Monday, February 27, 2012

Recent Adventures

Remember when I said that this last part of the bathroom remodel involed a lot of waiting around for stuff and searching for little odds and ends? Well, this past week a couple of those odds found their end and we got to visit some pretty neat places along the way. First stop, bathroom mirror town.

Remember way back in October when we went searching for a bathroom mirror and lucked out when we got this great frame for $8?

And then remember when I got it home and took this really bad picture of it?

I kid.

But serioulsy, since them we'd kind of been casually looking for a big piece of old mirror to put in it. Since the sink is working now and we can brush our teeth and wash our face in the bathroom like real people instead of the kitchen we were really starting to need a mirror. A couple of weeks ago my mom suggested we measure the mirror in an old (nasty) medicine cabinet we had removed from the downstairs toilet when we moved in. FYI: We removed it because it smelled so bad it was making the whole downstairs smell. For real. So we measured it and it seemed like it would work. We carefully took the medicine cabinet door apart and removed this amazing and very heavy piece of mirror.

On the back of the mirror was this stamp.

Which would have put this mirror about 10 years or so after our house came on the scene. We were thrilled. Not only did it look like it would fit in the frame but it was also already in our house (Free!) and it was from around the same time that the house was built.

We called a great local company, Bell Mirror and Glass here in Wichita and asked if they would cut mirror.

We took the mirror and the frame down to their shop so they could have a look. They were honestly the friendliest people I've ever dealt with and they even took the time to show us how they were planning to cut the mirror and they told us a little about how old mirrors were made. I dropped it off on a Friday and it was done early Monday morning. The results speak for themselves. I could not be happier with it.

We lost a little of the silvering on the back when we were hanging it (that stuff is fragile!) but I think it gives it even more character than it already has. This picture also gives you a look at part of our second adventure in recent weeks, a trip to an antique store in Ark(ansas) City, Kansas to try and find some chrome cross handles like the ones in our shower for the sink there. We were coming up empty handed all over the place when my mom suggested a day trip to a place called Mylissa's Garden. It did not dissapoint. We took one of the handles from the shower with us and showed it to the woman who works there. She crawled back into a tiny space and pulled out basket after basket of antique faucet handles. After a little searching, we found two that matched perfectly. Success!

I cannot stress to you enough how unbelievable this place was. I could spend days looking through everything. Days, I tell you!

Yes, that's the only aisle and yes, it's only wide enough for one person to go through at a time. Some people would start having a panic attack looking at this but I thought it was the greatest thing ever.

And there you have our beautiful handles to our wierd little sink. $3 each
I'm going to post a video of our sink in action very, very soon I swear!

I also picked up a waste basket for $5 at Mylissa's. I wanted something like this one from High Street Market. This is what I got:

And after a coat of my favorite spray paint ever, Oil Rubbed Bronze...

This was the finished product. I really like it and I really liked the price!

I think that brings everything about up to speed. We still have a couple of accessories here and there and of course, the cabinet which I'm about to go start working on here in a minute. Stay tuned!


  1. Mylissa's garden looks like a dream! I wish I knew a place like that.. Your bathroom looks so so great.

  2. It was AMAZING. They had literally piles of vintage dresses back there. All too small for me but real cute.

  3. Oh your bathroom is really looking nice! I love the way everything is coming together.

  4. Thanks goosefairy! Can't wait to get some good before and after pictures up here when it's all done!

  5. Ohh, there's the pics I was looking for, oops! Everything looks great! Your search stories for mirror and handles were fun too. I think you must have re-model fairies in your back pocket. Anyway, I would love to see a wide angle shot of the floor, and wondering: what color grout did you use? Is that gray or black? I definitely want to go darker so I'm not annoyed with graying white grout later.

    1. We used charcoal gray grout but as you can see, it turned out pretty black.

  6. Hi Katherine, I am of course loving what you've done, and I greatly admire the elbow grease and patience you have in your home restoration! I am wondering: where, oh where, in the world are you able to find things like the stove in the kitchen for $45!! and the claw foot tub, renovated, for $100!!! Claw foot tubs, on ebay, without a bit of restoration, run over $250, and restoring them isn't inexpensive, either! The kind of stove you have in the kitchen runs thousands!! I just am dying to know where you look, and, also, how much time you devote to looking.

    It's inspiring to see the work you two have accomplished. My husband and I are in the process of putting in an offer on a house from 1850 that needs complete renovations...we wouldn't live there while much are going on, but we are looking at a cost that far far exeeds what we really ought to spend. Seeing this, makes me hopeful that we too can actually create a beautiful home on a real budget.

    Thanks for your information, I really appreciate it!! Alyssa

    1. Well, the stove was at a garage sale and that is probably the most serendipitous thing that's ever happened to me in my life. A friend of ours knew we were looking for one and when she was on a bike ride one Sunday, she saw this stove sitting in a driveway and stopped to take a picture. She texted it to Conan and I (I didn't get it because I was at work) and Conan went and bought it. That was just pure, dumb luck. I'd been looking on Craigslist constantly and only finding them for about $300 or so but that was just never going to happen. The tub, was kind of a lucky find, I guess as well. I mentioned on facebook that I was looking and a friend of a friend contacted us and said she knew a guy in a small town that collected and sold salvaged antiques. He had about three or four and we picked the one that had the least damage on the inside (to the porcelain finish). The outside, I actually refinished myself. I guess the key to finding this stuff is just telling absolutely everyone you see what you are looking for. Someone is bound to know someone that knows someone that has what you're looking for or in the case of my friend, you have a few extra pairs of eyes looking for what you want as well. The other thing would be frequency of trips to thrift stores, garage sales, etc. I probably go a few times a week and almost always leave empty handed but if you go all of the time, you're bound to find one little thing here or there. It's funny, I was trying to make a list for someone of all of the places we bought our living room furniture and accessories and it was just, thrift store, second hand store, thrift store...I'm cheap to my core.

      The house you're looking at sounds amazing, 1850, how could it not be? I totally think you can do it on a budget! You just have to be patient in finding what you're looking for. I heard someone call it "slow decorating" once and I think it's a fantastic way to do things. Don't compromise at all. Wait for just the perfect thing at the exact right price and you'll feel like a thrifty genius!

      Good luck with your house! Hopefully, you'll start writing my new favorite blog about it *hint, hint* : )

  7. I've been to Mylissa's before. Back then, you could walk around. She has ALOT of stuff. Whenever I have been that way, she is always closed. Great finds!

    1. I can't wait to go back! Conan and I stopped there on our way back from Tulsa in May but she was closed : ( Seems like more of a "by appointment only" kind of place now which is a shame.

  8. Katherine, great job on the remodel! DD2 recently remodeled her MB and has high wainscot. We're trying to decide how to hang a mirror over it (like yours, nothing showing on the sides). Did you just use a wooden block at the top to hang it from?

    Thank for any info.

    1. Thanks, Allison! We actually had access to the back side of the wall that the mirror is hung on (it's the attic stairwell)so we just screwed a big piece of wood back there (because there wasn't a stud where we wanted the mirror), on the other side of the sheetrock, and got a very, very long hook screw (like three inches or longer) and screwed that through the sheetrock and into the wood. We used a picture hanging kit from ACE hardware and with a little adjusting of the wire, it worked! The wainscoting ledge is a couple of inches deep and it actually holds the bottom of the mirror out the right amount so the mirror isn't tilted down towards the floor too much.


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