Friday, February 6, 2009

When You Ask

I finally reached out to Sarah Bell and her husband Kurt. Sarah was my high school art teacher who was a wonderful contribution to my childhood. They have a gorgeous Victorian House near the river which she and her husband restored. Kurt is a general contractor himself and does residential work. They have an appreciation for historic architecture.

Before leaving for Chicago I spoke with her and told her that when we moved back that I'd want to talk to Kurt about the house.

Instead of calling her first thing when we moved back, I did some research of my own which was fun. I think talking to a bathroom and kitchen designer helped me learn what I don't want. The experience was well worth the time. Kurt and Sarah are coming over to assess what we're doing and give me a punch list. I completely trust anything they would tell me. To have trust is probably one of the most important pieces to this whole deal. Who do you listen to? Had I listened to the one guy, I'd be ripping out the whole bathroom and replacing my toilet. I knew that he wasn't right for the job.

When I mentioned my concern about the toilet and wasting water she said to look at it another way; we're not putting a perfectly good toilet into the landfill and there are only two of us here so perhaps the water waste is outweighed by keeping the toilet we have. I will not be giving up my Rockford Brass Works toilet after all. I let her know that we bought the subway tiles for 19 cents each she didn't say anything. I still think that was a pretty good deal. I don't think there is anything wrong with researching and learning a little on your own before going to the experts. It especially helps to know what you want.

They'd be helping with the attic expansion. My thoughts are two dormers and make a master bedroom and bathroom up there with a sitting area/library. I've been looking at lots of pictures and have an idea, but nothing concrete.

I'm very excited that they're coming over next week. It feels like its coming together!

Sunday, February 1, 2009


Keeping with the integrity of this old bungalow is a constant challenge.

The sink in our bungalow is a great pedastol sink. There is rust by the drain and the water overflow (the rust is in the same spot as a very similar sink at the Kohler Museum in Kolher, WI) so first step will be talking with the pros who do re-glazing. If they tell me that my sink is not fixable, then we have a whole new set of questions. Do we get another pedastol sink or do we do something with a cabinet underneath? Do we start to make the bathroom more contemporary? We do like the asian style sinks....but then will this wreck our mission of keeping the integrity of the bathroom. It just seems keeping with the style of this house is the way to go.
We have the original toilet (I think). It's working great accept for some minor issues with the flapper slides up and causes the water to run. We just slide it back down and its fixed. Bad news is I just learned that to flush this toilet it takes approximately 5 gallons of water! EWW! Contemporary toilets only take 1.6 gallons of water. Talk about leaving a carbon footprint!
The good news is I found a contemporary toilet that looks identical to the one we have. Instead of 'Rockford Brass Works' it will have 'Lydia' from It is about $900. I'm glad to know its there.