Category Archives: Bathroom

Our Long + Winding Road

Work on our upstairs bathroom is still crawling forward.

Our vanity light search took so long

that I’m calling it the long + winding road.

Thought I had it handled,

but the light fixture I wanted cost $104-something.

G.O. nixed it + said it was too expensive.

Buzz kill!

disappointed dog

People!  The struggle is real!

Once again, it was now up to me to find something stylish + nearly free.

Let’s begin.

I love these swing arm light fixtures:

swing arm light fixture in a bath

Yes, they are stylish, but wow, they’re expensive!

Everything I found + liked was in the $200 ballpark + up.

Until this happened:

Amazon has dozens that are less than $100!

See for yourself:

$49 on Amazon:

swing arm light fixture

2 for $99.99 on Amazon

swing arm light fixture pair

Way to go, am I right?

But wait.

I didn’t want to quarrel with G.O. about it, + what if it did look crazy!?

Long story longer.

I caved, as one does, + here’s what we bought at Menards for only $24.97!

upstairs bath light fixture box

I chose chrome because we have a chrome IKEA Runskar faucet

IKEA bathroom fauccet

I love those cross handles!

But wait.

menards-mix-and-match-light.jpg

In reality, the light fixture’s chrome was so shiny,

you could see it from outer space!

No can do.

BUT WHAT NOW!?!?

I punted + decided that the light needed to be black.

 We’ve got a lot of black going on in our bathroom . . .

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. . . + black light light fixtures + faucets are a “thing’.

The paint on modern fixtures is a matte — or flat — black . . .

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. . . but neither our bathroom not our chrome fixture is modern.

Then I got an idea.

What about a shiny black, as in vintage porcelain shiny black, like here:

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Now I’m feeling more confident!

Fast forward a bit, + here’s our glossy black light fixture,

after G.O. spray painted it glossy black:

upstairs-light-fixture-frosted.jpg

Looks like I’ve jumped ahead to the shade portion of our light fixture saga.

As you can see, with this project,

you get to choose your fixture + your glass shade.

upstairs bath light fixture box

I narrowed the search down to two — one frosted + the other one clear.

I chose clear, because that’s what’s happening now.

Plus, the Edison-style bulbs are just fun, aren’t they?

upstairs-bath-light-fixture.jpg

There are other things to reveal about our bathroom,

but I shall share them at a later date.

Now you know why our light fixture search was such a long + winding road.

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BEFORE, DURING + AFTER BATHROOM PHOTOS

Disclaimer:

I don’t know why, but I typically don’t take lots of before photos,

+ believe me, there have been really horrific ones, like this,

in our main bathroom downstairs:

bathroom -- main before

The befores make the after photos so much more dramatic!

bathroom -- main after

Wow — viva la difference, am I right?

Earlier this week, I forced myself to grab the camera

+ head upstairs for some epic before AND during photo ops.

Let’s start with the bathroom’s tub + shower surround,

which are already finished + are actually afters.

I chose white subway tiles because they are classic + timeless.

My design for the window surround turned out well, I thought, modestly:

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I’ve already shared the Sherwin-Williams paint we chose:

Unusual Gray (at the bottom) for the walls,

paint green sage

with Contented (third from top) at 50%, for the ceiling.

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Very neutral!  Very pretty!

But as often happens in a room’s during stage, it’s kind of a blah!

What does it need?

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I’m not sure, but here’s a start.

These IKEA cabinets in white contrast nicely

with the darker-than-I-thought-they’d-be Unusual Gray walls:

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I’ve already shared my love for the tall cabinet’s black legs.

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They, combined with the black in our floor tiles,

mean I need to repeat more black, for continuity purposes.

How about a black metal mirror for above the vanity?

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I’ve chosen this one, because it’s modern yet rustic at the same time.

Another disclaimer: this was $90-something from Target,

but they’re out of it online,

+ you’ll have to search for it in their stores.

mirror of black with shelf

We are going to Target right now, so stay tuned!

QUICK UPDATE:

Trips to 2 different Target stores ensued,

+ we ended up buying this one, which was $35-ish!

