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Tiaras and Trucks

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

It All Began with a Vanity

It seemed so simple.

Pull out the outdated vanity in the bathroom, toss it in the trash, and install a pedestal sink.
Have you seen pedestal sinks?  They’re compact and don’t have many parts.  I couldn’t think of an easier first project to ease ourselves into home ownership.  HGTV figured prominently into my television viewing line-up, and pedestal sinks were so basic they didn’t even have their own show.
Looking back, I must have known it wasn’t going to be exactly painless, because I neglected to tell Ryan about my plan before enlisting my mom’s help to rid the bathroom of the offending vanity sink and cupboard.
Awkward and unwieldy, it protested only slightly as we pulled it into the hallway, making room for modern, streamlined bathroom décor.
Not wanting to sit on the curb alone, the vanity convinced parts of the plaster wall to come along on its next journey, leaving gaping holes in our bathroom wall.
Undeterred by the prospect of patching a wall, I stood by the decision to start remodeling before even deciding on a paint color.
My eyes drifted down, noticing that the tile border along the floor stopped where the vanity had once started.
We would have to find matching tile.
Inspired by the unique and quirky finds HGTV home designers manage to conjure from thin air, I traipsed out of the house to buy some tile.
Trips to several tile stores failed to find matching tile to continue the border.
Trips to several more tile stores failed to find anything remotely close to complementary tile to continue the border.
Discomfort began to set it as we pulled the rest of the tile away from the wall, planning to replace it with wood molding.
Projects always take a little detour, right?
More wall damage.
So we would need thick wood molding.
Perhaps we could paint it a funky color, like an HGTV home designer would.
Still more wall damage.
Make that extremely thick wood molding.
Maybe white molding would work.
We lacked any knowledge of miter saws and cutting on an angle and somehow making straight, extremely thick wood molding fit against the curved wall in our bathroom.
Ninety-seven trips to Home Depot, several panicked calls to my dad, and countless borrowed tools later, our bathroom was again presentable, complete with a gleaming white pedestal sink.
I turned off HGTV.
Lesson learned.
the prompt:
start or end with "lesson learned"

a little note: years later, when cleaning out our basement, we found an entire box of brand new tiles, obviously leftover from the bathroom project
curse words were spoken
giggles ensued

Labels: , ,

39 Comments:

  • At July 26, 2011 at 9:45 AM , Anonymous Kir said...

    see???? see??? don't ever ask me why I refuse to watch that channel....because my house would FALL down if I tried this. ;)

    OMG, this was so good, so full of angst and sitting on the edge of my seat. You words were awesome!!!

    step away from the TILE my friend. BUY SHOES INSTEAD ;)

     
  • At July 26, 2011 at 12:00 PM , Anonymous Galit Breen said...

    Oh dear friend! I can't even begin to tell you how much I love that you went after this project on your own. Without telling your husband. With your mom. 

    How kick butt are you?!

    My favorite line is this -Not wanting to sit on the curb alone- because it made me spit out my coffee. So there.

    XO

     
  • At July 26, 2011 at 2:19 PM , Anonymous Abby said...

    I have big dreams of home repair and remodeling that are often dashed with a trip to Home Depot and the realization that a) I will have to either figure out how to do something on my own or pay someone and b) I live alone and no one will see it anyway.

    In my mind, my house is totally HGTV worthy. In reality, it's just right for me :)

    Great lesson learned and props for your mad home project skills!

     
  • At July 26, 2011 at 2:43 PM , Anonymous Elaine said...

    HA HA HA!!  This is SO something I would do.  I can feel the up and down of "yay for a new sink" and "oh gosh, what have I done" here.  Good job with that! 

    Good lesson, by the way.  It's good to know your limitations. ;)

     
  • At July 26, 2011 at 3:24 PM , Anonymous Emily said...

    *smile* HGTV can be dangerous!

     
  • At July 26, 2011 at 3:44 PM , Anonymous Julieemoore said...

