Deuce Cities Henhouse

Basement Bathroom : Reveal!

Deuce Cities Henhouse Bathroom Reveal
Sorry for disappearing the last two weeks. I had a very thorough and detailed plan to get the bathroom completed, and this post was supposed to be making its debut much much sooner. That was until our house was ravaged by some ungodly disease that made gross stuff happen to your body (aka Norovirus). Let’s just say, that new toilet bowl and I have gotten to know each other pretty well, and I’m thankful it was brand new and clean and not grossing me out as much as the old one would have been.

Can I just say that I am so excited to share the final results of this bathroom renovation!

Dudes, this is for sure is the biggest job I have taken on thus far, and it harbored the biggest amount of unknowns. A few years ago I would’ve only wished and dreamed that I could actually renovate a bathroom myself. But after building my skills along the way this project didn’t feel as intimidating as it did a few short years ago.

Let’s start at the beginning. In June of 2015 the basement renovation began. We had contractors in our house for eight weeks during the summer and during that time they gutted the basement, installed new electrical, tore up the floor, installed new plumbing, and framed and dry-walled the space. That plan included a rough in for a basement bathroom, however the budget did not allow for completion of that project until a later date. Prior to the basement renovation there had been a bathroom in the basement, but it left a lot to be desired. The shower was inoperable due to a bad tile job on the floor and there were general creepy vibes and disgustingness. The new basement floor plan allowed for a larger area dedicated to a double sink, a much larger shower stall, and a small amount of tucked away storage for linens and such.

SEE MORE, READ MORE!

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in Around the House, Basement, Bathroom, Sponsored

More “Art” in the Basement

Engineer Print Diptych
Recently one of my most favorite places in the world closed. I spent 10 years of my life behind the take out counter at the Green Mill restaurant in uptown Mpls, MN. I managed half hearted drivers and organized take out orders chocked full of sub par food. Although we were not known for it, we excelled at having the same regular drunks at the same bar stools everyday single day, while also making possibly the world’s greatest chicken wings that nobody really knew about. The Green Mill was not trendy, hip, or a fun place to hang out with your cool friends.

ALL of my closest friends (minus Jeff) have worked at the Green Mill at one time or another. I held the esteemed title of “Take Out Manager”, and because of my high ranking, probably hired a lot of them. My brother and sister-in-law just welcomed their first daughter in October, guess where they met?

We closed the Green Mill down for the last time on the 31st of Dec (NYE). It wouldn’t be proper if I didn’t take something with me, and that slice of deep dish pizza from behind the counter (see below) and fancily framed Green Mill logo, were calling my name. Right before the clock struck midnight, I grabbed the framed food art, a stapler, and a map of our delivery area (that I had originally hung up in 2005). There was no way I was leaving The Mill without taking a little bit of that place with me.

Fast forward a few weeks, and my pizza and GM logo prints have been sitting around my house without any place to live. As much as I had good intentions I couldn’t figure out how to incorporate my mouth watering food prints into my decor. I did however like the frames, and thought that maybe the two of them could hang side-by-side forever in my basement. With no art on-hand, I grabbed my phone and took a few pics of my favorite crystals, sent them over the web to be printed at Parabo Press, and once they arrived via the mail carrier, I lovingly framed them (with my Mill artwork hidden right behind them).

RIP Green Mill Too, you were well loved.

Pizza Print Diptych

Engineer Print Diptych

Engineer Print Diptych

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Basement Bathroom : Week 11


Welp, here we are, week 11. I’ve worked a few hours nearly every day trying to get to a point where I could call the tile installation officially complete. I cut the last tile yesterday afternoon and I immediately downed a bottle of champagne upon completion (I wish).

I am so happy to have made it to this point.

