Creating from scratch

As part of our post-catch up, I found this draft of a post about the custom cabinet in our master bathroom remodel. I’m embarrassed to say that has lived in draft land for two years now. I’m publishing it now in a post of few words. Because the pictures are awesome.


One of the most rewarding parts of the bathroom remodeling experiences has been a chance to have something special custom made. Seeing our own design realized by a craftsman is a the antidote to our typical mass-market Ikea experience of buy-assemble-repeat.

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Stone mapping for dummies

Measure twice, cut once, right? Or in the case of a big slab of marble, measure many times. And use lot of blue tape. Because blue tape brings certainty to all things.

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About a week ago I went out to the counter warehouse to approve the cutting plan for our creamy slab of Botticini marble. Botticini — the name alone conjures up visions of italian fountains and rustic yet elegant cuisine. We had purchased a single slab to provide the raw material for our counter, sink backsplash, tub deck, and shower bench in our master bathroom. Mapping out a cutting plan for this slab was a job for some experts. Continue reading

Bathroom update: On the surface

Up until recently the bathroom remodel has been a dirty project — an unpolished story of demolition and rough carpentry and drywall dust. But all that framing, plumbing, and electrical was never meant to be seen. On the other hand, the next step is very much about surface appearance. With the guts of the room pretty much operational, it’s time to bring on the pretty part.

Almost three months ago we posted a sneak peak of our tile palette. Are you ready to see these tiles in action? Caveat: tiling is still a work in progress — we are waiting on many of our grout colors and the final edging rows of wall tile cannot be cut until the marble surfaces are in place. But even in this incomplete state the tile has dramatically transformed what was a construction zone into a room we can imagine relaxing in.

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One grey, two grey, three grey, four

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Color is in some ways the simplest of fixes. On the many home buying shows that we used to watch, someone invariably walks into a home and declares “I don’t like the color” as if that is the sole criteria by which a space should be judged. Not the location or layout or any of a million things difficult to change, but color. Something that a gallon of paint can remedy.

So color is easy, in theory. Except that you have to pick the color. And that’s kind of nerve wracking. Especially on short notice.
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Let there be light!

Each day after work we have a little routine. It’s called “Let’s go see what happened in the bathroom today.” Sometimes the changes are a challenge to spot — some tweaked electrical, an inspection passed, a bit more drywall. Other time they are downright dramatic. Like this week when we came home to a bathroom flooded with light! Our dark little cave is now a different place thanks to a picture window over the bathtub nook and a skylight above the shower-to-be.

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Bathroom progress: lights and action

Two weeks since the official start of construction, and here’s where we are now. Most of the rough plumbing and electrical is complete, as well as framing of new openings. This post is just a brief show-and-tell of construction progress. We have some additional in-depth post in the works covering riveting topics like why is it so damn hard to order doors, and how custom cabinetry is awesome.  Onward to the photographic evidence!
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Bathroom guts

Operation new master bathroom has officially begun. And like all good projects, it begins with tearing up what was there before. Here’s the state of the bathroom, looking towards the East, after the first day of construction. I especially like the remnants of our atrocious upstairs heater lying on the pile of debris.

And here’s looking West, towards what will eventually be a bathtub with a window above it. Can you picture it yet?
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