Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Day 4 - Sandy's Bath Remodel

Time is flying by this week on our bath remodel. Where does the time go??

We are racing against the clock. Only two more days before Steve has to go back to his real day job. It's clear that we will be finishing up lots of things weekends and evenings. Our priority was to have the floor and the toilet installed this week while Alex is gone and we have access to his bath - the balance we can complete over time.

On day two we removed the old vinyl flooring, prep'd the surface for the new slate and laid out the tiles in the room. I wanted to be sure that we blended the colors to be sure that we didn't have too many purples or too many reds all in one area. I numbered the tiles and stacked them by rows for an easy install. This method worked beautifully for us. Steve asked for a tile and I was able to quickly pull the correct tile for that row. Easy!

We had two possible candidates for accent tiles. I was pulling for the tiny glass mosaics and Steve wanted the larger tumbled slate (easy to work with for an amateur installer.) As you can see in the photo below, Steve won.

We have some funky angles in the tiny bath - no problem for Steve! He did a wonderful job working with the angles and the radiator. It looks great!! As I write this Steve is grouting away. We chose Custom #185 New Taupe with a little purple tint. Our batch of slate has some vibrant golds, purples and reds. We are loving it.

The slate takes us in a rustic (and dark) direction, so now I think we need just the right paint colors to brighten up the space.

On day three we finished the tile installation and sealed the tile in preparation for grouting. We also made a supply run to pick up our fixtures. We went to our Welker McKee showroom for our toilet, counter top/sink, and faucet. I love looking at plumbing fixtures. Some fixtures are works of art and I feel like a kid in a candy store when I am there.

We have a super low budget for our project so we selected, with the help of our local rep., Veronica (pictured above,) some very nice Kohler pieces. Welker McKee has a beautiful Kohler section. I'll take one of everything!

Kohler has the best commercials!! I think this Italian Grandmother commercial is for the tub shown below.

Sko Tub

In my next house perhaps ...
the Crucible

A funky Kohler shower seat

and matching shelves

I LOVE this sink - Kohler Artist Edition Boucle 14" under Counter Lav in tweed with Kohler Purist Single Control Faucet in Brushed Nickel

It's gorgeous.

Very interesting kitchen sink. The finish is wonderful in person. I think Veronica has this sink at home and LOVES IT!!

Kohler Carrizo Cast Iron Kitchen Sink in basalt with Kohler Forte single control kitchen faucet with pull out spray in vibrant stainless.
This sink is huge! It has a certain appeal to me - just a beautiful, large sink.

Kohler Tidings Apron Front Sink in Earthen White with Kohler Antique Kitchen Faucet and side spray in brushed bronze
I'm thinking French or Italian villa for this one. Sometimes I find something and my mind can take the one item and build a whole room around that one thing. Wait...I think there is a Kohler commercial for that too.

Kohler Memoirs Stately Home 30" Ped in white with Kohler IV Georges Brass Widespread Lav Faucet in brushed nickel. Also shown - Memoirs Stately Design one piece toilet in white
And for the traditional - beautiful from Kohler. When thinking about a pedestal - go big if possible. All the extra surface around the sink really comes in handy.

Well, shopping was fun but now we are ready with supplies and are back to work. Today is grouting, base, can we work in a quick game of golf??? It's so hard to stay focused when the weather is beautiful....
Stay tuned to see our fixture selections and the ever important paint colors! Oh yes...please let us know you thoughts - we would love to hear from you.

Sunday, June 21, 2009



The day has finally come for our bath remodel. Hurrahhhh!!!!

The skylight is great. We enjoy seeing the drama in the sky.

Oak cabinets (my least favorite) and very boring. Let's see what some paint and trim can do.

Very funky little shelf above the sink. It's outta here.... New countertop, sink , faucet and Kohler toilet.

When I purchased this house several years ago as a single Mom, I despised the second floor bath just outside my bedroom. I disliked it so much that I refused to use it for several months after we moved in. It just hurt my eyes - it was soooo ugly. Eventually I relented and stopped making the trek downstairs to the first floor bath. I have used the second floor bath all of these years but never stopped flinching when I walked in the room. Bad feng shui.

The time has come for a quick remodel. I just can't stand it anymore. We are trying to keep the cost down so it's just the basics for now. We, like many folks, are mulling over whether we will stay in this house long term and how much to invest.

My least favorite device color - it always looks old and dirty. Give me crisp, clean white anyday.

Every inch of drywall, ceilings included, in the tiny bath was covered with this UGLY wall covering. I really enjoyed ripping it down! Ahhh, now that feels good.

Next comes the floor. Rip up that horrible sheet vinyl with the red dots. Whew! I'm feeling better already.

12"x12" Autumn Slate

We have some 12"x12" slate that I have been holding onto for...11 years. Time to use it. We do not have quite enough but were able to find some that is very close and can blend the new with the old. It's all very rustic and natural so it will work out just fine. Our dilemma is which accent tile to use in our tiny bath.
Steve, the husband, architect, and installer on our project is voting for the simple 2"x2" tumbled slate that we found - easy to install and the same thickness as the 12"x12" field tiles.
Sandy, the designer and assistant tile installer is voting for the wonderful tiny glass mosaics from Thomas Brick that are more difficult to install due to their slim thickness. We would have to build up the bed in the accent areas and clean out whatever seeps into the group joints - extra time, extra step, and a little more expensive material. We'll see what happens as the project progresses.

2"x2" possible accent tile - tumbled slate

Glass mosaic tiles as a possible accent band in the floor. I like this option as the tile has a white piece which will help tie the floor into our existing white shower wall tile.

Stay tuned to see what we wind up using. I will post our progress as we work some magic on our little bath. What a champ Steve is to use his precious vacation working around the house.

Sunday Morning Quiche

Quiche is a wonderfully versatile dish. It lends itself to a wide variety of ingredients and it's perfect for any meal. Quiche makes an elegant Sunday morning breakfast or it's yummy for lunch or dinner.
I love to experiment with different cheeses, veggies, and the occasional meat (in half the pie) for my guys.
It makes great leftovers and Steve loves to take quiche to work for lunch the next day.

This morning I made a run out to the garden and harvested a little broccoli for our weekly quiche fix. I hope the spinach kick into gear and we can have spinach quiche in a week or two.

I just love seeing the whole broccoli trees in the quiche, pictured right.

The list of possible ingredients is endless...mushrooms, squash, artichoke, spinach, broccoli, tomato, swiss chard, swiss cheese, feta, cheddar, bacon, sausage, ham, shrimp, scallops...and on and on....

Here is my favorite base recipe and it bakes like a dream. Use whatever veggies you have on hand and cover with the custard - bake - and voila - an elegant quiche!! This mornings version was broccoli, black olive, cheddar and 1/2 bacon. It filled the house with a wonderful aroma. It was difficult to wait for it to cool down enough before devouring it.


1 9" pie crust (I cheat and use the refrigerated ones when I am in a rush)

1 -1/2 c. grated cheese
2 tbs. butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1-1/2 c. chopped broccoli
1/2 c. sliced black olives
dash of thyme
4 strips of bacon, cooked and broken into small pieces

4 eggs
1-1/2 c. milk
3 tbs. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp dry mustard

Line the pie plate with the crust and cover the bottom with cheese. Saute the onion and broccoli in 1 tbs. of butter until just tender. Season veggies with thyme, salt and pepper. Place the veggies on top of the cheese and sprinkle with bacon and black olives.

In blender mix together custard ingredients. Pour over broccoli layer.

Bake in 375 degree oven for 40-45 minutes or until center is set. Cool slightly before serving. Serves 4-6.