Square One

I ordered my master bathroom double sink vanity from Pottery Barn on July 2nd.

The Brinkley Demilune vanity

The Brinkley Demilune vanity

Look at the email I just received from Pottery Barn under the guise of Willliams-Sonoma:

On 09/01/15, CustomerService@williams-sonoma.com> wrote:

Hello Jo,

I am following up in regards to Pottery Barn order xxxxx.

I am very sorry to advise that our vendor has confirmed that they are unable to fulfill your order for the Brinkley Double Sink Console .

Your order has been closed.  I have confirmed that your credit card was not billed for this item. Any temporary holds that your bank may have placed on the funds should also be released within approximately 3 to 5 business days, depending on your bank’s time frames for processing changes.

I also took the liberty of reviewing our catalog in an attempt to locate similar items for you. May I recommend the Classic Double Sink Console as a possible alternative?  You may view/purchase the console at the noted link:

Other than the color, does this look anything like the one I had chosen?

Other than the color, does this look anything like the one I had chosen?

http://www.potterybarn.com/products/classic-double-sink-console-espresso-finish/?pkey=e%7Cdouble%2Bsink%2Bconsole%7C16%7Cbest%7C0%7C1%7C48%7C%7C5&cm_src=PRODUCTSEARCH

If you wish to purchase an alternate console, I can apply a 15% merchandise card discount to the new order.  I understand that this does not resolve the disappointment caused, but hope that you will know I am truly sorry for your experience.

If we may be of any further assistance, please contact us via email.   Alternatively, you may contact our Customer Service Department directly at 1-800-922-9934 from 5:00am to 9:00pm (PST) Monday-Friday or 6:00am to 6:00pm (PST) Saturday-Sunday.

Kind regards,

Theresa at Pottery Barn Customer Service

The vanity with a double sink will go under the bathroom window.

The vanity with a double sink will go under the bathroom window.

I whipped off a pithy reply about which I’m sure Pottery Barn cares not:

From: Jo Date: Sep 2, 2015 6:10:31 AM Subject: Re: Re: RE: Feedback: Orders & Shipping:Shipping Inquiry To: CustomerService@williams-sonoma.com

Theresa,

The fact that Pottery Barn held up my renovation for months without any indication that the order may not ultimately be filled makes purchasing something else from Pottery Barn very unlikely. If you look at my choice and your suggestion you’ll see that stylistically they are quite dissimilar.

Jo

The air duct in the master bathroom is situated between the plumbing for two sinks. A detail which I must take into consideration.

The air duct in the master bathroom is situated between the plumbing for two sinks. A detail which I must take into consideration.

So now I’m back to square one trying to select, purchase, and have delivered a double sink vanity for the master bathroom. Sheesh!

Happy Birthday, Sister-o-Mine!!!!

Are you waiting for something to show up?

Wireless Remote Review

I ordered a wireless remote control device from Amazon.

Everything including a battery came in a small box.

Everything including a battery came in a small box.

The package of 3 adapters and one remote control was delivered in a few days.

I rewired this old lamp myself but should have changed the pull chain to a switch.

I rewired this old lamp myself but should have changed the pull chain to a switch.

As I have said, I mainly wanted it for the lamp by my bed which has a difficult on-off switch. I have other lamps but I really love this pair of iris-painted Limoges lamps which belonged to my mother.

The remote is small but the is almost as long as my hand.

The remote is small but the adapter is almost as long as my hand.

The most difficult part of the entire application was getting the back off the remote and inserting the battery which was included in the shipment and price.

The adapter comes "on" when plugged in but can be turned off by the buttons provided under the lights.

The adapter comes “on” when plugged in but can be turned off by the buttons provided under the lights.

I plugged 3-prong adapter #2 into the wall socket. On a two socket outlet the adapter allows room for the second socket to be used with a regular-sized plug.

I have been able to remove the shell lamp now that I have an easy way to turn on the tall lamp.

I have been able to remove the shell lamp now that I have an easy way to turn on the tall lamp.

Then I plugged the lamp into the adapter.  Since the lamp was on already the light came on when plugged in.

The vintage lamps works more conveniently now unless the remote falls under the bed.

The vintage lamps works more conveniently now unless the remote falls under the bed.

I hit the #2 button on the remote and it went off.  I would say it works great.

One remote controls all 3 adapters.

One remote controls all 3 adapters.

