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DIY Series: Bathroom Remodel (Before + After)

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DIY Series: Bathroom Remodel (Before + After)

I am so excited to share our before + afters of our bathroom renovation! I will share more details on how it all happened in the future but it is fun to just share the transformation at this point! The functionality improvement is so noticeable and has really improved our daily life in a small space. This is our only bathroom in the house so its an important one!

Before:

Vanity - Before

Something about the brown floors were just so dingy. Also in a tiny house you need vanity storage. period. This pedestal sink just wasn't cutting it.

After:

Vanity - After

We went with a Home Decorator's simple grey vanity with plenty of storage. I am so happy about this! I will take pictures soon of my linen closet. It just freed up so much room & improved how we get ready in the morning. Also toilet paper is now in the actual bathroom! We switched the location of the toilet and vanity so that it was a more normal layout.

Vanity Mirror + Light
Light Fixture

Before we just had a huge mirror that covered the entire wall and a light fixture that was really close to eye level and it was also rusting. Also we had beatboard with a ledge that we ended up using to set all of our bathroom junk on.

Vanity Mirror + Light

I love how simple the vanity area is now. We have a place for all our bathroom things and we can easily get ready and then put everything away in the vanity. I prefer to have nothing on my counters. The new light fixture is at a more appropriate height and brightens up the whole bathroom. 

Medicine Cabinet

This medicine cabinet was above our toilet before and it was really inconvenient. Frequently things would fall out and fall into the toilet, GROSS! We made the unusual decision to just get rid of it and dry wall over the hole. I still stand by this decision 100%. My husband and I have never been huge medicine cabinet people so it is not missed at all.

Hand Towel - After

After removing the medicine cabinet, we had free wall space to FINALLY hang a hand towel! Previously, when we first moved in we had a hand towel rod and I am not even kidding the first day we lived here I tried to wipe my hands and the whole thing just broke off and that was the end of that. This has been so convenient and I love that we were able to use this space efficiently.

Shelves - After
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Since we decided to go with a more normal mirror size, we gained enough space to do over the toilet storage. This is prime real estate in a small house! We decided to go with open shelving that were both functional and cute. Let's be real, I like the cuteness. I use the cotton squares to remove my eye makeup and the cotton swabs daily so having them in a functional place has been really nice!

Toilet - Before

I feel so weird putting pics up of my toilet but oh well. So this toilet had PROBLEMS! First you had to pull the handle towards you to flush which is backwards. Also it would get stuck when people flushed and would run the whole time until you jiggled it. It was so annoying!

Toilet - After

Ahh I am obsessed with this toilet! Is that weird? It is elongated and sleek. I specifically really wanted NO piping to be showing and the smooth surface to the floor for easy cleaning and not letting gunk get on there like dog hair and other unmentionables. Anyways, I could not be more happy about this purchase!

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See there is no piping showing on the side? It is so easy to clean! 

The other reason we moved the toilet and vanity is that previously if you were using the restroom and didn't shut the door then people walking on the sidewalk or that came up to the front door could just see you. Probably TMI but this has been really nice to have these switched.

Shower Faucet - Before

As this picture shows, this shower head would frequently turn in all different directions and wouldn't stay in one position while you were showering. This probably contributed to the mold below and also led to some funny stories of people showering at our house and accidentally spraying the whole bathroom with water.

Shower Faucet - After

My husband and I love rain shower heads but we didn't want to re-route plumbing through the ceiling so this was a great compromise. We LOVE this big shower head. We also moved it up about 6 inches so that it would be at a better height. We also decided to tile all the way to ceiling which has turned out to be one of our best design decisions. It makes the space look bigger. We also decided to go with a slightly smaller subway tile with a matte finish that coordinates with our flooring tile. Subway tile just looked too shiny next to the flooring.

See mold in picture above corner and around the edges. YUCK. Also you couldn't have taken a bath even if you wanted to because we had no stopper! There was some water corrosion around all the fixtures and we had some hot water problems due to the old galvanized piping. We replaced all galvanized piping that related to the bathroom so that has made a huge difference! 

We love the new fixtures and bathtub! They are just clean and new and work like they should. We went with a Kohler simple cast iron tub and its awesome. Our contractor also did a lot of work in the corner of the tub to try to prevent future mold issues, which we are really thankful for!

We had a shelf in our shower and it had two ledges which seemed odd to us. We didn't expect that there would be any piping behind there since the other side of this wall is our closet. When we opened the wall, there was nothing else there! They just framed it weird.

