Bathroom Makeover – The Flooring

Bathroom Makeover – The Flooring

So hubby and I decided it was finally time to actually do some sort of makeover of our master bathroom. It wasn’t a big space but it certainly wasn’t a nice one either. The only thing acceptable in it was the shower itself. Somebody had obviously recently renovated it. Not necessarily in my choice of colour, but it was certainly good enough for us not to worry about ripping it up and starting over. This isn’t our forever home. We did however desperately want to get rid of the god-awful brown square tiles covering the floor and the lip leading into the shower. 

I am reasonably sure the man who lived in this house prior to us, had absolutely no taste whatsoever, and I mean that in the nicest possible way. We have seen numerous examples throughout the house proving this point. Just look at the backsplash (almost identical to the bathroom tiles) and countertops in the kitchen: 

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I’m not sure if he was doing everything possible to eradicate everything even remotely feminine in this house (apparently they went through a pretty nasty divorce after he told her to leave because he had found “the love of his life”)! I mean he seriously sounds like such a dick anyway! Good riddance! And good riddance to the ugly brown tiles throughout the house that don’t match anything else. 

Back to the bathroom: we had decided on the LifeProof vinyl flooring planks, having been very impressed by the way they’ve held up over the past year in our basement. We love the colour too (seasoned wood) and it looks amazing with blue paint (& every other colour too)! Here’s a link to it at the Home Depot: LifeProof Seasoned Wood multi-width vinyl flooring (and no, I’m not getting paid by them to share this link with you, though I wish I was! lol)

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We knew how durable the vinyl flooring was because we used it in our basement renovation over a year ago and it has withstood three kids, a dog, a cat, numerous guests (the guest room and spare bathroom are down there) even some drunk people – yes, the bar and pool table are also down there! 😉 I was actually originally toying with the possibility of using the travertine, like I had done in the kids’ bathroom, but decided against it because of what a pain in the arse it became when I actually renovated the bathroom from hell (aka the kids’ bathroom). I didn’t want to rip out the existing tile, I wanted something easy to lay, was reasonably priced and was also durable – unlike the flooring we had put throughout the main level that looked beautiful at first, but damaged the minute you breathed near it (Here is a link showing some of the ‘wear and tear’ on this flooring. Do NOT buy this product, you will regret it and the company – Harmonics, holds no liability, blaming the installation process for everything! This was the Harmonics Spiced Applewood Laminate Flooring from Costco.)

Normally, you don’t need to lay any underlay underneath a vinyl flooring but because of the square tiles, I decided to use a vapour barrier one I had found on Amazon to help even out the uneven divides between each 2×2 inch tile. It obviously need to be something that could go in a bathroom, so this one was perfect: 3in1 Silent Vapor Barrier Flooring Underlayment w/overlap and tape 100sq.ft by Feather Step and you can’t beat the price at $18 for 100 sq. ft! Be prepared though, it does smell a bit when you open the packaging up.

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The next thing you need to do is to work out how your flooring is going to lay. Because the Seasoned Wood Vinyl Flooring planks come in multi-widths, we had to plan this out in advance to get minimum waste. I suggest you do the same thing. Here is a time lapse video link to us laying the floor : Bathroom floor laying. So, the first thing I need to clarify is that we do have the vapor barrier upside down in this video. We did eventually reverse it, but it was a long process and quite frustrating, so I didn’t get video footage of that. Remember, silver side down.

The next problem we had was the super weird, ugly shower lip. Why would you put those ugly floor tiles going up the edge of the newly renovated shower? A normal person would have gotten rid of that, but not our guy! Probably because it was a tad too hard; it certainly puzzled us for a while as to how we were going to get rid of them without removing the tiles (we would have to do it all if we removed these ones).

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Hubby suggested using baseboard, but I was very concerned about the moisture getting into it, even after I coated it with spar urethane (a special urethane that is used for sealing wood in areas where it will be exposed to water or strong sunlight). We tried it nonetheless and it looked like crap to be honest. I bought a couple of different types of tiles, but we needed something big enough and with nice enough edges, that it would look good on the top where it met the other tiles from the shower, or we needed something to finish it off. It was really a matter of trial and error. We had decided to use the Aspect Peel and Stick backsplash  stainless long grain metal tiles behind the countertop (hubby’s suggestion) so I thought it might be a good idea to use these down the bottom of the shower, where it met the floor. But how to finish the edge off and cover the little bit of exposed ugly tile? I searched through the house looking for something I could use when I found it!!!