    You have got gusto! Good for you. When I have attempted something around the house I always end up trying to rig it to make it turn out the way it is supposed to. I'm glad you completed your project witha happy ending.

    The tile you found in the basement.... funny but that sucks.

     
  • At July 26, 2011 at 3:49 PM , Anonymous Coming East said...

    This made me guffaw!  Those decorating shows make everything look so easy, don't they?  One thing always leads to another, without a doubt.  Think of all the skills you learned, though, because you had to do so much more than you imagined.  And how much money did you save by doing it yourself?  Is that with or without the price of gas for those ninety-seven trips to Home Depot?

     
  • At July 26, 2011 at 4:06 PM , Anonymous shellthings said...

    LOL Sounds like projects at our house!

     
  • At July 26, 2011 at 4:11 PM , Anonymous jentos23 said...

    Hahaha! Oh no...that sounds awful to me! I love to watch HGTV, but I could never do any of those projects...I have no patience for that stuff. People patience? Yes. DIY projects? NO WAY!

     
  • At July 26, 2011 at 4:23 PM , Anonymous TMW Hickman said...

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!    OMG!  I think that you and I must have been twins in another life!  I once decided that it would only take "a couple of hours" to replace some tile in our bathroom--and we ended up replacing sheetrock, painting, and grouting too!

    This is a great memory!

     
  • At July 26, 2011 at 4:24 PM , Anonymous Krista W. said...

    Oh it's so true!  HGTV makes home improvement look so easy!  It's convinced me that hubby and I could remodel our bathroom all on our own for very little money.  He's still not convinced.  I'll make sure he doesn't see this post or I'll never get a new bathroom!

    But thanks for the heads up.
    -Expect to replace some drywall.
    -Expect to replace tile borders.
    -Expect to need help.  From the more experienced and more "tool blessed".

     
  • At July 26, 2011 at 4:26 PM , Anonymous jen forbes said...

    This just cracks me up, and i know its never funny when its happening to us, but i can't help but giggle just a bit. Frustrating isn't it? 

    Then we wonder why did the contractor I hired mysteriously disappear in the middle of a job?! 

    I think Angela you may have stumbled upon the answer :) 

    Brilliant!

     
  • At July 26, 2011 at 9:11 PM , Anonymous Jackie said...

    HGTV makes it seem so easy!! We have a rule in our house professionals only in terms of electric & water.

     
  • At July 26, 2011 at 9:56 PM , Anonymous katieross83 said...

    HA! I can laugh, because we have SO gotten ourselves into similar messes. Projects never seem quite so daunting when you begin them as they actually turn out to be in reality. HGTV should really show all the blood, sweat, and tears that goes into home improvement. Instead they just show drool-worthy carpenters and happy, happy homeowners...convincing the homeowners watching that "yes, we can do that, too!" It's all a part of their evil plan. 

    Great story..and great lesson. I've definitely learned that one myself. 

     
  • At July 26, 2011 at 10:13 PM , Anonymous Janelle said...

    We are in the same mess right now - while we have a sink, (and other bathroom necessities - shower + toilet), we have no walls.  At some stage we will hopefully get it all taken care of...in the meantime, I will giggle at your post.

     
  • At July 26, 2011 at 10:30 PM , Anonymous May said...

    I think it says much about your character that you a) saw the project through to the end and b) can write about it with such humor.  Very funny..............oh, no I am just now reading the note  posted after saying more tile was in the basement the whole time!  Curse words were spoken----lol!

     
  • At July 26, 2011 at 10:58 PM , Anonymous Amy said...

    I have actually had to relearn this lesson many times.... I guess that means I haven't learned it yet.... or have enough money to hire someone to do it!

     
  • At July 26, 2011 at 11:46 PM , Anonymous Tracy Morrison said...

    Oh I am laughing so hard. This is how EVERY project goes for us. It is also why not one project is completed EVER. 

     
  • At July 27, 2011 at 3:45 AM , Anonymous Jack said...

