Monday, March 31, 2008

Happiness is a new apron and saved by a vinyl floor.

Aprons are hot, and this makes me happy. What better way is there to buy a piece of fabulous fashion for $28 than to buy an apron? This weekend, while at work, I spent a lot of time browsing the anthropologie website and found numerous items to covet, but what I liked best was their apron selection. Wouldn't cooking be a whole lot more fun and chic if you were wearing one of these?

I own a few cool aprons that used to belong to my grandmother. One is decorated with vintage martini glasses. Another is a bold red gingham with a nipped in waist and sexy smocking. I'm guessing it dates to the 1940s. In searching for a picture of something like it, I discovered this site of vintage patterns!

Another source of happiness: Our wonderful contractor has agreed to help us with our disaster of a bathroom. Jon demolished most of the old tiles on the shower until it looked like this.

I couldn't figure out how to remove the old shower pan.

The reason for that turned out to be that it weighs 200 pounds. Seriously. To get it out of the house we had to bring a wheelbarrow right up to the bathroom, and it took four of us to maneuver the thing up into the wheelbarrow, out the door and into our contractor's truck--all of us at risk for smashed fingers.

What I feared was that under the shower pan, which you can see is not in the greatest shape, we'd find something like this:

Instead, we found this:
Whoever put the shower in put it right on top of the vinyl floor, which did a beautiful job of protecting the joists and subfloor from moisture. This bathroom is in a 1960's addition to our house. We are trying to unify the house and make it all appear to have been built during the same time, and this bathroom is the last bit of 1960's awfulness. That awful vinyl had been tiled over and I spent weeks tearing out the old tiles. Once the shower is reframed, I can finally, finally, put in the vintage black and white honeycomb tiles I bought for this bathroom floor. The shower will be white subway tiles with a thin black band near the top.

What a relief to see our contractor bounce up and down and say, "I don't need to repair this floor." The shower framing, on the other hand, was rotted beyond repair, so it all came down, leaving our bathroom looking like this.
For now. A new shower pan is on order.

Another interesting outcome of this project is that we discovered a second basement we never knew we had. There's a basement under most of the house, and a tiny (24"X12") wooden door near the ground at the very back of the house. I thought this led to a crawl space, and never once have I gone in there, assuming that the size of the door was an indicator of the size of the space. Jon had to go down there when the plumber pulled out the shower pipes and discovered not the crawlspace we were expecting, but a large room, albeit with a dirt floor, but a room all the same. He claims it's big enough to serve as a storage for large items like the lawn mower--if we ever get around to enlarging the door.


  1. A secret room! A secret room! :-D

  2. ooo, thanks for the vintage patterns link. perhaps some day i will be brave enough to try sewing a garment.