Archive for Bathroom

Filming the Bathroom

I’ve already shared with you our plans for the bathroom (and the progress we’ve made), but the bathroom is hiding a deep, dark secret…

…another shower curtain behind our shower curtain.

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That doesn’t seem so bad, does it?  Truth be told, it is not the best solution.  During the past few weeks of living here, we’ve noticed a few issues with this shower curtain in the window.  The first is that if the water pressure is too high, there’s a little bit of wind and she mini shower curtain sticks to you.  That’s not a deal breaker but it is annoying.  The second is that it makes the shower feel tinier than it is (and seeing as it’s from the 1930′s, it’s already pretty tiny).

The third issue is, well…

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… to be blunt, it’s gross.

Clearly, the curtain bar was not meant to be used in a room with so much humidity and moisture.  We’ve kept it thus far because removing the curtain would have meant that we would be giving the neighbors a free show.  That is not something I am interested in.  I am glad to report that this weekend, I tackled this little project and no shows were given.  That rusty bar is a thing of the past – and the bathroom feels better already!

On Saturday morning, I took a mini trip to Home Depot to return the first lock we purchased for our apartment door.  While I was there, I also picked up a roll of window film.  Last week, I had spent some time researching different film options and how well they worked.  In the end, I felt that Light Effects has the best reviews so I grabbed a 24″ x 26″ roll in Texture 12 and headed home.

The first step, after pushing back the curtain, was wiping down the window.  It’s a double window so that condensation is stuck in there but that’s okay because it’s sort of hidden now.

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With the window clean, I took some measurements and cut the roll to size.  I left it a little long on all the sides since it’s easier to trim down than add back.

The instructions call for spraying a mixture of water and dishwashing liquid on the window before adding the film.  We only have one spray bottle, and that’s filled with a store-brand windex.  Rather than dump it out and replace it with soap and water, I borrowed the spray nozzle and grabbed a mason jar.  Creativity at its finest.

20130311_bathwindow4 http://www.popcornonthestove.com/

Applying the window film is an incredibly easy thing to do.  You basically spray the window with the water/soap mixture, separate the backing from the film (I used two pieces of tape to pull them apart and it worked very well), and place it on the window.  From there, you can just slide it around until you’ve got it where you want (I used the untrimmed corner as a guide) and then spray some more of the water/soap mixture on top of the film.

The package included a squeegee to remove all of the air bubbles and the moisture added on the top really makes things easier.  I tried to squeegee before adding the water and it was not so great.

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Once you’ve got things lined up and bubble free, it’s time to trim.  I just used an x-acto blade to trim the excess.  Clearly, I am not the best at cutting in straight lines (which I proved in my high school photography classes) but that’s okay because no one will know… except me… and now you guys.

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Removing the curtain rod was another simple process.

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Now, we’ve got a great set up in the shower.  There’s no longer a curtain to whack against us but the film still offers us privacy while letting in a lot of light.  Joe and I opted not to cover the top window because it’s so high up.  Besides, it’s nice to have a view of the tree tops.

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Did you tackle any home projects this weekend?  Perhaps tried your luck with window film?  Have you had good luck with it?

Posted in Bathroom, Details, Home | 15 Comments

Plan for the Bathroom

I’m still in the midst of taking photos to give you an updated apartment tour, but until that’s ready, it’s the perfect time to give you a sneak peek into our bathroom.  It seems to be the only room that we’ve been able to give some love to while we were watching the cats.

We started out with quite the blank slate: a basic vanity and some basket weave tiles.  Since this is a rental, we have no plans to upgrade the vanity or tile – even though the look is not my style.  Those towels also permanent since we got them as a wedding present and we love the color.  The walls are a light blue, but since we can paint them, I’m not too concerned about it.

http://www.popcornonthestove.com/ bathroombase

With a pretty basic foundation, it has given Joe and I a lot of flexibility with which direction we can go in.  There are so many possibilities that I feel drunk with power.  I guess going from a floor-to-ceiling marbled bathroom to a blank slate can do that to a girl.

Anyway, here is the current plan:

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1)   In terms of color, we’ll be using Martha Stewart Living Cornbread paint from Home Depot.  It’s something we already have – and have had for almost three years!  We used it on our tv stand but I’m ready to try it out on the walls.  The good news is that it’s free, so if we don’t like it, it won’t be a big deal to go pick up a new color.  In terms of accent colors, we’re going to use reds, greys, and greens from the shower curtain.