Have you shopped for mirrors lately?  That’s a great price!

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Now it’s time for G.O. to hang the bathroom door.

Here’s what that looks like, about midway though:

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He sez that all this wood stuff is called door casing,

+ it’s taking longer than I’d hoped.

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I have to remember that he is a perfectionist, so I shan’t ask him to work faster.

HA!  Most of the time, I don’t!

Here you can see where the finished woodwork will be positioned:

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Here’s a wider view, looking to the hallway + bath.

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What’s up with that embossed-looking wainscoting — you’re wondering?

Here’s a close up:

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It was surely very beautiful when the house was built,

but right now, parts of it are in rough  shape.

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Speaking of being in rough shape, notice our beautiful-but-sad staircase

+ how the wainscoting extends down those stairs!

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Back to our upstairs.   Right now, my goal is to find an even grayer gray/green.

I want something more neutral for the upstairs woodwork,

but I don’t want just gray; we’ve got that downstairs.

As always, I shall head to Pinterest first + see what others have chosen.

Stay tuned!

 


Our Bathroom’s Green/Now What?

I’ve gone way out of my comfort zone,

+ we’re painting our upstairs bathroom sage green.

It’s one of many sage greens from Sherwin-Williams!

paint green sage

I chose Unusual Gray (at the bottom, above) for the walls,

with Contented (3rd from the top), lightened by 50%, for the ceiling.

IMG_3100

Here they are, side by side in our bathroom.

I think they look more green + less gray, on the walls + ceilings.

sage green -- facing door and hall

It looks good, but it needs a white crown molding at the ceiling

to make it look crisp + neat.

Something like this:

crown molding

The Contented ceiling pops nicely against the white subway tiles,

so I have faith it will look great with that white crown.

sage green -- shower enclosure

There wasn’t enough of the original woodwork for this room,

so G.O. bought some new baseboards that are just as tall as the old ones:

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He brought in his compound miter saw from the garage:

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Soon, he’ll add some quarter-round molding at the floor.

sage green -- southern baseboard

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I am relieved that I like actually like the colors . . .

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. . . because let’s face it: greens can go so wrong, so easily.

The Unusual Gray is a tad darker than I anticipated,

but that might be because of all the dark + cloudy days we’re having.

Soon enough, we will be adding all the finishing touches.

Help!  What goes with green?

Stay tuned!


Will I Have Painter’s Remorse?

Yesterday I mentioned my quest

to find the perfect gray-green paint for our upstairs bathroom.

I found this list of sage greens on Pinterest.

We’d be living in our car if there was no Pinterest.

paint green sage

I had chosen my front runner last night,

but I had to wait to see the paint chips in our bathroom in the day.

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We started eliminating the ones that were clearly wrong —

maybe too dark or too yellow to make the cut.

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Our paint mustn’t be too green, either, as I wanted a gray-green.

We finally ruled out the rest of the unwanted colors,

settling on this pair, for both the wall + the ceiling.

Unusual Gray, left, + Contentment, slightly lighter for the ceiling.

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Not so fast.

Soon I had myself fearing that Contentment was too dark on the ceiling

+ wouldn’t provide enough contrast with the walls.

Here’s where it gets a little crazy.

I told G.O. to ask the paint guy at Sherwin-Williams to lighten it by 50%.

He was not on board, but I assured him that this was a thing,

+ that the popular bloggers do it!

To ease his mind (+ mine), I called Sherwin-Williams to confirm.

Yes, they do it.

See for yourself:

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Here are the cans, waiting for their thumbs up or down by me:

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Disclaimer: as greens tend to do,

Unusual Gray looked more gray in the light of the kitchen (below)

+ more green in the bathroom.

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Here’s the first bit of Contentment on the ceiling:

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It’s a dark + gloomy day,  so I’m sure the colors will change

when/if the sun finally opts to shine again.

That bathroom is super bright

because of a solar tube that G.O. installed in the ceiling.

Excuse the unusually bad photo, but here ’tis:

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He needs to install the panel thing, of course.

When the sun’s shining, that room is so bright —

the kind of bright that has you reaching for the light switch!

