December 12, 2009

Patti’s Bathroom Update: Fun… and Frustrating

Let me tell you… it’s been a challenging week-and-a-half!

Things started out really well with the contractor tearing-out the bathroom. Take a look at the before pics…


This first photo is of the hall linen closet – this closet and it’s door are being completely removed! clip_image032_thumb[1]

Can you image how terrific this wall will be for an art display? Perhaps a FAB wall of framed black and white photographs. Something like Kelly’s photo gallery (except her photos are colour, of course). It would be perfect, hey?!


Just around the hallway’s far corner, to the left, is the bathroom itself.

DSCF0122  DSCF0123

Don’t you HATE that light fixture?! And there – in the right corner of the above-right photo – is the back side of that linen closet. Even though we’re replacing the actual closet with a linen tower, removing this behemoth will make such a wonderful difference in the room… it’ll really opening things up!!DSCF0124 (outside dimensions much smaller [18”x19” vs. 25”x25”] – storage space inside almost identical),

And see this first door on the left in this picture?

It’s a pocket door that leads to the principal bedroom, through the closet. Patti was adamant that she didn’t need direct access to the bathroom from her bedroom and I agree. Removing this door will create a better flow in the room as well as provide Patti with a wall for a very necessary towel rod. An added bonus will be the closet organizing system we’ll install on the bedroom side of this wall… but that’s a different project for a different post!!

Do you approve of my changes?

Next, the last of the before photos… here, in their fine 80s glory, are the original vanity with it’s pork-chop counter, a toilet with a tank wide enough to accommodate my Christmas turkey (assuming I’d want to store it there! Haha!) and, completing the ugly almond ensemble, the bathtub. Looks comfy, but it’s gross! And flesh-coloured tiles… yuck!!!


At the beginning of this week – Monday – this is what the bathroom looked like:


It’s all gone! Well… everything except that darned toilet!!

And now it’s time to put it all back together!!!

So that’s all pretty fun, hey? Progressing along… getting things done…

Well let me tell you about some of my frustrations and woes!

The biggest challenge in this project is that I work full time. Almost everything this week has been handled over the phone: decisions, purchases, problem-solving… everything!

To give myself a good start I took last Monday off from work. I needed to finalize some purchases (i.e., drive all over town and back again!), meet with the plumber and coordinate the delivery of the tub.Bathworks_EiffelFaucet

My first stop was to purchase the all important BLING – sink, tub and shower fixtures: the Eiffel Collection in chrome by Riobel. Simply gorgeous!!!! And with it… the even more vital rough-in valves for the plumber. This errand turned into a quest for the holy grail with a trip to both the bathroom showroom for payment and the supply warehouse for the rough-in stuff. There went 2 hours of my morning!

Next I met with the plumber, showed him the grail and planned the final leg of the quest (the install) for the following day. Phew… feeling positive!

Only for that positive feeling to be squashed when I hit the first tile store.

I wanted a white matte-finish 12” x 4” subway tile for the bathtub surround. Not available. Not anywhere in the lower mainland! At least that was the tile-guy’s story. But I didn’t have time to prove him wrong!! I needed to order these tiles for delivery by the end of the week!! Okay… I opt for 16” x 4”. This size tile was our first choice anyway (we’d recently changed our mind). It will still look fantastic, I just know it. Of course the cost is about $0.80 more per tile then what I’d quoted for Patti! Geesh! Adds up pretty fast!!

Next I’m off to the second tile store to purchase the all important DSCF0062mirrored glass pencil listello tiles... the tile that the overall design and colour scheme for the bathroom has been based on.

Are you getting a hint here?

I walk in, show them the tile and they say, “I’m sorry… that tile was discontinued by the manufacturer.” WHAT?! “I only need 12” I say. “Any chance you have some in your warehouse?” Nope. DAMN!!

Yep… the mistake of an amateur. Patti had found the tile and I took it for granted that it would be there, waiting for me, when I wanted it. Rather, I should have taken a trip to the tile store a couple weeks ago and checked things out myself. At least then we could have come up with a back-up plan – or a different plan altogether. ARGH!

So… right there, on the spot, I had to change my tile layout plans. Not a big deal in the scheme of things, but definitely a shame :-(

But that’s not all… when, by the end of the day, I haven’t heard from the tub delivery-guys I make a call to the warehouse. “Where’s my tub?” “Oh… we’re sorry… it was damaged in transit. We’ll deliver it tomorrow.” “What?! Why wasn’t I notified that it wouldn’t be coming today? I can’t be here tomorrow for delivery, and neither can my contractor or the home owner!!” As you can imagine I WAS NOT impressed!

What a great way to start the week! But it doesn’t end there.

I made arrangements for my son Matt to hang at Patti’s place – not only did I need him there for the tub delivery, I had the plumber coming by to install the rough-in valves. All I DSCF0112can say is I should have been there. Matt was fantastic, but everything needed my touch.

Damn again!

