New Nest House Tour – Second Floor

It’s time for Part Two of the tour of the new house. Come on up!

Foyer and Stairs

From the top of the stairs there’s a hallway to the right that leads to all the bedrooms on the 2nd floor.

hallway

The closed double doors you see above lead to the walk-in linen closet. At the very top of the stairs on the right (the partial door you see above on the right) leads to our guest bedroom.

Guest Room

A guest bedroom was high on our list of “wants” when searching for and then planning our new house. Since all of our family live out of town, we wanted to have a space for them when they come to visit (hint-hint). We have already put this room to good use and it has been so nice to offer our friends and family who visit, a place of their own in our home. (I hope they enjoyed it too!) And we don’t have to offer them blow up mattresses in make-shift “bedrooms” any more.

Guest Room Ensuite

The guest room also has its own ensuite – again to give our guests a space of their own when visiting. No need to subject them to the boys’ bad aim, or the ring of dirt they seem to leave in the bathtub every.single.time.

Next up I’ll show you around what I’ve been calling “boy zone”.

boy zone 1

Open door leading into Harry’s room. Closed door leads into Foster’s room.

boy zone 2

Door to Foster’s room.

boy zone 3

Looking out of “boy zone” into the hallway towards the guest bedroom.

When we were first planning the house I thought this space was kind of wasted, but based on the design plan the space couldn’t really be attributed to either boy’s room or it would make the doorways extremely awkward. Our builder also pointed out that this division helps to give some separation to “boy zone” (the bedrooms) and will help with sound dampening as well. And now that we have it, I really love it. I think it’s unique and gives our boys a little extra shared space, and I have so many ideas about how we’re going to make this area special and functional for the boys.

Foster's Room

Foster’s room is the one at the front of the house and it gets beautiful sunlight in the afternoon and evening. The door you see above leads from Foster’s room into the boys’ shared bathroom.

Boy's Bathroom

From each bedroom the boys enter into this common sink area. I really wanted to do something fun and special for the boys’ bathroom so we opted for the green cabinets, and a single trough sink with two faucets. I LOVE how it turned out. (Also the door you see above leads into Harry’s room and is the only peek into his room that we have from before the move).

Boy's Shower Room

From the sink area, the boys then have a tub/toilet area that can be closed off from the sink area. Which I think will be really great as they get older and want some privacy. The separation will allow them to both use different parts of the bathroom at once.

Master Bedroom

And our master bedroom is at the back of the house and our large window makes use of our great views. We often see deer out in the field behind our house in the mornings or at dusk and the sunrises are incredible. If you were standing at the window looking out and turned right you could see into our master ensuite.

Master Bathroom

We decided to go with classic white for the cabinets and the countertops are a white quartz with just a hint of sparkle to give it a bit of elegance. We also upgraded to a kitchen height cabinet in our bathroom instead of standard height since both husbandman and I are relatively tall. It was well worth it.

Master Bathroom Shower

Our walk-in shower is insanely large. What else can I say?

Master Bathroom Tub

And this tub is just awesome. It faces the window (the reflection of which you can see in the shower photo above, and the first bathroom photo) and it looks out on the field and the green space behind our yard. I specifically asked for the window to be large and low so that I could take advantage of the view while in the tub.

So there you have it! A tour of our 2nd floor four bedrooms and three bathrooms.

If you’re catching up, check out these posts: New Nest – The Plan, New Nest – Exterior Tour, New Nest House Tour – The Main Floor

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Bathroom Finale Finally

Happy Monday! I’m back with the final wrap up of our master bathroom renovation, and a proper before and after picture.

bathroom before and after

That orange and grey room seems like a distant memory.

vanity

The vanity is the Modo by Lukx in espresso. I love the modern looks. The original vision for the bathroom started with a wall-hung vanity, so I’m glad we found one that we both liked. This vanity also has a hidden drawer, so even though it looks like it has a single drawer, when you pull the drawer open there’s a shallow top drawer that adds an extra layer of storage.

toilet

The toilet is the Kohler Cimarron. We sourced most of our major fixtures like the toilet, vanity, faucets and shower base and doors through a local company called Emco (in Guelph for local people), but the toilet is also available at Lowe’s where we spotted it first. Kinda funny to think how much you can like a toilet, but I really like this toilet.

tile

tiled niche

The shower tiles are 4 x 16″ white subway tiles, the floors are grey 12 x 24″ tiles and the accent tile is a combination of glass and marble. All of our tiles were sourced and purchased through a local company called Rich-Craft Interiors. It was recommended to us by our contractor, and I was very pleased. They have a huge selection, and were extremely helpful in selecting tiles and suggesting options.

sink faucet

shower faucet

Sink hardware is the Moen Method in chrome.

