Sunday, May 5, 2013

Changing Plans and a Pillow Winner!

It's been almost five years since I first hired architects to make a renovation plan
for me.  A lot has changed since then.  I wasn't really looking at magazines, blogs
or Pinterest--there WAS no Pinterest!--to assemble my vision for the house.  

The architects, who have since closed up shop, applied their own "cottage" vision
to the plans.  They chose beadboard which was certainly one of the details I talked about
in our discussions and they applied a double chair rail.  I'm not sure if this is one
of their signature details but I was never really excited by it.

When I saw this bathroom with the horizontal planking, I thought it was perfect.
But how do I deal with the faucet on the wall?  It seems like the chair rail would
hit right at the same place.

This sink that has the faucet on the wall uses a "bump up" in
planking and chair rail to incorporate the faucet.  It's a great idea and
a rather nice detail but since my sink will be in a corner,
I thought the bump up would lose its impact.

So, spreadsheet geek that I am, I whipped out my favorite design tool,
Microsoft Excel, and set up the cells into a grid of squares
and started to lay everything out to see what it would look like.

I thought if I made the bump up smaller and integrated the
mirror into it with details to make it look like a vintage medicine cabinet
 it would all look like one custom built-in unit. 

I should probably find a better design tool but it was a great way to
communicate this change in the architect's plan to my contractor.  

* * * * *

At 6:00 tonight, I had 121 comments for the 6 Wilson pillow giveaway.
Carol had left the first comment so I ran a random number generator
for 2 through 121 and got the number 76.

Comment #76 came from Webb.   Congratulations, Webb!

Carol will contact you to choose your pillow and it will soon be on its way.

Thank you everyone for your comments!


  1. ok, I'll wish for better luck next time...congrats to your winner...

    love the horizontal planking idea. I have full confidence that you'll get it all just like you want it. donna

  2. OMG Webb won the pillow? Congratulations Webb! I'm as excited as if I got it myself.

    And I love the horizontal plank look.

    This is going to be one gorg bathroom.

    xo J.

  3. Webb won? Awesome!

    Your bathroom is going to be superb. Can't wait to see it!

  4. I just put horizontal planking in my kids' bathroom, and I love it. Your bathroom is going to be fabulous! And, I had no idea that Microsoft Excel could produce a sketch like that.

  5. Steve I love the wide planked floors in the bath, Your plans sound wonderful,
    Congrats to the winner!

    Art by Karena

  6. Whoa, you're an excel wiz! Love the idea of integrating the planking with the mirror. It looks intentional and balanced.

  7. Love, love, love your reworked plans.

    Lucky Webb-which pillow are you getting?
    They are all so pretty :)

  8. Love the horizontal plank idea!

    Congrats to the pillow winner.

    Do you use Visio - I believe it comes with the Office suite now. I use it at work for quick sketches - I am almost as proficient as a drafter on it, I swear, thanks to countless drawings...never tried Excel for drawings. Must give it a go, as I use it daily. Your drawings are very good and yes, they are soooo helpful to describe your ideas! i use drawings constantly at work to explain my ideas as I am very visual...sadly no kitchen or bathroom renos yet. :)

    xo T.

  9. I cannot believe you used Excel to draw that! What a difficult way to do it. You need Illustrator to draw out your ideas! I think what you did is the equivalent to drawing with an etch-a-sketch or probably harder. I do love your plans though...just don't know how you drew it. I hate Excel!

  10. Thank you, Steve, for hosting the giveaway, and thanks to all of the people who commented. You gave me some very helpful feedback :)
    And congrats to Webb!!
    Now for the bathroom. Are you kidding me that you did that on excel?? Incredible!! This bathroom is going to be genius. Love the planking.

  11. Forgive me, I vote against the horizontal planking but that's just personal. For my seriious remodeling I use Sierra Architect. The rest of it I have the idea in my head and push all the details into that. Had a recent bathroom failure though using that method. I didn't have the idea, just needed to get it done. Act in haste repent in leisure. Good thing I like to remodel because original building, it turns out, I'm not good at. One thing I have learned is that architects do what they want to do not what I want to do. On my first remodel I went through 6 or 7 architects each one steered my design away from what I wanted to do. I did it without an architect and the result ended up on the front page of the Washington Post! Not bad for a beginner.

