Being an architect is hell when it comes to living in a house that you didn’t design … which is every house I have ever lived in. I honestly think that it doesn’t matter how nice your home is but if you are an architect, you are aware of every single fault in your home and you have a few ideas on how to fix it.
You might recall that I mentioned that I was going to be redoing my master bathroom (Master Bathroom … Again) but that was 8 months ago and nothing has happened, mostly because life just gets in the way at times and your attention and resources go somewhere else. But here we are, kinda, and work started a few weeks ago and we are making some steady progress.
I thought I would share the floor plan from my original post to help refresh your memory. Yes, your eyes do not deceive you and I do indeed have TWO master bathrooms. The plan shown above is accurate in terms of the layout but the reality is that the house was built in a mirrored copy of this drawing. My bathroom is the smaller of the two and you can walk through the shower to get to the other bathroom.
Fabulous? Not really. While I am happy that my wife and I have our own spaces to do the things that take place in bathrooms, it is definitely more expensive to redo two master bathrooms than redoing one master bathroom. As a result, there are a few moves in this renovation that have been moved to “Stage II”, which is flooring, cabinets, countertops, and sinks. Our focus for this bit is new framing, all new sheetrock, completely rebuilt shower (including shower pan, plumbing, and tile), electrical, skylights, and lighting.
I am not a huge fan of hanging wallpaper in bathrooms and as I think back through my entire career so far as a residential architect I can count the number of times wallpaper has ended up in the bathroom on just a few fingers. In fact, I feel like I’m working with house money if I boldly proclaim that if you walk into a new house and there is wallpaper present, there was not an architect involved in picking the materials. There are lots of reasons why putting wallpaper in a wet and humid environment is a bad idea, even though it can be done … but that’s not the point of this post so I will save that conversation for another day.
Oof! I don’t know who put together the color palette for my bathroom but if they were going for “Banana Diarrhea” I think they nailed it. Since I don’t like bananas any more than I like diarrhea, pretty much everything you see in the photo above has got to go. I could literally dissect every aesthetic decision made in this bathroom and destroy someone’s sense of identity, but let’s just list a few things – all of which are bad:
- popcorn ceiling texture
- fur down over the counter
- inappropriate cheap plaster crown molding
- exhaust fan (that doesn’t actually exhaust to anywhere)
- plastic laminate countertop
- ogee edge on the aforementioned countertop
- sponge texture paint on the millwork (and I use the word “millwork” very loosely, like the aforementioned banana diarrhea)
- shell (?) motif on the drop-in sink (so you have any idea how difficult this sort of shape is to clean?)
- Jenky head-banger plastic laminate (melamine) cabinet over the toilet
- do I even need to point out the floor tile? Everything about this tile says “$0.99 per square foot now on sale on aisle 86”
… and I could keep going, but I won’t because my brain is telling me to stop.
For today’s post, I just wanted to take a minute and talk about what we found behind the cabinet above the toilet and behind the mirror. It is Ah-MAZING!!
So at this point, we are at the beginning of demolition and we’ve pulled the head-banger off the wall and just like 1922 discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb, we discovered something nearly as magnificent … the original wallpaper!
… here’s another even closer look. Should we be surprised that the overall tone of the wallpaper is eerily similar to the current color scheme? Brace yourself for the next image because I’m going to bring you in even closer …
… and just like explorer and archeologist, Howard Carter said when he discovered King Tut’s tomb … “MY EYES ARE BURNING!!”
I would like for you to just take a minute and look at the pattern of this wallpaper for a solid minute, just soak in all that it has to offer. If you have ever seen a pattern with as much going on, I would love to see it. Armored Elephants? Camels? Antelopes and Horses. I can’t decide is this is Hannibal crossing the Alps in 218 BC., or if it’s Marco Polo traveling the silk road in the 13th Century … but in my house which was built in the 1980s.
In case you are new around here, or if you simply want to laugh at me and my house (which is suitable as a set in Crime Scene Investigation”, I have gone through the additional effort to catch you up to speed with the previous posts that point out the obvious flaws in my house.
This was the first episode once I bought and moved into my current home. It’s mostly full of gruesome images and a “Zamfir” joke that few people understood.
As gross as the first post was, this one focuses on the encapsulated DNA that was literally everywhere … which is grossier. [Yes, I am aware that “grossier” is not technically a word, except when you are vacuuming out Witches Brew from behind return air grilles and it seems pretty grossier than anything else you could possibly be doing.]
And this last post will catch you up on the Master Bathroom renovation.
Eventually, there will be a Round Two of renovations and I will be more than happy to share those improvements with you … think of it as my personal thank you for having to get corneal implants because reading the previous 3 posts assuredly destroyed your vision.
My deepest condolences,