Home Depot Patio Style Challenge Sneak Peak.

I could just sing with glee that spring is finally here-(ish)!
It’s supposed to get up to 75 degrees this week (which is the temperature I imagine Heaven to be set at all. The. Time).
I was just about to put my house up for sale and move back to Arizona but then the sun came out and all was right with my world again.

This patio has been the backdrop for quite a few parties.
There was this fun soirée, then an all boys party, we can’t forget this fun fiesta and then I did this project
After all the fun parties winter inevitably hits and our patio becomes a cold, barren wasteland where junk hibernates for the season.
I’ve been freezing my hiney off trying to get this eye sore of a patio ready for spring…

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I had a little help in the motivation department.
I’m participating in the Home Depot Style Challenge again…this time it’s all about the patio.
(See my Holiday Challenge Reveal).
I can’t show you the full patio reveal just yet but I can give you a little sneak peak tease.
4men1ladyThe full reveal is coming soon.
In the meantime, anyone else have any fun plans to decorate their outdoor spaces this spring?

Reviewing my own house – en suite bathroom.

Happy Monday Friends!
I’m continuing on with a personal review of my own house 2+ years later.
The last couple weeks I addressed and reviewed every aspect of my kitchen which sparked quite the conversation.
With the Pintererst craze we are all pinning our dream spaces. However, when it comes down to pulling the trigger on those decisions we all want to know if the things are as functional as they are pretty.

Today I’m addressing my en suite bathroom/closet which is right off my bedroom.
When we renovated this space over 2 years ago we did quite a bit to make it work for us.
Originally the sink and closet were in one space and the toilet and shower were closed off by a pocket, sliding door.
We knocked down the wall that separated the spaces and then moved a side wall approx two feet to gain just a little more space
(see more off the before’s here).
Keep in mind this is a rambler that was built in the 70′s. Big, spacious bathrooms weren’t all the rage back then.

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When I first posted this space I had quite a few concerned readers about putting my closet in the same space as my bathroom.
I get the concern.
Moisture issues, ruining our clothes, etc…
But it has worked out just fine.
Utah is considered a desert. A very DRY desert. If we were somewhere very humid I might reconsider the set up.
We always run a ventilation fan which sucks all the moisture out. I also have a bit of stale air phobia. I always crack a window, even in the winter. Not that I need it but I even run this little fan that points right in to the shower just to keep the air circulating. Yeah, it’s a bit overkill but it doesn’t hurt.

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For our bathroom counter tops we went with a honed cararra marble.

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In our kitchen we used honed calacatta marble…a decision I slightly regret due to it be so high maintenance.
On the other hand, this honed cararra marble in the bathroom has been wonderful!
Not one stain, scratch or blemish yet (please don’t tell me I just jinxed myself).
The cararra has a lot of movement and gray to it which probably does a really good job in disguising things. Also, having it honed vs. polished has helped tremendously with the whole etching issue.

The one “BUT” that has bugged me is the clear caulk that was used to caulk the seams.

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I’ve always noticed that where clear caulk was used it has sort of orange-d over time. No amount of cleaning will clean it. When we were doing our basement bath reno a reader marked to make sure and use white caulk instead of clear…then a bell went off in my head that this example is the reason why. Clear caulk discolors over time. What color caulk should I have used? Not white, that would stick out like a sore thumb. Do they make gray silicone caulk?

VERDICT:
Two thumbs up for the honed cararra marble! Would totally use it again in a bathroom.
(Let me rephrase, an “adult” bathroom…I wouldn’t trust it in a kids bathroom…and I wouldn’t use clear caulk).

Now let’s talk the faucet.

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I chose this Kohler faucet because I loved the design. It has a modern simplicity that really appealed to me.
In fact I loved it so much I put the same exact faucet in our main bathroom…

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I just so happened that I had two different plumbers working on these two bathrooms during the construction process and I wasn’t babysitting the job. Big mistake. As a result, one plumber put them in as “X’s” and the other put them in as “+’s”. The other thing that happened is one plumber installed them so you have to turn them IN to turn them on and the other plumber installed them the opposite way so you have to turn them OUT to turn them on.
Confused?
We are too. Like all the time confused.
Especially confusing if you can’t remember if you turned on both the hot and cold…as well as can’t remember if you turn it OUT or IN to turn it off…so you sit there spinning on handle one way, then the other handle the other way and nothing ever turns off…and when you finally get it turned off you’re cursing the da*% thing.
It’s not a manufacturer flaw it’s a “stupid me for not babysitting the plumbers” mistake.

I have noticed that the handles have gotten a little bit more sticky to turn in the past two years which I’m sure my husband will have to find a Youtube video on how to fix it. He just loves spending a Saturday morning on Youtube trying to figure out how to fix 2 year-old things in our house. NOT.

The thing that has bugged me the most is this…

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.
Hard water mineral build-up drives me BANANAS.
It happens when your hands are wet and you go to turn off a faucet and water droplets drip down to the base of the faucet. Over time it creates a brownish crust. I’ve learned that you just have to wipe the counter and faucet every single time you use the sink, but try telling that to little kids. Go see the other nasty hard water buildup pics on my kitchen faucet.

VERDICT:
I wouldn’t buy a faucet that has three components again because that is just more places for hard water to buildup.
Next time I would opt for:
1. A wall faucet so there no hard water minerals to build up on the base of the faucet.
2. A Touch Faucet that turns on/off by simply touching it anywhere.
3. The new hands free faucet Delta has come out with (see video).

Last up for today…the vanity.

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The cabinet maker who made our kitchen cabinets also made our bathroom vanities (you can read my kitchen cabinet review here).
We have not had the same problems in the bathroom that we have had in the kitchen but I’m sure that’s for two reasons:
1. The bathroom doesn’t get as much wear and tear as the kitchen does.
2. My kids aren’t in here banging the heck outta things like they are in the kitchen.

The thing I can share with you is that we opted for a bathroom vanity that is the same height as our kitchen
cabinets.
I don’t hate it but I don’t love it either.
My husband is tall (6’4″), I’m 5’5″. He loves and it works for him but I feel like it makes the room feel visually smaller.
Nit-picky, I know.
My favorite bathroom in the whole house is our basement bathroom. I figured out that I like it because the vanity is low and that feels good to me.
Do what you will with that bit of info.
That’s my two cents on cabinet heights.

VERDICT:
Cabinet height…silliest thing ever to review and have an opinion about but… whatev’s.
Since I’m married to the Jolly Green Giant we will always have a tall cabinets and tall vanities and tall toilets (hate those too)…but I don’t have to like them.
Word.

More bathroom reviews coming this week!

What kind of counters and faucet do you have in your bathrooms? What do you like/not like about them? Would you use it again?

Condo remodel.

It’s been anything but quiet around here despite the crickets chirping on the blog this week.
I’ve got three major projects going on at once on top of my main roll as mommy and wife.
I’m itching to show you what I’ve been up to but I don’t want to ruin the surprises just yet.
I will give you a sneak peak of a major kitchen renovation I’ve been working on…

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The client is non other than my sweet dad. He owns some income properties and is wanting to give them a face lift.
Better looking properties means better quality renters which means mo money in da bank.

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This started out as a simple kitchen face lift.
Then I started in with, “As long as we’re doing some demo we might as well…” bit.
Soffits came down then a wall and a half came out then there went the pantry too.
Aww, heck, just rip it all out, let’s do this up right.
The trick is going to be figuring out just what kinds of items are going to give a good return on investment.
Stay tuned, the fun has just begun!