Last we left off in the hall bathroom, things were looking like this:
We painted the walls Silver Sand gray, replaced the old brass sink faucet with a shiny chrome one, and installed a few chrome accessories to match. So far, so good! But there were still a couple of uglies lurking in the room: a big-honkin’ mirrored medicine cabinet and coordinating bare-bulb light fixture.
Bleck. They were bringing down all the hard work we put into the updated bits, so it was time for them to come down and be
First we had to find ourselves a couple of replacements. I wanted something that would match the chrome accents already in place and, as for style, had a modern but classic look. After some browsing, price-comparing, hemming and hawing, we narrowed it down to the Savern mirror from Ikea and the Millenium three-light chrome vanity light via Lowes.com.
Both met our criteria for a reasonable cost (pretty + inexpensive = sold) so after obtaining said items, we were anxious to get those ol’ uglies outta there. Before making the obligatory trip to Lowe’s for supplies, Jamie had the genius idea to start removing the medicine cabinet and light fixture just to be sure we wouldn’t run into any surprises while doing the actual work later. We’ve learned from past experiences (like this one and this one) that you never know what you’ll find when making improvements in this old house, and this time was another doozie. Who would’ve guessed there was a giant hole in the wall behind the medicine cabinet? Not me.
You live, you learn, and you deconstruct anything beforehand so you know what you’re working with. Few things are more irritating than having to pause mid-project because you need more supplies. Now that we knew we had a hole to deal with, we picked up a drywall patch slightly larger than the hole itself (it was approximately five inches square, so we grabbed a six-inch patch). On went the patch and spackle, later to be sanded before I came in with the primer and paint.
Jamie then installed the mirror and light fixture using drywall screws with large anchors. The old mirrored medicine cabinet had been installed way too high for little ol’ me (I only had a view from my chin up) so our new mirror was placed at a more appropriate height. While he was at it, Jamie also replaced the old, beige-y outlet above the sink with a fresh new, white one. And just like that, our sink area was looking a whole lot prettier.
Going from a bulky medicine cabinet and boxy light to these sleeker replacements definitely makes our little bathroom feel bigger, cleaner, and just all around better. Compared to the old stuff, these new pieces are feeling pretty luxurious. Best of all, I can actually see myself in the mirror now so I don’t feel like as tiny of a person in there.
So that about does it for the basic renovation projects in this bathroom. The next time we’re working in here, I expect we’ll be doing something more hardcore like replacing the shower tile, reglazing the tub, and installing new floor tile…which means some real live demo-ing will be going down. Wheee! Can’t wait to obliterate that blue speckled tile and old grout. And recently, all of my bath reno ideas have started to coalesce into a do-able, budget-friendly plan — but more on that another time!
Well, welcome back, me! March and most of April have been quite the whirlwind for us and there wasn’t much free time for hobby activities like blogging and whatnot, so I took a little unplanned bloggy break for a bit. But Jamie and I have managed to be semi-productive around here and I have lots to catch up on, but before I do that, let me tell you where we spent our much-needed spring break during the first week of April: Savannah, Georgia y’all!
A couple of our fave people, Reed and Tina (who we spent an awesome cabin weekend with as well as an undocumented but amazing Labor Day river house weekend last year), are both teachers so on their spring break from school, we joined forces and descended upon Savannah to eat, drink, shop, and sightsee our way through town. Here are the highlights from our trip!
First and foremost, the food (naturally)…
– The Lady & Sons: You’ll want to make reservations a day or two in advance to get a table at this Paula Deen-owned restaurant. Dinner isn’t cheap here but don’t expect anything fancy — this is true southern comfort food! We were served biscuits and hoecakes before helping ourselves to the buffet of fried chicken, green beans, mashed potatoes, and the like. Tina worked on her chicken pot pie leftovers for days and the old-fashioned banana pudding was kickass (even though I was full way before dessert time). This place is pretty much a Savannah staple.
– Planters Tavern: I think we’d all agree this was the best food and atmosphere combo of our trip. The tavern is located underneath the Olde Pink House restaurant and serves the same amazing dishes except in a rustic, 18th century tavern setting (which the boys loved — very man cave-ish). We lucked out by getting a table by the massive stone fireplace for late appetizers and drinks. Our fave picks: cornbread fried oysters, grilled portabello mushroom, pecan pie, and a yummy drink called The Pink Lady. Given more time, I would’ve eaten here more than once!
Other faves: Leopold’s Ice Cream (so good there’s a line out the door, all the time); Vinnie van Go-Gos (great spot for a relaxed pizza and beer lunch); Papillote (delightful French cafe with light meals and baked goods); and Soho South Cafe (try their Monte Cristo and tomato basil bisque for brunch, nom nom nom).
And now for some fun things to do and see around town…
– Hearse Tour: Our first night in Savannah found us in the back of an eight passenger, open-top hearse on a tour of the town’s spookiest spots. There’s a lot of history here (and a lot of ghosts apparently) so as a word of caution, do not have too many drinks beforehand because you likely won’t make it through all 75 minutes of this tour. Our driver/guide, Peg Leg Ron, was friendly (though his accent was hard to decipher at times) and nice enough to make a pit-stop for us to use the restroom, which wasn’t embarassing at all. Sorry again, fellow tour-goers! At any rate, it was a good albeit unconventional way to get acquainted with the streets of Savannah.