2)  When we asked you which direction we should go in for the bathroom, a whopping 71% of you voted for the Åkerkulla Shower Curtain from IKEA.  This was also our favorite (although if we had a house/more bathrooms, I would definitely choose the other two) so on a recent trip to IKEA, we picked this beauty up.  It’s a very cheery curtain and I love it.

3) I spent a bit of time trying to decide on a piece of art for our bathroom and ultimately ended up choosing a photo we took on our honeymoon.  The plan is to get a large print made – I’m hoping around 11″x14″ – and then maybe tossed in a red frame to keep things spicy.

4)  For the past couple of years, Joe and I have been using a very tiny and flat bathmat from IKEA (this one if you’re curious).  We chose it originally because it was budget friendly but stuck with it because our last apartment’s bathroom was so tiny.  Now that we have the luxury of a bathroom with enough space that you can turn in, we decided that the Toftbo Bathmat from IKEA was the right fit for us.  I can honestly say I love it.

5)  One thing I wan to do is place a tray on the top of the toilet tank.  My top pick right now is this  Lacquer Bath Tray from West Elm, although we could end up with a bamboo tray or a wood that matches the vanity.  Regardless, I’d like to add some fun accessories, like clear containers for the cotton swabs an q-tips (already owned) and this Casa Tissue House by CB2.  I have been crushing on this for a few years and I feel like this is the perfect time to invest.

Now that you know our plan of attack, I can share with you where we’re at. When you first saw the bathroom, it was pretty basic.  Heck, it didn’t even have a shower curtain up!  Thankfully, that was an easy update which has already done wonders for the room:

20130304_bathroom1 http://www.popcornonthestove.com/

The blue on the walls still hasn’t grown on us (womp womp) so we’ve got plans to paint.  Since we haven’t had time to paint yet, I’ve used Photoshop to show you what it will look like.  It’s about to get a whole lot cheerier in there thanks to Martha Stewart.

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 What do you think?  Are you digging the direction we’re going in or do you hope we’ll make a U-Turn and reconsider?  

Posted in Bathroom, Colors, Design, Home, London | 12 Comments

Bath Time

Soon, the shower pod will be a thing of the past – and hopefully something I will never experience again.  It’s just one of those things that never made sense to me (although the rumor is that it keeps families with children from renting).

Rather than dwell on the pod, I’m looking forward toward the future… which includes a tub.  I’m especially excited about detail that because that means we actually get to style the bathroom.  This will involve painting the walls, buying a shower curtain, and then accessorizing.

http://www.popcornonthestove.com/ bathroombase

As of right now, we’re currently working with a basic bathroom vanity in a medium wood color, a black and white basket weave tile for the floor, and the towels we registered for (these in Aegean – via Macys).  We’re not starting with much, but I think that’s great because it will give us a lot of freedom to do what we want.

That said, I’ve come up with three different options for directions we could go in.  Rather than making mood boards, I thought I would edit the photo of our bathroom.  I think it helps see everything together.

[Option 1]

AKERKULLA Shower Curtain (via IKEA)
Martha Stewart Living Paint in Salvia (via Home Depot)

This is our boldest option.  It would include a nice green-teal color on the walls and a colorful shower curtain.  It’s easily the most cheery of the options, and definitely budget friendly (as well as provide us with an excuse to stop at an IKEA!).

http://www.popcornonthestove.com/ bathroom2

[Option 2]

Room Essentials Leaf Shower Curtain (via Target)
Martha Stewart Living Paint in Cornbread (via Home Depot)

This option is also cheery, but that mostly has to do with the paint color – one that I’ve been a fan of for a long, long time.  It’s definitely a classic pairing of the yellow and grey.  You can’t go wrong with a geometric pattern, either.

http://www.popcornonthestove.com/ bathroom1

[Option 3]

interDesign Carlton Extra-Long Shower Curtain (via Home Depot)
Martha Stewart Living Paint in Lemongrass (via Home Depot)

Our final option is possibly influenced by my eagerness for Spring to arrive, but it’s a beaut none the less.  A simple white waffle shower curtain with a soft color on the wall.  It sort of feels like a spa in how calming it looks.

