There comes a point in time when you realize that you’ve done it—you’ve accomplished your goal. Hot on the heals of my recent kitchen remodel, I put the finishing touches on the remodeling project of my bathroom and just like that, I reached the conclusion of a decade’s worth of home improvement projects on my condo.
In the midst of my kitchen project, I coordinated my efforts with the upgrade vision I had for the bathroom. The vanity was a tired, 30 year-old contractor special that was accompanied by a Boy Scout-built pine box vanity light. The floor had been upgraded to Pergo shortly before I bought the condo, but I was never much of a fan of the wood tone. On the plus side, the toilet, tub, and shower all functioned beautifully and looked just fine to me in their timeless white ceramic color. So while I was ordering the kitchen cabinets, I tacked on a matching vanity with a comfortable 36” height that would no longer make me feel like I was at a sink in a kindergarten bathroom. And with a granite countertop order underway, it was trivial to add matching granite to the vanity, and I decided to add a little modern flare and extra handwashing space with a rectangular undermount sink. In keeping with the contemporary brushed nickel motif throughout the condo, I added a beautiful 8 inch widespread faucet and new vanity light fixture. The demolition of the old vanity happened back in the middle of December which also resulted in the destruction of the old wall-mounted mirror. So when I installed the new vanity, I mounted a new wall mirror and cut a large hole in the drywall and studs for a flush-mount medicine cabinet. The combination of the new fixtures in the vanity space has really transformed the little place where I brush my teeth twice a day and has certainly added value to the condo.
After two disruptive months of construction, I stepped away from my home improvement projects and spent some quality time skiing in the Colorado high country and staying true to my goal of having friends over for dinners in the new kitchen. Still, I knew that I was not quite at the finish line. The Pergo floor still irked me, and I longed for a heated tile floor to complement the one I installed in the kitchen 6 years ago. But I also remembered the challenges I faced when installing the kitchen tile. Rather than procrastinating any more on an inevitable project or getting in over my head, I practiced some humility and maturity by asking for help from my friend and contractor, Matt. Two weeks ago, he showed up early in the morning and within 5 hours, I had a beautifully laid tile floor with thermostatically controlled heating. With each glance at the level, evenly spaced tiles, I remember over and over again that I made the right choice by asking for Matt’s help. After another week of occasional effort, I had grouted and sealed the tile and installed the new baseboard and brushed nickel towel racks. And that’s when it dawned on me, my condo renovation projects were complete!
It has been simultaneously frustrating and rewarding to remodel my condo, but more than anything, it is simply something that I have done. I didn’t just talk about doing a whole bunch of work, I did it. It is so very easy to consider things and talk about things, but to actually do something, that is what I think really counts.
Now that this massive condo renovation project is complete, I realize that I have a great new opportunity to pursue other goals that were lower priority but more interesting. After I finish writing this, I am planning to begin a significant long-term migration and improvement of my website to the web-standard WordPress platform. That will be an ongoing effort, so I will also get back to achieving autonomous aerial flight with my quadcopter, and if that weren’t geeky enough, I absolutely can’t wait to see how I can incorporate Arduino microcontrollers to completely tech-out my Westfalia van!
Below are a sampling of Before and After photos from the remodeling project. I apologize if it is difficult to see the improvements I made to the bathroom; it’s very difficult to take photos of such a small, cramped space.