Deuce Cities Henhouse

Basement Bathroom : Week 5

Bathroom Tiling Progress | Deuce Cities Henhouse
Although I am right on schedule with this project, it feels like its taking forever! It’s a semi-enjoyable, semi painful kind-of-forever, and I’m glad the payoffs make it seem worth it thus far. Let me get you guys up to speed. Since last week I tiled one side of the shower stall. It’s not just one side though, it’s one side with a soap niche. Who would have ever thought that one niche would take so much planning, but it did. After staring at hundreds of images on pinterest and considering all of the different ways to approach a niche, I decided the best way for this shower would be to use the bullnose tiles that I had used for the edges of the shower to create an edge, and then to continue the running bond pattern along the back of the niche. That all seems pretty straightforward, except for the fact that I didn’t want the tile to run into the niche at a weird intersection. With a lot of planning I decided it would be best to have a row of the running bond pattern to meet directly in the horizontal middle of the niche. Have I said before how I would be nowhere without my laser level! Listen up! Please put it at the top of your shopping list if you have a tiling project in your future. I used the level to find my niche’s horizontal middle, and then measured backwards down the wall towards the floor to find my beginning row. PS, I started my rows using ledger board to keep my first row nice and level.

Bathroom Tiling Progress | Deuce Cities Henhouse
Did I say that I majorly over-thunk and planned out every last detail of this niche. I was all in, so I mitered the corners to give it a super pro look. In the photo on the right you can see the bullnose on the edge of the shower that I mentioned earlier. I am just using cheap-y dal-tiles from the Home Depot and I was able to find a bullnose tile on the short 3″ side of the tile, instead of the long 6″ tile on Wayfair. You often see edges finished with the vertical 6″ edge done in a border, but I preferred the look of the short bullnose for my edges. I added a bit of a pitch from the left side down to the right and from the front to the back, made easy again to my LAZER!

Bathroom Tiling Progress | Deuce Cities Henhouse
This is the opposite wall of the shower stall. I had to remove the cement board from the shower side and drywall from the utility room side to access the plumbing for the shower valve. The shower valve plumbing had been roughed in, I had a hot and cold line and copper coming down from the stem for the shower head, it all just needed a valve. I put on my plumber pants and started doing some research. After considering using pex and sweating copper I discovered a miracle plumbing tool for the DIY’er called “Shark Bite“. Shark Bite is a push-to-connect plumbing system that can link pex, copper and cpvc. They even have a plethora of fittings that are threaded male or threaded female parts so you connect things such as your shower valve! The downside is that if you were working on plumbing every day that the Shark Bite would cost you over time, one brass connection runs around $7.50, however I wasn’t in the market for buying a torch or a pex clamp so the Shark Bite did the job. Also super easy and nearly stress free.

Bathroom Tiling Progress | Deuce Cities Henhouse
Next I’ll be re-installing the cement backer and getting ready to tile and add the dream Kohler shower head and trim v soon!

Bathroom Tiling Progress | Deuce Cities Henhouse
Here is the sink from a different view (taken directly from the shower stall). I’m pretty sure the shower stall was too big of a mess the last few weeks to take a useful photo from this vantage point.

Bathroom Tiling Progress | Deuce Cities Henhouse
This new photo-taking-view has allowed me to show off this corner of the bathroom. It’s nestled right below the basement staircase, next to the sink and toilet. This is where the storage for this bathroom will be. I’ll add a suitable amount of shelving and even a hamper. This will allow enough room for towels and a basket for toiletries for each kid. I’m also going to be replacing the toilet with this vintage looking one, which will add the right amount of antique style and play nicely with the sink. I can’t wait for the floor tile to be delivered so that I can see it all come together! For those who are wondering, it seems that the sink has stopped dripping on it’s own, I mean it was barely dripping anyways so… I am just going to go with that answer for now, and possibly re-examine later.

Bathroom Tiling Progress | Deuce Cities Henhouse
Trying to cut a 45º angle with your wet saw is kinda difficult, and the internet didn’t want to give me any useful suggestions about how to accomplish this — what is wrong with you internet! I took a second and though what would Tom Silva do and I came up with this little tile jig – cause that’s what he would do – make a jig. It’s a 3×6 tile notched out to hold a 3×6 tile the long way. I was able to use this little set up to slide the tile right through the saw without the risk of losing a finger.

Bathroom Tiling Progress | Deuce Cities Henhouse
Lastly, this is where I set up the indoor tile saw, right between the treadmill and the washing machine in our utility room. It’s cozy but it works and the mess is minimal. Hooray for not freezing my hands off trying to pull this off outside!

+++ basement bathroom : week by week +++
Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3
Thanks to Kohler for the generous support in making this project a reality! Thanks to you for supporting the businesses who support me!

