Before + After

Grandma’s Walk In Shower

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015

Yesterday we stopped by Grandma’s house to check on the progress of the bathroom remodel. I’ve mentioned we’re renovating the kitchen but haven’t show you the bathroom yet. (As a reminder, Matt’s grandmother passed away last year and we’re remodeling the bathroom and kitchen in her small home for the estate before putting it on the market.) The kitchen cabinets get installed next week so while we were waiting for their delivery the contractor we hired has been working on other things like scraping the popcorn ceilings, installing crown molding, and upgrading the bathroom – he finished the shower last week.

I’m so bummed because I cannot find the official “before” picture of the old old oooold bathtub and its metal sliding double shower door that used to sit here. It was one of those standard shallow tubs with a sliding door above that many builders install. Funny, it looked identical to the one we also have in the hallway of the Las Vegas house – see this picture – you know the kind I’m talking about.

After talking with several residents in this retirement community and also pulling from Matt’s experience as an appraiser, we realized a walk in shower made more sense than keeping the old tub. I only have this “in progress” picture I snapped a month ago but it shows the empty space under construction.

shower in progress

I’m so impressed with the new look with the marble tile and frameless shower door. Forgive the iPhone pics, I’ll snap better ones when we finish the vanity side :)

tiled walk in shower

The shower kit (head and valve) is the Leland by Delta in chrome, the tile is Daltile Marissa Cararra, available at Home Depot for $2.21 a square foot. The edges, niche, and seat are trimmed with the matching bullnose tiles. We love the look of this tile so much we may repeat the use of it in the master shower in the Las Vegas fixer, it looks beautiful and is a great price!

daltile cararra marble tile


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Kitchen Cabinet Installation

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

*This post in partnership with CliqStudios.

There is that turning point in a kitchen remodel when you can actually start to visualize the completed space and for me it’s always when the cabinets are installed. Last weekend when I was in Las Vegas I checked in on the kitchen remodel progress and was so excited to see the space coming together with the cabinets in place!

The fully assembled cabinets were delivered in January by truck and we unpacked and inspected each one, then then brought them into the house to acclimate. Instead of an all white kitchen I opted for blue gray bases and white uppers. With white countertops and a variegated blue gray tile backsplash, this kitchen will be a stunner when complete! (Find sources for the kitchen cabinets in part one of this remodel series).

I chose upper cabinets instead of open shelving to maximize storage, I like to include a series of glass fronts for display, I think they feel less heavy than all solid doors and also provide open shelf style storage but protected behind glass.

kitchen cabinet installation

Our upper cabinets and bases were installed with a 30 ¼” space between them to allow for the range and hood to slide in but it left a gap on the left side so instead of trimming the gap we’re going to fill it in with sheetrock instead to make it seamless.

range cabinet fill gap with sheetrock

I chose drawers instead of cabinet doors to the left of the range for cookware, and LOVE the soft close drawers that slide in on their own. You can see the painted sides of the cabinet where they are exposed and the sides where they are not.

We’ve installed kitchen cabinets before for the Alma project remodels (here and here) but opted for a professional finish carpenter in this case for a few reasons. 1) To save time since I was out of town when it happened, my Dad supervised and snapped some pictures in my absence. 2.) Precision was so important since a level revealed the floors, walls, and ceilings weren’t straight and 3.) There were two angles in the kitchen at the sink base and in a corner and a finish carpenter would make it all right for the countertop installers. On top of the install, they had to trim the backs of two cabinets and construct the refrigerator frame and they did an amazing job.

professional installation

I asked Joe (the finish carpenter) what his opinion was on the quality of the CliqStudios cabinets since he’s installed them all in his 30+ years experience. He told me that because they have plywood sides and a full back, soft close drawers, nickel plated steel hinges, and smooth enamel paint, the cabinets are excellent quality.

In the old kitchen there were cabinets that surrounded the fridge, I had two problems with this scenario: the upper cabinets were too shallow and the refrigerator too deep. See how it sticks out beyond the arched opening?

fridge before

We moved the old refrigerator out into the garage and replaced it with another gently used one my Dad found for us (his friend was moving). This one is cabinet depth so that it can sit inside a 24” frame.

The new refrigerator cabinet is also 24” deep, but we still need to add some shelves (DIY project!) to the left and recess the electrical outlet and water line so that the refrigerator will sit inside the frame. It allows for panels so we will make them at some point (DIY project!) but for now the white is perfectly fine. Also unseen is a 3” edge on the other side to allow for a full door swing. The fridge no longer blocks the entry and is a big improvement on what was there before!

refrigerator add shelves and recess plugs


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