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We love this slightly bigger shower shelf. It is so convenient for all our bathroom items and our contractor even angled it slightly so water runs back into the shower instead of sitting there and creating mold issues.

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Anyone else's husbands hate all the bathroom products you leave in the shower? :)

We had bulky rugs previously that covered a lot of the brown flooring.

We kept our same shower curtain since i had just bought it a few months prior and got a simple round white rug from World Market. The mid-century modern hexagon tile is so smooth and nice. My husband is not a huge fan of the tiny white hexagon tile that most people put in old homes but I still really liked hexagon tile. We love this tile and get so many compliments from friends.

Thanks for stopping by to check out our renovation before + afters! This project went SO smoothly compared to our kitchen renovation. It was only 8 business days and they were completely done. We loved our contractor!

So fresh and so clean -

Chelsea
 

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DIY Series: Bathroom Remodel

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DIY Series: Bathroom Remodel

When I first started this post, we were starting our bathroom renovation the next week, then life happened and managing a renovation the week of the Women's Retreat I have been planning for 9 months just made things crazier so I never actually published! Anyways - back again to give all the details.

It was a process to get 4-5 quotes over the last few months with all of our travel and hosting family in March, work out the details with the contractor we chose, and ultimately decide we were going to move forward with the project from a financial perspective (renos ain't cheap, let me tell ya!). We ended up using a contractor that came highly recommended to us through a friend of a friend. I always love using someone that someone we personally have a connection to used because it just gives an extra level of comfort that the project will be done well and that they won't do something shady like take your money and run. There are some crazy contractor stories in Denver due to the current housing market and large number of old homes. We decided to do a full gut of the bathroom and despite the title of DIY Series, we are not doing anything ourselves. We only have one bathroom in our house so time is of the essence in this case. Our contractor promised that the entire bathroom would be done in one week and I am pleased to report it took 8 week days and that is pretty amazing. We also host people in our home at least twice a week so we just really wanted this done quickly and all put back together as soon as possible. My mom also came to visit Mother's Day weekend so that was pretty much our deadline.

Our inspiration for this bathroom is fresh and clean. Our bathroom is pretty small (about 10 by 7 feet in total including the bathtub) so we just wanted it to be functional and clean. The previous owner(s) renovated this bathroom several years ago and there are so many weird things about it. The beat board is damaged and drips of paint are visible. There were areas with caulking covering up holes in the wall. Also the light fixture is rusting. Again it is just a MESS. There was even some mold peaking through the corner of the bathtub that they previously tried to cover up with more caulking before we moved in.

We are going with a grey and white color palette. Surprise, surprise! After selecting your contractor the next hardest part of this process is picking all of the materials and staying within your budget. We originally really wanted carrara marble in the shower and on the floor but after calculating the price and learning more about the upkeep of a natural stone we decided to go with more affordable options that require no maintenance. I would describe the look of this bathroom in more of the mid-century modern classic style. Below are the materials we decided to go with:

We absolutely love the feel and look of the Moen faucet we purchased for our kitchen so we decided to go with all Moen brushed nickel fixtures in the bathroom. They are just so smooth and a really good quality. We were also confident that all of the fixtures would match if we stuck with one brand.

I am excited to show you the before and after in the next post! :)

So fresh and so clean -

Chelsea
 

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DIY Series: Kitchen Reveal

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DIY Series: Kitchen Reveal

Hiiii friends!! I am so excited to share the reveal of our kitchen renovation. This has been a labor of love. We hired a contractor to oversee and do the majority of the work and we finished off the kitchen ourselves with painting and some finishing details. I will post a few more detailed posts in the coming weeks about specifics, favorite features, and recommendations we have for the whole process. But for now we are just thankful the kitchen is complete and functional again! Also the sunlight in Denver is something else. It comes in from every angle in our house!

Before & After:

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Leave any questions you have below and I would be happy to help answer any of them! 

Chelsea
 

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DIY Series: Kitchen Before

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DIY Series: Kitchen Before

We are wrapping up the final details of our kitchen renovation. Before we show the big reveal, I thought it would be fun to reminisce on where we came from. 

Kitchen sink area from when we were first looking at the property. Aren't those staged decorations just so lovely? haha I dont miss that dishwasher, at all.   

The kitchen sink area right before we started the renovation. What you can't see is our new dishwasher we bought when we first purchased our home.

Okay lets get real... Who designs a kitchen where the sink is off center from the window... and to go ahead and top it off they move the light fixture over to be directly above the sink? This was easily my least favorite part of this kitchen was this whole area.  The tile went partially onto the actual window. It was dim and yellowy and this faucet spewed everywhere from the faucet head when you turned it on. This tile was a PAIN to clean and it just looked really dingy.