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Yes, that is leftover wire cord from an IKEA light! If you look closely you can see that the outside is actually covered in plastic, it was surprisingly flexible too. I straightened the cord out, sealed the ends by melting the plastic for a split second and glued it on with a waterproof glue and Voila!

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The Aspect Peel and Stick tiles with the IKEA lighting cord used as the finishing touch

 

We love our new bathroom floor!

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Shut the French Door!

Shut the French Door!

When it comes to French doors and privacy, there are only so many options. I started researching some of them when we installed our French doors on our house here in Virginia. We have a larger lot (over 2 acres) and are surrounded by woods, but in the winter, the trees take their deciduous steps and distant neighbours have now got much better views into your domain. This bothers me, particularly at night when it is so dark outside and the house is lit up like a small supernova. I definitely like my privacy. What to do on a budget? Well, given I had no clue how to make French Door curtains, I purchased some and they’re fabulous and cost about $30.

We have another set of French doors in our basement and it has always bothered me that my kids could be down there playing (the video gaming is set up down there) and anyone can see into those doors too. I had originally planned to buy another set of the same style of curtains for down there, but then I remembered I actually have a ton of curtains from our various moves – yes, when you move like we do, you acquire so many things – some of which are a metallic Grey and would match the decor down there absolutely perfectly! The curtains I had purchased (pictured) looked very easy to copy the style of, so with a few modifications, I set out to repurpose my existing curtains into practical ones for the French door.

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The first thing I did was measure the window opening in the door to ensure the curtains I had were long enough, they were. Then it was a matter of taking approximate measurements of the existing French door curtains to match up my gray ones. I measured the width of the curtain and realized I had to cut quite a lot off it. This is a little scary mind you as you are ruining, I mean restyling, something perfectly good. I found the best thing to do was to measure all the way down putting a small sharpie mark along the length then getting a ruler and joining these marks together, then it was just a matter of biting the bullet and cutting (if I ruined them, well I did have another back up pair that weren’t so perfect but would do). I made my curtains 26″ (66cm) wide with a half inch hem on the side that needed a new hem. Therefore, my marks were made at 26 1/2 inches (67.3 cm) across ensuring the 4 circles (normally what would go on a rod) became the feature top of my French door curtains and were evenly spaced on both sides.

With the length I cut off, I measured the amount I would need to make the two pieces that velcroed together, holding the entire curtain up when you wanted to allow daylight in. I did screw up a little bit here as I didn’t take into account the fact that the second piece wouldn’t have any hem on either end, don’t do what I did, make that second piece a fraction longer, it will make life easier and save a burnt finger when it comes to ironing that hem on. I made each of these pieces 19 1/4 ” (49cm) by 2 1/2 ” (6.35cm) PLUS hem – important you don’t forget to factor this in.

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I didn’t even tell you that I wanted to do this entire project without sewing! I had lots of iron-on hemming tape and thought it would be perfect for this job.

If you have never used hemming/bonding tape, basically you use an iron to melt it together, ergo bond the fabric together at your given hemline. The iron has to be hot (so the fabric you use has to be capable of withstanding a reasonably hot iron, and you must turn the steam function off. Be careful not to touch the hemming tape with the hot iron, it will melt immediately and leave a sticky residue on your iron – if this happens, turn iron off and wait to get cold before wiping with a clean cloth that has some rubbing alcohol on it (I do not know this from experience ;)). I decided to double hem my edges because I wanted a clean ‘finished’ look, it did mean a lot more work but it looks better in my opinion. One other thing I did was to cut the hemming tape in half lengthwise as it fitted each of my little, narrow hems much better like that.


Once everything was hemmed and ironed, I folded the front of the curtain over so it gave my front a more professional finish, I used more hemming tape at the top to secure these two folds together.

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I then joined the two pieces on to the back of the French door curtain like so (I pinned everything in place after I had measured it and before I permanently attached it so I could be sure it was all going to work and look nice and neat). My strips were attached 6″ in from the edges on each side.
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Then it was a matter of attaching the Velcro. Again, I didn’t particularly want to sew, not that I can’t, I’m just not very good at it and don’t particularly enjoy it, so I had some sticky back Velcro from another project and just used it. This really is a matter of eyeballing and making sure they will align when joined together. Pinning helps with this too.
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Finally, it was time to attach a curtain to the French door:


I love how these turned out. They match the decor down here perfectly, I had everything on hand so didn’t actually have to purchase anything and now I know we will have privacy downstairs too!