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We’ll probably use this week to mull it over (and this weekend to purchase the shower curtain – I hope) but I’m curious…

Which Do You Prefer?

  • Option 1: Colorful & Cheery (71%, 22 Votes)
  • Option 3: Spring-time Spa (16%, 5 Votes)
  • Option 2: A Classic (13%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 31

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Do you have experience with shower pods?  Do you love ‘em or hate ‘em?  Anyone else prefer a tub?

Posted in Bathroom, Colors, Design, Home | 15 Comments

Landlord for the Win

Anyone who has a landlord will appreciate a good one.  Seriously – a terrible landlord can ruin your entire experience at once place whereas a good landlord makes your life so much easier.

In college, I lived in a large apartment complex run by a management company.  If you wanted something done, you had to do it yourself  (or risk calling maintenance and being charged for something stupid).  For example, when I moved into that apartment – they never painted the walls or cleaned the carpets like they said they would.  In fact, in my bedroom there were holes in the walls from the previous tenant’s tv mount.  I filled those holes up with caulk (throw me a bone – I was 19!).  Surprisingly, I ended up staying there for two years.  It’s always amazing when you think back to how you lived while you were in school and what you tolerated.

When Joe and I moved in together back in 2010, we moved into a smaller apartment complex with just two buildings.  We met with the woman who ran the show and the maintenance guys – all nice people.  We loved the location and area but weren’t feeling the apartment.  It felt old and dated.  When we first moved in, we developed a roach and second-hand-cigarette smoke problem from our neighbor.  Joe ended up staying home from work one day and sprayed a boric acid powder under the bottom molding (there was a ½ inch gap between the bottom of the molding and the floor) and caulked that up.  There weren’t any problems after that, but we decided to move on.

Side note: how did we each decide on our own that caulk was the perfect solution for everything??

Now, we’re in our current apartment and when I say we have the best landlord in the world, I mean it.  He is legitimately awesome and we are beyond lucky.

On the day of that blizzard in October our wedding, the heat wasn’t coming on.  We came home to an ice-cold house and that night we slept in at least 3 layers of clothing and 4 layers of blankets.  Our landlord (let’s call him LL) informed us that he knew he had to replace the water heater and that if he couldn’t do it by tomorrow, he would pay for us to stay in a hotel until it was done (luckily, we were leaving on our honeymoon the next day and it was a quick fix).

Either way, it was an awesome offer, right?

He’s the guy who planted a ton of stuff in the garden and adds flowers to the front.  LL paints the bottom half of the house (that isn’t brick) white to keep things looking fresh, and is always accessible if we need him.

On Tuesday, the lady downstairs noticed that water was leaking from the ceiling in her bathroom.  We got a call from LL and told him we would leave a key on the steps for him so he could check it out (yep, he doesn’t even have a copy of our key so we have total privacy, which is nice).  When I went to take my contacts out, I could hear water – a lot of water – dripping inside the wall.  I noticed a small puddle next to our toilet.  Then I touched the walls and they were wet.  Not the I-just-got-out-of-the-shower-so-there’s-mist-on-the-walls but oh-my-goodness-it-feels-like-there-are-mini-rivers-flowing-down-our walls.   I immediately realized it was coming from above us and told Joe so he could call LL.

On Wednesday, I came home to a plumber and our landlord scoping out the situation and trying to figure out the problem.  Turns out it was the catch basin or something like that.  I have no idea what the exact problem was.  I don’t talk shop.  Joe and I were a little nervous that we may temporarily be without a bathroom.  By Wednesday night, there had been so much water dripping that I notice the top corner of our bathroom was dark.  The heat and humidity were helping the water grow some mold.

Awesome.

We left the keys out again for LL Thursday morning.

Joe and I went out for a sushi dinner (we do this once a week) and when we got home, we noticed that our landlord and plumber had done some work.  First, there was a hole cut out of the wall upstairs, so we know they were able to fix the problem.

Then of course, we walked into the bathroom and I immediately noticed that we had a new patch of ceiling!  I would show you the before but 1) a ceiling is a ceiling and 2) I didn’t take a picture because I didn’t think the  repair would be done this quickly.

It needs to get patched up but then we’re all set!  We haven’t heard any dripping on the inside of the walls which is a very calming feeling.