– Fort Pulaski: A few miles outside of Savannah proper en route to Tybee Island, we stopped at this impressive Civil War-era fortress complete with cannons, a moat, and underground tunnels. Overlooking the mouth of the Savannah river, this fort took nearly 20 years and 25 million bricks to build, but it only took a day for the Union army and their fancy cannons to make Swiss cheese of (and eventually breach) its 11-feet thick walls. It’s a very neat place to explore whether you’re a history buff or not.
Other faves: Bonaventure Cemetery (eerie yet beautiful with acres of old headstones and Spanish moss everywhere); antiquing (there’s loads of high and low antique shops around town, even a quirky retro toy shop); and Tybee Island (if it’s too windy on the beach, just picnic in your car, check out the lighthouse, and slowly drive by Paula Deen’s beach condo like the creeper that you are).
Lastly, a few of our favorite shopping spots…
– The Paris Market: First off, wow. This could be one of the best shops I’ve been in, ever. It’s chock full of unique, vintage-y, French-inspired goods: housewares, beauty products, bits and baubles of all kinds! Sort of like a French-ier version of Anthropologie minus all the clothing, plus a little cafe on the side. There was something cool to see at every turn and the lower basement level is just as awesome and adorably decorated as the main floor. (Read an article all about it here.)
– Savannah Bee: Before visiting their store, I only knew Savannah Bee from their hard-to-find but incredible mint julep lip balm I’ve coveted for years. Well there’s lots more to covet, like their award-winning honey varieties and natural honey + beeswax body care products. Along with a handful of lip balms, I snagged a large jar of their tea honey which has a light sweetness (and is also pretty delish on top of Greek yogurt). Good thing I have the option to stock up again anytime via their web store.
It’s a manzie! Found in an art gallery in the City Market.
Other faves: One Fish, Two Fish (pretty home decor, jewelry, candles, and other things for the ladies); The Spice & Tea Exchange (various herbs, spice blends, rice and quinoa, oh my!); River Street Sweets (go down by the river for free samples of pralines and glazed pecans); and Nourish (soap and bath product splurge alert).
So it turns out Savannah is a pretty cool town to spend a laid-back spring break vacay. Thanks to our friends for suggesting it in the first place and, as always, for the Reed and Tina-tastic time! Where are we going next? :)
You might recall waaay back when that Jamie and I did a little kitchen cabinetry deconstruction.
After some adjustments, we had a much neater, more presentable wall o’ cabinets; however, portions of the wall and ceiling now exposed were a dingey tan color (from lack of paint + primer over the years) and riddled with holes to spackle. Jamie’s favorite…not.
And that’s how things remained…FOR A YEAR. Initially it didn’t bother me so badly (hence the procrastination) but after an entire year went by? Yeah, I’d had enough of that mess so we decided to paint the kitchen already. Sometimes it takes a year, ya know?
Over the course of that year, I was all over the place when it came to choosing a paint color. First I was dead set on Martha Stewart blue, which is like a robin’s egg-y, tuquoise-y blue. It’s kind of an ideal color — I mean, Martha would know, right? But with the adjoining dining room in Inch Worm green and living room in Pear yellow, I feared choosing blue for the kitchen would make the place look like an Easter egg. Or worse: a circus house. Few things are more terrifying than living in a circus house.
So out went the Martha Stewart blue and I began considering more neutral options, like a warm gray. We’ve used warm grays in the hall bathroom and master bedroom so it wouldn’t be as random of a choice and, since we plan to paint the cabinets eventually, gray would contrast nicely with some clean, white cabinetry. For awhile I was sure gray was the answer, but one thing I couldn’t get around was this wall (seen in the background of this old photo) that extends from the kitchen out into the main living area:
Painting this wall a different color than the adjacent walls just seemed…wrong. For the sake of flow, I chose to go with a color I know and love: the same Pear yellow (by Eddie Bauer Home for Valspar) we used in the living room/foyer. It’s warm, it’s happy, it’s fun — and I already had a fresh, unopened can o’ Pear paint on hand. So duh, we got started spackling, sanding, and priming:
A bisquillion times better already! Then came the first coat of Pear and a whole lotta cutting in. Here’s an in-progress shot that night:
After a second coat and more cutting in the next morning, we had ourselves a much more cheerful kitchen.
I’m so, so glad we went with the Pear color in the end. And if it had to take a year to realize it was the right choice, then that’s cool by me because now I love my yellow kitchen! Plus this color doesn’t hinder any of the kitchen plans we already had. Actually, here’s an image of a kitchen I pinned a year ago that includes many of the details we’d like to incorporate:
I love the two-toned cabinets, light gray marble-y countertops, open shelving, and copper accents. And please note the wall color is nearly identical to our Pear walls. The pretty corbels installed underneath the upper cabinets are super cute but impractical for any tall-ish items you might want to store on your countertop. I expect we’ll go with some sort of tile backsplash instead.
The portion of the ceiling above the wall o’ cabinets that we spackled + sanded remains primed only for now until it’s time to paint the cabinets. My thought was either to paint the ceiling the same shade of white as the upper cabinets, or paint it Pear to match the walls/create contrast with the white upper cabinets. What do you think? I’m open to suggestions! Let’s hope it doesn’t take another year to figure this out.
[Kitchen inspiration image from here.]