06 September 2010

The Home Stretch

An amazing thing happened this past Friday of the long weekend: we entered into the home stretch of our main floor bathroom renovation.  The contractor, with whom we have had months of conflict and mutual frustration, evidently became as eager to wrap up their relationship with us as we were with them, and made it a priority to drive to the finish line by end of day Friday.  While there are still elements outstanding in our design plan, all of these are our own responsibility and the project is finally back in our hands.

When all was said and done and the last of the tools had been removed from the house, what struck me most profoundly was not only how beautiful our new space was (which it is, unequivocally) but rather how quickly everything came together in a 24-hour period of time.  A room that had taken years to dream up, months to negotiate and weeks to build the framework for turned in one day from what felt like an empty shell to beautiful, functional space that is nearly 100% complete.  In a single work day, they installed our vanity, counter top, sink and faucets; the overhead ceiling light and both wall sconces; the mirror, towel rack and toilet paper/magazine holder (which I'm obsessed with); the toilet, the Corian window threshold and the jewel of the whole room: the marble tub apron.  It just goes to show that the old adage is true: one single day
can change your entire life.

So what is left?  Small but important elements that will find their way to completion over the next few weeks.  The vanity we found on
Kijiji (thanks to friend and designer Alison) and retrofitted to our own purposes still needs to have the drawers modified to accommodate the sink and plumbing while still maintaining storage space.  These drawers are intended to act as under-counter storage as well as replace any sort of medicine cabinet so they need to be fully functional in order to fit the assorted gear of a family of four, and as such we need to salvage as much real estate as humanly possible.  Rather than entrust this job to the contractors (who throughout the process have been reluctant to add any time to the project with extensive customization) we will do it ourselves.

Similarly, the bathroom door and door frames are still unprimed, unpainted pine shells.  Deciding what trim and door color best compliments both our white subway tile and custom wall color is next on our to-do list, with the intent to paint next weekend.  Once the door is finished, we can install the cut-glass door knob, which will perfectly compliment the vintage look and feel we've achieved in the rest of the room.  After that, it's purely fun: finding a garbage can that is small and compact with a sealed lid, that also looks "vintage"; sourcing out an exquisite crystal bowl for the counter top that we'll use as a jewelry holder; planning the layout and purchasing the acrylic containers we'll insert into the vanity drawers to keep our stuff and ourselves organized; and finally, purchasing or creating the artwork that will provide the finishing touch to the room.  Our planned day trip next week to the
Christie Classic Antique Show will hopefully reveal a treasure trove of unique items and objets that will be perfect additions to our room.

Being on the far side of the renovation allows me to view the room not only just as a work in progress (which it still is) but also as a beautiful space in-and-of itself.  I pop my head in multiple times a day just to admire it, and each time I fall in love with it a little more deeply.  Though we've been working towards this room for many years, that it's now here and a part of our home is astonishing to me.  It lives here, and I live here.  It's mine!  My design aesthetic and my planning abilities have been validated most profoundly, and my patience (what there was of it) has been soundly rewarded. 
I did this (!), and it's on this success that I will push forward in the continued redesign of our entire home.

I can't wait to get started on the next project!