I’ll have to ask G.O. about the solar tube

so that I can share with the class.

Promise.

Meanwhile,  here are a couple of additional photos of our bathroom.

Our white vanity from is from IKEA:

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I forget its Swedish name, but it has 2 drawers.

I super love its vanity top, which is similar to this:

IKEA bathroom with our top

The black + white tiles are period-appropriate to our house:

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I think Lowe’s has them in stock,

but we got ours from Tile Outlet in Chicago.

Anyway, it’s time to climb those stairs again

+ inspect G.O.’s progress.

Stay tuned for more ‘after’ updates!


My Quest For The Perfect Gray-Green

G.O. is working on the upstairs bathroom,

so I’ve been busy thinking about paint colors, etc.

I was all set to get Glidden’s Prairie Sage (bottom right),

since it was described as a neutral alternative to gray.

paint green of sage

Trust me, we have enough gray walls downstairs.

 I am ready for a change but want to stay neutral-ish.

Besides, green is a thing now.

Anyway, off we drive to Home Depot for a gallon of Glidden Prairie Sage.

Long story short — neither of us liked it.

I thought it looked too bright + too mint.

surprised baby

The minute we got home, I headed to Pinterest,

where I began a furtive search for green-gray paint.

When I saw these being described as matches to

Restoration Hardware paint, my search was officially ovah!

paint green sage

I mean, people.

Everything from Restoration Hardware is exquisite, is it not?

Sadly, it’s almost 5 bells, so I shall have to wait until manana

to drive to our (brand new + local) Sherwin-Williams.

Keep your fingers crossed!

Meanwhile, earlier today I casually suggested we do this

to the bathrooms walls:

board and batten entryway

I mean, how cool!  Plus, isn’t it easy to install?  I hope?

board and batten bathtub

Oops.  I think that’s where I lost him.

cats fighting

Wish me luck with the paint, though.

  I’ll report back — so stay tuned.

 


Plus Sign Tiles In A Nashville Loft

It’s time for an inspirational bathroom post.

I just discovered Apartment Therapy’s Homes Across America,

in which there are several home tours from select major cities, + whoa.

They are all super swoon-worthy!

apartment therapy homes across america

There’s so much buzz about Nashville these days, so let’s start there

with a Remarkably Remodeled Industrial Modern Loft.

Every single room is wonderful:

loft in nashvillle

Granny’s going need a nap soon, so let’s focus on one room only.

I’ve chosen this one, with most wonderful black + white tiles, ever!

From floor to ceiling, there are classic subway tiles with dark grout.

Subway tiles + dark grout = classic vintage style!

floor -- black ith white pluses

Check out the black vanity with its window sash drawer pulls!

But seriously.

That black + white plus sign floor!

floor-black-ith-white-pluses3.jpg

Have you ever seen anything so cool?

Yes you have,

if you read my recent blog post

about a bungalow reno in an HGTV pilot show.

plus sign floor

Let’s look again.

Yes, there IS a black + white tile floor with plus signs!

plus sign floor bigger

Oh, what the heck.

We might as well continue our journey down plus sign memory lane,

so here are a couple more plus sign tiles in my go-to color:

red cross shower wall with box

red cross shower wall

Well, that was fun, but I digress.

Let’s head back to the Nashville loft bathroom that I loved so much!

Please.  Did you see this?

The mirror looks built in, because it’s been framed with accent tiles!

floor black with white plusses

I’m so not worthy!

The plus sign floor + white subway walls flow into a walk-in shower,

+ with extra credit for its built-in niche:

floor black with hite plusses

And in conclusion, it looks like there’s a water close across the room.

I wish we had a water closet.

floor black with white plussi water closet

Stay tuned for more Homes Across America home tours!


Powder Room Highs + Lows

I recently shared the story of our powder room’s paneled walls,

which involved a lot of masking tape + a lot of poly molding from Home Depot.

powder room tape

Soon enough, everything was given a coat of medium gray paint:

Flagstone by Pittsburgh Paints.

Check out the awesome before + after!

I know!  How great!

 All that molding gave the newly created room instant age!

