The bathrooms in Dad's house were pretty awful. Both had oversized vanities and fiberglass tubs.

We are tiling both (or, rather, the nice people from the flooring store are), and taking out the huge vanities. The one in the hall bath was 82 inches long. That is almost 7 feet long. What on earth possessed anyone to put such a huge cabinet in the bathroom? As nearly as I can tell, the sole purpose of it being that long was to hang the toilet paper on.

Dad gutted the master bath and paid some nice men to make the doorway bigger from the bedroom to the bathroom. He will be hanging a barn door to separate the two rooms.

Finding vanities for the bathrooms has been a challenge. We found some that we liked at Lowe's and Home Depot, but ultimately, those were made from MDF. In a bathroom, especially, we hated to put MDF. We really wanted plywood. But plywood vanities are expensive. We ended up finding vanities in just the right size at the Habitat for Humanity Restore in North Little Rock. Together, they came to 102, but all furniture was discounted 20%, so the for both vanities was just over $80. I'll grant, they need a little work. One was missing a door. Turns out, we had an old cabinet door that fit. One was missing a drawer. My dear husband is planning to just build a drawer to match.

The MDF cabinets that we were looking at were running about $400. One of them lacked a top at that price. This way, Dad can pick out the kind of top he wants and come out a considerable amount of money ahead.

We were just perking along, working our little fingers to the bone, when the toilet started backing up. I went to ACE to pick up a plunger. I'll spare you the details, but the plunger was, shall we say, inadequate.

Through mysterious diagnostics and something that attached to a hose, it was determined that the sewer line was stopped up. I wanted to go to Home Depot and rent a clean out auger, but I was voted down. Instead, my son in law went looking for the cleanout outside. Instead, he found a puddle in the yard. A yucky, sewage-y puddle. He and my brother and my dad and our friend Pete dug around to try to find the cleanout. Turns out, there was no cleanout. Instead, there is a hole in the sewer pipe. This hole is obviously not a new hole, as there was a piece of plastic covering it.

Did I mention that this is Labor Day Weekend? No plumber is going to come out on a holiday weekend for less than a bazillion dollars. They worked on this clog for hours, and seem to have cleaned it enough to use. (A house with no working toilet is never a fun place to be, but even less so with children. There were various public restrooms within a short drive that were utilized.)

Oh, did I mention that "clear enough to use" means clear enough to use without toilet paper? Yeah. That is supposed to go in the trash can for the time being. I'm not a fan.

On the bright side, a plumber will be called next week to put in a clean out, since there is already a hole.

Also, today, Pete did some texturing. Olivia put second a second coat of paint on some walls.

I whined because my head hurts. At the very least, I have a miserable cold. My head hurts, my ears hurt, my throat hurts and my nose is stuffy.

Oh, Pete also fixed the hole in the wall where the bulkhead used to be in the master bath. And he taped and mudded it.

Tomorrow, there will be more texturing, I'm sure. Then a whole lot of waiting for the texture to dry. Waiting is not my favorite thing.

Floors are coming in next week. Then, hopefully, wifi. I can only hang out so long at a place without it.

Master bedroom before

The first picture shows the dull wall color and beige berber carpet.  (Along with my dad and my daughter.)

Below, you can see the new wall color and new door into the den. The den has lost it's paneled wainscoting and it's wall paper.

Bedroom, with no carpet, but with new paint color. 

It's been a whirlwind. Liv and I spent a lot of time last week just prepping paint. The carpenters, on the other hand, took out a closet and built a door from the living room to the master bedroom. The door will be wide enough for a wheel chair to go through if needed. Because Mom was confined to a wheel chair in the six weeks of her life, we want to make sure that the house is handicap accessible. When mobility goes, it can go really quickly, as we learned. I just made sense to dad and me to make sure the house was accessible before he moved in.


The rest of us worked on prepping the house for flooring. The carpet has to be out of the rooms where we are having the flooring replaced. Also, anything we intend to do to the walls has to be done. Dad painted his office a beautiful butter yellow. Saturday, we had a painting party. 

We have some family friends who have had rental property, so they have done a lot of construction. Liv and I were there and my brother and a cousin. We all worked pretty much all day. The carpet is out of the bedroom and the hallway. They door is cut from the living room into the master bedroom. The wall paper is out of the living room. Liv and I painted the entry hall, kitchen, breakfast nook.