    Your house keeps on getting prettier with each finished project. You are maturing, the changes go on and your place is becoming the unified product of your ideas. I so enjoy your analytical posts, do keep us in the loop.

    1. My advice about using an architect is that no architect is going to put as much time or thought into your house as you will so you have to put in the time and effort to get out of it what you want. They did come up with the concept of moving the bathroom to make a much better kitchen so I'm grateful for that input although moving all the plumbing isn't for the faint of budget.

  12. I like it - it has a very ship's cabin kind of feel. I was puzzling over this same thing this weekend for a house I am renovating in central Mass. I am considering - since I won't have a wall-mounted faucet - running the wainscoting higher and having a deeper top cap that can serve as a shelf.

  13. Making a design plan with thoughts it will be perfect seems to fade after ten years. How fast colors change, bead board, plank, narrow, wide, wood tone too . . . I think your bathroom design 2013 seems perfect for today and the timbre of how I perceive your home. How you created the design in Microsoft Excel though . . . I haven't a clue . . . Love the wide plank and inclusion of mirror into the plank framing.

    Congratulations to Webb as the pillow winner . . .

  14. I was thinking the width of the planks is very important. Very wide vs. narrow have very different feels.

  15. I think your solution is perfect — I'm ready to have you redesign my own bathroom (which is in need of a redesign!).

  16. Love your house, and great idea for bathroom! We designed a similar mirror to fix an off center light! Http://

  17. LOVE the horizontal planking! I tried to convince I client to do just that but they were more comfortable with the traditonal bead board. I think your faucet solution makes complete sense.

  18. Love the sink, wall faucet and mirror all united with the wood amd moldings. Are you actually using a vintage medicine cabinet? Kind of looks like it's always been there...I too can't wait to see the reults when you're finished. Maybe there's a second career for you in design :)

  19. Your bathroom is going to be so interesting... and great!

  20. First... than you, thank you, thank you!! I am totally thrilled to win the pillow. Will think of you (and Carol, of course) every time i see it.

    Am in awe of your use of Excel for drawing! Would not have thought of that. I think the bath is coming along well. Like the horizontal planks a lot.

  21. The first photo has such a lovely shade of blue on the wall. I'm sure whichever design you come up with will be perfect, oh tasteful one!

  22. I love the second image...the sink stand is unique and I love how they went a little higher to compensate for the faucet..Cant wait to see what your going to have wonderful taste so i know its going to look great!

  23. good for webb!

    brilliant steve, truly brilliant. a great feature with the built-in look will appear original to your home. was just at a friends in virginia and she did the horizontal planking in many rooms, including a bath. what an old/fresh look

  24. Amazed you did that drawing in Excel! I think it works really well. Can't wait to see it all finished. What I would give for one of those inspiration bathrooms. Mine is so tiny.

  25. Congrats to Webb!

    I love that first image! The horizontal planking is perfect. I would do it in my own bathroom except it's very long and skinny so I'm afraid visually it would make it look even longer. I will probably stick with bead board or possibly batten board.
    Hmm. I'm really loving that dark wood floor....
    I think your idea of a smaller bump up is perfect and it will truly make it look like a custom built-in.
    Yes, without a doubt, it will be lovely.

  26. If you can do a drawing like that on Excel....I don't think you need an architect!My experience with architects on our CA house was terribly disappointing for the reasons you mentioned in your comment. I designed my own kitchen and the entire time they kept saying it couldn't be done....but we did and it was perfect. I think your bathroom will be perfect and just the way you want it!

  27. I used horizontal planking in my kitchen, den and my bathroom and loved it - of course now sooner or later it will be someone else's bathroom! Oh...and the h bump up idea is brilliant.

  28. I hate you left brain types that think of everything. Most people would have been "now what"....after the fact.