Chillin' at CRT on Xpu Ha Beach

Chillin' at CRT on Xpu Ha Beach
How I'd spend every day if I weren't redecorating, cooking, sewing and blogging!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Once Upon A Time There Was an Ugly....

Bathroom 

And 

Once Upon a Time I shared the story of our upstairs bathroom which was in need of work.  I told you about how we thought we had two months before our youngest was back home for a year and then she moved home early - right in the middle of the renovation.

Here are few (scary) reminders of what it looked like BEFORE....



It once had polished brass and bone colored tub and tile
(polished brass finish was a fail like some of the bronze finishes, it just doesn't hold up)


It had gold tone mirrors and greenish paint


Some places (to my surprise) still had the paint color BEFORE the greenish paint


The previous owner had new tile put in the tub and toilet area,
but put NEW carpet in the sink area before we bought the house!
I shared the work in progress here.

Except for this picture which was too hideous to show anyone.  No matter how hard we tried this tub never looked clean - the finish was gone!





But then, we did a little work worked so long we lost track of the hours and AFTER we were finished it wasn't ugly anymore. But I was so tired I didn't even share the after photos.

But here are the pictures finally, after I've had a chance to recover.  I would have taken a few more but the minute it was completed it was occupied and covered with girl products galore.




I repainted the frames on the mirrors in a two tone combo of bronze and nickel
 to tie all the mix/match metal colors together


The tub and tile was re-finished and the trim on the shower/tub was replaced


A new Shower Curtain and Towels finished the updated look
I apologize for the yellow tint to the pics it's difficult to take pictures
in this small room with or without the flash the color seems off


Carpet was replaced with wood look tile - 
of course the tiles in the bath area were discontinued
 so matching them was not an option


New paint, new light, new switches, new cover plates, repainted mirror frames
this pic is before the crown molding was added, now it looks even better
minus the paint cans, etc helps too
In addition to what you see in these pics we also

Removed the popcorn ceiling, added new texture and paint

Added crown molding in the sink area

Added an exhaust fan and light to the shower area

Had the faux marble vanity top coated with the same white as the tub and tile (it really was this yellowish color) I'm anxious to see how the finish holds up

We had previously replaced the faucets, towel bars/rings and tissue holder

I think this room is DONE (for now at least) and the daughter who lives upstairs declares it looks like a "Princess Bathroom." I've never seen a princess bathroom, but I'm sure that's a compliment. 


~The End~

Laura


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Friday, July 26, 2013

Mood Lighting

Since we purchased our current new old home in 2006 it's been one project after another trying to update our home to just our style - comfortable and relaxed.  One area we have spent a lot of time (and money) on is the patio/pool/backyard because we love to be outdoors and it has such tremendous potential.  It truly is an outdoor room to us.

Our 2013 projects included painting our old patio furniture and installing a shade cover.  I shared with you last week how we added some much needed shade to the patio in an attempt to beat the Texas heat just a little.  If you are interested you can check it out right here.  So the next step to make this shade project complete was lighting.

When we bought the house right away we added string lights on the fence with multicolor bulbs.  Sort of cantina style, they aren't Christmas lights, they are party lights with round bulbs.  These lights are so much fun - or they were in the beginning.  Within a couple of years most of the paint had baked right off or faded and I was wondering if we should consider clear bulbs.  The replacement bulbs were about $1 each from the original vendor and we had upwards of 75 bulbs.  I didn't really feel like buying $75 worth of light bulbs so for Round 1 we repainted the bulbs with glass paint.  It helped.  But it lasted even a shorter time than the original color on the bulbs.  So after 5 or 6 years the bulbs looked like this.  Yuck!  Time for Round 2.



After some serious internet searching I purchased some new bulbs (amazon.com) for a lower price.  I thought they were the same size as the old ones, but when they arrived they were larger but the same wattage and same size base - which was the most important thing.  They look great!  I had no idea how BAD the old ones looked until the news ones arrived.  Here's a side by side comparison of a new (larger) bulb and an old one that had faded.