If you’re ordering from Amazon take note that there are different configurations of adapters and remotes such as multiple adapters with one remote, multiple adapters with multiple remotes, etc.  There are also different price points and free shipping. My set was $14.97 plus tax and free shipping.

Can you think of a reason to have a remote hooked up in your house?

Back-to-School To Do List

I don’t know why I called it the “back-to-school” list other than it’s the list for September. I’m not going back to school. My sister is starting a new real estate course and I wish her happy learning.  Someday I plan to take that course. For now I have my own real estate issues.

We have considerable clutter in the yard that is being addressed incrementally.

We have considerable clutter in the yard that is being addressed incrementally.

First items on September’s list are things that were on the lists of summer and never really worked out.

We made unexpected progress on the exterior of the house this summer.

We made unexpected progress on the exterior of the house this summer.

From the Summer Lists:

  1. Paint and set up potager fence

    The fence at the entrance to the potager needs one more section.

    The fence at the entrance to the potager needs one more section.

  2. Wallpaper dining room

    Now that the foosball table is out of the way I can continue with wallpapering in the dining room (the dark blue).

    Now that the foosball table is out of the way I can continue with wallpapering in the dining room (the dark blue).

  3. Paint dining room paneling

    It takes many coats of white semi-gloss to cover the once-brown paneling.

    It takes many coats of white semi-gloss to cover the once-brown paneling.

  4. Buy tile for master bathroom

    Marble basketweave tile for the floor and ice white subway for the shower walls.

    Marble basketweave tile for the floor and ice white subway for the shower walls.

  5. Hang pictures in upstairs hall

    A family photo gallery is planned for the long upstairs hall wall on the right.

    A family photo gallery is planned for the long upstairs hall wall on the right.

  6. Paint yellow trays

    My first attempt at painting the yellow trays was hideous.

    My first attempt at painting the yellow trays was hideous.

Additions to the list for September:

  1. Start going to the gym on a regular basis. Begin with a walking regimen.

    My gym

    My gym

  2. Power wash house exterior

    The back of the house needs to be powerwashed then painted.

    The back of the house needs to be powerwashed then painted.

  3. Paint exterior shingles

    We've actually begun the house painting. (Left side is the new color.)

    We’ve actually begun the house painting. (Left side is the new color.)

  4. Install master bedroom shelves and baseboard

    The bedroom shelves are painted and stacked in the living room.

    The bedroom shelves are painted and stacked in the living room.

  5. Stain back stairs

    The back stairs will be stained grey after the house is painted.

    The back stairs will be stained grey after the house is painted.

  6. Plant hydrangea cuttings

    The cuttings are well-rooted and should be planted in the east side yard by the end of September.

    The cuttings are well-rooted and should be planted in the east side yard by the end of September.

  7. Paint side door

    This door should be painted.

    This door should be painted.

  8. Paint wood trim on house

    The original trim on the eaves and windows of the house needs to be scraped, primed, and painted.

    The original trim on the eaves and windows of the house needs to be scraped, primed, and painted. The new trim is Azek and never needs to be painted.

Thirteen items should keep us busy.

Are you back-to-school this fall?

Execution of the Dog Days To-Do List

My August to-do list was a combination of fun things to do, personal goals, and DIY projects.

The foosball table has been removed which opens up a space in the dining room to continue wallpapering.

The foosball table has been removed which opens up a space in the dining room to continue wallpapering.

I was waylaid in some instances of getting rid of big items due to conflicting circumstances.

We got involved in some projects that were not on the list like painting the porch ceilings and taking down shutters.

We got involved in some projects that were not on the list like painting the porch ceilings and taking down shutters.

Even though I never expect to accomplish everything on my lists I can see progress.

Here is my project list for August.

1. Let me address my main chore as a choir director in August — I listen to Christmas music.  I’d love to say it keeps me cool and it does but not so much in the body temperature realm. I listen and choose music for 2 programs to be held toward the end of December.

I listened to about 50 musical arrangements of Christmas songs and came up with the following list which I will weave into 2 programs with additional hymns:

  1. Do You Hear What I Hear?
  2. What Child is This?
  3. Isn’t He?
  4. What Can I Give Him?
  5. Mary, Did you Know?
  6. Children, Go Where I Send Thee
  7. O, Holy Night

2. Attend Led Zeppelin concert at the Baltimore Symphony. Pure fun with a block party thrown in.

The Led Zeppelin concert, preceded by a crab cake dinner, was loads of laughs especially since we attended with an aficionado who  played air guitar and sang every song.

