Back and Forth and Up and Down

Around the time the GoldNugget was born, I started struggling with the blog. Mostly, my feelings toward the blog. It started to feel a bit… self indulgent… a bit too “look at what I did, everyone!” And then all the self-promotion that went along with it just started to feel a little… smarmy. So I stepped back. But also, I had a kid. A very busy, very active kid. He started sleeping around 9 months (HOLY COW HOW DID I MAKE IT THAT LONG), which is around the time he started cruising. And then walking around 10 months… CHILD, PLEASE. He’s so much fun (when he doesn’t yell at me), and I’m so, so thankful I get to have a front-row seat in this kid’s life. His smile. The dimples. The happiness. GAH.

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I still am unsure if I will step back in to blogging or not. It’s kind of nice to not document each and every step of every single project… and it saves our camera from getting grout, caulk, paint, and other such items all over it. So in my uncertainty toward the blog, I’m going to show you our most recent project. Which, surprisingly, we paid someone to do 90% of the work. Okay, 85%. Okay, 92%.2016-04-28 09.03.06Why did we pay someone? My time is limited. I get about 1-2 hours a day to not run around and read 16 books in a row. And also? It’s really, really nice to have someone else do the work and only dabble in a couple things. And also? I probably wouldn’t have done as good of a job on the tile. Or the trim. Or the plumbing. Or you know, any of the actual construction stuff. And our contractor said this is the very last job he’s ever going to tile. I think he wasn’t a fan of the marble.

My role in this? I painted the newly plastered walls (primed, first!), grouted everything (WORST THING EVER), and did the final touch-ups and such. Guys, I’m not kidding. When you grout, do it in the tiniest tiniest areas (like a 12″x12″ square) and then wipe it up. Otherwise, it’ll dry onto the tile itself, and then you’ll be on your hands and knees with a razor blade, scraping it off each and every mosaic tile by hand. *Speaking from experience*2016-04-28 09.02.40Honestly, we did a good bit of price-checking (Home Depot, Amazon, Overstock, etc.), and found that Amazon is still a better place to order most of our finish items. Amazon is taking over the world. Mark my words. (These are affiliate links to Amazon.) We ordered the Showerhead (and Valve! Don’t forget the valve!), and drooled over it for about 3 weeks before it was installed. Also, just in case you are wondering, it’s a Moen Wynford. Basically a rainfall showerhead, but not massive and crazy and weird in the space.2016-04-28 09.05.18The Light Fixture is from Progress (Archie two-light in Oil Rubbed Bronze). In our design phase, we decided to go ahead and also have a recessed LED light installed above the shower, and put both of the lights on a single dimmer. It’s awesome to be able to dim your bathroom lighting. HIGHLY suggest that. (Thanks for the suggestions, internet-friends.)2016-04-28 09.01.58Since marble is a natural stone, it had to be sealed… twice (even before the grout!), and once after! The Sealer and the grout Caulk (this is amazing for touch-ups, as well as any place vertical surfaces meet horizontals) came from Amazon also.2016-04-28 09.05.29The floor tile is from Home Depot (greecian marble hexagon mosaic), as is the grout (platinum Unsanded), the medicine cabinet (I’d only kind of recommend this. It looks great, and is a great price, and they have excellent customer service… it’s just not the highest quality piece), and the wall paint (Evaporation, by Behr).

Above the toilet, we reused our old ikea shelves (Dad had to hang these… Mom brain wasn’t working at all that day. LITERALLY, could not hang anything to save my life. Tried to hang the Towel Hooks, — used a measuring tape and everything! and mounted one 1″ higher than the other.).

2016-04-28 09.06.14We are so, so excited to be showering in a non-cave. And it’s a wonderful, relaxing way to start your day. I mean, as long as you’re not trying to squeeze a 7 minute shower in before child wakes up and wants to play.