Tiling the floor has had it’s challenges. Thankfully the floor tile is rather large so it probably went much faster than if I had used a smaller sized tile. The whole process takes quite a bit of work. To install the cement tiles the manufacturer (clé tile) recommends adding thinset to the surface to be tiled, as well as back buttering the tile, but before back buttering you need to dip the tile in clean water for a few seconds and then wait a minute for the water to absorb into the tile as to not dilute the thinset. Lots of rules, huh? I would say it takes me somewhere around three or four minutes to install each tile, and double that for tiles that involve cuts. Now you can understand why in a weeks time I have only gotten this far. I tiled the floor in five separate segments, and if I had to do it all over again I would’ve tried to do only two or three. I usually only have a few hours here or there between dropping kids off at school and doing that other mom stuff that I am responsible for doing. Because I was tiling in small chunks, I began to notice that every time I came back to tiling, there would be something from the previous session that I wish I could’ve changed. Unfortch for me these suckers were not moving. A little tug here, and a little nudge there would’ve made all the difference, and would have left me with evenly spaced tiles that any obsessive compulsive type would appreesh. This isn’t an absolutely perfect tile job, there are a few larger than normal gaps between some of the tile, luckily I am pretty sure only me and the rest of the internet will know this little secret.

Anyways, you guys will have to forgive the visible dust and grime in the photos. I still need to clean up all the subway tile grout lines as well as all the loose thinset crumbles (that’s a thing), but I have no patience for that sort of busy work r n. I figured you’d appreciate a blog post sometime this century, and would do me a solid and look past the mess.


I wanted to share a pic of how this floor tile looks in natural light. Our basement bathroom is tucked under the staircase and there are no windows or day light in the space. It’s been tricky to photograph the true color of the floors in regular old tungsten-ish light. These tiles are a dark blue, and they look as matte and velvety in real life as they do in these pics. I am obsessed. Can you see it?


Cutting around that drain took me forever (not really, it took 2 hours though)! I finally realized that I could drop the saw into the tile to make the perfect cut, if only someone would’ve clued me in on that earlier.

So, not sure if there will be another weekly update or if I’ll have to hold out for the final reveal. Either way this is what my to-do list is looking like.

TO-DO
Grout the remaining subway tile
Clean up subway tile grout
Grout the floor
Caulk every nook and cranny
Paint the walls & ceiling white
Paint Door black
Install Baseboard
Install floating shelving in the “linen closet”
Paint Baseboard
Move toilet plumbing
Install Toilet
Install Hooks
Install Shower Curtain Track
Install marble shower curb
Make it look cool

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in Around the House, Basement, Bathroom

It’s been months in the making but it’s finally here! I’m super excited to share with you guys that our home has been featured in the recent issue of BHG’s, Do It Yourself Magazine! I seriously couldn’t be more thrilled (or flattered) that DIY asked me to be a part of their spring issue, and contribute some of my v own projects for the mag.

If you remember, I mentioned once (or twice) that the team from Do It Yourself came to visit me for the better part of a week this summer. It was a thrill to have a whole production team in my house, photographing and styling our spaces. They came during the hottest week, temps were nearing 100º every day, and our poor window air conditioners were working their hardest to keep our house cool and comfortable for our new guests. I’m sure the photos featured in the magazine will resemble the house you guys normally see, but for me, witnessing someone else photograph and style the house added a whole other level of newness to the spaces. It was eye opening to see the stylists point of view when it came to spiffing up and highlighting features of our home, and crazy to see photographs taken with strobe lights (as opposed to good old day light) and fine tuned by an art director. The kids and I had fun getting to know the whole DIY team, and by the time they left there were sweaty hugs all around.

Anyways, if you guys feel like checking out my 12 page (BAAAAAHHH!) spread, grab a copy at any news stand OR download the spring edition right here.

Below you can see a little taste of a few select page layouts. So pumped!

