Bathroom Renovation Stage 7


Our master bathroom makeover has been slow moving, mostly because of the busyness of the holidays. But now we’re back at it full steam with a goal of finishing the shower this month. It’s going to be a challenge since we’re averaging about 4 sq. ft. an hour with these little .75″ unglazed porcelain tiles. One wall is almost done.

We’ve got a good system going now where I pop half the tiles off of each sheet in a random pattern at about the same pace as Jason can stick them up on the wall. If I crop out the unfinished parts and you use your imagination with the grout (we’re thinking gray) this picture gives a pretty good idea of the finished look:

Lost? Here’s the process up to now:

Bathroom Renovation Stage 1

Bathroom Renovation Stage 2

Bathroom Renovation Stage 3

Bathroom Renovation Stage 4

Bathroom Renovation: Tiling!

Bathroom Renovation Stage 5

Bathroom Renovation Stage 6

New Years MCM finds


We had a wonderful New Years in Cincinnati with our dear friends and fellow MCM enthusiests. We ate some delicious food: lobster, pork ribs and sauerkraut, Cincinnati chili, Cheesecake Factory. Some new—from IKEA and H&M—and “new” mid-century purchases—from Red Polly, SA family store and Stu Nizny‘s house (oh the stories!)

I’m so excited to report that we finally found the perfect vintage MCM cabinet to use for our master bathroom vanity. Wow. After a year of searching it’s going to take a while to sink in! (Pun intended that time.) And it fit in our car!

While we were poking around at the thrift store I pointed out a table that looked mid-century. Out of nowhere an  eccentric silver-haired guy in a hot pink down puffer with a saucer-sized belt buckle and white silver-tipped cowboy boots was giving us his business cards, inviting us back to his house to check out his vintage collection, offering us wholesale prices, and listing off his résumé of famous clientele. We shopped around a little more than then took him up on his offer.

Stu’s house was a museum of mid-century and vintage furniture, housewares, glass art, Jeres, vintage t-shirts, suitcases, light fixtures, art … and he was right: he did have several mid-century modern cabinets that fit the very specific dimensions we needed. Thanks for the great deals, Stu! We’ll definitely be back.

I’ll share more about our other finds soon.

Bathroom Renovation Stage 6


Moving along on the bathroom renovation one Saturday at a time. Last weekend we put up more of the tile. Eight sq ft are now up. Only 112 more to go. Can you see why this is going to take a while?

Also, we finished up all the concrete board. (I use “we” very loosely here. I wasn’t feeling great but I am excellent at providing moral support.) We covered the curb so now the concrete shower pan can be poured at any time:

On one side of the shower we built in 2 shelves for shampoo, conditioner, soap, shaving cream, etc. (As the woman of the house and the obsessive organizer, I’m taking credit for this idea.)

Things to do in the near future: pour shower pan, install rain shower in ceiling and plumbing in wall, install recessed light in shower, install ceiling shower fan, put up 112 more sq ft of tiny tiles.

Trying hard not to lose momentum here!

Where we started:

Bathroom Renovation Stage 1

Bathroom Renovation Stage 2

Bathroom Renovation Stage 3

Bathroom Renovation Stage 4

Bathroom Renovation: Tiling!

Bathroom Renovation Stage 5

Bathroom Renovation: Tiling!


I’m not calling this a stage because it’s not really a stage change in the bathroom. The tile arrived over the weekend and on Monday, Jason and I decided to put up 2 square feet to see how it looks. We have 2 different colors of .75″ x .75″ tile that come in 1 sq ft sheets and it’s up to us to pop off 50% of the tiles (112 per sheet) to make a random pattern.

Let me just say that this process sucks. It takes a lot longer than I anticipated and the mesh is like sandpaper on my fingers! But I know it will all be worth it. Jason and I are really pleased with how it looks once the 2 colors are randomized together:

It took us 20-30 minutes to make 2 sq ft. So … multiply that by 60 (120 sq ft total) and it looks like we can plan on 20-30 hours of tile popping. That’s not counting installing the tiles on the wall.