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Basement Bathroom : Week 3-ish


Hey guys! Whazzup? Technically this is the start of week four, but I wanted to check in and let you know where I finished off after last week. I’ve completed all the subway tile around the sink area which consists of one large wall and two more narrow walls. The tiling went up pretty quickly after I got into a grove. I’ve said it like five times already, but that laser level has made tiling so easy! If only their was a laser level equivalent for grouting! Holy buckets! How easily I forgot how horrible grouting is, my friends! It’s such a mess with dark grout and it hurts your entire body. I think my time recovering on a heating pad was nearly half of week three, geez I am getting so old.

I started by grouting the biggest area behind the sink first. That was probably a mistake, and I should have taken it on in smaller more manageable batches. Lesson learned for the rest of the bathroom – I still have the other two shorter walls to do, and then eventually the shower and floors.

You probably noticed that I got that Brockway sink installed. I am completely thrilled with how it looks, I think it’s soooo beautiful. I’m really glad I did a dry run prior to installing to mark the perfect location for hanging the brackets. Installing it would have been a big unknown, and I imagine a lot of trial and error had I not done that. The Cannock faucets are on now, woohoo! That being said, there is still a leak somewhere in my plumbing work, the faucet drips from behind the sink about one drop every 24 hours. The good news is that it’s not leaking like a sieve, the bad news is that it is leaking. I have taken the whole thing apart countless times, I have solved the mystery of the drip countless times, only to have the drip show up somewhere else. There are sixteen connections made between the two faucets and the plumbing behind them, so many ways it could all go wrong. Anyways, I am trying to take a breather from this faucet situation over the next week and focus on my kids and family and stuff. I still somehow manage to troubleshoot that leak in my dreams every night, talk about torture. I’ve decided that I will take it all apart again with a pal next weekend, sometimes two heads are better than one. I had been using galvanized pipes to make my connection between the threaded elbow in the wall, and the brass faucet. After rethinking this, I have decided that my next step will be to try again with brass pipes as they are a softer metal and tend to thread together better, thus preventing leaks (or so the internet tells me). I’m also going to try and use a pipe sealant as opposed to the teflon tape I had been using. I’m hopeful that I can get this figured out soon, otherwise I will lose my mind.

I also installed that babe of a chrome trap, that is if things that protrude from under your sink can be classified as a babe. I used a heavy duty brass p-trap from Kohler, it had to look pretty since it was visible, and this trap did the trick. The distance between the connection in the wall and the trap was less than the length of the trap so I cut it down with a metal blade using my jigsaw, and then made sure to file down the rough end to prevent hair or other debris would get caught on it once the drain was in use.


As you can see from the pics I taped out where I wanted to hang a mirror and a narrow shelf. The mirror is one that I found in the attic a few years ago, and is most likely original to the house. It is exactly the width of the sink, (36″) and I think it will be the perfect compliment to the bathroom. For the shelf I have ordered some reclaimed lumber that I will cut down to be 5″ deep – just the right size to set out some hand towels, soap, or hold a cup for tooth brushes. I found some reproduction cast iron shelf brackets, and I’m hoping that they will look awesome paired with the dark wood of the lumber and the cast iron sink.


That’s the mirror hanging in my upstairs hallway.


This is a pic of the shower stall, decently sized at 4.5 x 4.5 feet. I added a soap niche last week, which involved cutting into the wall, adding framing, and finishing it with the tile backer. Oh yeah, and there’s this: I didn’t realize that there was fiberglass sandwiched between the DensShield tile backer, good thing I had decided to wear a tank top and shorts that day. I was v itchy, so please learn from me and don’t make that mistake, seriously just writing about it makes my skin hurt. I still need to install the shower valve, but I am hopeful that I will be sharing a success story next week. I guess we’ll see how well youtube can teach me things I don’t already know. Also, there will lots be lots of tiling which most likely will be difficult around the niche area – I’m looking forward to the challenge. Speaking of tiling, it’s too cold to set up my tile saw outside anymore, does anyone have good tips for using one inside. I’d like not to make too big a mess! Right now I’m considering using the laundry room as the wet saw area, oh, and lots of plastic tarps.

+++ basement bathroom : week by week +++
Week 1 | Week 2

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A Simple Thanksgiving Table

A Simple & Inexpensive Thanksgiving Table
Hey peoples, hope all is well and that you are all doing well. Are you hosting Thanksgiving this year? We are, and I’m really excited for it this year. That probably has a lot to do with this Thanksgiving being very small and intimate, I’m talking like four adults two kids intimate. Doesn’t that sound kind of great?