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The Master Bathroom SINK

So when I imagined up this tiny (2-part) series on the Master Bathroom, I thought… GIRL POWER! I’m going to do these projects myself and show other women that they can do it, too! No boys needed! Fist bumps and (non-alcoholic, gluten free) beer! How to Install a Faucet_HouseofGoldAnd for the most part, I succeeded in my quest. I mean, Mom did the majority of the grunt work in the shower. All I had to do was clean it up and swipe some sealer on grout lines. Oh, and caulk. Oh, and replace a showerhead. (BTW, the showerhead has been in use for approximately one week and it is life-changing. You NEED THIS SHOWERHEAD. Waterpik’s SprayShaper. You’re welcome.)

Waterpik ShowerSprayer_HouseofGoldAnd then came the faucet. Normally, J handles all the plumbing work in our house. I mean, he daggum installed and re-installed the kitchen drain and disposal. He installed a cleanout. He plumbed under the master bathroom sink the first time. Oh, and he replaced about 16 toilets at our house in Augusta. But this time? THIS TIME WAS ALL MINE. Aided by #goldnugget. So here we go. You Go Girl

The incredibly generous people over at Moen sent us the Kingsley two-handle low arc bathroom faucet. In Oil Rubbed Bronze. Now. I have mentioned once or twice that I used to work at Ferguson, which is a plumbing/ lighting/ appliances distributor. Entonces, I was very familiar with Moen (as with most plumbing apparatus’– or is it apparatusses? or apparati?), so I knew what to expect. However. When this faucet arrived in the mail, I was… surprised. This faucet is hefty, strong, and made to last. Remember when J and I splurged on our Delta kitchen faucet? GUYS. THERE IS A REASON SOME OF THESE THINGS COST MORE. THEY’RE WORTH MORE. As a sometimes cheap-o, I rarely will spend more to buy quality products. I’m a work in progress, people. Behold: the Box of Wonders.

Box of Wonders_HouseofGoldSo let’s get to the installation. I got out all my tools and laid all my pieces and parts out. And also took a picture of my left foot. Just for funsies.

Faucet Supplies_HouseofGold And then I unscrewed the water lines from the faucet (AFTER I turned the water off, of course). But then! ROADBLOCK. You see, I have a growing belly, which prevents me from getting in some awkward spots like I was once able to do. I had to call in the muscles to unscrew the nut that secures the faucet to the counter/ sink. Once J loosened that up, I was smooooth sailing. Ish.

I removed the old faucet very easily, and started installing the new guy by following the instructions. Faucet goes into pre-drilled holes, nuts go on underside of faucet. See? Easy.Faucet Placed_HouseofGoldNext, pop-up drain gets a bead of plumber’s putty and then gets screwed into the tailpiece… ROADBLOCK #2.Drain Installation_HouseofGoldOkay, so the tailpiece is the metal part that feeds into your actual PVC drain. Mine needed to be about 1/2″ longer than what was provided.Tailpiece Installation_HouseofGoldI attempted to use the old plastic piece from the previous faucet, but the threads weren’t lining up. And when seals aren’t tight in plumbing, you have problems. So I had to go to Home Depot and get a 12″ extension piece (cut down to the proper length), and then I could continue. Once I had the proper length of tailpiece, the installation could continue, which required just a little bit of grunting before I finished. (Trust me, the directions included with the faucet are a bit more helpful. BUT YOU CAN DO IT!)   Moen Faucet_HouseofGoldI even sent a text to Mom and Dad and J, showcasing my DIY efforts. It was a glorious moment. But even better than that? Really, it’s using this guy every day. It’s SOLID and awesome. I want to gaze lovingly at it all day long.Faucet Complete_HouseofGoldMoen Faucet Installed_HouseofGoldLinking up with Upcycled Treasures & Thrifty Decor Chick!

The Master Bath… Revised Edition.

I know we kind of pretended like the Master Bathroom was done with our most recent update. But then, like any good 50-year old home, tiles started popping off in the shower one day. Just like that. So the shower was shut down for about… oh… two months until I got around to fixing these tiles. My first step? Finish removing any additional un-sticky tiles. Aka, if I could use my finger or gentle pressure to pop a tile away from the wall, it happened. So I did that. And then that’s where the project stalled out. (Sorry, no uglypictures of this step.)

