Where to begin again?

When last I posted, dear reader (if you are actually still out there — and i cannot blame you if you are not, as I have been quite remiss in posting ), we had closed chapters with our contractor, J-1 , realized that we indeed really HAD to replace the entire kitchen, and that the reality was that this was an enormous project–and, I am NOT going to lie… the more I thought of it, the more freaked out I got…..  like losing sleep freaked out.      Pretty much EVERY building project i have heard of anywhere  (and this is especially true in St John) runs well over budget.   Add to that that things that are more practical  ‘up here’  (e.g.: stainless steel finishes  or veneers) are not so practical ‘down there’ (i am sure i have made no end of mistakes despite the wonderful advice i have received ) .  In addition  to this, the long distance aspect of things and the time pressures to get this house on the rental market by high season.

This combination of realities practically derailed me in some of the decision making process….Really , it took me 6 months to decide on tile for a bathroom makeover in our stateside home !!! (and caused poor g-man no end of aggravation) …..

We desperately needed a new contractor… and talked to a few different persons — all of whom would have done a great job I am sure.   in the end we went with someone who had been on island a while, had impeccable recommendations and knew many of our subs already– we could not be happier….and since he is a J name as well. I will call him J-1.2.

So the Saga continues….chapter next…in which we reclaim the fourth bedroom…… and redo some baths…..

old bath in utility area --there is no shower in here (yet!)
old bath in utility area –there is no shower in here (yet!)
pressure tank and hot water heater in the 'closet'
pressure tank and hot water heater in the ‘closet’

Originally the fourth bedroom was used as the utility area-we had planned on using it for our own storage and as the laundry/utility area.  But a number of folks on the job noted that the fourth bedroom would really add value and make the house perfect for two couples with kids or a larger family — we ran some quick numbers, choked and said , well, what the hell…   A LOT of plumbing needed to move, (remember we are also putting in a separate  hot water tank for the other side of the house ) but much of the plumbing and the laundry was relocated to under the pool deck.     I have to say J-1.2 works FAST and his crew does GREAT work!  kind of like moving from OS-6 to OS-10– much faster processing !

new travertine flooring in the 'new' bedroom
new travertine flooring in the ‘new’ bedroom
framing the new bathroom with added shower
framing the new bathroom with added shower

 

We decided to use travertine on the floor and for the shower because it was readily available, and reasonably priced…. and then since we did that bedroom in travertine, i figured i better do it’s mirror image (the other downstairs bed/bath) in travertine as well…. G-man rolled his eyes at that one…..

glass block wall in new bath
glass block wall in new bath

Since the bathroom in the ‘new room’  doesn’t get the same light  as the other bathrooms we decided to use glass block to make the shower enclosure — that would enable more light thru.  We also used a cypress ceiling in the bathroom that is light and, i think, really pretty  (though i only have a picture of it being installed…)

cypress ceiling being installed in the new bath
cypress ceiling being installed in the new bath.

So….bathrooms…..for the past year and a half i have been up to my eyeballs in bathroom renovations. We redid the kids bathroom then  our master bath in our stateside home (that was the six-month deciding dilemma) then pretty much RIGHT when that was done… a  pipe burst and took out the first floor and basement powder-rooms…we were out of town at the time and it was a mess…. lost half the first floor and almost all of the basement.   ugh .  But as a result I sort of have the bathroom gig  pretty well down (or at least i’d like to think so…others might disagree…)  Unfortunately ….. i have never met a piece of porcelain tile that i truly liked (I take that back, i did and it was horrifically, crazily expensive and came only in a really large size (like 24″ by 36″)  — SO of course, I bought that and had it cut down-thus ADDING to the already batshit- crazy  expense and used it for  the basement bathroom…. But, hey, it was a really small bathroom!)

I debated buying tile on St Thomas (a special trip down) or buying up here and shipping first to Miami then to St John, or flying to Miami and buying tile there….  I opted to buy here and ship — OK OK, i see you …. you are shaking your head and saying ‘oh no she did not!’  — you know who you are…..   Sometimes a girl gots to do what a girl gots to do.

I wanted the bathrooms to each be unique but have some unifying themes… the toughest part of this was that the downstairs showers were already travertine and travertine comes in many different shades and pictures are sort of hard to judge…..

i also really wanted to keep everything very neutral.

accent tile for lower bedroom baths
accent tile for lower bedroom baths

so some of this was kind of seat of pants stuff.  picking tile blindfolded almost…  Each bath will have an accent wall where the vanity will be placed and that same accent will be run up the shower wall where the controls are

bath tiles for upper baths-- the small mosaic tile is just a sample -- that tile will be in larger pieces -- it is a marble tile in birch wood and drift wood  the pebbles are the accent walls
bath tiles for upper baths– the small mosaic tile is just a sample — that tile will be in larger pieces — it is a marble tile in birch wood and drift wood the pebbles are the accent walls

 

floor of upper bedroom showers
floor of upper bedroom showers

I chose to go with the folks who i bought most of my ‘here’ bathroom tile– Since I had reason to do so much business with this particular supplier  they gave me a contractors discount and because i was shipping out of state did not charge me tax (which more than covered the trucking to FLA) this particular mess o’ tile also got shipped in the same container as  our exterior doors — so all in all the shipping charges really were not bad! (but that is about the only time i will write those words….)   The upper baths are not quite complete (the last time i was there — which was a couple of weeks ago).

accent wall new downstairs bath
accent wall new downstairs bath  the vanity will be up against this
this is the almost completed shower-- still no grout
this is the almost completed shower– still no grout
accent wall old downstairs bath
accent wall old downstairs bath

But here is a preview of one of them:   NO that right there is NOT IT!!!!

first the OLD bathrooms  were all pretty much like this
first the OLD bathrooms were all pretty much like this

 

super creepy windows IN THE SHOWERS!
super creepy windows IN THE SHOWERS! (upstairs only , but jeez!  someone in the driveway could wave to you!

 

 

The new shower looks a bit cleaner, I think…. I hope you think so too.. I was going for something that sort of said nature/shore/beach.

shower walls with drift wood marble tile
shower walls with drift wood marble tile
shower control wall and floor
shower control wall and floor
new 'window' of wavy glass block exterior still lets in the light-- but seriously reduces the 'eek' factor
new ‘window’ of wavy glass block exterior still lets in the light– but seriously reduces the ‘eek’ factor

The vanities are teak and were sourced from signature hardware (who were super nice to deal with) and have marble or granite tops.. the lower baths will have round white porcelain sinks and the upper bathrooms oval sinks.    The bath hardware was sourced from Faucet direct — and the folks there are super. but if you are shipping to a consolidator BEWARE……  They made me fill out all sorts of attestations and crazy crap…it was nuts and i thought I would miss my shipping deadline (they also went down with the doors).

vanity for upper baths
vanity for upper baths  this one is a bit bigger than what we have 

 

vanity for lower baths
vanity for lower baths

 

upper bath hardware in this style
upper bath hardware in this style


So that is what’s been happening at the house!  I have a LOT more to report (and hopefully you are not too bored!)……And promise not to be so lax in the future……  but right now i have to go pick up a bunch of teenaged boys from hockey practice!

lower baths hardware in this style
lower baths hardware in this style

 

 

 

 

I will leave you once again with this…..

the one thing that hasn't changed....... THAT VIEW!
the one thing that hasn’t changed……. THAT VIEW!
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7 thoughts on “Where to begin again?”

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