Master Bedroom and Bath Updates

The last time I mentioned the bed and bathroom progress was a few months ago to show the demo progress.  A couple weeks after Finn was born, we found our groove again and Mike started building the rooms back together.  Mike's rebuilt everything and is in the middle of tiling the bath and I've painted the walls and will start on the doors and trim soon.

There was a lot of work that went into these still-very-much-in-progress shots above though.  Mike started by redoing most of the plumbing and electrical in the bathroom, and because we had most of the fixtures picked out, he also added in blocking for extra support before adding in the drywall.  This isn't necessary, but with careful planning it's really helpful and reduces drywall anchors.

We've got the towel bar on the left above the toilet and the vanity and mirror on the right.

Once he had finalized everything, Mike wrapped everything up with drywall and cement board. 

He also had a substantial amount of drywall work in the bedroom too.  He ended up taking the bottom half of the wall out from the window wall, because of the water damage.  It could have been smaller holes and patched back in, but with all the other work, it was just easier to replace with whole sheets.  While he thin-coated the new drywall, he also took care of all the imperfections on the existing drywall and damage from the wallpaper removal.  The purple walls are actually good for something - seeing all the work Mike put into making the walls smooth! 

Once he was done with that, it was my turn to paint everything.  I started with priming everything.  The walls were half new drywall and thinset so it was definitely needed, but what surprised me, and something Mike discovered early on, was none of the ceilings had been painted! The house was built in 1973 and they had never been painted in almost 50 years!! 

It's hard to get a good shot of the color right now but, I chose Sherwin Williams Moderne White. It's a soft white with a slight green undertone.  I wanted almost white, but enough warmth to let the white trim contrast. 

I'm more conservative with my sheen finishes and always use flat on ceilings, semi-gloss on trim, doors and in closets, and satin/eggshell on walls.

In the bathroom I painted the walls Sherwin Williams Spare White, the same color I used for the white walls in Archer's nursery in our last home.  It has less green than Moderne White and a little cooler in my opinion.  Everything looks very yellow right now due to the waterproofing, but even that bright yellow is still less yellow than when we started!

Mike had already finished the tile on the shower floor and I love the small white hexagon with contrasting grout.  You can also see the start of our ledge/shelf.  This was the compromise after countless discussions after I told Mike I wanted a niche to put shower stuff, but also make it low enough to put my foot up to shave my legs.  Mike wasn't a fan of the niche for various construction reasons, and we were concerned with sound carrying through the wall which is shared with the nursery.  There is nothing more important to me than my babies' sleep!

We'll have marble tops on both the ledge and the shower step and white subway tile in the shower.

On the bathroom floor, Mike has already finished laying the black hex tile, but first he installed the heated floor coils.  To offset the thickness of the coils and the areas where there is no heating (behind the toilet and beneath the vanity) Mike did a thin layer of thinset to even it all out for the tile. 

The flooring was actually installed last week and I'm really loving all the materials in this tiny room.  Mike hopes to start on the shower walls soon because then it'll be a lot less strenuous tasks to wrap the room up!

Some of the major tasks to finish are the trim around the room, installing the closet system, replacing electrical outlets/switches, and lighting.  Since Mike is working on this pretty much any free moment he has or after the boys go to bed, he had to get creative with his efficiency and brought the chop saw upstairs with a hood that hooks up to the shop-vac.  

It took a long time for me to allow Mike to test the babies' sleeping abilities, but we've appeased the baby sleep gods because throughout this whole reno the babies have slept through almost everything without issue!!  I can't believe it, but we're thanking our lucky stars and trying to get as much done as we can while they sleep so we can cuddle and hang with them while they are awake.

I've got some doors to paint and Mikes got a date with his tile saw, but we hope to have some more major progress done in the next week or so!

Introducing Baby Finn

The blog's been a little quiet lately and it's mostly because of this little cutie!

Meet Finnegan Michael, the littlest Danks!

Finn joined our family 3 months ago and has been the perfect little addition.  He's such a calm and happy baby that the fear of managing both a newborn and Archer hasn't been too difficult!  Finn usually hangs out watching and smiling while Archer runs around around him.

Finn may have caught us all by surprise at the very beginning, but his delivery wasn't too bad at all. While my epidural wore off before he came, he was ready and came out before my doctor made it to the hospital!  Recovery has been very mild and I'm very grateful since 14-month-olds don't really understand the concept of "taking it easy" ha!

When we talked about what Finn might look like when he arrived, I always assumed he would be another carbon copy of Mike, so it was pretty exciting when he came out looking much more like me!  There's definitely some of my distinct features like my lips, darker hair, and ears, but every once in a while I look over and see a tiny baby Archer, especially when Finn sleeps.

