head diy Design Fanatic: March 2014

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Turning A Closet Into A Bathroom

It's been a long process for us turning a closet into a bathroom, but soon we'll be adding in the (functional) design elements in our upstairs half bath at the mountain cottage. 
The final coat of drywall mud  and the primer will be applied the next time we go!

I'm getting excited!

Since we've come this far, I wanted to share and give you the vision of what the tiny bathroom will look like when it's all finished.

We started with a simple vision for our inspiration. 
A painted plank wall, wood framed mirror,  stained wood countertop... 
A vision  for creating a Rustic Cottage Bath

Remember way back in October we had finished taking off the wallpaper and painting the upstairs and downstairs bedroom.  The upstairs bedroom looked all fresh and clean after a couple of coats of oil based primer and paint. You can read more about it HERE if you missed it. 
Towards the end of finishing the upstairs bedroom and after staying at the cottage for a week, we realized that it would be hazardous for us to sleep in the upstairs bedroom because we'd have to stumble down the stairs in the middle of the night should we have to go to the bathroom. 
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So, we decided to put a very small half bath where the closet was. 
In order to not lose storage, the closet would go to the left of the door to the bedroom and floor to ceiling shelves would go to the right of the door on the back wall of the bathroom. This pic shows the bedroom before we started doing anything.
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If you're thinking of turning a closet into a bathroom, ALWAYS START WITH A PLAN.

 Here's the plan we came up with. 

I call the upstairs bath "the world's smallest half bath" because it's a mere 17 square feet...with an angled ceiling on one side!  
It's only 32" wide, which is the minimum to meet code
Still, it will function perfectly. 

A lot of planning went into this bathroom as EVERY single inch counts and affects all the elements in the room. 
If you look closely, you will see the empty space behind the toilet. Mr. DIY had to build out the wall so that the angled ceiling height in front of the toilet met the requirement of 6ft 8" for our state. 
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Even though it is going to be a REALLY small bathroom, I still wanted it to be pretty like the bathroom below. 
The back wall will be planked and painted the same color light gray as the bedroom. The rest of the bathroom will be a bright white. 
Mr. DIY will be creating a custom wood countertop where it is not as deep on the sides in order to accommodate the pocket door, but it will be more arched. 
Instead of a cabinet below the countertop, there will be a gathered skirt to hide the pipes and bathroom storage.
 Mr. DIY made a large custom medicine cabinet that will have a stained frame around the mirror. (which I need to finish!) 
We will be using a drop in sink instead of a vessel sink  and a single handle faucet that will be placed to the side on the counter. 

A framed wood medicine cabinet from Pottery Barn was our inspiration for the framed medicine cabinet
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Pottery Barn

We chose an outdoor light to for the light above the mirror. We also chose an exhaust fan with a light in it, as well. 
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I love this large gray tile from Lowe's for both bathrooms, but it's too large for this bathroom, so Mr. DIY will be cutting it lengthwise. The cut tile will be 6" x 24" and installed in a staggered running pattern. 
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And here's just a little peek of the world's smallest half bath so far. The angled wall is where the dual flush toilet will go. It will definitely be a water saver.
 The sink will go to the left of the pocket door. 

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I'm so excited to get to this point. It's seems like it's been forever since we started, but we've been doing several projects in between (yardwork, having the driveway fixed, cutting down trees, planting trees and berries, repiping the entire house), and we didn't work on the cottage during the whole month of December. 

I hope I gave you a good idea of what the upstairs bathroom will look like. 
Can you envision it?


Be sure to follow diy Design Fanatic on Instagram for behind the scenes updates while they happen


you can  follow my Mountain Cottage board on Pinterest for more insight as to what our vision for the house is.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

So Much To Do In So Little Time...

This weekend we had a lot to do at the Mountain Cottage, but we only had Saturday to do it because we had to be home Sunday morning since it's Mr. DIY's week to volunteer at church. 
Some times things can't wait; we had bare root trees that had to get in the ground before they started sprouting and berries in pots that needed to be planted.
We had a tree service coming to cut down a tall oak tree that had been left to grow huge just 6 ft from the foundation of the house(and there was a crack starting to form).
We had another coat of drywall to apply in the future upstairs bathroom. 
Don't you love it when you have a list like that?

We stopped off at the big box stores to get supplies after dinner on Friday night(yes, more than one store), then drove up to the house so we could get started early on Saturday morning. We arrived around 10 pm, unloaded the car and I couldn't keep my eyes open. 

For some reason I turn into a morning person up at the mountain cottage and Mr. DIY seems to be able to stay up late, unlike at home. 