3. Finish wallpapering the dining room.

I was held up on this project so no progress. Whomp whomp.

I've begun to hang the wallpaper.

4. Paint the dining room paneling.

Ditto, no progress on the paneling.

The paneling in the dining room is being transformed from woodtone to bright white.

5. Trim the opening between the dining room and conservatory.

Finished!

Trimming the big opening on the dining room side.

Trimming the big opening on the dining room side.

Not neat but trimmed.

Not neat but trimmed.

6. Paint linen closet.

Finished!

The green cabinet will become the grey-tone

Linen closet base -- painted and hinged

Linen closet base — painted and hinged

7. Paint trim.

Trim painting is an ongoing process but we have made progress.

Newly painted wood trim with spacers between layers.

8. Finish installing trim.

While all the trim has not been installed the conservatory is finished. Major progress.

Trimalicious!

Trimalicious!

9. Tile conservatory bathroom.

I have received estimates and reviewed costs of having the bathroom tiled.  We’re on the contractor’s schedule for October.

10. Purchase tile for master bathroom.

This must be purchased before the tiling starts in October.

11. Tile master bathroom.

I have received estimates and reviewed costs of having the bathroom tiled.  We’re on the contractor’s schedule for October.

12. Tidy up front of potager.

Charlie weeded the front of the potager and although the lavender needs to be planted it looks much tamer.

The front of the potager should be enticing instead it screams

Front of the potager before

After

After

13. Set up the last piece of potager fence.

Charlie looked for the fence but couldn’t locate it. I’m fairly sure it’s in the tall weeds. I might have to wait until cooler weather when the weeds die back.

14. Have someone pick up and take away the foosball table. (I thought this was all arranged.)

The foosball table has been donated and removed from The Glade.

The foosball table is history -- church youth will enjoy it, I hope.

The foosball table is history — church youth will enjoy it, I hope.

15. Make a design on paper for the conservatory vanity which we plan to build.

I have a rough sketch which I’ll share when we get nearer the building date.

The lumber has been outside weathering.

The lumber we plan to use to build a rustic vanity has been outside weathering.

Some projects are ongoing and some complete.  The overall score is eleven out of fifteen. This may be our most productive month in a long time.

Are you sad that summer is almost over?

Shutter Down

We’ve started painting the exterior of the house — a BIG job.

The porch walls have been painted with "Sandy Hook Gray".

The porch walls have been painted with “Sandy Hook Gray”.

Charlie and I painted the porch walls with a brush.

The front of the house is two stories tall.

The front of the house needs to be pressure washed and painted.

The plan for most of the rest of the walls is to use a spray painter.

Charlie removed the second floor shutters.

Charlie removed the second floor shutters.

Before that can happen the shutters needed to be taken down.

We've been storing the shutters in the shed.

We’ve been storing the shutters in the shed.

We had already removed the bulk of the shutters before the renovation began  so as not to interfere with the new additions.

Our shutters are old-style hinged shutters which don't close over the windows anymore due to the storm windows

Our shutters are old-style hinged shutters which don’t close over the windows anymore due to the storm windows.

While I was painting Charlie hoisted the big ladder up against the house and took down the remaining shutters.

The house looks so plain without shutters.

The house looks so plain without shutters.

We marked the shutters to remember from which window they came.

We're going to have a lot of covering and masking to do when the painting starts.

We’re going to have a lot of covering and masking to do when the painting starts.

Some of the hinge pins popped more easily than others.  Some were near impossible.

I'm anticipating the house being totally painted this fall.

I’m anticipating the house being totally painted this fall.

All the shutters that are returned to their respective windows will need to be cleaned, scraped, and painted first. #paintgottime

Are you comfortable on a ladder?

Yet Another Decision

I have to make a decision on who’s going to tile our bathrooms:

  1. Us,
  2. Friend of a friend,
  3. Pro.

I have pretty much ruled #1 out because the amount of tile we have would be time-consuming and tedious, not to mention it must be done meticulously since it must also be waterproof.  I’m not good at sustained tedious and meticulous. Plus I’d have to buy a tile saw.

Doors, trim floors, etc. -- everything except painting and insulation.