Here it is, before — that space was once a short hallway:

powder room before

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I love how the carrera marble hexagon floor tiles

coordinate with the Flagstone paint!

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The carrera marble is repeated in the vanity top from Pottery Barn,

which I think has been discontinued:

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I chose the New York widespread faucet

from Signature Hardware, $259.95:

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Who remembers the wonderful Martha Stewart Everyday at K-Mart?

loved everything — from home decor items, like this enamel soap dish,

to garden goods + holiday collections!

The striped mug is an oldie Ralph Lauren pattern, Farmstead Ticking,

found online at Replacements, Ltd.

It’s not currently available, but I love this adorable candlestick, $11.95:

Hurry!  There are only 4 left!

farmstead ticking ralph lauren

Back to the powder room!

Our mirror started its life paired with a beautiful dresser,

which we refurbished + sold.

powder room mirror before

I briefly considered painting it

but couldn’t bear to cover that pretty wood grain!

Our pretty porcelain light fixture

was discontinued from Pottery Barn, + I found it on eBay.

Don’t you love the vintage-style cloth-covered cord?

Speaking of vintage, I hung these blue transfer ware plates

above the sweetest blue shelf that I found in an etsy shop:

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powder room blue shelf

But wait.  We need to talk.

I am on the fence about those plates.

I love them, but they just don’t look that great here.

But look at the plates I hung in our main bath!

I couldn’t love them more!

bathroom -- mine with wallpaper

I can’t believe I did this,

but I guess I assumed that if I loved plates in the main bath,

I’d love them in my powder room, too!

don’t.

I don’t know what, if anything, to hang there.

surprised baby

If only Joanna Gaines made house calls!

I mean, how in the world am I going to find a designer

who speaks my design language,

way out here in the middle of nowhere?

Well, check this out.

My friend, Claudia, told me about this thing called Havenly.

It’s an online source of interior designers + decorators.

You can read about how it works on their website.

I think I am going to take their design style quiz, later today.

How much fun will that be?

As always, stay tuned!

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We even painted some unfinished wood switch + outlet plate covers from Menards:

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See you next time!

 


Sink Skirt Search

So.  This morning I spied this photo on Facebook,

from this fab biz in Franklin, TN.

I think I gasped a bit.  Really.

Tell me you do the same thing.

fabric-of-floral-uphostery-chairs-city-farmhouse

City Farmhouse in Nashville, TN

I thought to myself, “That fabric!  How perfect!  How timely!” 

You see, for months, I’ve been searching for fabric,

as our powder room vanity desperately needs a skirt.

See for yourselves:

powder-room-from-agove

Naturally, as one does when one needs inspiration for one’s project,

I headed straight to Pinterest.

skirt-of-sink-brick-wall

Most of the bathroom skirts I saw involved wall-hung sinks or pedestals;

I think this one was particularly epic:

skirt-of-sink-taupe

Since I needed a skirt for my vanity cabinet,

I soon switched my search to kitchen sink skirts:

OOH:

skirt-of-sink-floral

LA:

skirt-of-sink-floral-kitchen

LA:

skirt-of-sink-gignham-kitchen

I really want to make a red check skirt in our kitchen!  Stay tuned!

+ + + + +

So.

Even though I’d given my powder room skirt the green light,

I couldn’t decide what fabric to use!

dunce cap cat

So many mind-boggling choices!!

Then, luckily, this happened:

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Recently, I bought 6 of these pretty blue + white transferware plates,

from this antiques shop, in my southern Illinois girlhood homeland:

The Loose Caboose

IL  Rt. 127 in Donnelson, Illinois.

1.217.537.3735

+ + + +

Once I arrived home with said plates,

it only took a day or two to decide to hang them in our powder room,

on the panel to the mirror’s right, above the toilet:

powder-room-from-agove

(I’d already been toying with that idea for a while.)

But Kay!”  you are no doubt saying.

“Didn’t you already hang some vintage plates in your main bathroom?”

Yes, I did, + here they are:

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Naturally, self doubt ensued.

