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  1. carriegel
    May 12, 2012 @ 9:19 am

    I just found your blog and I think I’m going to like it. We just finished remodeling the main/master bath in our 1937 Colonial Revival (with 2″ marble hex on the floor) and have started the “jack and jill” bathroom. Don’t you just love those walls and floors. They were built like bomb shelters.


    • VictoriaElizabethBarnes
      May 12, 2012 @ 4:00 pm

      Yes… bomb shelter is correct. I cannot believe the amount of concrete that came out of the bathroom. In our town, the trash men will take anything that’s not related to a contractor-project, so you can imagine how much the trash men love us.

      Are you keeping a true vintage design in your baths? Or working in a modern aesthetic? This has been something I’ve had a hard time combining. I love authentic, original old bathrooms. But I also love giant mirrors, good lighting, and huge medicine cabinets…

      Thank you so much for commenting! I’m new to blogging … and while I can see that someone, somewhere, is reading what I’ve put out there, I have no idea who they are or how they found me. And I cannot read their minds to know what they think.


      • Carriegel
        May 15, 2012 @ 10:58 am

        We are trying to marry the vintage character of the house with the comforts of today. We put in 2″ hex polished marble on the floors (with heat!), subway on the walls and a marble counter. I had my carpenter build a small linen closet that matched one in the other bathroom. My GC even took an old door we found in the garage rafters and cut it down to use for the closet door. I saved the old glass knobs from the old bathroom and reused them. I bought new lights but they look very similar to what was there. We did put in a walk-in shower with frameless glass.

        The bathroom we are working on now will have a classic black and white ceramic tile floor with subway on the walls. I just found a pedestal sink to fit and ordered a light from Rejuvenation Hardware.

        Both were leaking in the rooms below and were beyond salvaging. A few neighbors weren’t happy that we tore out the original bathrooms but as I told my GC that’s easy for them to say when they don’t have to live with them.

        I’m looking forward to reading your blog and good luck with your projects!


  2. Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
    May 17, 2012 @ 9:42 am

    Neighbors are funny… the one who’s been most vocal to us about restoration/renovation authenticity has faux shutters. I don’t mean faux, as in non-functioning, purely for show. I mean faux as in— plywood. Cut to approximate shutters. And then painted black.

    Both your baths sound like a lovely combination of vintage and modern. I absolutely cannot wait until all the design pieces of mine are finished.— I am so tired of looking at sconces!


  3. Danielle
    November 7, 2012 @ 11:39 pm

    Holy cow… I had no idea!! I’m not sure when I started reading your blog, but it clearly was after this. I bow to you! Well… and let’s face it, to Paul too. Everything about this makes me want to curl up in a ball and cry.


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      November 8, 2012 @ 8:43 am

      This. Was. Excruciating. Paul did nearly all the gutting. The concrete and reinforcement wire was SOLID. Even if I had wanted to be more involved (which I didn’t,) the sheer physical force required to remove it was crazy. Plus there was hardly room in there for both of us and all the buckets and tools.

      Looking at this post again makes me SO GRATEFUL it’s over. And reminds me to never move. Ever. Again.


  4. the misfit
    April 22, 2013 @ 1:28 pm

    (In case you can’t tell, I am slowly stalking you into the past, blog-wise. Soon I will catch up and return to the present. It’s very meta.)

    I am stunned that your previous homeowner(s) was worse than our previous homeowner(s). The hideousness of our kitchen floor(s), while offensive, was almost understandable – at least, if you refer to all the irrational practicality/design prejudices of the era when the layer was installed, and account for the relative cheapness of the materials and methods. (Never a compliment to the installer, I’m afraid, though I am quite cheap myself.) The hideousness of our porch floor is another matter, and the fact that there was concrete evidence that somebody took a painted plank porch floor, extended its length with plywood subfloor, and then covered both with office carpeting – is hard to comprehend, let alone forgive. (Though I realize I have contributed to the madness by putting the new oak floor OVER all the previous sins, I like to think that the oak floor is so awesome that no one will ever want to disturb it. Except maybe for a light sanding of my slap-dash varnish job and a few more coats of poly, but I console myself that that’s quite superficial.) But even this stupidity pales in comparison to your bathroom floor and walls. I am in awe.


  5. the misfit
    April 22, 2013 @ 1:34 pm

    I now feel compelled to state that I did NOT put oak flooring over carpet. Now I have to be absolutely clear. The original floor had no subfloor. Then somebody made the porch bigger and supplemented the too-small floored area (3/4″ thick painted tongue-and-groove) with plywood. Somebody (else?) added 3/16″ luan and then carpet, and then the carpet was removed and the previous owners added vinyl over the luan – but never glued it. After we had plumbers in and they noticed the vinyl was loose, we lived for a year in fear that the porch floor was rotting through. If there is a silver lining to my months of excessive porch-related suffering (and there may not be), it’s that we no longer have any questions on this point. And it turns out that unglued vinyl is easier for the demo team (of me). So we removed the vinyl and the luan, removed part of the subfloor that had rotted around the exterior door (it got wet – shockingly), replaced the rotten subfloor with pressure-treated plywood, put the luan back, laid an oak floor, stained it, and varnished it.

    BTW, your comment about cutting the granite was very kind. It was just a LITTLE piece, so I felt the downsides of doing it ourselves were outweighed by the downsides of hiring out. Should you ever want to cut stone (ONLY straight lines, I would suggest, and only make eased edges), be aware that you can do it with an ordinary circular saw (the more HP the better) and a diamond-covered steel blade you can buy at the home store, but you need to cool the blade while you go (we used the garden hose). I’m sure Paul already knows this and could do it better, though :).


  6. TenantProof
    June 13, 2013 @ 5:22 pm

    I love your blog and your husband sounds like a saint. I like done well but I don’t think I am the perfectionist that you are. Your voice and tone is wonderful in the blog. If you like you can check out my blog on blogger called Tenant Proof Design and my Pinterest page.



  7. Nina
    December 12, 2013 @ 8:28 am

    Ok, I’ve got tons of stuff to get finished/started today, and all I want to do is sit here and read your blog from beginning to end. Let’s see how this goes….


  8. Corinna - ADesignerAtHome
    March 13, 2016 @ 10:22 am

    Ugh, the same thing happened to us! Except the pink tile was the second layer and beneath it was a plastic tile with a marble print. Plastic tiles… who knew?!


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