Thursday, January 24, 2013

Bathroom Remodel: End of a Saga

Well well well...after what seems like forever we have finally reached the end of our bathroom remodel saga. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, here's what you've missed : the plan, the demo, the guts, the details, and the fall backs.

BEFORE: guest bathroom
Let's start with the guest bathroom. This is what the guest bathroom looked like when we bought the house. Standard tub with yucky shower doors, ugly blue and white linoleum, and a terrible layout that was a grand waste of space.
AFTER: guest bathroom
And this is what our newly renovated guest bathroom looks like. As you can see the layout is much better than what we started with. We didn't want to spend a whole lot for this bathroom sine we figured we'd rarely use it. We decided to go with a standard tub insert and ended up getting the vanity for a steal since the shop had made an error on the size for someone else's custom vanity. As you can see the sun tunnel we had installed brings in an amazing amount of light. These pictures were taken without the bathroom lights on and no flash. Sometimes our friends actually turn the light on when they're trying to turn the light off because the sun tunnel makes them think the lights are still on. Oh, and please excuse the towels that are almost invisible due to the fact that they are the same color as our walls. I guess that's just what happens when you just tell your contractor to paint the walls any "warm color" that will match the tile. Apparently that's such a popular shade of golden brown that they make it for paint and towels.

BEFORE: master bathroom
Now, on to the master bathroom. As you may remember, our master bathroom was SUUUPER teeny tiny. No way that more than 1 person could use that bathroom at a time. And how could you forget the lovely commode that face right out the door...LOL.
AFTER: master bathroom
And here she is...Ain't she a beaut??? We went with a larger shower and no tub for the master bathroom because often do you actually have time for a bubble bath? The shower doors we had to special order off Amazon since we couldn't find it at any of the hardware stores around here. Thank gawd we ordered them before Amazon started charging tax - so we were able to save a little there. After we had the contractors rip out the original seat in the shower they redid it perfectly so that even little ole me can sit comfortably on it without my legs dangling around. We decided on the 36 inch vanity instead of 48 inch so that it didn't feel so cramped. And the contractors were able to shift the vanity and lighting further away from the toilet so that there isn't any claustrophobic feelings while you reach for your toilet paper. With the remodel our bathroom space has probably doubled...ah-maze-ing! Best part of all of it is that you don't look directly at the person sitting on the toilet when you're lying in bed. Always a win when you're keeping the romance alive <3

So what's up next on the remodel train??? Kitchen, I hear you calling. Front yard, I know you're in need of some TLC too. I don't really know which home project we'll be tackling next, but hopefully it won't be as drawn out as this one was. Eh, who am I kidding?

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Post Holiday Party

Last weekend we successfully hosted our first party in our home. We wanted to plan a Christmas party reunion for my pharm fam, but we quickly realized that December is a pretty busy month for everyone. In order to accomodate as many people as we could we decided to have a post-holiday party in January instead. Although some of our friends weren't able to make it we were happy that most everyone was able to make it.

It's always great to spend time and catch up with friends. We're lucky to have such wonderful friends in our lives.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Bathroom Remodel: Almost There...Kind Of

Once we had chosen all of our little details things really started rolling on the bathroom remodel. We were very excited to soon be able to take a shower in our own house for the first time. And I'm sure our friends who were kind enough to let us shower at their place were just as excited to not have us trapsing through their home everynight like a bunch of vagabonds.

The contractors had painted, laid the tile and installed the bath in our guest bathroom. And they had painted, laid the tile, installed the shower, and started tiling the shower in our master bathroom. It was like we could see the light at the end of a tunnel that was much longer than we had anticipated.

But then (isn't there always a but?), we ran into several snags that made the light at the end of our tunnel fade fast. We realized that the contractors had neglected some of our very specific requests like the distance between the toilet and the vanity as well as the height of the seat in our shower. If any of you know me personally, you know I'm a bit vertically challenged as some might say. At a measley 4'10" (on a good day) we took great care before starting the remodel to take measurements so that things would be a comfortable distance away for hubs yet not out of my reach.

We were so disappointed when we checked on our bathroom only to realize they mounted the shower seat way too high. We had to force the contractors to rip out the mounted seat which ruined several of our expensive marble shower tiles...sad face.

Then we saw where they planned to set the vanity which would have put the toilet paper holder much too close too the toilet. When we asked the contractors to move the vanity over we were faced with the problem that there wouldn't be enough clearance for the bathroom door. So naturally we had to have the contractors move the door frame to accommodate moving the vanity.

It ended up costing a lot of extra dollars, but hubs and I both agreed that since we're already spending so much on the remodel we should do whatever it takes to make sure we're completely happy with the results.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Bathroom Remodel: Details, Details, Details

Well...well..well. It's been about 3 months since the last bathroom post and it's probably been about 4 months since the bathroom has been may be an understatement to say I'm a little behind in my blogging. Anyway, let's dive right back into our series on our epic bathroom remodel.