Then Mom came in and saved the day. AGAIN. She found the motivation to get in there and grind out some of the grout from the surrounding tiles, using a grout removal attachment for her Dremel.Grout Removed_HouseofGold Once that happened, she re-used the old tiles that were carefully preserved and stuck them back onto the wall using some leftover mastic from the kitchen backsplash. Once that dried out for a few days, she grouted the area, making sure to smoosh the grout in there nice and tight. Then she (and Dad) left us to continue on their travels and the bathroom sat in its partially-finished state for another week.Shower Step Grouted_HouseofGold (This is after everything was re-grouted…)

Then I finally found some motivation and cleaned the shower out. Using a mixture of about 3/4 cup of baking soda and 1/3 cup of bleach, I scrubbed to my heart’s content. (GUYS. Captain safety here: keep the area super-ventilated, wear a mask, gloves, and clothes that are okay to get bleach on them. Oh. And I took lots of clean air breaks, too.) Bleach Mixture_HouseofGold

Here’s the before/ after. Still not 100% clean and perfect, but I’d say it’s about 1000% better. Oh, and this was mid-haze of the bleaching process. Not even complete there.Shower Clean_HouseofGold

AND THEN? I got to use the sealer. This will help keep the grout lines from staining/ molding/ getting nasty. Hopefully. (Mom picked it up for us at Home Depot.) I did two applications of it, and it went on pretty quickly and easily, thanks to the applicator tip.Sealer_HouseofGold

And then to round it all out, I installed a brand new showerhead that is super fancy that I got while I was at Haven. This is a new Waterpik showerhead that is kind of like a spaceship with a whole lot of awesome mixed in. Really. The side pieces adjust forwards, backwards, inside, outside, and it’s basically like a shower-Popple.Waterpik ShowerSprayer_HouseofGold Replacing a showerhead is the easiest thing to do ever in the history of ever. You unscrew the old one from the spout-y thing that sticks out of the wall, and screw on the new one. That’s basically all.  And then you hang out in your newly-transformed spa.Showerhead Before After_HouseofGold(Don’t worry… the cord will straighten out and relax in a few days.)

And next week? The sink faucet and I face off in an epic battle. Don’t worry. There will be finished pics of the spaces soon. Until then, you’ll just have to struggle along with these not-so-glam ones. Kthanksbye.

Master Bathroom: Phase 2

Remember Phase 1 of the Master Bath Reno? I basically fell in love with dark paint and fur. While it solved the issues of poorly-installed beadboard and trim, it only kind of solved the issues of storage we have in there (with the shelves above the toilet). Oh, and I tossed a teeny mirror in our nook-hole-thing until I found something else that worked better.

Master Bath Complete_HouseofGoldWell. That day is here. Remember thrifting (Dealbreakers) with my friend? And how I hinted that I found a mirror? Well, I did. It cost me approximately $8.99 at a Salvation Army here in town. YUSSSS. Mirror Detail_HouseofGoldAnd instead of a ridiculous pedestal sink in a master bath, we upgraded to a [small] vanity with an actual cabinet. And actual counterspace where we can put our teethbrushes.

Here’s how this all came together: The mirror was intended to hang horizontally. Not gonna work here. It merely required that I unscrew two of the screws on the back, reorient the wire vertically, screw the screws back in, and ta-daaaa! Winner winner, chicken dinner. Mirror Fix_HouseofGoldThe vanity? I’d been on the hunt for one of these guys since we decided to tackle the master bathroom. And I found this guy on craigslist for approximately $50. It was a maple-wood color. Which would be fine for most spaces, but not this one. So I primed and painted it white.

But first, we had to take out the pedestal sink, which meant we were left with a too-short tailpiece (the dark grey pipe thing), and too-long supply lines (the squiggle cord things). In the words of Shaun T., “this is no.”Vanity Underthings_HouseofGoldSo J fashioned up some plumbing (because he’s a MAN and that’s what MEN do), and I bought some shorter supply lines. And then we closed the doors and took pictures.

Master Bath Vanity_HouseofGoldVanity Detail_HouseofGold Vanity_HouseofGold

So for $58.99, we have a space that functions and is pretty!

Now I just have to sell the pedestal sink on craigslist.

Linking up with The Dedicated House. House on The Way. Upcycled Treasures. View From the Fridge. City of Creative Dreams. Carrie this Home.