Saturday, January 26, 2013

It's So Nice To Come Home To

Let me preface this post with this: for 24 years we lived very well with the avocado green master shower...tiny as it was, ugly green as it was, we were content. That we turned the shower stall into a storage unit when the drain started leaking water into the family room was of no major consequence, simply a temporary solution that lasted for perhaps at least a decade.

Really, that is the truth. Raising five children that we needed to feed, educate and entertain, a classy, sassy and spiffy master bathroom was just not high on the list of wants or even needs. To some it may not ring true, but really we just were too busy having fun to worry about or with a new bathroom.

Speed forward to 3 years ago when we had the famous deluge from  tropical storm Ida, that sent water cascading down the wall of our master bedroom and continued descending to  the downstairs family room walls and fireplace. That was somewhat documented here. With the help of Service Masters the damage was hauled away. Repairs  to the walls of the bedroom and family room were made by my handy dandy personal Jack of All Tradesman husband and our lovely children. The bedroom wall was repaired, but the room basically remained the same. As for the avocado green bathroom...we still were in no rush to spiff it up.  We did however, renovate the family room. The fireplace was refaced and built-ins installed. Those of you who have been following our family story may remember we've had a few grandchildren and weddings during that time. Priorities!

Then lo and behold our lovely daughter graduated from college with a degree in Architecture Design and was hired by the very same firm she had interned for. A well respected kitchen and bath design firm. Our lovely daughter was itching to turn the avocado green behemoth into a lovely retreat. We put our heads together and came up with what is now our dreamy new en suite retreat. Elise drew up the plans, and sketched the design. Elise was my contractor. She contacted the tile company and basically ordered everything. The tile installation company came with her recommendation. She designed the cabinets and ordered them. The carpenter was one that works with the company Elise works for. I was the check writer. The plumber was via Elise; she brought me to the quarry where I selected the marble for the counter tops. Fun Field Trip for the mother and daughter!

Our son Scott is not an electrician by profession, nor my husband. Put the two together and you have a wonder duo of electrical geniuses. Scott drove down from D.C. where he was residing at the time. He and my husband rewired all the lighting and heating in the bathroom. They were up in the attic crawling across beams and fishing wire down walls. Genius and athletic!

Our oldest son, Steve, spent the good portion of a day demolishing the vanities in the master bath. He was wielding that sledge hammer like Thor! I think a lot of pent up frustration must have been released that day!

Daniel drove down from Virginia with his truck, after breaking out the avocado green tile he helped haul the demo materials to the dump. He and my husband spent an afternoon removing debris from the upstairs and removing all the extraneous 'junque'!

Tim, is the family's very own resident master plumber...not by profession. Later, you will see him installing some fancy equipment he sells. No torch required to weld pipes. Really Cool stuff, literally. He made sure all the plumbing was ready before the tile setting was done. The installation of new  hook ups were left to a licensed plumber.

The children all have gravitated to one or more areas of expertise after years of helping their Dad with home renovations. My husband has been in the construction field in one capacity or another all his adult life. He started as a carpenter's helper in high school and graduated from LSU with a degree in Construction Engineering. Highly talented and qualified if I do say so myself!

I will try and put the pictures in some kind of order so they make a normal progression of the remodel. I really am way beyond tickled with how it all came out. The master bedroom is how I imagined it...a calm and relaxing retreat...a touch of chinoiserie ( I adore cobalt blue) and simplicity in our surroundings. The en suite (yes, I watch a lot of HGTV) and with the remodel it deserves a new beyond what I imagined. I think it has a sort of old world European feel to it, with some contemporary touches to give it some pizazz! 

I wish to once again express my gratitude to my family for making a dream come true. Thank you my children, those by birth and those by marriage. Once again, my daughters-in-love, with busy lives of their own, shared their husbands time and talents to help us move along in the renovation. To the love of my life, thank you for all the changes and trips to return items and travel to High Point for furniture shopping. You are the sunshine of my life.

I love you one and all!

So to make a long post longer...enjoy the photo montage~

First we had to repair the walls upstairs 
And the walls in the family room downstairs
The family room had built in cabinets added and an overhaul of the fireplace
My husband installed crown molding and removed the old yucky carpet  and painted the walls for the first go round. OH YES I DID...a woman's got a right to change her mind!