    In a different life I worked as a project manager for a general contractor. We made a nice living fixing the problems that homeowners created.

    Can't tell you how many times I would get a call about a small problem and then have to explain why they might need to redo the bathroom/kitchen etc.

     
  • At July 27, 2011 at 8:42 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    So true.  We've been in our house for 7 years.  We thought we'd be "done" with it in about 2.  Let's just say that there are still rooms (kitchen) that haven't even been touched.  Ugh!

     
  • At July 27, 2011 at 8:43 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    If I had millions of dollars, I would hire people for all house projects.  Even painting and the easy ones!

     
  • At July 27, 2011 at 8:43 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Isn't that crazy about the tile?  I wasn't sure if I should laugh or cry!

     
  • At July 27, 2011 at 8:44 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    I will giggle at you not having walls, if you don't mind.  My kids would be fine with that, since they are of the belief that I don't need privacy in the bathroom :(

     
  • At July 27, 2011 at 8:45 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Wait, I got distracted by your mention of the drool-worthy carpenters...maybe that's why the projects don't look difficult, because I am staring at tanned biceps most of the time :)

     
  • At July 27, 2011 at 8:46 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    We SHOULD have that rule.  Thankfully, my dad is a project genius.  He has bailed us out so very many times!

     
  • At July 27, 2011 at 8:47 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    There is not one single project we've done that has worked out in the way we planned.  Seriously.

     
  • At July 27, 2011 at 8:47 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    No, for sure hide this post!  We didn't even do anything hard like get a new tub, retile or other things like that!

     
  • At July 27, 2011 at 8:48 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Isn't it funny how that happens?  "Oh, it's going to take a Saturday and maybe $70..."  A month and $476 later, the project is half finished, and we're moving onto something else.

     
  • At July 27, 2011 at 8:49 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Now I don't watch the project shows, and I shouldn't watch ANY of it, because it makes me want to move!

     
  • At July 27, 2011 at 8:50 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    I am glad to hear we're not alone.  There were days we went to Home Depot several times.  In a single day.  Yuck.  I'd rather be at the mall, thank you very much.

     
  • At July 27, 2011 at 8:51 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Ha ha ha.  I don't even like to think of house projects in terms of money spent/saved.  Except our roof; I know that saved us money to do ourselves (and by ourselves I mean my husband and his friends.  I stayed far away from that one!)

     
  • At July 27, 2011 at 8:51 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    It would have been a happier ending if we could have just found the tile in the first place.  Sigh. 

     
  • At July 27, 2011 at 8:52 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Sooooo dangerous!  I'm always convinced I can do things in about three seconds and for $11 or less.

     
  • At July 27, 2011 at 8:52 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    I have learned that my limitations are very limited :)  I can decorate but not remodel!

     
  • At July 27, 2011 at 8:54 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    There are things to be said for living by yourself and not having anyone else to please.  One of my friends has a room that looks kind of like Neopolitan ice cream (pink, white, brown stripes all over).  I don't see Ryan going for that!

    My project skills are so ridiculously far from mad :)

     
  • At July 27, 2011 at 8:55 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Well, my mom helped me tear out the vanity.  And then left.  And that's where my expertise ended as well.  Ryan was not the most pleased with me, LOL!

     
  • At July 27, 2011 at 8:55 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    See, you're right.  If I buy the wrong pair of shoes, I just return them.  I don't have to worry about replacing my foot or anything like that!! :)

     
  • At July 27, 2011 at 10:10 PM , Anonymous CDG said...

    I'm married to a professional. And things still go wrong for them. They're just more prepared. (and better with complex mitres!)

    Why are there no before and afters???

     
  • At August 2, 2011 at 9:39 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    That was soooo long ago (ok 7 years, but it seems like forever).  I'm sure there are pictures somewhere, but I don't know where :(

    I think have a husband that is professional would be hard, in a way, because he probably doesn't want to do it when he comes home from work, since he does it all day!

     

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