Friday, November 30, 2012

The Big Bathroom Reveal

We have been enjoying our mostly completed bathroom for a month or so now, but there are still a few odds and ends that need wrapping up (paint touch ups, mostly), so I wasn't willing to call it "done" yet.  Nevertheless, its time to show you how it turned out.  The project was initiated in January, making its gestation period officially longer than that of our soon-to-arrive offspring.  But we think it is beautiful, and was worth the wait!
It's been a while, so let me remind you about what we started with:

The bathroom was less than four feet wide, had no storage, and was home to a fiberglass shower stall that still makes me shudder.  There was no tile, no paint on the walls, and very little light.  In my mind, it wasn't a bathroom as much as a small space where someone installed (blue) bathroom fixtures to make it function as one. 
The first thing we did (and, when I say "we," I mean Matt and his dad) was tear down the wall and take space out of the bedroom (future nursery) next door.  We built the new wall nearly four feet over, allowing space for a closet on both the bedroom and the bathroom side, and close to two feet of elbow room in the bathroom.
And, then, in a bold effort to make things even more spacious, we went up.  The ceiling was bumped out, and we added a skylight
The walls were painted Benjamin Moore's Par Four. The trim color is Benjamin Moore's Decorator's White.  
And, here it is:
My father-in-law built the vanity out of cedar, which was then coated with polyurethane to protect it.  He says it took him about 6 hours to make it, and the materials cost around $100.  Having a father-in-law who knows what he is doing = priceless.  He also built the medicine cabinet to match.
The marble slab came from a local supplier.  The faucet is by Cifial.  The sconces and towel bars are the Sussex line from Pottery Barn.  I bought the baskets at Home Goods.

The glass tile on the shower walls is from Glazzio (formerly Mirage).  The color is matte ice mist.  We put carrara hexagons on the floor of the shower.  The niche and bench were custom built.
The linen closet is also custom built, and provides plenty of storage, so far.
One of my favorite touches is the shelf below the skylight, where we've assembled a few plants (African violets and peace lily, because they do well in moist environments), and some other decorations. There's a jar with stones from the beach on the left and a piece of driftwood on the right. The mermaid was a Brimfield find. 

I also picked up the fish prints, by Denton, in Brimfield last fall.  The one across from the toilet is a cod.  The one above the toilet is a crappie, because we are immature. The frames were a great Target find. 
A couple of things didn't go exactly as anticipated:
1. The sconces have cedar circles behind them (once again, crafted by my father-in-law) to conceal the electric boxes that were slightly bigger than the base of the light fixtures. 
2. The intention was for the beadboard on the ceiling to be more whitewashed, but the white didn't sink in as well as we hoped.  We decided to leave it as is for a while.  If we want to change it at a later date, we can try again. 
All in all, we are thrilled, and still gushing over our new bathroom.  I could continue to overwhelm you with pictures, but maybe enough is enough.  What do you think??

TDC Before and After

Monday, November 26, 2012

Banana Coconut Muffins

This is one of my go-to recipes when I have overly ripe bananas.  I also thought of these muffins when friends were stopping by for coffee the other day, and I wanted to bake something quick.  I love that I don't have to bother pulling out the mixer.  The problem was, the bananas looked pretty...yellow.
I did a little Googling and learned a trick.  I preheated the oven, and while I was preparing the batter, I roasted the bananas, and they turned brown.

The inside was roasted, bringing out the sweetness, and just the right "overripe" consistency.

Without further ado, here's a quick and easy recipe that I hope you'll enjoy as much as I do.

Banana Coconut Muffins
from Gourmet, May 2004

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 very ripe bananas, mashed (3/4 cup)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
2/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut
Preheat oven to 375.
Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in one bowl. In another bowl, whisk together melted butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla.  Stir in mashed bananas, and 1/2 cup of the coconut.
Line a muffin tin with 8 liners and distribute the batter evenly among them.  Top with remaining coconut.  Bake for 25 minutes.


Thursday, November 22, 2012

So thankful

It's been a while since I've posted, but I decided that today is the day to stop and take a minute to say hello, provide a little update, and share a few of the reasons we have to be thankful in this house.

Check out the carrot haul. It won't feed our 19 guests, but these babies will provide some good snacking over the next few days.  Who knows why they're stunted? I don't.

Our bathroom is finally done.  Well, mostly, with the exception of a few nagging touch-ups and final details that we can't seem to finish,
because we jumped right into another project, repairing the kitchen ceiling before Thanksgiving, which led to...We might as well get recessed lighting if we're going to be patching the ceiling...and, then we might as well add moulding to the top of the cabinets if we're going to be painting the ceiling...and we might as well remove the cabinet above the microwave and raise it up (its former low position wasn't up to code) if we're doing the moulding...
That's just a preview.  More on both projects, coming soon.

With those two projects behind us, we're clear to focus on the next matter at hand, the bedroom next to the upstairs bathroom.  And, we have a tight deadline, because that room is going to have a new occupant as of the end of January.  That's right.  There's more than a turkey in the Good Better Nest oven.  We're expecting an addition to the family, and for that, we are most thankful.

Wishing you and your families a wonderful holiday- 
Happy Thanksgiving!