You probably can't imagine how much joy these new brightly colored bulbs brought to my life - but I was very very happy to have a little more color in my backyard!


I'm not very good at night photos, I need to play with my Nikon a little more, but you get the idea.....


With the party lights renewed, I just needed lights for the new shade on the patio.  I also found them shopping online (yes I hate to run from store to store). This time Costco had the best price and free shipping!  These are Sunsetter lights designed to go with retractable shades.  They are awesome hanging from our sun shade.  They really light up the patio with six 25 watt bulbs, next time I may use lower watt bulbs for a little less light output.



In the midst of all our patio updating this last month I pulled out a pop up hammock we have owned for a long time and barely used.  It's getting some good use now!  By Obi Wan


and Chewie



Sometimes SuperDave and I even get to take a turn.  I think this weekend would be good.

TGIF!

Much Love and Laughter,

Laura


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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Let There Be SHADE!

Just when we thought we were finished with all our projects prior to our summer hiatus......  You know those fun projects like the gas service line replacement, the upstairs HVAC unit replacement, the bathroom makeover (that I still need to show you) KA-CHING!  Just when SuperDave thought we were just going to chill for the summer...I said, "I'd like to figure up how much it would cost to put up the shade fabric over the patio."  If I had a number, then I could figure out when we could do the project.  We had been planning to install the shade fabric on the patio before summer 2013, but life had gotten a little busy.

So we started calculating....and we now have shade over the patio!  The initial project budget was only about $150 for 165 square feet of shade.  Pretty good.  The cost doubled after SuperDave tried to drill the first hole in the brick with his very old hammer drill.  We are now the proud owners of a new and improved, very noisy, hammer drill.  I suppose I need to think of more projects requiring the drilling of holes in brick, since we have exactly the tool for it.

The problem with our patio is that it is surrounded on 3 sides by the walls of the house and only a small amount of this area of the patio is under roof. WHY?? This is Texas!  If there's one thing we need in the summer, it's SHADE!  We get sun on the patio in the summer for most of the day, of course, in winter it's shady.  We have a large umbrella which we were moving several times a day in our attempt to stay in the shade.  We could shade 3 people max with the umbrella, if we moved it all day as the sun moved.

Here is the patio BEFORE without shade - disregard the mess this is after we started the project and shoved the furniture to the middle.


And here's AFTER with the shade fabric overhead!




We used this product, along with some anchors, turnbuckles and coated clothesline wire.  This is the 90% UV blocking fabric.  Why would you install anything less?


The long edges were hemmed, we cut this 30' piece in half
for two 15' pieces, each 6' wide.

Here's a look at work in progress.
  
Anchors and wires first

I hemmed the ends of the fabric with outdoor thread -
not fun stuff to work with!

We snapped butterfly clips to the fabric and slide them over the wire

Then attached the other end of the wire to the anchor

We did the same to all four long edges of the two pieces of fabric

And the second wire is attached!

We installed 4 wires and two pieces of fabric

 
This project went pretty quickly compared to most projects.  We sat in the shade for a few days and just enjoyed it.  Now we had shade, but as SuperDave expected, the wire pulled together in the middle causing the fabric to hang down.  It was okay - but we were thinking on what we could use for spreader poles to tension the wires in the center. 

I decided bamboo poles would be just right - but finding bamboo poles over 6' long locally didn't happen.  So after trips to two stores I had FIVE 6' bamboo poles sorta straight and sorta the same color and diameter.  Then SD had to join them together and cover the joints with some nice jute twine I had in my stash 'o stuff.  He put slots in the ends of the poles, inserted a butterfly clip, drilled a hole though it all and inserted a bolt.  A lot of this was done standing on a ladder with his arms over his head. I think he deserves to relax the rest of the summer, don't you?  And he can relax right here in the shade on our patio.




Love and Laughter,

Laura


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