I’m NO good at decorating tables. I can never pull it together in just the right way to make it seem effortless. That being said, I feel like my luck is changing this year because I think I’m about to pull off a real pretty tablescape. Instead of freaking out and feeling like I had to have everything perfectly, I took it down a notch and tried to set a more casual, simple table.

I picked up this really cute and neutral chambray table cloth at Target for fifteen bucks, it was new to me, but I am sure I will be able to use it for different table settings in the future. I always try and consider how many ways I can use table-top items before purchasing. For the table settings I bought pretty blue plates, they look like pottery but are melamine and only three bucks a piece! I layered the plates with black and white gingham napkins — I swear the napkins go with any occasion, and they wash up so easily. These are our daily go-to napkins and I’ve been buying new ones every year from Amazon so that we can build up a hefty stash. For the centerpiece, I purchased a grocery store bouquet of roses, and a few stems of branches with waxy leaves (I’m sure any leafy branch will do). I assembled the bouquet to my liking and centered it in the table in this birch bark lined vase that my mom gifted to me for our basement. Around the base of the birch vase I layered more of the leafy stems. The stems are followed up with squash to create a neutral base, and a few artichoke for texture. Candles are a must, and Target sells v inexpensive packs of unscented white candles. I placed each candle on a birch base to variate the height – the birch bases were an alley find before trash day. I quickly chopped up a long with my circular saw and blamo, instant candle holder.

So I think I nailed this table scape thing, at least this time around. In my opinion simple is better (and usually cheaper and prettier too). I’ll try and remember that for next time.


Rollover this pic for links to some of my finds.

A Simple & Inexpensive Thanksgiving Table

A Simple & Inexpensive Thanksgiving Table

A Simple & Inexpensive Thanksgiving Table

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in Decor

A Night In

A Night In | Deuce Cities Henhouse
This post is in partnership with Anolon for A Night In.

Good evening Friends! If you frequent the cool interior blogs of the internet, you might remember this summer when a bunch of bloggers got together to post about their homes in the evenings (gasp, say what?). I know we are all used to seeing our favorite bloggers share light-filled, airy pics of their homes during the day, but definitely not during the night. Can you even imagine an interior decor pic without overcast sun light pouring through the windows? But pals, nights are the times when our homes feel the coziest, don’t ya think?! I love going around the house and switching on combinations of lights finding the right lighting vibe. That’s why I am so excited to share what our kitchen looks like in the evenings.

Kim of Yellow Brick Home and Julia of Chris loves Julia came up with this crazy concept and now have gone on to host round two of A Night In (sponsored by Anolon)! I loved the idea from the minute I heard about it, and am thrilled to be part of this squad for the fall installment.

Evenings are sacred around here. We try and spend as much time as we can with the kids after Jeff gets home and before they head off to bed. It’s our only real family time during the week nights, and we soak up of every minute of the four of us together. I also cherish the time after those crazy-young-things-that-we-call-our-kids are in bed, and Jeff and I can finally sit back, chill out, make a cocktail and catch up on each other’s days. Recently we’ve been making seasonal cocktails in the evenings, and I wanted to share one of the recent concoctions that we have been hooked on.

A Night In | Deuce Cities Henhouse
Since some readers might be popping in from other blogs I wanted to take a chance to say “Hey” and introduce myself. My name is Alison, and I get a kick out of fixing up my old house! I didn’t have much handy experience when I became a home owner 6 years ago, but after a lot of trial and error I’ve figured out how to do quite a bit of my home’s renovations and repairs myself. I am currently working on renovating the basement bathroom, and am using a lot of the skills I picked up back when I updated the kitchen in 2013. That was my first time tiling, a learned skill which has now helped immensely with my confidence going into my bathroom project. I also installed this open shelving nook area (seen above) around the chimney, changed out lighting, and restored all of the original cabinets and hardware.

A Night In | Deuce Cities Henhouse

A Night In | Deuce Cities Henhouse

A Night In | Deuce Cities Henhouse

A Night In | Deuce Cities Henhouse
Now about this drink, I’ve harvested a bunch of the rosemary from our garden to make rosemary infused simple syrup. Rosemary is consistently placing as a Top 5 Herb in my much anticipated annual Herb Rankings (j/k, that is not a thing). It has such an autumnal aroma to it that it just works for this time of year (autumn, duh). We made a play on a whiskey fizz incorporating rye whiskey, lemon juice, rosemary simple syrup, a dash of orange bitters shaken with an egg white. Perfectly delish and crisp for these fall evenings.

