Jun 21, 2020

One Room Challenge, Spring 2020: Week Seven

After taking three weeks off from posting for the One Room Challenge, I wasn't sure if I should even try to get these last two posts up. But I'd love your input as I put the finishing touches on the room, so here we go!

We lost a wall tile when we replaced the vanity and faucet, and Jon suggested putting some sort of accent tile in its place. While I wasn't originally a fan of the idea - the missing square isn't centered on the vanity and I thought it would look silly - I eventually came around and, in fact, told Jon I'd make all the arrangements as a birthday surprise for him.

On close inspection, I discovered that our dingy off-white wall tiles are flecked with little light blue speckles. I immediately thought about getting a Delft-style tile commissioned; the blue and white would, hopefully, compliment the existing tiles and tie in with the newly-painted mirror frame.

Jon's family has a tradition of putting funny and/or irreverent art in bathrooms, so I wanted to pay homage to that. At the same time, I wanted something that was very much personal to our little family. I did a little research and it turns out there are multiple examples of 17th century tiles depicting people peeing. See:

Antique Tile Shop

In that spirit, I emailed Blue Garden Tiles on Etsy with a request that the artist, bless her, took in very good humor and, on May 9, I presented Jon with a present that he received with a strange mixture of horror and admiration:

May 27, 2020

One Room Challenge, Spring 2020: Week Four

And welcome back to week four of my spring 2020 One Room Challenge! When we left off, Juventino had replaced our vanity and cleaned up the linen closet in the bathroom. Full disclosure: this happened the last weekend in January, when Robbie and I were in NYC visiting my grandparents, so it was only disruptive to Jon. I don't know what jumps out at you from the photo of the bathroom that's in last week's post - which Jon took and texted to me to report on progress while I was away - but what I see is that almost everything is a different dingy shade of cream. It doesn't help the situation that there's no natural light in the bathroom, which is an internal room in our rowhouse, but that can't be fixed (at least not until we reopen the skylight that a previous owner closed up, and that's a much bigger project than this ORC). What can I do to improve things? Paint!

May 20, 2020

One Room Challenge, Spring 2020: Week Three

Welp, despite plenty of time to write these blog posts - the One Room Challenge was supposed to start at the beginning of April but got pushed back because of the coronavirus - I missed week two. On top of that, the updates I'm writing about now actually happened back in February, so I really have no excuse. Let's catch up!

(But first: did you read week one? It's here.)

Last you heard, we'd picked up an already-assembled but unused Ikea Godmorgon vanity from a Craigslist seller in Baltimore and hired our amazing handyman, Juventino, to come take our our old vanity and install the new one. It's a good thing we didn't try to do it ourselves, because it was a bigger job than he'd expected due to the wonkiness of our bathroom...

May 17, 2020

Social Distancing Outside the Cathedral


Our household has relied on four things to stayed somewhat sane over the last nine weeks of self-isolation: low standards, low expectations, good food, and hearty walks. Jon and I split workdays into primary parenting shifts, and we each take Charlie and Robbie on a big walk when we're on duty. We'll go check out the diggers renovating our local elementary school, stroll to the park for a runaround in the meadow, or head out for a hike through the woods.

On the weekends, we go out all together. Now that the weather is nicer - and we're getting a little more stir-crazy - we're venturing a bit farther afield. Yesterday, we drove just about a mile away so we could tread some to-new-us trails in Rock Creek Park. We came across Fort Derussy, a Civil War defense that helped keep the Confederate Army out of Washington, which provided Robbie with his first real opportunity to reject his father's request to explore a historical site; slid down a very steep hill while refusing to hold hands for safety and consequently fell down a few times; and touched a lot of trees on the side of the paths when other people approached us.

God, some aspects of this are so banal, and then others are decidedly... not.

Anyway, I wanted to go somewhere a little more familiar today to try to recapture a bit of that normalcy, so this morning we drove up to the Cathedral for a walk through the Bishop's Garden and Olmstead Woods.

May 6, 2020

One Room Challenge, Spring 2020: Week One

Well, here we are again - doing another unplanned One Room Challenge. This time, though, it wasn't instigated by me, I swear!

When we moved into our house in April 2018, the bathroom was in such bad shape cosmetically that I didn't even want to tackle it. My mom and sister kept urging me to replace the yellowed plastic vanity at the least, but I couldn't really bring myself to care. (Also, and this is going to sound awful, but basically it looked so crappy that I wasn't afraid people would assume I liked it and think I had horrible taste.) I replaced the light fixture and did some very minor DIY work in the closet just to make it more functional, but otherwise left the bathroom alone despite all the yuck you can see in this photo of the bathroom from our house's listing:


A few months ago, though, Jon admitted that he hated the vanity and wanted to prioritize getting a new one. I honestly had no idea he cared, but I am nothing if not obliging. Okay, we all know that's not quite true - I was just glad to have an excuse for a project! And so I started where I usually do: on Craiglist, FB marketplace, and NextDoor.