"Summer" Bathroom Rejuvenation & Some House History

Our "Summer Bathroom" downstairs was not insulated enough to use in the cold weather. Since it contains the shower--the upstairs tub has a lovely old claw foot tub but no shower--we were highly motivated to get the room usable year round.  First, that required  

Last Fall, Bill insulated UNDER the room. He crawled on his belly in a 14" space and laid vapor barrier, insulation board and plywood sheeting. That plus a light bulb and a small heater on a thermostat have kept the room above freezing. So, the pipes were happy, but it was still a bit crispy for us humans.

            BZCrawlBelly2.jpg (77696 bytes)  Bill is under there. See.    BZCrawlBelly1.jpg (74006 bytes)

This Fall Bill went up into the open attic space above the bathroom and laid insulation and more plywood sheeting/flooring on what is essentially the "attic" over the bathroom.

Billinsulates.jpg (62257 bytes)

He found wonderful old things up there--the lathe guides to turn the woodwork on the newel posts and stair rails, a piece of molding with the original owner/builder of the house: "Capt. E. A. Over" written on the back. (Click on picture here to see larger one, The handwriting shows up very clearly.) From the town records, we have been able to determine that Ezra Over built the house sometime after he bought the land in 1904--for $ 200--which included the lot North of us that is now the Crapps house.

 eaover1a.jpg (34843 bytes)

And, not only is the ceiling of the bathroom warmer, we also have more storage space in the garage. 

However, the original "decor" remained--old paneling and unpainted trim. The room had a sort of "construction trailer" atmosphere--lots of 50's paneling, tan, unpainted woodwork, very old rusty medicine cabinet, etc. Some new lace curtains from Wa-Mart had helped, but there was work to be done to even make it seem part of the house.

One of our neighbors clued me in to the fact that you could paint over paneling, with a little sanding and a lot of BIN. We used to call it "Pigmented Shellac" in Chicago, and it saved Clare and me from insanity when we have one fuchsia wall that we had painted 12 times and it still turned pink when it dried. One coat of shellac and it was white. 

  SummerBathsm.jpg (25196 bytes)                       BaFrmDoor.jpg (25300 bytes)  

                Before                                                  After

So, in December while Bill was away on a business trip, and with the construction and insulation details were done, I went to work with white paint cans, brush and roller. One coat of BIN and two of high quality latex paint and voila!   After having lived with the dull brown, I opted for that "clean, next to the ocean" feeling here--everything luminous white. Guess I got there. It is so bright that you could do emergency surgery!

A medicine cabinet, a glass shelf above the sink and a towel ring were purchased new.  A few paintings and a hanging glass lamp I have had for almost 30 years. but that has been in a box since Michigan completed the new look. It isn't grand but it does look cared for and cleanable. And, we stand in the door and admire it. It does indeed seem more like house and less like a garage.

           baswall.jpg (14533 bytes)                    BaNECorner.jpg (13389 bytes) 

   New Glass Fronted Medicine Cabinet                    White Walls! 

Upstairs has some nice cozy wallpaper to go with the wood, but that requires more than my two arms and Bill has been to busy to get to that item on his "list".

All for now.  The next "project" is due to be my office on the third floor. The paint has already been purchased, but the -0 temperatures make it a tad difficult to paint up there.