the INSPIRATION- bathroom edition

Now that you have seen what we’re working with, let’s move onto more fun topics- like where we hope to be at the end of this renovation journey.  Let me show you my inspiration!

But wait, first there are some stipulations.  I have to keep myself from going overboard with what I really really want, and stick with some basic upgrades that I know will add value for re-sale.  Because in the end, we don’t plan to stay in this house forever.  So it doesn’t make any sense to design and put a lot of money into making this our “forever home”  with all the fun character I hope to have in a home one day.  But luckily, a lot of things I do really like and do hope to have in our family home one day, are things that are popular and other people really like right now too.  Secondly, we live in an older home. The city of Homewood has been around for a bit.  I know my house I bought on Raleigh Avenue was built in the 1950s (if I remember correctly).  And I know this home (which Greg bought about 5 years ago), isn’t quite that old, but it’s certainly not new, chic and modern.  So it doesn’t make sense to put a bunch of sleek, super modern elements into our new bathrooms, because they would just stick out like sore thumbs from the rest of the house.  So I have to gently introduce our new babies in hopes they mix and mingle well with their elderly counterparts 🙂

I don’t know the proper name for the style I like.  It’s a mix of Pottery Barn, flea market, antique shop, cottage-rustic look.  Not too country cottage, although Greg has called my style “grandma” at times.  I can appreciate some modern things, but I love wooden accents, whites, florals, grays, antiques…you get the idea.  So one of the first things going into our bathrooms are subway tiles.  I’m in love with them right now, and thankfully, so are a lot of other people (and hopefully our future home-buyers!). haha.  For our particular rooms, I think we’ll stick with white, but I do love colored glass subways tiles, especially for kitchens!glasssubway glasssubway2 glasssubway3And while we’re talking tile, let’s move to the floor.  Our contractor suggested mixing patterns, so if subway tiles are going in the shower, he suggested a herringbone pattern for the floor.  But I think I’ve decided on hexagon tiles instead.  Again, it hints towards retro but I think a cool white and gray tone will keep it modern at the same time.

flood2 floor1Today in Lowe’s I found this combination of options.  Looking good!floor3Moving on…sink and toilet.  We currently have a vanity sink.  Which is great seeing as how storage is kinda limited in our house.  But honestly, we only keep a plunger and a few bottles of bathroom cleaners in the vanity storage.  So I think we could nix the vanity, use a pedestal sink instead and as a result, open up the floor making the room feel bigger.  And in this tiny bath, bigger really IS better 🙂 sink1

And as for paint job, well I haven’t really dug deep into that category yet.  I really like light blue and green hues in bathrooms.  And we have some pretty sage green bath towels I picked out and we received as wedding gifts.  So I may try to match those.  If not, I’ll probably stay neutral and play with color using a rug and towels, which I can always change out….ya know, for holidays 😉  Of course. bathpaint bathpaint2 bathpaint3

I’m totally loving that floral yellow shower curtain!  haha, Greg would totally call that grandma!  It’s so cheerful though 🙂

And as for Greg’s bathroom, we may or may not do similar elements.  All the fixtures in there are a rubbed bronze color (more manly, ya know).  He talked about doing some sort of stone in the shower, but budget will determine if that’s possible or not.  I certainly don’t want to do anything too dark.  There’s no windows in our bathrooms, so dark walls will definitely make it feel cave-like.  I’m really at a loss right now for his bathroom, but maybe something like this would work…


the BEFORE- bathroom edition

For months (actually 2 years, really) Greg and I have been discussing renovating the bathrooms in our house.  We’ve known they both need updating in order to sell the house (which isn’t anytime soon, but one day).  Well we’re finally getting there.  We got 2 estimates from some contractors, picked one, and now we are ready to pull the trigger.  And the first thing to go is this loud and playful fella… Mar7-bathroomsBEFORE (10)

Sorry dude, but ya gotta GO! We actually did some updates to Greg’s bathroom (off the master bedroom) before we got married.  He ripped down wall paper, repainted, and installed new toilet, sink, medicine cabinet and fixtures.  So it certainly looks better than before, but now we’re really gonna spruce it up!  You can read about that project HERE and HERE.

