19 Aug

Check Out My Bathroom

It’s time for another house remodel update. When we bought our house (over a year ago!) there were several things that we knew needed immediate attention. The 30 year old rotting deck with no stairs was the first thing, which is now replaced by a gorgeous deck that connects to our yard (we hired a company to do all of this work). We took a short detour to the basement this last spring to fix some leakage (also hired out). And, we’ve spent the last six months working on renovating this downstairs bathroom:Downstairs bath reno before

This is what it looked like when we received the keys to the house. When we first saw the house there was stuff all over the counter and kitty litter all over the floor, plus the shower was really gross (and tiny). Looking at the house now, I can hardly imagine all the wall paper that was previously here.

Dowonstairs bath reno before 2

My first step was to sketch out ideas of what I wanted to change and what I could change. I even made a mood board to share with my mom as she was removing wallpaper in the house and I was still in Virginia. I wanted something that was contemporary, but simultaneously looked appropriate in a mid-century home. A grey and yellow tiled aesthetic fit the bill.

Downstairs bath reno sketch

My mom and step-dad removed the wallpaper and primed the walls. We hired a guy to take out the plastic shower insert and create a larger shower space for me to tile. He also installed a light in the shower stall and prepped the baseboard area for tiling, plus smoothed out a lot of the wobbly walls and coordinated with a plumber and carpenter. The result of this awesome team’s work is now ready to share:

Bath0

The key piece is the drop in, bull nose, new old stock yellow sink I found on Ebay before escrow had even closed on the house. Once it was installed, I realized that it was no longer centered under the light fixture (which I replaced with a retro looking update). My mom suggested, and my friends encouraged, a collage of mirrors to mitigate the imbalance. I think it adds a lot of fun to the room.

Bath1

The old vanity was small even though the room is large. The baseboard heating limits what will fit. So, I designed a vanity with an overhang of sorts. We researched retrofitting a standard vanity or something from the ReStore, but ultimately we decided that we deserved a custom build. I chose knobs from Rejuvination, and found a sparkly white quartz counter remnant which was ours for the price of cutting and installation. The result wasn’t exactly cheap, but it is so sexy and worth the investment.

Bath2

The baseboard in the bathroom was wood on some walls and vinyl on others (because of wobbly walls and floor). We opted not to change the heating, the floors, or the toilet because they would more than double the cost of the project and potentially affect other rooms as well. So, a tiled baseboard evened out the vagaries and underscored the retro aesthetic in the room.

Bath3

My mom and I did all the tiling. I chose DalTile 4″ porcelain tiles as they are essentially the same as would have originally been in the house. I had to special order the yellow ones which match my sink, but the yellow and grey mosaic floor tiles were a return from the University of Oregon and therefore on super-special while supplies last. The yellow and grey were perfect for my project! I replaced a few tiles with white to lighten the look.

Bath4

In the photo at the beginning of the post you can’t see how small the original shower was, but by taking 18″ from the closet in the room next door, our shower is not only attractive and clean, it is spacious as well.

Bath5

I painted the door grey to match the color scheme, and to continue the trend in the rest of the house. Doors into a room are different colors (to coordinate with the room), while closet doors are white.

I am so happy with this renovation. Not only does it make the room pretty and easier to use, it’s the first step in bringing the basement on par with the main house upstairs.

01 Aug

Good Press

There’s still one more month left to go see Stories of Migration at the George Washington University Textile Museum in DC.

_MG_9738AL10S-sRGB

My mobile village “Home is Where the Army Sends Us” is part of this exhibit and I couldn’t be happier about the good press the entire show is getting. As a participating artist it is wonderful to see viewers react to the work, but it is also important to have some kind of context in which to put the show. That many others in the world at large are paying attention to the show is a huge validation. So, in order to have all the references at hand (mostly for future me), here’s a list of mentions in the press that I know about:

American Craft  (USA) Aug/Sept ’16  (p.108) Featuring “Mother Tongue and Foreign Language” by Shin-hee Chin

Embroidery Magazine  (UK) Jul/Aug ’16  (p.11) Featuring “Navigating a Broken World” by Shea Wilkinson

Magic Patch  (France) #123  (p.9)

Textile Fibre Forum Magazine  (Australia) Sept ’16  Six pages, featuring works by Alice Beasley, Kristin LaFlamme, Gloria Daly, Penny Mateer, Susan Else, Daniela Tiger, Joy Nebo Lavrencik, and Carol Larson.

Quilting Arts Magazine  (USA) Jun/Jul ’16  Nine pages, featuring works by many artists.

The Washington Diplomat

CCTV Africa Featuring the work of William Adjete Wilson and more

The Washington Post