As for the dynamic between the two brothers, Archer began by treating Finn similar to the way he treats our cat, Benelli.  He would be in the same room and not pay too much attention, then he'd catch his eye and run over and giggle, then touch Finn and went back to what he was doing!  There's very little prep you can do at this age so we just emphasize that all "BABY" things are gentle and there are a couple of things like bottles and the tiny pacifiers that are just for baby.  Archer still steals his pacifier sometimes (it's actually hilarious when he puts them in his mouth, their so small and look ridiculous) but he's been so good with Finn and really does temper his actions around him.

Now, Archer is starting to want to be around him and will get on the furniture to sit next to him, or lay down next to Finn.  He gives these little hugs, which are basically just touching his head to Finn, and they are so cute!  He's even been known to rock his car seat if Finn starts getting fussy!

After working on Archer sleeping through the night before Finn arrived, I was determined to help Finn develop better sleep habits earlier.  I'm not sure if it was some of the things I implemented (like actually letting Finn sleep in a crib as a newborn - I always held Archer and it made it harder to break that habit later), or the fact that he's such a great baby, but he's a little sleeping champ and basically sleeps through the night and takes great naps throughout the day.

We've had some big changes around here with the new house and baby, but I think we're finding our groove and it feels good to make some progress on the house, but also to enjoy these little ones right now.

We've made some major progress on the master bath and bedroom and I'm looking forward to finishing that space up so that we can start on the boy's rooms.  Archer will be getting a bigger room and Finn will get his own nursery!  I'm not sure which directions I'll be going for in each room, but I'm so excited to give them their our spaces! 

Bathroom Demo

It’s been slow-going on the bathroom/master bedroom project, even though we are t-minus 6 weeks until baby!  Mike has found the time to demo the room though and I thought I’d share because it already looks so different.

He started with the fixtures – vanity, lights, and toilet (we actually moved this to the downstairs powder room because it was brand new and both an elongated bowl and handicap height).  He then took the shower wall out, which just as we thought, opened the room up to seem twice as big.

After that, he took everything down to the studs and took out the tile floor.  The shower plumbing was built out from the wall (my thoughts are that they used a standard shower pan and this was built to fit), and so he removed that wall as well.  He’ll move the plumbing into the interior wall and we’ll build the shower the entire width of the room.

The biggest difference is the removal of the pocket door.  We’ve thought of every scenario to keep this as opened as it is now (even as crazy as just framing out the opening so the room is always open – even for two very comfortable married people like ourselves, that still seems weird), but the fact remains the best option is a pocket door even if it’ll close the room back up.

What you also can see to the left of the photo above is the first attempts at that wallpaper removal.  I spent a couple hours with a tiny garment steamer trying to remove the paper.  It seemed to work really well at first with the piece right next to the sliding exterior door (I’m thinking there was some moisture issues with the door that helped the paper come off easier), turned into a nightmare with the piece next to it.  The fact that I was using a dinky garment steamer didn’t help either.

I was getting completely discouraged and even thought of hiring it out (which I imagine would be extremely expensive, since it’s such an awful job), until Mike volunteered to help one night.  His method of removing all the leftover pieces from the area I already worked on was to wet it down as much as possible with a damp rag and peel it off.  I suggested a water bottle and our method was born.  Most of the room came off relatively easy, just a lot of spraying and a lot of patience, but of course when we got to the last wall, which happened to be the exterior wall, we had some hiccups.  A lot of water later, and we had all the wallpaper off and found ourselves in a very lilac hued room!

Like I said, one wall came off relatively easy, and the residue left behind is very minimal.

Then we had this corner, which just happened to be the spot we ended on.

You can see glue marks and drywall paper peeled off in some spots.  I have to sand the whole room and then I’ll do a primer coat with some Kilz, before Mike goes back to skim coat the more stubborn spots where the drywall peeled.  The reason for the Kilz first is to that the moisture from the skim coat doesn’t leas to bubbling and more peeling.  While it’s only necessary in the spots he’ll skim coat, I don’t want any residual wallpaper glue to seep through the paint, and I’m not feeling this lilac color, so I’m going to make sure it’s getting well buried!

   To add even more hiccups, there’s water damage under the window that will need to be replaced – the drywall and the window.  The windows are old and single paned and we knew we would be replacing them, we just planned to do them all at once in a couple years.  This one and the bathroom window are getting replaced during this phase because there’s water damage and we might as well!

We’re down to the wire before baby comes so I doubt we’ll be finishing this project before then, (Archer keeps catching bugs at the sitters and sharing with us knocking one of us out for a week before getting something new and sharing with the other parent), but we’re going to keep trekking and working on whatever we can!