Personal Statement

Personal Statement

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Countdown to the New Old House: House Porn

"Crashers" marathon on DIY.

Best.  New Year's Day.  Time waster.  EVER.

I have major crushes on Josh Temple, Matt Muenster and Ahmed Hassan.  Jointly and severally.  They are easy on the eyes, incredibly handy and like to laugh.  We would get along famously.  Seriously.  If they were ever to crash a Lowe's in west Fort Worth and our paths were to cross, I just know that they would pick me as their partner in crime in an awesome remodeling project.  One look in my eyes, and they would know that I would sell that demolition sequence like my life depended it.  Because I like to demo things.  And build things.  Preferably alongside attractive, competent licensed contractors-slash-television personalities.

Except it occurs to me as I am watching that my "Crashers" window has pretty much closed.  Or will have closed in a couple of months.  If I run into Josh (host of "House Crashers") at Lowe's, say, in March, and he asks, "How's your kitchen?" I will have to say:

"Custom cabinets.  Beadboard and decorative glass tile backsplash.  Granite countertops.  Two sinks - one granite, one hammered copper.  Oil-rubbed bronze faucets with pull-down sprayers.  Professional stainless steel appliances.  Lots of great storage and task lighting.  Oh, and we recently had all of the wiring and plumbing redone."

NEXT.

Same conversation, but with Matt (of "Bath Crashers" and plaid workshirt fame):

"My worst bathroom?  Um, well, I guess that would be the master.  It's on the small side.  The pipes are a little old - I mean, not OLD old.  They're copper . . . but the pipes in my kids' bathroom are top-of-the-line Pex, so, you know, compared to that, copper is - um - sort of deficient?  Finish-out is nice and neutral, but not BRAND-NEW nice and neutral.  What do I hate about the finish-out?  Well, hate's kind of a strong word.  I kind of want to replace the flooring, just to bring it up to the same level as the other bathroom, but I wouldn't say that I hate what's in there now.  Hello?  Matt?  WHY ARE YOU WALKING AWAY?"

Now, if they had run into me a couple of weeks ago - TOTALLY different scenario.  But, as things are progressing, I am heading in the direction of "uncrashable."  Although . . . I do have something to offer Ahmed.  Lots to offer, actually.  Ginormous carriage house with dirt floor floating in the middle of my backyard, bifurcating it awkwardly in half.  Concrete slab and cyclone fence dog run that has never (at least, not on our watch) been utilized as a dog run.  HORRIBLE grass situation.

So I have some hope.

But I have to say that it's kind of fun watching DIY Network when you're mid-construction project.  You really do feel like you're in the know:  "Oh, that looks like what they found underneath our tub!  And we have a chimney like that in the corner of the kitchen.  Good call on refinishing the exposed brick.  Hey, they're using LVL boards.  WE HAVE THOSE!  AND THAT'S OUR SINK!"

Yeah, I'm a big HGTV dork.  And I cohabit with an HGTV dork-in-training.  Blonde, twelve years old.  Addicted to "House Hunters."  And, also, the Crashers franchise.  He watched most of the marathon with me.  Being the child of two attorneys, he had some on-point questions:

"Mom, if someone comes up to you at Home Depot and tells you that they are filming a TV series and want to offer you a free kitchen, wouldn't YOU think it was possibly a scam?  I mean, it's not hard to rent some camera equipment and get someone to pretend to be your cameraman.  Then, once they are inside your house, they would case the joint and stuff."

"Okay, point taken.  But I imagine that there's some contract that you sign, on network letterhead."

"Letterhead can be forged, Mom."

"True . . . .  So, um, I guess you just watch them like a hawk until they actually start putting value into your house?  Like, they plumb in a new refrigerator, and at that point you can pretty much guarantee that they are legit, because giving away new refrigerators as an entree to case a joint is not the world's most effective burglary plan?"

These are the conversations that I have with my twelve year-old on a daily basis.  It's exhausting.  And I'm guessing that it's just going to get worse.

Twelve year-old actually accompanied me to Lowe's yesterday for some New Year's Eve shopping.  We purchased his bathroom light fixture, towel bar and toilet roll holder, and we visited his pedestal sink.  Good times.

This is the sink. Good for kids, because there's actual (fairly ample) space on either side of the faucet for soap and toothbrushes. (We considered installing wall-mounted soap dishes and toothbrush holders, in satin nickel to match the other fixtures, but they all involved some quantity of glass or porcelain, and my husband reminded me that these are OUR children that we are talking about. Reason the soap dish that was previously tiled into our shower surround is no longer present and accounted for: the Big Kid put all of his weight on it - because he thought it was one of those foot thingies on a rock-climbing wall? - and BROKE IT OFF OF THE WALL.


OOOOH! MATT MUENSTER! That's what I hate about my master bathroom - the missing soap dish. Still not enough? Crud.)

This is the faucet that will be affixed to said pedestal sink.


It's brushed nickel (translation:  boy-proof), and it's by Delta, which means that it was crazy expensive, but somewhat less so because we bought it "new in box" from Habitat for Humanity's ReStore.  Love that place.  Get a bargain, and help out a struggling family, all in one transaction.

This is the medicine cabinet - or will be the medicine cabinet when I get around to ordering it.  Haven't decided on the color, though - might be white, might be Benjamin  Moore's "Manchester Tan" to match the walls or might be a dark stain like this one.

This is the tile that will surround the tub (white cast iron, with a faucet to match the sink one).  It's a glazed porcelain but looks a lot like marble.  Same tile will go on the floor, but tiles will be square instead of rectangular.

And, finally, one of these bad boys is going to get mounted to the ceiling:



(Sing to the "Pillow Pets" ad jingle) "It's a light fixture, it's a fan - it's a Broan-bathroom-exhaust-fan-with-brushed-nickel-hardware-and-white-alabaster-glass-globe!"

Seriously, I love this thing, which will take the place of the ugly Fifties-era exhaust fan that is in the room currently.  Overhead light means that we can do away with a vanity bar - although I'm totally putting in a vanity bar, too.  Already locked and loaded.  Spouse's criteria:  "The glass shades should be long enough to cover an entire CFL bulb without part of the coil-y thing protruding out of the bottom."  Apparently, this is a spousal pet peeve. 

Done and done.  Now, on to the kitchen.

1 comment:

Suzie Thomas said...

Building the kitchen countertops of your dream makes sense if you are going to be spending a lot of time in this house, and therefore, this kitchen. Its long been recognised that bathrooms are a great selling point for a property.