Tag Archives: bathroom

Saving Money on Your Project! Think about DIY!

23 Apr

Do It Yourself

Sometimes the budget just doesn’t allow you to buy that bathroom fixture! The fixture that where you had torn the picture right of a magazine and have literally been obsessing over; for about four months now.

You’ve actually have fallen madly in love with the fixture, dreaming how it would look in your needed bathroom renovation.

AND you’ve found out that you need tile! A lot of it! Remembering square footage means more! This was Delia’s story!

Don’t fret! It’s all about saving! There are alternatives! Did you know, you can buy home improvement supplies from specialty online retailers?

Instead of paying top price at a national chain store – shave up to 50%off of fixtures and more at sites such as:




My favorite is http://www.overstock.com

Then go to http://www.diyornot.com for giving it a try to do it yourself. A step-by-step instructions on projects at your fingertips! You will be surprised how the dollars in savings add up!

Oh! Don’t forget HGTV too! http://www.hgtv.com

Letia Mitchell LifeStyle & DesignLetia 🙂

The Little Bathroom That Could! Be Wonderful!

28 Apr

Eljer Vintage AdverismentPerhaps you can show us a bathroom makeover with a specific budget, how it can go a long way with the right selections and make an impact?

I said “Boy…… do I have the perfect bathroom in mind!”

Loving the challenge, I wanted to think of how I was going keep the bathroom’s charm!

It’s in the design, right! Let’s say the bathroom is small, how small?  In and out, one at a time…kind of bathroom!

To give you an idea, it’s 1950’s styled bathroom.  This is the time period where the kitchens were in that mustard or avocado green color!

It is so common to find a 1950s bathroom decorated in pink, blue or peach-colored  tile. This bathroom was all pink, with a burgundy floor!

Don’t laugh..some of you have had a mint green colored bathroom in your lifetime. You just don’t want anyone to know, as with others  –  they’re quite actually proud of it!  They will tell you it’s vintage in a minute!

So let me give you some trivia, why Pink?

Pink was THEE representative color of the 1950s.  It’s popularity is attributed to First Lady, Mamie Eisenhower, who loved the shade so much it became known as “Mamie Pink”.

She even decorated the presidential bedroom in it, right down to the monogrammed wastebasket.  Reporters even started calling the White House the “Pink Palace.” And when she was staying in an adjoining suite at a Denver Hospital, where Ike Eisenhower was recovering from a heart attack.  It was said that she even had a pink toilet seat flown in.   I’ll leave that alone…no comment!  Later on  through the years new design colors followed, like blue, peach and the infamous mint green!

Lowes Home Improvement Warehouse

So my home improvement store choice for this project was Lowes.  Reasonable prices for getting the materials needed for this bathroom renovation.

I’d picked out the tile, determined to make the bathroom seem a  little larger that is it really was.  The space was small and when you included the tub, you had 4.5 feet of standing space.

So a complete tear down, remember the hampers in the wall? Well gone!  The huge tub, what we called a real tub (built like a truck)! Gone!  The old-time mirrored medicine cabinet in the wall?  Gone!  And last but not forgotten, the old exhaust fan, which sounded like you were in the airport, ready to take off!  You know what I mean, especially when you turned off the fan, as the blade is slowing down to stop – you can still hear the clinking with a ding, ding knock sound!  🙂

Great memories, but it all had to go!  A deadline of 5 days turned into 10 days.  The first day of construction, we had a minor delay – which ultimately worked out to my advantage; for I took some more time to think about making a few changes and finding a mirror.   Whether to get a traditional vanity mirror insert or stick to my instinct and get a classy mirror; which still reminded me of the 1950’s.

The construction workers were very talented and did great tile work.  There were some miscommunications with the head contractor; which I am not used to; so I found it a bit frustrating.  I’m used to having a certain kind of energy, anticipating the client’s reaction and having the crew’s chests sticking out, often about the great work they’d performed.