If you still rent, is your landlord top-notch or do you have more horror stories than anything else?  Anyone else use caulk as a fix-it-all?

Posted in Bathroom, Details, Home | 11 Comments

Scrub-A-Dub-Dub and Storage

On top of fixing up  our bookshelf, creating our photo gallery wall, and reorganizing our pots and pans, I also made sure to tackle the bathroom this weekend.  When I get in a cleaning or productive mode, nothing can stop me.  My next target was the storage cabinet in the bathroom.  It was time to replace it since we had inherited a replacement.

The first thing I needed to do was to empty out the cabinet.  Basically, that meant all my hair stuff, bars of soap (I make use of the local Costco…), and other odds and ends.  They all ended up living on the bathroom sink for a while.  With the cabinet empty, I was able to take the storage cabinet out of the bathroom.  It instantly felt more spacious in there.

Unfortunately I was faced with a surprise… and it wasn’t a good one.  PS – I’m sorry in advance for this gross photo.

Seriously.  So disgusting.  There was water underneath the piece of furniture and I’m not entirely sure how long it had been there.  I think the black was compacted dust combined with water but I’m not entirely sure.  Sometimes it’s better not to be a scientist and try to figure things like that out.  Joe and I had never noticed this until the cabinet was gone (because if we had, I would’ve thrown this thing out much sooner).

The first thing I did was dump bleach all over that area, just in case.  Thankfully, it was easy to clean it all up with paper towels.  It was also painfully obvious how dirty the grout was in bathroom since we could see the original color.  Again, gross.

With our floor clean, I immediately brought in the new shelf rack.  Since it has some hanging racks on the left side, I slid it all the way to the right (so it was close to the shower pod).  I really liked the way it looked in the little nook.

With the shelves in place, I got to work filling it up.  I hung a hand towel and the small towel I use for my hair on the racks.  The top drawer held my hairbrush, curling iron, and pieces for the hairdryer while the bottom one held packs of makeup sponges and q-tips.  I added my hairdryer and straightener to the middle shelf and put all of our bars of soap on the bottom.  I’m slightly embarrassed that I don’t even know the total number of bars of soap we have.  Ideally, I’ll figure out a pretty and functional way to display them but until then, this will have to do.  I’d like to get a few colorful basket to hide my hair products and made everything look nice so as soon as that’s all updated, I’ll show you a proper “after” photo.

One of my favorite things about this shelving unit is that it’s standing on legs.  That means we don’t have to worry about water pooling under it, and even if that did happen we could just mop it up.  I’m not sure if the water pooled because there’s an issue with our shower pod or some other reason but the extra height will help us out with that.

It also means that Joe and I can slide our scale underneath it.  Our scale fits perfectly under the bottom shelf which is awesome.  You’d think that they were from the same company or something.

You know how I mentioned that it was very obvious how discolored our grout was?  Well, I couldn’t handle that, especially since our kitchen/dining area’s grout is so discolored.  Seriously, a girl can only take so much.

Seeing as I was in my super-motivated mood, I got to work scrubbing.  I just used a spray bottle filled with vinegar and water, a hard bristle brush, and some elbow grease.  I must have been in the bathroom for half an hour just scrubbing.  Sure enough, I was able to take away years of dirt and grime.  It was an amazing feeling.  I’ll need to go mop the bathroom and scrub again but it’s totally worth it.  The bathroom somehow feels even bigger now than it did after we removed the original cabinet (and our bathroom is so small that it’s hard to get a photo of the entire room).

Whenever we leave this apartment, it’ll be in better condition than the day we moved in.  Hopefully that’ll help our landlord overlook that we put a few holes in the walls (like for our giant clock).

I attacked the rest of the bathroom armed with my water/vinegar mixture and some q-tips.  Yes, I am that crazy girl who cleans with q-tips, although that only happens when I’m in a cleaning mode.  I guess the warm weather we’ve been having tricked my brain into doing some Spring cleaning .

Either way, the bathroom looks amazing.  I feel clean being in there.  It totally motivates me to attack the rest of our apartment.

So what about you… any horror stories about your current place?  Maybe finding a ‘present’ that the previous tenant/owner had left behind?  Does anything specific trigger you to get into a cleaning frenzy?  Am I the only person who uses q-tips to clean??

Posted in Bathroom, Cleaning, Details, Home, Spring | 14 Comments
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