Thursday, March 31, 2016

Vanity Search

I went on an epic journey today to try to seek out a furniture piece that could work for our bathroom, and complete the mood board plan i was dreaming of.

I don't even know how many miles i drove in order to visit thrift and antique stores all over the city and suburbs.  I probably went into more than a dozen in one afternoon (of course with some fun new inventory for the shop - i can't help myself!)

I didn't really find anything that fits the bill - i have a few more places i'd like to check out if time allows tomorrow. but for right now i am surrendering to the notion that we just may have to choose a stock option for our bathroom.

With that thought in mind, here are 3 more mood boards for your voting pleasure.  You'll notice i took away the inspiration pics, as well as changed the floor tile.  Jonny was not sold on the busy pattern.  I can agree with that, it's a bold choice i could potentially see myself growing tired of.  He also nixed the rug choice... but i'm optimistic i can get him to change his tune on that one so for now it stays in the pic.




which do you prefer? they are all pretty similar - but have some slight differences for me to obsess and worry over.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Bathroom Ideas

Demo is going SWIMMINGLY! I will have more pictures to update soon.  But for now here is a fun post about my dream bathroom.

So, we are planning to have a 1890's appropriate bathroom on the first floor. with classic tile choices and a pedestal sink.  But upstairs i'm thinking we should have some more fun.

I put together this mood board of my thoughts - mostly so i can convince Jonny this is a good direction to go in.

I'm thinking encaustic style floor tiles - with white subway tile in the shower surround.  Simple chrome bath and sink fixtures. A modern vintage furniture piece with two white vessel bowl sinks. Black modern and classic light fixtures and a colorful kilim runner for the floor.

Do you think it could work in a Midwestern farmhouse? did i spend too long in California? Will everybody hate it in 5 years? or 2 hours?

Monday, March 7, 2016

Permit Problems - Part 2

A quick update on this front.  Jon and i have started to look into the Homeowners Assistance Program for obtaining a construction permit.  Chicago is weird, probably as weird as every other city in the country.  There are a few different ways to get a constriction permit.  Route 1) the standard method, seems to require architect signed drawings ($$$) submitted via an expediter ($$) requiring 6-11 weeks for approval ($$$ (because in construction time=$)).  Route 2) the Homeowners method requires homeowner generated drawings - of every thing from floor plans to plumbing schedules and wall sections (because every homeowner can do those kinds of things without an architect or contractor's help!) and once all materials are submitted and approved, a permit is issued that same day.

SO, because of the smaller expense and potentially quicker timeline, we are going to try out the Homeowner Assistance method of getting a building permit.  All this to explain that i spent last Friday morning down at City Hall meeting with a municipal employee (aka the friendliest and most helpful people on earth) to start the process. It was a chilly morning so i bundled.

After meeting with said intimidating employee we now have a our checklist in hand of drawings and forms we'll need to complete to get our permit, including such fun items as:

-proposed floor plan with all dimensions

-existing floor plan with all demolition indicated

-alderman approval waiver

-wall section (had to google what that meant)

-plumbing schedule fee (google didn't help as much with that so i still don't totally know)

It's an adventure in bureaucracy!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Permit Problems

gah! permits are the worst!

that is all

well, not exactly all.  Friday we met with our architect and our general contractor to have a walk-though before embarking on the project. It went really well and we were all feeling pretty good.  Jon and i were hopeful that we would be able to complete the project with just simple permits pulled by sub-contractors (electricians get electric permits, plumbers get pluming permits, etc.) because we aren't totally gutting the building, not adding any bathrooms, or building an addition, just refinishing surfaces and replacing fixtures in the same place.

WELL, we found out from our GC that we will in fact need a full permit for the project.  We are knocking down a few walls and moving some doorways around so it will be a significant project. This all means we need to submit full drawings to the city and it can take several weeks for them to review and approve the project.  So right now we are just waiting to hear what we need for city approval and we'll be working to get that all taken care of quickly.


Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Doing Demo - Progress So Far

To save some money, and let's be real, have some fun, we are doing a portion of the demolition for the renovation ourselves.  We figured we could tackle some easier and more obvious projects that don't really threaten the structural stability of the home, or risk damaging anything too valuable or hard to repair.


Jon and some pals made quick work of ripping out all the GROSS carpets upstairs.  For serious, those carpets were DISGUSTING.  We are talking cat pee soaked carpets and padding, and baseboards. Needless to say, there was lots of trash on that day.  But it's all out now, and the smell is almost completely gone.


For me, this was the most satisfying demo, probably because it was the one i was involved in the most.  Learning how to remove a toilet and sink was easier than i thought, even when i had to make a hardware store run in the middle to pick up a hack saw and a larger wrench. Also, tearing up the old linoleum layers was satisfying too.  it already feels like a cleaner  and more functional space in this blank state than it did before.


Jon and friends really rocked this demo.  It was hard work but they got out all the cabinets and appliances, as well as the wall tile.  this space is looking much better already.  AND he even made some cash on selling the appliances, i am astounded!