… Putting each tile we popped off back into the other color sheet …

… And making sure they’re all straight and flush. But it’s going to be SOOOOO worth it! I can’t wait to see how it’ll look when the whole shower is done.

Meanwhile we still have a couple of sheets of concrete board to hang and the shower pan to pour. Once we realized how long the tile is going to take we figured we’d better get started right away so we can takes breaks to do other parts of the process.

Yes, I know we’re crazy. Did I mention we got a really good deal on the tile?

The Tile Arrived!


We had a great weekend with our friends Dave and Emily visiting from PA. I didn’t take any pictures over the weekend, though. Whoops!

Here are a few highlights:

• Hatch Show Print on Friday afternoon

• Buca di Beppo for dinner

• The guys jammed together while the girls enjoyed the almost 80º weather with a walk Saturday morning

• Lunch at Baja Fresh

• Mac store, mall, thrift stores* and chillin at Dan & Ginger’s house
* got 2 new MCM treasures! I’ll share later this week

• Party Saturday night with bonfire and games. Lots of yummy fall food: hot dogs, smores, cheese dip, homemade soft pretzels, homemade donuts, hot spiced apple cider

• Sunday church and then lunch at another friend from PA’s house

• A restful evening at home Sunday

We said our goodbyes on Monday morning. Hopefully D&E will be back to the promised land soon! I’m thankful I took the day off Monday to get caught up around the house and get a nap after a fun but busy weekend!

More about our tiling adventures tomorrow!

Bathroom Renovation Stage 5


Wow – a lot got done this week! First we cleaned out all the rubble and moved all the salvageable and scrap drywall pieces into the laundry room (we have a laundry room!). Next, we cut a hole in the floor so we could move the vent.


Then, while Jason was prying up wood flooring we had the first accident of our renovation. A board went airborne and hit Jason in the face causing a top tooth to cut deep into his bottom lip. It was pretty bloody then purple for a couple of days but thankfully, nothing major.

Once the flooring was removed we installed drain flange and the rubber PVC liner for the shower pan. Then we hung the concrete backer board on the shower walls – that’s the moisture tolerant concrete material on which we mount the tiles. Notice Jason’s mask? Yeah, after 3 weeks of inhaling drywall dust and waking up in the middle of the night with dry throats we finally decided to buy some masks.


We didn’t finish hanging the board because it got too late and we needed to actually clean up the bathroom. I’m pleased to report that we’re taking a break from renovations this weekend because our friends from Erie are visiting. Yay! Maybe I’ll have something other than bathroom renovation to blog about next week. Look how “clean” it is, you can actually see the floor in this picture!


See our progress here:

Bathroom Renovation Stage 1

Bathroom Renovation Stage 2

Bathroom Renovation Stage 3

Bathroom Renovation Stage 4

Bathroom Renovation: Tiling!

Picking Out Tile!


The most creative part of the bathroom remodel so far is definitely picking out the tile. We fell in love with .75″ x .75″ unglazed porcelain (or ceramic) tiles but they can be a bit pricey. Local stores and online retails both sell them from around $6 / sq. ft. all the way up to $12 or more. That adds up quickly when you’re buying 120 sq ft.


The look we’re going for is something like the picture above. We wanted to do all 1 color but we found a fantastic 40% off sale online with limited quantities. They only had around 50% of what we needed in our top color choice, Mint Julep, so a combination in a random pattern needed to be created. Jason picked out some color ideas (based on price and availability) and I made mock ups so we could decide:


1: 50% mint julep, 25% fog, 25% cascade

2: 50% mint julep, 50% cascade

3: 50% mint julep, 25% fog, 25% camo

4: 50% mint julep, 25% fog, 25% topaz

The tile has been ordered EEEK! Biggest expense of the project is out of the way.

What is your favorite? Anyone want to take any guesses which combination we decided?