With most of the demolition work done in the bathrooms it was time for us to start making decisions on what we were going to put in our new bathrooms. We needed to choose tile, lighting, vanity, sink, tub, and all of the sink and shower hardware. We had a lot of decisions to make and a lot of decisions to make fast. Looking at all the different options was overwhelming to say the least.

I feel like we went to a hundred tile stores and looked at a million different kinds of tile. Luckily we had  the hubs brother to give us his expert opinions of what types of tiles would look good in the shower and the floor. I'm pretty sure he was ready to punch me in the face since I probably started to sound like Goldie Locks... "This tile is too dark"..."This tile is too light"..."This tile is too shiny"..."This tile feels too scratchy." Luckily I have a kind brother-in-law and he refrained from strangling me during our tile shopping adventures.

Choosing a vanity was no easier. We weren't really too worried about what was going in the guest bathroom since in all honesty how often would we even be in there. But in the master bathroom we went back and forth between a 36 inch vanity and a 48 inch vanity. We were worried there wouldn't be enough counter space for the two of us with a 36 inch vanity but we weren't sure if the bathroom would feel too crowded with a 48 inch vanity.

And oh my goodness...who knew there were so many different types of lighting fixtures? And not only do you have to choose the lighting fixture in some cases you have to choose the shade to go with the fixture. After a while I think they all started to look the same.

And let's not forget the faucets and shower fixtures. And you can't just choose a style you have to choose a finish too! Oh, but remember, the finish of your fixtures need to match the finish of your lighting fixtures and other bathroom hardware (ie: towel racks and toilet paper holders).

Needless to say we eventually made our decisions, but I had no idea it would be so difficult to pick out the things we wanted. *whew* Boy were we glad when that part was over.

Want to see where we started? Check out the plan, the demo, and the guts of our bathroom remodel.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

2013 Forecast: Where We'll be Going

Now that we got our 2012 recap out of the way, let's take a look at what we planned for the upcoming year.

Right now we're in the process of planning a trip to Japan and possibly Singapore with my parents. It's probably been about 15 years since I went to Japan for the first time and I'm really excited to be able to share it with the hubs since he's never been to the motherland before. And the hubs has been really excited to take me to Singapore since he was came back from a business trip there last August.

Hopefully we'll be doing some home improvement projects in the kitchen soon. High on the priority list is to replace our sink and dishwasher. I'd like to renovate the entire kitchen by the end of the year to create more storage space. I really want to take out the wall that separates the living room and kitchen and replace it with an island to create a more open concept look...ah dreams. I'm sure hubs will be sure to bring me back down to earth on what is actually affordable.

This year I'd also like to maybe have some re-landscaping done in our front yard. Living on a hill isn't particularly conducive to having the nice lush green lawn I dream of. In the summer all the water from our sprinklers just runs right down the hill and into the street with no chance for the lawn to even get a sip. But mostly I'd like to get rid of some of the miscellaneous bushes and plants we have in the front yard. I'm definitely lacking a green thumb and I'm much more of a minimalist when it comes to these things.

And lastly, we're thinking of expanding our little family. I think we're both excited to get a family started, but nervous as well. There's still a lot of places we'd like to visit without having to tote children around. And I'm not sure I'm ready to give up the number 1 spot in hubs heart just yet.

So there it is...some of the plans we have for 2013. I'm not sure if we'll get around to all these plans, but I do know that we're both excited to see what this year has in store for us. What do you have in store for the new year?

Saturday, January 5, 2013

2012 Recap: Where We've been

With the start of the new year I thought I'd take a moment to look back at where we've been in 2012 and where we'll be going in 2013. So let's start with where we've been...

We started off 2012 by ringing in the New Year at Teatro Zinzanni in San Francisco. It was my first time celebrating the new year away from Hawaii so I'm glad that hubs (or future hubs at that time) planned a fun night out for the two of us.

In March we had a whirlwind wedding in Hawaii. It started off with a tea party bridal shower hosted by my wonderful bridesmaids. And even though the rain put a damper on our plans to get married outside, it was wonderful to have all our friends and family around to celebrate with us. After all the wedding dust had settled it was great to take some time for ourselves as we honeymooned in Kauai.
wedding photos courtesy of our photographer Brandyn Fidel

Soon after returning home from our wedding week in Hawaii we jetted off to Rome for hub's business trip. We were so lucky to be able to take a "2nd honeymoon" so soon after our first. 

In August we officially became homeowners. Sometimes the fact that we bought a house still catches me by surprise. I never thought we would buy a house in California let alone buy a house in California a few months after our wedding. Homeownership has had it's challenges but has also been extremely rewarding and has brought the hubs and I even closer together as we muddle our way through turning this house into a home.

Yep, we were definitely busy in 2012. But we tried our darndest to keep in touch with friends near and far as much as possible. 

So there you have it ladies and gents...a quick recap of the highlights of our 2012. Next up, where we'll be going in the upcoming year.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

I hope everyone is having a fun and safe New Year's Eve/New Year. And wishing you all a wonderful year ahead.