Master Bath

Since we are hiring People to do the master bath, we have to get the components picked out and ordered. Dad asked me to pick out some pieces to show him, so he can choose. Since I've done the work, I though I might as well share with the whole class.

He doesn't take tub baths and we discovered what pain tub sides are when Mom was having trouble getting around. So, he plans to replace the tub in the master bath with a nice, big shower with an integrated seat. What he hasn't decided is whether to tile it or to use a fiberglass base.
KOHLER Tresham White Acrylic Shower Base (Common: 32-in W x 60-in L

There is also the "ready to tile" version:

Base'N Bench Made for Tile Molded Polyurethane Shower Base (Common: 36-in W x 60-in L)

I would go with the ready-to-tile if it were up to me. Using a smaller version of the tile on the floor, the shower might look something like this:

Photo from

DreamLine Unidoor 59-in to 60-in Frameless Hinged Shower Door from

I'm a fan of the frameless, hinged door. I know it costs more than a curtain, but if I ever redo my own master bath, I am going to budget for this. I think Dad would like this, if he could see it. He is having a hard time picturing it. His experience with shower doors has been the awful sliding shower doors that are so, so terrible. I think he would like a nice hinged door. 

I also like this vanity from Home Depot: 

Claxby 36.5 in. W x 19 in. D Vanity in Cream with Stone Effects Vanity Top in Winter Mist with White Basin & Mirror

And this one:

Lancaster 24 in. Vanity in Amber with Alpine AB Engineered Composite Vanity Top in White with White Basin

It is a little smaller and might fit better in the tiny master bath. 

This is the master bath. It lacks a certain charm, if we are going to be honest. Here, you can see the the outdated wall paper that is still on the wall by the door and over the toilet and above the shower. In addition, since Dad is no longer as young as he was (and mom was in a wheelchair before she died), Dad wants to make sure the bathroom and bedroom are wheelchair accessible before he moves in. 

We are having this room gutted. New sink & vanity. Huge new shower instead of a bathtub. The outdated sliding shower doors that never come completely clean are going away. The toilet will be replaced with a "comfort height." New towel bar. New mirror. And there will be a new, 36 inch door into the room.

I'm thinking a little unit like this would be perfect in the master bath, if he is happy with white cabinets. We're planning to paint the walls in the bedroom and bath Sherwin Williams Cucumber: 

And he has picked out this tile for the bathroom floor:  

New Project!

I've mostly been living in my house instead of planning new projects. Then my mom got sick and then she passed away.

BUT I have a new project. My dad has bought a new house in the next subdivision over. He got it for a song, which always means there is work to do. He called a contractor and had them come in and provide an estimate. It came in way higher than he wanted to pay. Or that made sense to pay. The estimate was 12 grand to move a couple of doors, remove some wainscott made of 1980s paneling, remove wall paper and paint. $7000 was just for removing wall paper, wall repair and painting.

Here's the thing. I can do the cosmetic stuff. Granted, I can't move a door. Or remove a closet. Or build a closet. But I can take off wall paper (even though I *hate* it) and I can skim coat and I can paint.

The kitchen and breakfast nook, before:


So, yesterday, Liv and I spent about 5 hours total and stripped (most of) the wall paper from the kitchen and breakfast nook. And we skim coated. It still needs sanding.

Wallpaper removed. Skim coat on.

Obviously, I still have to sand the drywall compound. But this was 5 hours of work, between Miss O and me. There is still a little bit of wallpaper right around the sink that needs to go, but it's pretty close to a clean slate. One room down. A bunch to go.

There are several rooms that are getting new flooring, so those need to be painted first. These rooms are the dining room, entry, mud/utility room, kitchen/breakfast nook, office, master bedroom and living room.

Speaking of flooring, we actually already picked that out. We thought about going to Lumber Liquidators. There is one in Little Rock, which is just a few miles away. But we thought we would go ahead a look locally, first. We found everything we needed at Imboden Flooring. The prices are not different enough to justify using a chain. We love the service and the products. 

This is what will be in the kitchen, breakfast nook and mudroom. It is a nice, neutral, high quality vinyl flooring. We could obviously put in tile. (I have done it before). But since the house is on a slab, we feel like there is something to be said for resilient flooring. This will have a little bit of give to walk on and water cannot hurt it. I don't know about you all, but we are messy cooks. 


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