Would it be wrong to hang plates in both our bathrooms???

dunce cap cat

No, it is not, + here’s why:

I am creating a “theme” for our bathrooms,  + “themes” are good!

Thank you.

+ + + + +

Meanwhile, back to my sink skirt dilemma!

Which pattern fabric to choose?!?

I had a light bulb moment earlier this morning!

Remember the beautiful chairs that I spied?

fabric-of-floral-uphostery-chairs-city-farmhouse

That’s it!  BLUE AND WHITE FLORAL, please!

 So.  In my world, when one needs to buy just the right fabric,

I head over to my favorite online fabric store,

Fabric.com!!

Anyway, here are my finalists.

Tell me what you think!

First, the florals:

If I can’t commit to floral (slightly out of my comfort zone),

another contender is my all-time favorite, the check:

Another fave, the stripes:

fabric-stripe-try-two

Magnolia Home stripe

Or, if I really want to have FUN, this:

I KNOW!!!???  Insanely FUN!  Right?

The proverbial jury is still out, + I’ve not yet made up my mind.

I might persuade G.O. to help me hang the plates, later today.

Stay tuned!


Powder Room Finishing Touches, The Sequel

The other day, I blogged about our powder room’s finishing touches.

Turned out there were so many, I had to divide them into 2 posts!

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I bought this vintage towel bar several years (really!) ago,

saving it for the front of our vanity cabinet.

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It’s clear glass + has a pair of chippy white metal brackets.

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Part of me wanted to sand + re-paint said-same brackets,

but my desire for a less “new” re-do won out.

Meanwhile, a vintage-style scale that we had made the move:

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As did my beloved NYC skyscrapers night light (from etsy):

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L – R:  (my personal favorite) the Chrysler Building,

the Empire State Building + 30 Rock.

Next up — our large IKEA floor mirror,

which had been in our bedroom, back in the brick bungalow:

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At first, we put it in the bedroom at the Dutch colonial.

However, one afternoon I had a yen to move it to the powder room,

where it brightens + enlarges the space very nicely!

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Full disclosure:

the door was supposed to be Flagstone, the same gray as the walls.

Some sort of mix up occurred, however,

+ I just didn’t have the heart to share with G.O.

surprised boy

I think the door is going to remain Black Magic, + I think it looks great.

Winning!

But back to my powder room “groovies”, as I like to call them.

Check this out!

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When I spied this vintage map waste can online, I knew I had to have it!

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I bought it from my friend, Mary’s, booth — called hello vintage.

hello vintage upclose

I mean, come ON.  How darling, am I right?

Who doesn’t love white ironstone?

hello vintage

Fiesta Ware (+ lots of it!)

hello vintage fiesta ware

Follow hello vintage on Facebook, here:

https://www.facebook.com/hello.vintage.il?fref=ts

Or, if you live in the Chicago area, visit her antiques booth(s) in person.

Hello vintage is in both the True North Downtown, here:

true north facade downtown

+ the new True North Warehouse, both in Morris, Illinois.

While you’re there, be sure to see my own space,

RedBird Vintage Home.

Disclaimer:  I no longer have my retail space.

Stay tuned for my next “big move”.

I’m inside the downtown True North, too!

501 N. Liberty St. in Morris.

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RedBird is right across the aisle from hello vintage!


Powder Room Finishing Touches — Part 1

.On Friday I multitasked by filling my old sorter with books + things,

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 while supervising the finishing touches in our powder room:

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That curvy mirror once belonged to a dresser that we sold.

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I love its beveled edges + pretty natural wood frame.

That pendant light is from Pottery Barn:

I bought it a long time ago for over the kitchen sink in our brick bungalow.

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I love its brown cloth-covered cord + fluted white glass shade.

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I found the sweet vintage shelf on etsy.

It has the prettiest shade of chippy, pale blue paint!

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That’s on old photo of me, at age 3 or 4, with our beloved pet Beagle, Scamp.

.Fast forward several years, + here’s my current beloved pet,

Chloe the Dachshund!

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Disclaimer: there will soon be a threshold at the intersection of the 2 tile floors.

Thanks for reading — I’ll post yet more powder room photos soon.

Stay tuned!


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