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in Awesomeness, Cool Things

Basement Bathroom : Week 10

Subway Tile with Black Grout Shower Stall
Heya! Oh my geezus (Gus’ latest catch phrase)! Here we are at week 10! It’s been so long since the last update, I feel so guilty. The holidays threw a wrench in my plans so we will just ignore them, and not even count them as part of my timeline. We’ll just skip right over Christmastime and begin week 7 right after the New Year. Can I just say again that I am soooooo looking forward to wrapping this up!

At the start of week 7, I was still waiting for the floor tiles to be delivered from Clé, and the only job I could work on was that one thing thing that I was trying to avoid at all costs. Lemme just say that grouting can go jump off a bridge and die. It wrecks your shoulders, is incredibly messy, and it somehow can make an hour seem longer than even the least enjoyable church sermon of your youth. With a lot of focused meditation, I got my mind right, and just did it. Over the course of 2 or 3 afternoons I managed to grout the entire shower including the shampoo nook. You may have noticed that I grouted everything except the bottom 1/3 of the shower. My plan is to finish tiling the shower pan, and then finish the subway tiling and grout after. The cement hexagon tile needs room to expand and contract, so having the subway tile (on the wall) float “on top” of the cement tile (as opposed to butting up to it) seemed like the better move. *Technical writing is not my strong suit.

After dousing myself repeatedly (with all my clothes on) from the shower head, I was able to install our brand new sparkling shower fixtures! Everything works and no leaks! And how about that setup? I really love everything about the Kohler Purist line, it’s able to be both modern and traditional at the same time (which is exactly what I need in this new basement bathroom of this old house).

The grout still needs to be cleaned up, the tiles still need to be sealed, and the corners need to be caulked — but we’re getting there!

Kohler Fixtures with Subway Tile

Subway Tile with Black Grout Shower Stall

Cement Hexagon Tile by Clé Tile Installation
Here’s when it starts to get good. Week 9 the floor tile finally arrives. It happened on a super snowy day and my delivery guy could only drop the palette in the street. This was the same day that our water heater and boiler went out, so finally receiving the tiles and having to lug box after box in from the street was a welcome positive for the day.

I immediately removed the toilet and began laying out a dry run of the tile in the bathroom. I wanted to see how the pattern fit. I used pennies as spacers (since I didn’t have 1/16 spacers purchased yet and they are basically the same width). At first I had the tile arranged so that the lines of the tile were all going the long way down the room (we’ll call this vertical). I realized after laying out all of the tile that it would be much more successful if I rotated it 90º to have the line of the tile run horizontal. I made sure to have the toilet line up with one band of horizontal tile, as well as center the drain in the shower. After putting all this effort into this project I needed to make sure that I did my best to prevent any part of the room from looking lopsided. The shower drain and toilet were the biggest visuals, and they needed to be centered! Everything else wouldn’t stand out as glaringly if it was not completely symmetrical — you have to pick your battles. The moral of the story is, that I am very crazy.

Cement Hexagon Tile by Clé Tile Installation
I made you guys this “tile layout”
\ so you could maybe understand my thought process. See? Toilet, centered. Sink, centered. Shower drain, centered. So worth the extra time it took to do this part.

Cement Hexagon Tile by Clé Tile Installation
This pic is me trying to illustrate to you, how I went about dry fitting the shower and then using the laser level to line up the pattern in the main part of the bathroom. After finding this center mark for the drain, I was able to run this pattern the long way to make it line up right in the middle of the toilet (see below). Everything is so dang symmetrical!

Cement Hexagon Tile by Clé Tile Installation
Yesterday I held my breath and began installing the floor tile. The first tiles were laid right off of my laser level, and then continued down towards the toilet. Cutting tile to fit around the toilet and making sure that everything was square, level, plumb, and looking amazing took up most of my time yesterday. Tomorrow I will begin again and hope that the rest of the bathroom fills in quickly, as I expect it too because the detail cuts are few and far between.

Can’t wait to share week 11, I think lots will have changed and I have my hopes set high that the floor will be completely installed. Home stretch, here I come!

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in Around the House, Basement, Bathroom