just sayin’.  I still need to treat the bench with something more inclement-weather friendly now that it’s final placement is determined.  Honestly, I really thought this guy’d end up in the foyer so I wasn’t too worried about that in the painting/treating stages.  I’ll get that done soon to keep him looking healthy.  In the meantime, I will spend my free time sitting and staring at him with a goofy smile on my face.   Crate. Mission. Accomplished.

Update: It’s been approximately 9 months since we built this bench and I’m happy to report that it’s still going strong.   It has remained in only outdoor covered areas (first our front porch, and now our covered back patio) and it has suffered no damage or weakening whatsoever and remains sturdy as can be.  I can’t speak for how it would fare if left in exposed outdoor areas, but it seems to be perfectly fine if sheltered from the sun and rain.   We still couldn’t be happier with this project. 🙂

So, that’s my contribution to The Great Crate Challenge!   Now, check out the other awesome projects created by my fabulous bloggy friends….

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