Our friend does doors, trim floors, etc. — everything except painting and insulation.

Our friend (who by the way is a professional carpenter and all around handy man) has been helping us with various projects and he knows how to do everything.  In addition he has access to other people who know how to do things. (He supplied us with our drywall finishers who did a fine job for us.)

Epoxy grout is not easy to work with and is mixed in 3 parts.

Epoxy grout is not easy to work with and is mixed in 3 parts.

If our friend’s colleague  does the job I’ll need to supply the tile, the mastic, and the grout. His estimate for just the labor is $2500 (regular grout) or $3200 (epoxy grout) for the conservatory bathroom.  Floors only in the downstairs bathroom: $700 to $900 depending on grout.

The master shower waterproofing comes out onto the floor of the bathroom which now needs to be tiled.

The master shower waterproofing comes out onto the floor of the bathroom which now needs to be tiled.

Finally the contractor who put the Kerdi waterproofing in our showers has given me the following estimate with the understanding that I will supply tile and grout. He will supply thinset or mastic.

  • Conservatory bathroom floor: $890.
  • Conservatory shower walls: $2900.
  • Master bathroom floor: $1150.
  • Master bathroom shower walls: $3300.

Since I received the pro’s quote first I had decided that if the subsequent estimate was in the 80% ball park I would let the pro have the contract.  If the numbers were more like 50% then I would have to really consider the pros and cons of each proposal.

The Pro laying waterproofing membrane.

The Pro laying waterproofing membrane.

One of the considerations was that the pro had installed the waterproofing so if there was ultimately a water damage problem it would probably be better for the same person to have installed at least the floor tile. I’m trying to avoid a who-struck-John* incident.

When the tile is in I'll feel the major part of our new bathrooms will be finished: only toilets, faucets, and sinks remaining.

When the tile is in I’ll feel the major part of our new bathrooms will be finished: only toilets, faucets, and sinks remaining.

Also I considered the personalities of the two men:

  • The pro answered my questions and gave me information before I asked. He seemed proactive.
  • The friend of a friend, while a professional tiler, seemed perplexed by some of my questions. He really didn’t want to make a recommendation.

So Charlie and I have decided to go with the Pro (who actually did a similar job at my workplace).

A newly tiled shower worked into an old bathroom with a minimal threshold.

A newly tiled shower worked into an old bathroom with a minimal threshold.

Phew. This whole affair gave me a headache.

*who struck John =  finger-pointing, blame-fixing, excuses, accusations

Do you like artistic/practical decisions that also involve finances? Or do they give you a headache?

Drying Burnished Hydrangeas

Blue hydrangeas

Blue hydrangeas

The same blue hydrangea as it changes color at the end of summer.

The same blue hydrangea as it changes color at the end of summer.

I wrote a post 4 years ago about Nikko blue hydrangeas in the yard that change color in autumn.

I would normally out a vase of flowers on the dining room table but for now it is wallpaper central.

I would normally out a vase of flowers on the dining room table but for now it is wallpaper central.

Even though the interior of the house is still “under construction” I decided I needed a little pretty to soothe my sensibility.

The hydrangea bushes are about 3- feet in diameter.

The hydrangea bushes are about 3- feet in diameter.

In the early morning I scanned the 3 (we’ll have more next year) bushes for burnished blossoms.

I love the mottled look of a fall hydrangea as much as the bright blue of the hydrangea in spring.

I love the mottled look of a fall hydrangea as much as the bright blue of the hydrangea in spring.

I cut about 8 or 9 flowering stems.

Love the pale green petals.

Love the pale green petals.

I tied the stems together in 2 bunches with bits of old pantyhose. (Charlie cuts them up to gently hold tomato branches to the trellis.)

I know these will be in the way here in front of the sink but soon they'll be ready for a vase.

I know these will be in the way here in front of the sink but soon they’ll be ready for a vase.

Running out of time before leaving for work, I hung them over my sink to dry. Hanging them upside down keeps the flower heads from drooping.

A single hydrangea blossom

A single hydrangea blossom

Use them one at a time or in bunches.

Use them one at a time or in bunches.

When dried, hydrangeas hang onto the color at the stage in which you pick them so these will be pale green and burnished claret.

I've even used a spring in a cloche.

I’ve even used a sprig in a cloche.

Just something pretty.

How do you soothe your sensibilities? Cleaning? Cooking? Reading? Writing? Music?