The shower hardware is the Moen 90 degree  in chrome, and we had our plumbers place the shower head extra high because we are both pretty tall.

doorway to beauty

The glass doors are the Novara by Fleurco, and our shower base is a 60x 40″ acrylic base. It is truly amazing how big those extra few inches of depth make the shower feel. It was such a good decision to go with our gut and put in a large shower base. The space would’ve otherwise gone unused  (space between the toilet and the shower) and having the extra space in the shower seems so luxurious. Knowing that we would be installing glass doors helped me visualize that the space wouldn’t feel cramped. In fact, the shower seems like another room entirely and the bathroom as a whole just seems so much bigger!

vanity floor and paint

The paint is Palladian Blue by Benjamin Moore. I wanted something soft and serene for the bathroom, but something that wasn’t too close to the colour in our bedroom  – Ocean Air by Benjamin Moore. Palladian Blue has a bit more green in it. I’d call it very beach-y. And I love it! I had originally selected a colour in the paint store that I liked that I thought would work, then I found out it was on the same swatch as Ocean Air, so I knew I had to switch it up. (I guess I like what I like!) All the trim and casing are Simply White by Benjamin Moore.

The baskets you see here are Threshold from Target.

So there you have it! I think I’ve covered it all. If you have any questions just let me know. We still need to add a towel bar and a towel hook for when we step out of the shower. I’d also like to add some art or a shelf above the toilet. I’ll have to see what jumps out at me while I’m shopping. For now, I’m just basking in the glow of our bright and airy bathroom. Weird? Ya… it sounds weird, but whatever, I’ll call it bathroom bliss.

Renovating – What I learned

I’ve had lots of great compliments on our bathroom makeover, so thank you very much for all the kind words!

I thought I’d share a few things that I learned along the way as a renovating virgin. Sure, we’ve changed things here and there but it’s always been DIY and mostly pretty minor changes, so this bathroom renovation took us into new territory for sure.

1. Be prepared for the Day One Blues

What’s behind your walls and in your ceiling is anyone’s guess. So unless you originally built the house and are now renovating you are likely to come across a surprise or two as demolition progresses. For us, that was how much spray foam insulation was in the walls. Luckily that surprise just meant that finding a receptacle was a bit (okay a lot) more time consuming than it normally would be. Another surprise that we uncovered on Day One was that the shower (the old one) was installed with basically no ceiling above it. That meant we would need to build out a new ceiling for the bathroom. An easy fix, but still a surprise.

spray foam madness

Not to mention that our shower line was cut to our other bathroom, our bulkhead was cut through, and I was told that the ceiling structure above the shower was questionable and the spray foam mess required the trades having attic access. By the end of Day One I was wondering what we’d gotten ourselves into!

2. Be at home

Maybe this goes without saying, but it’s not a good idea to be away while work is being done in your home. Now, that doesn’t mean you can’t step out, but in my opinion being present keeps people honest, on time, and let’s face it… working. I think that on Day Two if I had been home while the electricians searched for the end of the receptacle I would’ve been able to direct them with more helpful locations to search. That may have saved them some time, and from searching in the back of my pantry and having to take down a light fixture in the process. And being around means that you can answer questions like “You wanted the tile to run this way right?” or “How high do you want the mirror hung?” or “What kind of tile pattern did we say again?”.

3. Ask lots of questions

If you’re home then hopefully you’re answering lots of questions (See item #2), but asking a lot of questions is just as important. It’s your house and your money, after all. Ask why something needs to be done – even if you’ve previously agreed in the contract or otherwise that the work needs to be done – if you want to know ask again. As your renovation evolves new issues arise and sometimes the original plan is adjusted, so just ask why option A was chosen over option B etc. During the renovation I was always asking my contractor how long he thought the next stage of work would take. I would ask when I would expect him at the house the next day. At the end of the day I would ask what tasks were scheduled for the next day. Communication is key.