The plumbing wasn’t all that straight forward so I was back and forth on the phone with the plumber and the supplier. And get this… the tub delivery guys never showed. I called the warehouse at noon wanting to know where they were. I called again at 2pm. The rep there told me that the delivery guys had been there in the morning, knocked on the door and no one was there. NOT! I had someone there all day!!!! By the time we had this all worked out it was the end of the day and Matt had to leave – he couldn’t be there for a late delivery. So… the stupid tub was delivered on Wednesday morning, two days late. OMG!

And all this week, my day job has been extremely demanding!!!

I suspect I’ve bored you with my woes and frustrations so I won’t share any more… and there IS more!! I’ll just say – again – that it’s very, very difficult to manage a project from off site!! It’s all a learning experience for next time… and I HOPE there’s a next time!

Fortunately for me AND Patti’s bathroom I have next week off from work!! And believe me, I’ll be busy! I have to pick up and deliver tiles, arrange for the counter install, coordinate the linen tower & vanity install, monitor the tile install, source out a mirror… so much!!

But in the end… it’s still so much fun!!!

Can you believe I just said that, after ranting about my frustrating week?! HA!

Now… to finish off this post I thought I’d share one last lovely thing… one of two pendant lights that will flank the vanity mirror!!


I’m heading to Patti’s tomorrow to see the progress… I’ll post photos if there’s anything to share.

Thanks for being my interior-design loving friends and letting me cry on your shoulders!!



qerat said...

Welcome to the world of deliveries and installations :)
However, in the end (mostly) there is a happy ending and I think the bathroom will look great
Would love to see those pictures

Maria Killam said...

I just installed 2 sofas and a coffee table (and the 2 chairs were going to be late as the fabric was back-ordered) then the client picked them up yesterday and emailed me and said the coffee table that I had styled looked so amazing that she didn't like it that she couldn't see it anymore walking in from the front door (with the 2 chairs placed) so now she feels like she has 1 chair too many--lesson here, install everything at once.

The House That A-M Built said...

Your rant has just described my past 2 years! It is good to rant... healthier than copious quantities of red wine I can assure you. It's all going to look fabulous. Love the tapware and the bath. Ah, yes, they don't knock hard on delivery... if they knock AT ALL. Been home, experienced that! "Oh I knocked but you weren't home". "I was sitting on the front porch , next to the front door, waiting for you, so which door did you knock on"? I so hear you about the frustrating but fun mentality. I'm selling and doing it all again. You either love the stress or it kills you. Madness! A-M xx

Greet Lefèvre said...

I know that sometimes it can be very difficult but I am sure that everything will be ok finaly! Love to see the next posts!
Have a nice weekend!

Danica said...

I love that after all that, you still say you had fun! That's when you know it's what you should be doing. Besides, if it's too easy, the finished project wouldn't be worth as much. It's going to look so beautiful when it's done, and those pendant lights are simply droolworthy! We're all rooting for you, Victoria! :0)

Susan said...

Your blog post reminds me of my daily life at work. It seems I spend too much of my time problem solving and finding solutions.

Your post if so timely because this week I was watching Design Inc and thinking about when things go wrong they go wrong. The kitchen they were working on had numerous problems again and again and again. What I really like about that show is they don't edit out the real life issues that arise on any given project. There's always something :) after all life is not perfect.

How's this for a challenge/idea for a future post. Designer/decorators share their worst nightmare projects. You know the ones where the ball starts to roll downhill and once it does look out. :)

I'm sure the bathroom will be lovely!

Unknown said...

ug, i can only imagine what a headache it must be to manage a bathroom reno. but can't wait to see "after" shots!


It is sad to said, but this is the real and not so glamorous side of Interior Design.

Cristin // Simplified Bee said...

Love the new lighting!


Dumbwit Tellher said...

Victoria - Patti's bath is going to be stunning. The pendants are fantastic!! Next week will be much smoother, no doubt. x

unique unique design said...

Whoa! Sounds like you've had one crazy week, but it, also, sounds like you know how to jump right back in and solve the problems. I'm sure the end will be fab and you'll be ready to start all over on another project! :) Look forward to the "after" pics.

Fifi Flowers said...

WOW... another FAB project!!!

Alycia Wicker said...

Construction always costs and takes longer than you thought. Grrr. I do agree, that pendant... Fantabulous! I thought I was the only one who said that! ;-)

Splendid Willow said...

It IS fun! (And you know it!) A few hickups here and there - and soon you will laugh of pure happiness. The bathroom is going to look fabulous, girlie! And that pendant... You said it best yourself - FANTABULOUS! OX Monika

BubBLeS said...

I absolutely LOVED the Eiffel series by Riobel! I even wanted to put the faucet in my kitchen! It's too bad I had to make budget cuts.. maybe in the next reno. :) Great work in dealing with those delivery guys. Its always so frustrating when they don't notify you and you're left hanging. Can't wait to see the final pics!

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