Demo in the master bath

Since we’ve basically already done this renovation once before on the guest/hall bath, the demo on the master went far more smoothly.


We basically gutted the entire thing. Vanity/sink, mirror cabinet, wall cabinet, toilet, and tub all ripped out and taken away – for free! Instead of waiting for the next bulk trash pickup day or getting a dumpster, we take full advantage of the free section on Craigslist (it was all gone within 24 hrs of posting!). Ripped out the tile tub surround, ripped out the tile floor, and cut back the drywall to the height we’re going to do the tile wainscoting.

Since we demo’d the whole bathroom we got a plumber in as well.  Just like in the hall bath we had the shower head raised, the water controls raised, had a new mixing valve installed (that works with the trim kit we decided on), and generally just the plumbing done to the new standard.

IMG_8704 2

We dropped in the tub, Zach framed out the shower niche, and that’s where we’re at!



Master bath reno – the before

Its finally time. Time to bring the master bath into the present.

We haven’t touched this bathroom since we moved in, so here’s what we’re working with:


Generally we’re keeping it pretty similar to the look of the guest bathroom reno we did, plus a few nicer touches.  We’ll be installing a shower niche, using a little nicer trim kit for the tub/shower, a different light above the vanity, and subway tile wainscoting etc!

Its gonna be so great – and this is the last bit of the fiesta paint in the house!

Office Bookcases

After moving in together, Zach and I decided we were definitely going to need more book storage for our combined collection.  We couldn’t really find anything at our price point that was exactly what we wanted, so I decided to use some leftover/new wood to make some!

We wanted the bookcases to be able to fit some of our oversize art books as well as fit the room to look quasi like built ins, so I adapted this plan from Ana White and went to town!



So happy with how these 3 bookcases turned out!

Garden Alley – update!

Now that we’re back in TX with no crazy plans on the horizon we’ve jumped back into home reno projects.

So – we went ahead and finished off “building” the garden – now just for plants!

So as far as improvements go…
– We built boxes
– Unexpectedly had to get a new A/C unit… not really a garden improvement, but it is technically an improvement in the garden lol
– Ordered and spread dirt
– Stained the backyard fence
– Put down weed fabric
– Spread gravel
– Got a rain barrel (not free, but the San Antonio Water System had an end of summer program selling them at a rate comparable to making your own)
– Built a stand for the rain barrel out of some scrap wood (for FREE – it’s the small things)


All thats really left to go is plants! and maybe figure out a better gutter to rain barrel solution…

Garden Alley

Our backyard is situated in such a way that the entire yard gets a fair amount of shade, other than by the AC unit.  So over in AC alley we’ve decided to completely get rid of the grass and make it a graveled garden with raised beds!  I knew I wanted to use cedar if possible, so I found these plans using cedar fenceposts ($$ saved) and went to town.  I’d say they turned out pretty sharp!


We still have to gravel and get a dirt shipment, but phase one is complete!

Progress Pics:

DEMO DAY(s)! for the bathroom

The bathrooms in this house are probably the biggest projects we’re taking on.  They’re livable, but clearly pretty dated.. and generally just not the best.  Here’s what we’re working with for the guest bathroom:

IMG_8363IMG_8372IMG_8367Not awful, but not great either.

Our rough remodel plan is:

-Install vent fan
-Demo/clear room
-Get plumbing work done (heighten the shower head/replace and raise the mixing valve)
-Install new tub (we had originally planned to just get the tubs reglazed, but it turned out to be way cheaper just to get a new one)
-Cementboard/waterproof/tile tub surround
-Install can light above tub/ move switches
-New flooring/trim
-Install new vanity/ toilet/ light fixture

Straightforward right? 🙂 The biggest problem we have with both the bathrooms (they’re pretty much identical) is space.  While we were planning this project we decided we wanted to rip out the vanity/mirror cabinet/cabinet above the toilet, and come up with an alternative that doesn’t make the bathroom feel even smaller than it is.  Additionally we’re trying to stay pretty light with our paint/tile choices since the bathroom doesn’t have any natural light.

But anyways, DEMO DAY(s)!


Demo was pretty tedious at first, but then we got a proper sledgehammer and borrowed a mini jackhammer from a friend and went to town!


It’s so exciting to have a clean slate!


Project Backyard – Patio

As I’m sure I’ve mentioned, one of the major reasons we settled on the house we’re in is because of the potential we saw in the back patio/yard.  Last year we tackled clearing the yard and planting seed (it sounds so simple in retrospect), so now we get to move onto the fun stuff!  Some of which is actually fun, and some of which is less fun and more necessary.

On the patio side of things, I recently did a bunch of painting.  The covered patio was originally all (ceiling included) painted the same color as the siding of our house (a yellow-ish beige color) with green and white french doors, pictured here:


Zach and I wanted the patio to seem as spacious as possible so we went with a white on the walls, painted the french doors a navy so dark that it’s basically black, and did a haint blue on the ceiling.




That’s the first patio phase complete! Later this summer we’re hoping to accomplish the second phase which is refinishing & staining the cement slab, and encasing the existing support posts in wood/staining them. Stay tuned for more updates! I’ve been super busy!

Furniture building experiment

After moving in I decided I wanted a little makeup vanity for our bedroom, and couldn’t quite find anything that was going to be the right size.  So I decided to try my hand at building one.  I found this plan online, and modified it roughly using this plan to the specs I wanted (2 drawers and a different depth).

Progress pics
I ended up going with a darker stain to compliment the other furniture in our bedroom


The mostly finished product! (sans pulls)


All in all I spent less that I would’ve to buy something that wasn’t quite perfect, and I think with my leftover materials I’ll try my hand at making some bookshelves!