The weirdest nook/dead space in our kitchen has to be this corner. We love the window here but it creates limits to what you can do right here. This is where Trigger's bowl and food sat... out in the open. Not so glamorous. Also our friends kids loved to play in the dog food and maybe even taste test it themselves. haha

The stove area from when we were first looking at the property. That stove.. yuck yuck. 

Stove area before we started the renovation. Do you notice how the back of the stove is higher than the wall? 

The fridge area when we were first looking at the property. The fridge was TINY!!!

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The fridge area from before us starting the renovation. Notice some of the tile had already broken off? (Left hand corner of the photo)

Our pantry... There is nothing Texas sized about this pantry. You know how people in Texas have WALK IN PANTRIES?! Yeah that's a thing. Not in Denver but else where. I could fit approximately 1 bag of chips and 1 box of crackers in this pantry previously. LOL joke but it was small.

Below is this weird pony wall in the kitchen. To the left of the pony wall is the staircase to our basement. At one point when they made this open concept this was their solution so the stove didn't just fall into the stairase. I am thankful for an open concept in this tiny house nonetheless.

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Our house was renovated by the previous owner at some point before it became a full-time rental and he removed all the other walls upstairs except for the one into the kitchen and this little pony wall. This one wall that is sticking out totally closed off the kitchen.

The backdoor area when we were first looking at the property. 

The back door area right before we started the renovation.

Ahh... Those dingy floors. Make me cringe thinking about their unsanitary-ness. I spent hours cleaning them to no avail.

Our entire kitchen was packed up and sitting in these tubs for about 8 weeks. Looking back this renovation stretched us in so many ways but I am really, really thankful for the final product! Can't wait to share it with y'all. This home is such a blessing to us and we constantly praise the One who hand picked it out for us!

Are you ready to see our fixer upper? :)

 

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Breaking Bread

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Breaking Bread

The dream I had for our back deck/porch/yard has always been to gather together with our family and friends and talk about God's word and our lives, laugh, break bread together, and play games! We have been working on our backyard for over a year now. Here we painted our deck (which sadly did NOT hold up in the Colorado weather elements). Here we laid sod, which sadly ended up frying towards the end of the summer (#renoprobz). We also decided to renovate our kitchen starting in May and much to my dismay our deck became the outdoor storage unit for our appliances and our contractor's tools and supplies. We had a dishwasher and stove among other renovation debris and tools on our deck for about 8 weeks. FINALLY, when our kitchen was nearing completion we were able to finish decorating our back deck and get some use out of it before the winter rolls in. I was afraid I would miss the precious summer time but as I am always reminded, God is faithful and I still had plenty of time to enjoy the backyard.

The day after our contractor finished up with the kitchen, I texted a group of girlfriends to see if they wanted to join me for an evening on the deck complete with yummy food and wine! I got a resounding "I am in!". During this party, my sweet friend (and also current ROOMIE! - more on that later) mentioned that she wanted me to teach her all my hosting ways for when she gets married soon. I had another friend comment to me about how it is hard to know how to host. This got me thinking. I love to host and it comes somewhat naturally to me but it isn't that hard and really everyone can do it! We all grew up with our parents showing us different skills and gifts. My mom, as well as, my dad and step-mom are all amazing hosts. My entire life, I have watched as they have thrown party after party and gathering after gathering. It is easily one of my favorite memories of growing up. Somewhere along the way, I picked up my own hosting style. A few tips I have learned through experience can go a long way for throwing an affordable gathering with a specific theme or style.

I am going to share with you how you can put together a girls evening at your house for less than $50 and not stress out in the process! I want to encourage you to invite others in to share in the hosting and use all the fun stuff you already have in your home that was a wedding present or a special purchase that we just don't use enough!

First - pick the night of the week that works for you invite girls over. I know that about 8 girls fit perfectly on my back deck. For me, I work a 9/80 schedule which means I have every other Friday off so I usually pick a Friday evening that I am already off to host my gathering! This automatically makes it less stressful for me.

Next, decide on the menu for the evening. I usually make the main meal and at least one side or appetizer. I will text the girls letting them know what I need help with. Do not hesitate to tell your girls specifically what to bring or just give them suggestions. Most of my friends love direction when it comes to contributing to one of these gatherings!  Sometimes I am as specific to say that I want someone to bring a cheese and cracker platter and sometimes I say "a side that goes with chicken". This allows people to make something they like but also lets them know what would be helpful! I love my girls, everyone is usually fighting over who gets to bring what and we always end up with SO MUCH FOOD! I love it.