So let’s take a tour of the bathrooms in their current state, cause you won’t be able to truly appreciate our transformations without a look at some before shots.  We’ll take it slow…here’s the semi-updated “master” bath (and yes, I dare call it a master bath, only because it’s privately tucked away off the master bedroom).  Believe me, there’s nothing “master” about it…

First of all, it’s tiny…which you can tell simply from the fact that it’s almost impossible to get good pictures of the room cause you can hardly move around much!  The floor space is literally 4 1/2 ft x 5 ft!

bedroom,bath,guest (11)bedroom,bath,guest (20)Then we have this lovely, cracked tile with stained grout. I know, it’s gross, and I can’t believe I’m showing it off like this.  :/

Mar7-bathroomsBEFORE (1)And around the tub/shower the sheet rock is pulling loose.  The plan is to turn Greg’s tub/shower into a standing shower.  We figured we’d keep the bathtub in the hall bath, and eliminate the one in the “master” bath.  So depending on how budget goes, we’ll either get some sliding doors or a frameless door unit.

Mar7-bathroomsBEFORE (4) Mar7-bathroomsBEFORE (6) Mar7-bathroomsBEFORE (7)So for the master bath overhaul we’ll get new drywall, tile, toilet, shower unit and a fresh coat of paint.  We are hoping to save the sink, medicine cabinet and light fixture (which were all bought new on the previous DIY reno).

Then we have my bathroom (aka the hall bath).  That’s right. Have you figured out yet that we don’t share bathrooms?  They are simply too small, and the master bath literally has ZERO storage.  So, I use the hall bath.  Let’s take a walk…  (sorry for the yellowy pic, I forgot to white-balance initially!)

Mar7-bathroomsBEFORE (8) Mar7-bathroomsBEFORE (9)Mar7-bathroomsBEFORE (29)Initially it doesn’t look too bad (the light fixture and medicine cabinet are only a year old).  But the vanity is a little old, worn, and has some weird column-like woodwork.  And it is actually rotting some at the bottom (we’ll have to figure out that cause). Mar7-bathroomsBEFORE (13)Mar7-bathroomsBEFORE (12)The one good thing about this bathroom is it actually has storage!  It’s not a ton.  I actually have to store spare towels and all our bed linens in my closet.  But it’s better than nothing!Mar7-bathroomsBEFORE (18)And we’ve already met this guy.  Someone please tell me when having a fish mosaic in the hall bath floor was cool.  An upstairs kids’ bath?  Maybe.  But your one and only guest bath of the house. I don’t think so.  I usually keep a rug over it, and now that I look at it more, I realize it’s not even centered!!  Come on, people.Mar7-bathroomsBEFORE (10)We even have matching friends on the storage cabinet doors. Mar7-bathroomsBEFORE (23)The next problem is the tub situation.  First of all, we are totally losing our outer layer.  Our sad white tub is becoming increasingly blue.  Pun intended 😉 Mar7-bathroomsBEFORE (24)

And we are also sinking, as evidence by the growing gap in our grout job.  I just re-grouted the tub about a year ago, but somehow, we are sinking.  Our contractor will investigate once we get the bathroom gutted.  He’s hoping he can install some sister boards to the floor joists which would be an easy fix.  **Fingers crossed!** Mar7-bathroomsBEFORE (21)

Mar7-bathroomsBEFORE (26)Next we have some really fun ceiling and wall texture going on.  At least I’m assuming they used to be fun.  Yep, we’ll get new drywall in here too. Mar7-bathroomsBEFORE (17)Mar7-bathroomsBEFORE (28)

And lastly, do you notice something that is NOT in either of these bathrooms?  I’ll give you a hint:  I have to do my hair in the guest bedroom.  You got it.  Electrical outlets.  There are no outlets in either bathroom, which means my hair dryer, curling irons, and straighteners are all in the guest room.  So it’s really fun when we have guests spend the night and I have to go into their space to do my hair 🙂  NOT.

Although I will say, I have a lot more elbow room in the guest room that I ever will in the bathroom.  So who knows.  I might actually keep this routine.  Either way, a bathroom needs an outlet!

I think that about covers our little home tour as of today.  Demolition is set to commence in 2 weeks.  In the meantime, I am scouring the internet for pictures, materials, prices, reviews, and ideas for everything we plan to do.  I know what I want to do, now I just have to find the right deals to actually do it 🙂  So for all you DIYers and recent home renovators, recommendations are welcome!