And then the walls were repainted. The yellow was lovely in daylight, but at night it was all...WHOA, all Burning Ball of YELLOW!!! With a great deal of frustration but aiming to please we and it was we repainted the room.

The master bedroom closet had built- ins installed by my favorite live in master carpenter! (Notice the wall is now a lovely shade of grey called French Silver. My French heritage must have been calling~
Remnants of avocado green in the water closet area...French Silver is gaining!
While we were putting in new faucets etc in the master bath we decided to upgrade the shower faucets etc in the bathroom on the other side of the shower wall. Son Tim was our handy dandy go to man for the  job. Peter and Trey were loving the peephole to watch Uncle Tim while working...

Hey, where'd he go?
Boxes of cabinets arrived for the vanity area...
The day of the install I put on my nurse's hat as the installer had a serious accident. Not a story for the squeamish. Glad daughter that faints at the sight of blood was not around. Moving on...

 Progress! His...
And Hers


And His~

Enlarged shower is turning into something special~ 
A bench seat is created...

That all important nook for shampoo, cream rinse and other shower goodies!
Now we're talking~
Frameless glass door~
Funny story about the shower head. After watching HGTV way more often than normal people probably do, I learned that it is better to raise the shower head higher than what we had them in the '50's, '60's, 70's, etc. This shower head would make Shaquille O'Neil happy. I, on the other hand need a stool to use the different settings on the shower head. Perhaps I should have rethought that idea. Hope a very tall family buys the house when we ever sell it.
So now I have a Cinderella shower...really!  Lily calls it the Princess shower! So to complete the fairy tale...
Every Princess needs her sparkling crown...
Mirrors and lighting...

Marble floor makes the bathroom complete from tip to toe!
The bedroom is the serene retreat I was hoping for. 

So there you have it!  A French Silver and marble retreat! Looks pretty good...n'est-ce pas?

With much toil and many hours of hard labor, the eye of a great designer, we are back in our own room. 
As the saying goes, "Ain't nobody happy if Mama ain't happy."

Mama's happy~

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Greetings and Salutations

Hello dear friends and gentle readers! Wow, I have been missing all of you for a while and I'm so thrilled I am now able to return to the world of blogging. I've been able to peer at some blogs on the teensy iPhone screen now and then but this is a return to Paradise!

I haven't been idle while away, but the news I have to share is not my own. It's TWICE as exciting than anything I have been doing while off the blogging boards...
This happy couple...
Laura and Daniel...are having their first child(ren)! Yep, double trouble; they are having twins! Grandbabies six and seven are due in June of this year! Am I grinning from ear to ear? Well, don't you just know it! They are fraternal twins, not identical, and we don't know if they are boy/boy or girl/girl or combo! Luckily the parents to be have had a lot of practice in the baby department with the arrival of Grace and Kate.

To quote a favorite of ours that lives across the pond...'EEEKKK'!  

More exciting  news do you ask? Ooooo, but of course! Erin and Scott moved to the same town as Sush and Pop! Yes, it's true...Grace and her Mom and Dad have relocated and are just a hop, skip and a jump away! How much fun?!
We are thrilled and I would say this is a real 'Sweetheart' of a deal!
Let's see if I can borrow some of the grandkids to put this story all together...

For the moment the girls are in the lead in the grandchildren department...Lily thinks this state of affairs is...
And something to really cheer about...
Trey and Peter are not worried, they know the vote is still out and they could pull the boys in the lead if the new cousins turn out to be boys. For now they are all smiles...

I was going to tell you what Kate thinks of the situation, but she silenced me before I got the chance...(oh and yep, I got rid of my blonde hair after all those years).
For Grace it's a real nail biter of a situation...

That pretty much sums up our exciting news! I know I promised to show off the renovations of the master bedroom/bath. I will, but really NO thing can compete with the loveliness of new grand babies on the horizon and the ones already here. 

I'd like to promise the renovation will be the next posting up, but with this crazy group and all the fun they bring to my life, there's no guarantee!
And to think it all started with the best of the best, my shy and retiring kidlets!
Blessings everyone and a special thank you to my fantastic date for the last forty plus years for gifting me with a brand new Macbook Pro so I can rejoin all my dear and fantastic friends. I may or may not have sweetened the pot so to speak when I gave him his Kindle for Christmas...

But...Mac trumps my book! Oh wow that was corny! I better leave before you all run away!

In the words of the late George Burns..."Say goodnight, Gracie..."