4. Be prepared for your house to be taken over

I had no idea how much disruption would take over our house during the renovation. And by no means were the contractor or trades overly intrusive. I naively thought that my master bathroom renovation would be confined to my master bathroom, and maybe overflow into our bedroom, of course, as work was ongoing during the day. Cue the outrageous laughter. Yes our bathroom and our bedroom were out of commission while work was being completed. But, as I mentioned attic access was required and our attic access is in our master closet, so that meant that I lived with quite a bit of re-arranged clothing and closet organizer pieces throughout our bedroom. Our family bathroom was no longer just the boys’ bathroom. We needed to shower, brush our teeth, and get ready in there too. Our garage was used to store the larger fixtures and was used for work like painting trim and casing. We didn’t park our cars in the garage during the renovation at all. The driveway was taken over during the day with the large trucks and trailers that our contractor and trades used. Our (luckily) unfurnished living room was used to house the vanity and figure out how it was to be assembled. And during the day while work was ongoing our foyer and staircase was all covered in tarps so that the mess could be contained. And finally, Foster’s nursery was a no-no for daytime naps on the off-chance that some work was loud enough to wake him, so he slept in a pack and play in the basement. That’s 8 spaces in addition to our bathroom and bedroom!

5. Be flexible

There are so many reasons that you need to remain flexible. If you’re not flexible you’ll likely have a pretty awful experience. You need to be flexible with your time and expectations. As I mentioned in item one, you don’t know what’s lurking behind your walls and something as simple as spray foam can set you back a whole day’s work. That’s not your fault. That’s not your contractor’s fault. But there’s not much you can do about it. You need to roll with those punches. Even when I was told that my countertops were scratched I remained remarkably calm. It was an honest mistake. When I told my dad about the mishap he suggested that they could’ve put the drawer on the floor, but then I would’ve had scratched hardwood floors! They had no expectation that the drawer would scratch. And they immediately made suggestions on how they were going to fix it. We had our tiler in until 7:30 pm one evening to finish grouting the tile. We had our “drywall guy” in on the weekend so the walls would be ready to paint come Monday morning. We allowed these few minor disruptions to stay as on-schedule as we could.

Being flexible doesn’t mean that you need to compromise on your original vision (unless it’s just not possible) or that you need to be a push-over. Most definitely stand your ground and get what you want, but if you can keep a little flexibility your experience will be so much more enjoyable.

So that’s what I learned and I think the results are pretty darn great.

day twelve

Hopefully these tips will help you in your next renovation. I feel ready to take on the next project. How about you? Do you have any of your own tips to share?

Happy renovating!

Bathroom REVEAL!

I was originally going to divide the process of the bathroom reno up into a couple more posts, but then I thought about how if I were reading this blog I’d be all “Hurry up and show me the after pictures thankyouverymuch!” So since  you really want to see this bathroom before the weekend, right? Right? And you’ve been so patient, I’ll humour you. Just this once. I WISH this bathroom transformed right before my very eyes in just two days, but for you, you can experience Internet magic.

In all honesty, the whole renovation went pretty smoothly except for a few minor surprises that set back the schedule by a few days. So here we go! You’re in for a lot of photos so hold on tight!

Let’s just remember how the room looked right before demo started.

bathroom before

Our very own terracotta-peel&stick tile-grey toilet-space tube oasis. Ahhh. (Say that how you want).

Day One was, of course, demo day. And the one man wrecking crew made light work of our grey acrylic shower (space tube) and the drawers, vanity, toilet and everything else in the bathroom..

Day one

During the demo process doing some “blind” cutting to get the shower out our handyman cut through our water line to the shower in the adjacent family bathroom, AND put a hole along the bottom of the back wall (below the spray foam seen above) which is the bulk head in our kitchen over the railing that looks into the family room. (The wall seen in this post with the proposed chalk boards). So at the end of day one I had zero working showers in our house, no master ensuite and a hole in the wall.

day one 2

Oh! And not only did he cut through the shower pipe he cut right through to the other side of the shower cutting through two tiles in the other shower. .

Our family bathroom isn’t much more updated than our master bathroom, so that meant that we had what I called “ugly tile samples” in our house for a few days while we decided which ugly tile would be the best match/complement to our already existing ugly tiles.

ugly tiles

And did I mention that my husband was away on business that week? No stress.

Day One also revealed an overabundance of spray foam. This is great for insulation, but not great for being able to see what’s in the walls. Our contractor mentioned that they may need attic access for the electricians the next day so after I put the kids to bed on day one, I spent most of the rest of my evening moving our clothes around and taking apart our closet system because the attic access is in our master bedroom closet. Hooray! Add even more disaster to our disaster area.