For this job, it was a little nervy, however everyone was professional; which is very important.  Don’t get me wrong delays and changes are to be expected when doing a renovation.  When asking when the work will be finished, remember it is a projection, you should add a week or two to the date stated; in order to get a real sense of the time you are going to be inconvenienced.

Now… if you have surprises.  Then there’s bound to be more money to be put out, so be ready and extra time will be added to the projected date….definitely to fix those surprises!!! 😦

It was a bit different for this renovation, the home was renovated a few years back (including the electrical) – however this bathroom was not included in the renovation.   Memories, kept the owner from changing the bathroom (sometimes we like to hold on to memories for a while and leave things just as they are!).

Let’s talk about the design which is very simple; giving you the sense of new, but an old classy feel:

  • White tiles were laid in a subway style design around the entire perimeter of the bathroom 4 ft from the floor. For tub area, the tiles were placed all the way up to the bathroom’s ceiling; giving height and depth.
  • Multicolored glass tiles were selected as an insert border, placed the entire perimeter of the bathroom.  I carefully chosed a glass tile, which had squares of white, celandon, light beige and clear.  By having the clear glass included; whatever ensemble chosen, the color would be picked up and reflected.
  • Flooring was also a white mosaic tile, giving an old edge.
  • Modern pedestal sink, no cabinet to give more room and a slightly higher energy-efficient toilet (16.5 from the rim), to also add the appearance of height.
  • Art Deco inspired light fixture with the option to brighten or dim.
  • Dual shower heads and new hardware design for sink and tub.
  • For a feminine touch, a mirrored/crystal shower rod with matching hooks for magazine photo. Then changed for a masculine touch, a curved shower rod with silver hooks and barber styled accessories.
  • Lastly, a vintage styled mirror.  Glass edge of mirror embossed with leaves, picking up from the same colors of the multicolored glass tiles.

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HGTV Magazine

How much did I go over the budget  $54.37!  I am happy about the outcome!

The goal was to use a local improvement store, not too much over the top detail,  deflect the size of the bathroom, stick to the budget, make an impact and most of all…SAVE MONEY!  Everybody is happy!

Related articles

Letia 🙂


HGTV Magazine, Food Network Magazine published by Hearst Magazines Division, Hearst Communications, Inc. © “HGTV” and associated marks and logos are the registered trademarks of Scripps Networks, LLC and are used under license. All Rights Reserved.  Design by Letia Mitchell LifeStyle & Design LLC., Contruction by Metro USA Construction of Jamaica NY, Bathroom materials purchased at Lowes: American Olean, Aquasource, American Standard, Booz.  Benjamin Moore Paint – Halo OC-46.    Marshalls® for bathroom ensemble.  

Bathroom Tile – Beginning of a Renovation

9 Apr

Decisions, decisions!

I’d spent 2 hours today deciding the tile for an upcoming project.. it’s renovating a very small bathroom.  How do you keep the character of a bathroom, making it seem new? I am gearing towards modern with a classic edge; defining an old feel.

Tomorrow I will meet with my contractor with some sample selections, view paint colors and discuss the budget.  Due to the size of the bathroom, white will be the overall color.  The goal is to make the bathroom seem bigger with an offset of a dynamic paint color that pops.

I’d selected an octagon white mosaic tile for the floor.  A 3×6 subway tile for the wall.  As a Plan B decision a 6×6 tile for the wall also and finally glass tile in neutral colors intended to cut for inserts also on the wall.

When deciding on your selections, always look for an open box of the tiles you are interested in.  Once opened, you can buy tiles separately.

The prices can range from 45 cents to as high as over $125.00; depending on the choice and type.  If there are no open boxes, ask for a sample.

Once you take the tiles home; you can make a decision. First, ask about the store’s return policy before purchasing the tiles.  Just in case you change your mind on your choices, you want to make sure you can return them.

Oh! Also have a budget and stick to it.   Yes, always have a budget, having no budget is like a prescription for overspending!

I will keep you posted on my progress with the bathroom!  It’s spring and if you are planning also to do a bathroom renovation, start looking at some tiles to see what’s your taste!  Make sure you measure to get the square footage to factor in the costs.  🙂

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