Making Disciples

Our church Shades Mountain Baptist Church just finished their week of Global Impact Celebrations where they bring back their missionaries from all over the world to share and give testimonies to the work being done for Christ.  So in Sunday school class, we hosted a missionary who has been living in Thailand for many years (with his family!).  He’s a local guy born and raised in Tuscaloosa, AL and worked for a large company (Sharp, I think).  Well his company’s main headquarters are based out of Thailand, and over the course of time, he and his family felt lead to move to Thailand as missionaries where they now are paving the way for a small church and leading the Thai people Christ, one by one.

And as he spoke to us yesterday about this journey and how he found himself in Thailand with this new life that he and his family have embraced, he of course spoke about the great commission.  In Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus commands, “Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”  And although I have heard this verse many times in my life, I learned something new yesterday.  Michael (our missionary) had us list all the verbs found in that verse.  “Go.” “Make disciples.” “Baptize.” “Teach.”  He made the good point that everyone always focuses on the “GO” portion of the verse.  We all know we don’t have to travel the world to make a difference for Christ.  We can make an impact here in our hometown, our schools, our own neighborhoods.  Then told us this interesting fact.  He said in the original Greek language (which a lot of the Bible was originally written in), there is actually only 1 true verb in that passage.  All the other “verbs” (as they appear when you translate it to English) are actually participles supporting the single verb.  And that 1 verb, the main command, is to make disciples.

He then proceeded to lead us to Jesus’ great commandment found in Matthew 22…”love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.  This is the first and great commandment.  And the second is like unto it, you shalt love your neighbor as yourself.  On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”  So according to Jesus we are to make disciples by loving one another.  This is God’s greatest command.

I tell you all this because Greg and I have been presented with an amazing opportunity to show love to a darkened nation.  Our Sunday school class will be traveling to Israel this summer to work with the Baptist Village in the town of Petah Tikva, Israel (just east of Tel Aviv).  We will be serving at a youth camp, helping mainly in the kitchen with clean-up, doing dishes, and some food prep for 5 days.  The camp is hosted by the Baptist Village, which is a Christian organization, but many of the children attending the camps do not know Christ as LORD.  Most of the Israeli population is Jewish, followed next by Muslim.  I don’t know to what extent we can share our beliefs as Christians to these children, but we can serve and love them as Christ commands.


We will also have an opportunity to tour and see the historical landmarks we have grown up reading about in our Bible.  I can’t even imagine being able to step foot in some of the same places Jesus once stood.  It will be such a humbling experience!

So we ask for your prayers, love and support!  We will certainly take pictures whenever possible and chronicle our journey.  I’m so excited to see what God has in store for us!

Baby Cate turns 1!

Our sweet little niece Cate turned 1 year old yesterday.  Boy, does a year go by fast!  I remember waiting and waiting for her to arrive….over a week after her due date she finally decided to join us in this world 🙂  And as she grows, she just keeps getting cuter and more fun.  What a difference a year makes…

Cate’s birth day 😉

Mar 2-Cate (8)Cate is ONE!

Mar2-Cate1stbday (11)Jordan planned a “You are my sunshine” party for the birthday girl.  Had it not been 40 degrees and snow flurrying today, it would have been a party at the park!  But, we had so much fun (inside with the heat on!) at New York Pizza in Homewood.  All of Jordan and Eric’s friends and their kids came, and the kids had fun running around eating pizza, pink cupcakes, and yellow and pink peeps!  Everyone’s kids are all about the same age, so they have fun together! (Please forgive my terrible quality photographs…I’m thinking I may ask for a new camera next Christmas.  Most of these are from my phone.)

Mar2-Cate1stbday (2) Mar2-Cate1stbday (3) Mar2-Cate1stbday (5) Mar2-Cate1stbday (7) Mar2-Cate1stbday (16)Sweet Elkins family

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Cate loved her cake and cupcakes. And Evey was a giddy little party planner of the day, helping handing out cupcakes and party favors.

Mar2-Cate1stbday (10) Mar2-Cate1stbday (14) Mar2-Cate1stbday (17)I LOVE this picture Kendall captured of me and Evey-loo.  I got to babysit these kiddos Thursday night, and I love getting sweet hugs and kisses from them 🙂

Mar2-Cate1stbday (19)Such a fun morning.  Happy birthday baby Cate!  You’re growing up so fast!