Would you try this at your house? What do you think of this project? Please come on over to Aussie Mum’s Adventures on FB and like my page: Aussiemumsadventures. You can find me on Twitter: @ozmumsadventures, on Instagram: Ozmumsadventures, on Pinterest: Aussiemumsadventures And please subscribe to my YouTube channel: Aussie Mum’s Adventures (I’m still working on it, so please have patience with me!).

Chalk Paint Table Makeover

Chalk Paint Table Makeover

I love to DIY and I normally have numerous projects going on at once, which my husband absolutely hates because he is a ‘one tasker’ – you know the type, you could well be one too, complete one project before moving on to the next. Not me. I’m not sure why it is but I’ve always been like that. I get bored doing one thing or waiting for it to finish or have to stop because of budgetary constraints, so I move on to the next thing whilst biding my time.

Currently on my project lists I have the master bathroom project (which has come to a grinding halt until hubby takes some time off later in the month and we replace the counter top and sinks etc). I have also begun with our main floor stair makeover (you can see pics of that in a later blog), I have one painting I’m in the midst of (yes, I’m trying to establish myself as an artist as well, with a store on Etsy, though that now needs to be updated as my paintings have all expired, so I’ll add that to my current projects (here’s the link to it: Le Shez Boutique). Back to the painting; it has me a little vexed as to where to go with it to improve it, so it’s been benched at this point in time. Finally, I have the project that this blog is about: my side table makeover.

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We’ve had this table since we lived in Italy, it wasn’t a cheap purchase but it certainly isn’t of the quality that furniture used to be made of either. It has a veneer coating and has certainly travelled well, having moved with us into nine different houses, including two overseas moves! I’ve always liked the design but the large chips in it and the differing tastes in both houses and changes in tastes in myself, mean I also now find it outdated and ugly with potential.

One other thing I always do is keep an eye out for bargains that may come in handy at some point in time for some particular project I know I will do in the future, or for a project I didn’t even know I wanted to do just yet, and that’s exactly how I came across this chalk paint. LIDL (a German store that rivals ALDI) has so many of these bargain things that sometimes I have to say no to shopping there! But when I saw the below pictured chalk paint for about $5, I knew exactly where I could use it! So onto table restoration I went (in between waiting for coats to dry on said staircase).

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The first thing I had to do was obviously dust it off and remove the handles. If you want to paint them (the handles), spray paint is probably your best option, but I chose not to in this case thinking they were in great condition as is. I then gave the table a very light sanding. I used 220 grit sandpaper. You have to be very careful when sanding veneer that you do not go too deep with your sanding. After I had lightly sanded everywhere, it was on to filling in the accidental scratches and divets that were not helping this table age gracefully! I used MINWAX Stainable Wood Filler, for no other reason than that it was the one that looked easiest to use and was a good price in the store. I needed something that I could paint and stain (for my piano project that will happen one day) and something that could be sanded – this was perfect. I filled the scratches, waited for the filler to dry then sanded it down once more. I also grabbed something I could get all the grime out of the cracks with, the fact that it happened to be a stem from an edible fruit arrangement received sometime over the past 10 years did not go unnoticed by me, but you know that’s why I keep this crap around! You never know when something like that will come in handy!

I cleaned the table once more with damp paper towel then began the process of painting it. I wasn’t too fussed about it looking perfect after the first coat, given I knew it would require at least two coats of my base color.

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Second Coat (the paint is still drying in this photo):

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Now it was a matter of what to do next. I wasn’t actually using chalk paint for the next part, I had leftover ceiling paint (flat white) and thought it would be perfect for the effect I wanted. I grabbed both a thin brush as well as a foam brush and dipped into the ceiling paint and tried to focus on the detailed areas that I wanted highlighted in the white paint – the grooves etc. I had a wet paper towel on hand to get rid of/blend anything I wasn’t totally happy with, chalk paint is quite forgiving as long as you don’t press too hard. It was really a matter of going until I was happy with the results. If I wasn’t happy, I’d grab the brush for the chalk paint and paint over whatever it was I wasn’t happy with.

I had some Rustoleum Cabinet Transformations Protective Top Coat leftover from our kitchen renovation in Colorado, so I used this to seal the chalk pain in, The whole process literally took less than 7 hours. I’m happy with the results. Hubby and eldest daughter absolutely love it (and were completely surprised because they had no idea this project was on the agenda). Middle daughter isn’t a huge fan, youngest (son) loves it! So I guess a 4/5 isn’t bad right! I hope you’ve enjoyed it too!

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