RaeChild

Calligraphy and Design based in NYC

Back to Basics

Many projects have begun at the 'ol homestead since I last left you with the story of a snow cleared driveway... New furnace, new electrical, new plumbing, bathrooms being torn out, doors in walls being found (yup - images below), and finishes being selected as we work through the previous owners illogical, slap-job repairs and bandaid fixes, not to mention the realities of 100+ year old construction. With so much requiring attention, Mr. RaeChild and I decided to take my birthday week off for a staycation at the house (read: camping with a roof) at which point I decided to treat myself like any birthday girl would and order a port-o-potty. Happy birthday to me: 

 Realities of homeowner construction!

Realities of homeowner construction!

 I am now obsessed with vintage kilim rugs since my office rug hunt a few months back, how fun is this rug?!

I am now obsessed with vintage kilim rugs since my office rug hunt a few months back, how fun is this rug?!

I set to work creating a sitting area upon arrival, complete with an Eames Lounge and Ottoman and vintage turkish kilim, a place to rest amongst the mayhem. But it didn't take long for the sanity of a sitting room to be overruled by loud drilling, banging, and heated bathtub, faucet, and tile talk; three highly emotional subjects in my book. I've been spending a lot of time researching and carefully selecting each of these as we are currently focusing on renovating both the main bath and half bath. I'll take you through my design process in a series of posts. For now, here's my take on bathtubs...

 Glamour shot while cleaning the old tub in an effort to convince everyone it just needed a good scrub!

Glamour shot while cleaning the old tub in an effort to convince everyone it just needed a good scrub!

I hands down wanted to salvage the existing cast iron tub, easy! ...Not so easy. Cast iron bathtubs weigh over 300lbs so fitting them back into a demo-ed space requires extra man-power on site, meaning our plumber was going to charge us more for the labor alone to re-install the cast-iron tub than the costs to purchase a new one and install it together. Not to mention his concerns about potential leaking around the fittings. This was frustrating as it meant that the tub area became an open slate to pinterest ideas for several days... I would have opted for a large open shower with partial glass door and omitted the bathtub altogether, an ever increasing choice amongst homeowners; bathubs are becoming extinct. However, this is the only full bath in the house so after much deliberation we decided on a simple new tub

Bathtub material options include either plastic (fiberglass or acrylic) or metal (steel with porcelain enamel finish or cast iron with porcelain enamel finish). I'm a purist and of course wanted metal. As it turns out, steel bathtubs (the metal option on the market today) extract heat from the tubwater causing your bath to go colder faster than a cast iron tub because unlike steel, once cast iron heats up it stays hot, whereas steel continuously cools and continues to extract heat. This information left me preferring a plastic tub. Within the plastic category, acrylic is less likely to crack than fiberglass and also more commonly found, so this is what I settled on despite all attempts to spiff up the existing American made cast iron tub...

 I love the underside of the tub where it calls out "Made in United States of America" - you don't see that very much anymore!

I love the underside of the tub where it calls out "Made in United States of America" - you don't see that very much anymore!

The home-ownership learning curve has been extreme with this many tasks under way, but seeing so many healthy improvements to an old house is very satisfying. Below are some progress shots of the Full Bath as it went through an entire floor to ceiling gut job. It's in a much better state now, with a dead level floor. We found a door in the wall (!?) and some vintage sailboat wallpaper under many wall layers. And don't think these 100+ year old floorboards were tossed, this girl now has a wood heap, after all, it was my birthday!