My go to recipe for the meat is crock pot pork. I literally make this so much. It is affordable, easy, and Whole 30 approved!

I shop at my local Sprouts and pick up a 3.5-5.0 lbs of pork loin or pork shoulder (whichever they have that's on sale). I usually spend about $5-9 on the pork! That's it!!

The morning of the party, I put the pork in the crock pot. Then I add about two spoonfuls of garlic that is already chopped in the jar. Add some fresh oregano or other herbs from the garden (pick what you love but some suggestions are: Rosemary, Thyme, Oregano, & Basil). Then I add some salt and pepper to taste and put about 1/2 cup of water (or wine if you prefer. P.S. cooking with wine is not Whole 30 approved.) for the juice. That is IT! Just put on low for 8 hours and it is completely ready for your evening! Crockpot recipes make it really easy when you get home from work. You can just focus on prepping the table or the space you are going to hang out in.

For this party, I also made some basmati rice with garlic and some cilantro. I then just rummaged through my pantry and fridge and threw in a bowl of fresh cherries, some pistachios, and a bowl of green olives. All things I already had that were going to go bad if they weren't eaten soon!

When I am the hostess, I usually provide a few bottles of wine for the evening. Nothing fancy, I literally go to Trader Joe's and get 3 buck Chuck or maybe one "special wine" that is $4. I know big spender. To cutesy things up - I just poor the red wine in a decanter (a wedding gift) and put cute wine stoppers in the white and pink wines! I let the girls know they can feel free to bring their beverage of choice, so again there is no stress! I always provide some lemon and rosemary infused water in a cute pitcher (another wedding present).

To make the dinner special and set the ambiance for the evening, I usually pick up one of the $3.99 bouquets at Trader Joe's the week of the party. I keep a stock pile of my wedding decor for various church events and events at my home, so I will usually pull out a few lanterns and candles to set the table. Here is where it gets really fun... You know all that china, fancy cups, platters, and other STUFF you got for your wedding? Yeah, get all that stuff out! It is time to use it. I have been using Ben's grandmother's beautiful blue glasses, my grandmother's weeping willow dishes, and all the platters, pitchers, etc. that I have for these parties! It is so fun. At first all the girls were like, "wow! Where is all this from?" and I was able to tell them that it was basically all gifts and hand me downs and it was time to just use all the fancy stuff! This makes them feel very special and just makes the evening so much fun! You totally don't have to do this but for me, it is just really special to actually get to use all my serving ware. Finally, I pulled out the real napkins that my mom gifted me for Easter. Yep, that's right, real napkins. Don't be scared of the clean up, just throw them in the washer at the end of the night! These are from Target and are really cute!

If you can't tell already, I LOVE blue. Everything matches because, well, I buy everything in shades of blue and grey. Haha

This time together with friends was so sweet. I cherish these nights. I love encouraging the other women that they too can throw a dinner, that isn't overly expensive, isn't over the top but fosters an environment where others feel special and cherished! As you can see above, we had everything from pork to pizza rolls, to a cheese and fruit tray, to fresh cherries & veggies. We didn't have fancy Hors d'oeuvres. These nights are about being present in the moment. As a hostess, you can't lose sight of the point of the evening and you need to enjoy the friends you have over. Once I get the table set, I usually just sit down and focus on being present, I don't run around the whole time or let myself get stressed out. I just know that I don't have to control everything and it doesn't have to be perfect. I usually have at least one friend who brings their dog over to play with Trigger. We listen to country music or our favorite worship songs, sit under the market cafe lights, enjoy the amazing weather that Denver offers in the summer, and talk about life, marriage, our jobs, our ministries, and what we are learning about who Christ is. One of my favorite parts is towards the middle of the evening I usually prompt the girls to share what they are learning in God's word, what this season of life is teaching them, or how they are being stretched. I am always so encouraged during this time. I am beyond thankful for a community of women that are on mission in this city and are loving others with their time, their words, and their hearts. 

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We had such a wonderful time that I planned another evening just two weeks later. We changed up the menu but again it turned out to be such a precious time with these girls. As I swept the leaves on our deck last week, I was reminded of the changing season and I am so thankful I had these special evenings under the stars with my precious friends!

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Trigger and Abe were totally infatuated with all the food droppings they got! They were not happy to be temporarily locked inside.

Happy gathering -

 

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