A Night In | Deuce Cities Henhouse

   
 

Rosemary Infused Whiskey Fizz (for da fall)

Ingredients:

▼ 2 oz Rye Whiskey
▼ The juice form ½ a lemon
▼ 1 oz rosemary infused simple syrup
▼ 1 egg white
▼ 2 dashes orange bitters
▼ Ice
▼ Spring of rosemary for garnish

Rosemary Infused Simple Syrup:

▼ 1 cup sugar
▼ 1 cup water
▼ 5 springs of rosemary

To make the simple syrup. Combine sugar and water in a pan over medium high heat. Wait for the water to boil and for all of the sugar to be dissolved. Add the rosemary and let steep until cool.

In a shaker over ice combine whiskey, lemon juice, simple syrup, bitters and egg white. Shake vigorously for a minute. Poor over one large ice cube (or on its own) and serve with a sprig of rosemary garnish.

A Night In | Deuce Cities Henhouse

A Night In | Deuce Cities Henhouse
Thanks so much to Anolon for sponsoring this post, and to Kim & Julia for hosting! Please take a sec to hop around and check out some of the other cool bloggers who are sharing also sharing their evening spaces.

+ Julia & Chris Marcum, Chris Loves Julia
+ Kim & Scott Vargo, Yellow Brick Home
+ Kristin Jackson, Hunted Interior
+ Gwen Hefner, The Makerista
+ Anna Smith, Annabode + Co.
+ Brit Pierce, House Updated
+ Joni Lay, Lay Baby Lay
+ Shelby Reed, Grey Loves Grey

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in Around the House, Eats, Sponsored

Basement Bathroom : Week 2

Bathroom Progress | Tiling with Subway tile
Hey friends, hope you are all doing okay. I meant to post earlier this week, but I just couldn’t find the enthusiasm to do it. I’ve been making a lot of good progress on the basement bathroom since mindless distractions have been very welcome, and I’m feeling very confident in my decisions as I go along. I take that back, I’m feeling really amped up, and proud of how this is coming together! I’m excited that soon I’ll be installing the sink and beginning the tile in the shower. As of right now, I’ve nearly finished installing all the subway tile in the “sink area”. I have hopes of finishing it up this weekend, as there is only a little bit of tile left to be installed, and then I can move on to grouting and getting that sink in there! I’m also waiting on some special order bullnose tile to be delivered so I can finish up the edging on the far wall.

Bathroom Progress | Tiling with Subway tile
Let me back up a little bit though. Since I’m doing a things a little bit out of order, I wanted to make sure everything would go smoothly with no hiccups along the way. This involved lots of checking, second guessing and dry runs. My main concern was allowing enough space for the cement tile flooring that I am waiting to be delivered (still weeks away). After double and triple checking I allowed a gap of 3/8″ for the tile plus and additional 1/4″ for thin set. My trim was 7 1/4″, and allowing 5/8″ for the tile and thin set I installed a ledger board 7 7/8″ above the floor. My laser level really came in handy for getting the ledger board squared away — I can’t recommend one enough. My idea is, once the floor tile is installed, I will install the baseboard around the perimeter of the room, if need be I can always scribe the bottom of the baseboard to fit the floor. This seemed like a reasonable solution to my out-of-order tiling woes.

Bathroom Progress | Tiling with Subway tile
This planning and double checking took a lot of time. Finally I felt confident enough to begin, and after starting the tile, things progressed quickly. In the past, I typically back butter my tiles, because it gives me a lot of control and I don’t have to worry about the thin set drying out. I did this for the first few rows before deciding to get crazy and apply the thin set straight to the wall. Once I began doing this the tiles went up super fast. I would tile three or four rows at a time. After the tile was up I’d take my laser level and tripod and double check to make sure all rows were level. This is really easy with tripod because you just give the lever a few winds to elevate to the next line of tile. It takes seconds to do and saves a ton of time. Next I wiped everything down with a sponge making sure to remove any excess thin set. I had two buckets going at all times, one bucket for wiping down the tile and another for cleaning my tools as I go. Your tools will get messy, and I felt regular cleaning kept everything running smoothly. My favorite tool is the 3″ multi tool, part scraper, part straight edge, part screw driver. I would scrape off any mortar from tile with the wide 3″ side, and the thin part of the tool works really well for scraping out any thin set that might have seeped through the cracks. After that I clean up any residue with clean water and a sponge.

Bathroom Progress | Tiling with Subway tile

Bathroom Progress | Tiling with Subway tile
I’m hoping that within the next week the rest of the bullnose tile will be delivered for the edges. The bullnose is on the short side of the tile which allows the pattern to run right up to the edge of the wall instead of having to finish the corner with a vertical border. I like the look of that better, and with a bead of caulking it will look v clean and finished. I want to grout this entire area, and then install the sink. I’ve got my fingers crossed that the sink won’t be too hard to install since I already did a dry run with all the plumbing. Anyways, there will be lots to share!

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in Around the House, Basement, Bathroom