Around 8:30 am we heard big trucks starting up the driveway. The big equipment had arrived. 
You know, sometimes, you can't do it all and have to hire someone to help get things done. 
There was no way we were going to drop that big oak ourselves being so close to the house and even though it cost a lot, it was worth having the professionals take it down safely. Plus, when we bought the house, the sellers included several hundred dollars towards it's removal after we asked them to take it down. 
(as a side note, Mr. DIY and I rented a bucket and cut down something tall in our backyard, but that was at least 10 years ago~ and it wasn't nearly as sturdy as the one in the photo)

I don't know about you, but I have a difficult time seeing a big oak tree taken down.
Once I saw quite a few pieces that were rotted in the middle, I didn't feel so bad. 

While the guys were working outside with the tree and some huge brush piles, Mr. DIY was upstairs sanding and applying a new coat of mud on the drywall. I have to tell you, getting the drywall finished to the point where it is ready to paint is not a fun job. 
And it's messy.
And there's drywall dust everywhere. 
Definitely looking forward to painting this area!

After applying a 2nd coat of mud, we both went outside and started planting the berries. I've always wanted to have blueberry bushes, but we just don't have enough sun where we live. I love black raspberries too and can't wait until next year to have some of both. Yum. 

I think the most difficult thing for me to do was to prune the berry  plants back so that the roots will get established. Seriously, I had a difficult time cutting back perfectly good growth. 

After planting 3 blueberries and several black raspberries, (and fencing them so the deer and rabbits don't eat them), we started on the apple and almond trees.Will have to share how to plant apple trees another time. 
I tell ya, we had use gravel to protect the tree roots from voles, we used corrugated pipe to protect the trunks from rabbits and installed a 5 ft fence around each tree to protect them from deer. Hopefully, we did enough. 

We finally finished all of this around 6 pm. 
Don't know about you, but we're not getting any younger and we were both exhausted. 
After putting everything away and packing up, we were out of there by 7:30.

I took this photo just before we left. 
The newly planted (and fenced) trees are on the right and way off in the distance are the blueberries and black raspberries. 
The tree guys will be coming back for the logs in the foreground.

So that was our Saturday. How was yours?
Hope it was more relaxing than ours was. 


Saturday, March 15, 2014

Mountain Cottage Update...In The Midst Of It All

Good Saturday to everyone!

It has been a long week for us, how about you?

Mr. DIY and arrived at the Mountain Cottage on Monday afternoon and have been working hard. 

...and yet,
I don't have any pretty pictures to show you.

Oh, I have taken quite a few photos, but they are definitely not pretty. 
We are in the midst of a 


I was feeling pretty discouraged and very small and inadequate  about all the projects that have to be done here. Then,  in the middle of the week, a Facebook friend posted this jewel: 

"It always seems impossible until its done"

Nelson Mandela

Yup, pretty much sums it up.

Then, I woke up this morning to this:

...and suddenly those big piles of brush and all those big logs that have to be moved and two more trees that need to be cut up and finishing the upstairs bath and remodeling the kitchen and ripping out the downstairs bath and redoing the laundry room and the entrance and the living room and, and, and...

....didn't seems so overwhelming. 

Those big logs, and a whole bunch more, pale in comparison to the big picture. 

So, to make me feel better I must make a list of the things we did:

Driveway is graded and fresh gravel put down thanks to Matt at Trax Grading(I'll share what was done another time)

Pine saplings and small trees along the edge of the woods cut down with my new pole saw (more on that another time)

Dead trees and other trees cut down so we can plant some fruit trees.

Upstairs bath passed inspection (YAY!)

Upstairs bath sheetrocked (and hopefully mudded today)

Met our neighbor who invited us to hear his bluegrass band play in town. (was a lot of fun)

Met with the well guy

Met with the septic guy and verified where our septic tank and field is (very important for planning!)

That's what we accomplished Tuesday through today.

Guess I also need to remember the scripture verse I reminded myself of every day when my girls were little and I was feeling overwhelmed by the enormity of raising kids to 18...

Let us not grow weary in doing good, for at the proper time, we will reap a harvest if we 
(emphasis mine) Galations 6:9

If you're feeling a little overwhelmed today in the midst of a big project, just take a deep breath and recite the above quote and verse a time or two.

Can't wait to show you some pretty pics of the inside when the bathroom gets finished!

Thanks for stopping by today :)


PS: follow me on Instagram for behind the scenes updates on the Mountain Cottage and other DIY projects.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Spring Forward

Tonight we turn the clocks forward.

You know what that means?

Spring will be here soon and is only 11 days away! 
(Yes, I'm still counting down the days)

Soon the nurseries will be filled with flowers...

and cute topiary bunnies...

and puppie topiaries too...

and colorful begonias, ferns and ivy.  

Soon, the leaves on the trees in the woods will be springing forth...

and veggies will be growing tall. 

and, we might even work on a garden project or two. 

I think my little green table could use a fresh coat of paint...

and my front porch needs to be "springified" after such a long, cold winter. 
I love everything about Spring(except for all the pollen that falls on our cars, deck and driveway)

What are you looking forward to most about Spring this year?