That takes us to Day Two. On tap was a few hours of work by the electricians and the plumbers set to arrive around lunch time. Well, remember that spray foam I mentioned? Ya… it caused a problem because the electricians didn’t know where the receptacle they were attempting to terminate ended. I was out running errands that day and came back to find that they were still at our house at 3 pm. No plumbers on day two as a result. And, in the “electrical” search that took the electricians up into the attic (time and effort not wasted), and all over my house they ended up scratching the countertop on my kitchen island.

(Record scratch) Say what? But Heather, your kitchen is on a completely different floor than your bathroom. Yep. But apparently the search took them to the back of my pantry and caused them to remove one of the drawers. And either in the setting it down or in the lifting it back up the sliders scratched my countertop (which are man-made stone).

counter scratch

A very  noticeable scratch.

And the bathroom was looking like this at the end of Day Two.

day two

The electricians had been in and ended the receptacle (eventually) and relocated the fan and did whatever it was they needed to do to make it and the other light switches work.

And after day two most of the rest of the days seemed to mix together but I’ll do my best to identify the days as we go.

End of Day Four:

day three

Plumbing relocated (sink plumbing adjusted, not shown), shower base set, and new ceiling partially installed.

End of Day Six:

day five

Walls framed out and floor tiles set.

End of Day Seven:

day 8

Its hard to tell from this photo but the left hand wall of the shower is also tiled.

End of day 8:
day 8

Everything fully grouted.

Some drywall work happened next and that’s just, do the job and wait until it dries so you can sand it down and do it again. So, I don’t have any progress pictures of that.

End of Day Ten:

day 10

Woo hoo! Painted and trim and casing installed. Light fixture re-installed as well. Starting to look like a new bathroom.

End of Day Eleven:

day 11

Glass shower doors installed, and vanity hung.

End of Day Twelve:

day twelve

Vanity hooked up, sink installed, toilet installed, shower head and valve installed, mirror hung.

And DONE!

Here’s all the angles:

vanity

bathroom after from the shower

shower head

another wide shot

So there you have it!

Full disclosure: I sat down to write this post about 5 times today and I’m finally getting to it this late so that you could see this post before the weekend. Foster’s naps did not cooperate today. Also, almost all of the pictures are iPhone pictures because I’m kinda scrambling to get this post up, so I hope you’ll allow for some less than awesome photos, but I think you get the idea. I’ll post a proper before and after photo soon.

We still have a few more things to do in the bathroom like find a towel bar, toilet paper holder, towel hook and a few more accessories. And I promise to write a source post with as many sources and details as I can, just to drag this out even longer!

So there ya have it!

Friday Finds will be coming atchya before you know it.

Bathroom Beginnings

You guys! I’m so excited to tell you that yesterday was the last day that any work took place in our house related to our master bathroom renovation. I’m super excited that no one is coming to my house today. And I’m so so so glad that the pictures you’re about to see feel like a distant memory already.

But first…

When we moved into our house we knew that it was in great shape. The two previous families had taken excellent care of it. Some of the house had already been updated (the kitchen, for example) and other areas that hadn’t been updated had been well-maintained. That said, the bathrooms are all a bit dated. The previous owners had painted or wallpapered the walls, even painted vanity cabinets and updated light fixtures but for the most part the bathroom fixtures in all of our bathrooms are original to the house. That means lots of grey and bisque coloured toilets and sinks etc.

Waaay back in the spring Roland and I started talking about renovating our master bathroom. At the time it made the most sense to hire out the work since I was pregnant and/or going to be with a newborn when the work would eventually get started. Fast forward to August and we still haven’t had any work done. In any case, we had gone down the road of hiring the work, and given the scope of the project – nothing is as simple as you think it’s going to be – it’s probably a good idea that we left this job to the professionals.

So without further ado, here are a few pictures of how the bathroom looked the day before demo started.

bathroom before

bathroom before 2

So, what was the plan?

  • Remove and replace all the fixtures: shower (goodbye space tube!), grey toilet, vanity, and drawer cabinet.
  • Replace the floors with ceramic tile floors. (Currently peel and stick) See what I mean about how the bathrooms had been updated, but not renovated?
  • Electrical work to terminate a receptacle (above drawer cabinet) and to install a new fan.
  • Build out the wall and install an acrylic shower base, tiled shower walls, and glass sliding doors.
  • Paint the walls.
  • Hang a new mirror above the vanity

And it’s all done! But not without a few hiccups along the way (that I mentioned before), and this week I’m going to take you all along for the ride that I got to take over the last few weeks. Hope you enjoy.

You’ve got to admit that without even seeing the results this has the makings of a great before and after, right?