This girl is on fire!

Until we’re ready to start showing off the current status of The Duckling, I figured I’d tease you a little with some of the small tweaks that I’ve been making around the house.

First, on a random Tuesday afternoon while I was still off from work for the move, I tackled my bathroom. And I say MY bathroom because it’s mine….all mine! We are blessed with two bathrooms in this house, and when we moved in, the decision was I get the one on the first floor that’s small, but updated, and the boys get the 1950’s vintage bathroom on the 2nd floor. Personally, I think it’s REALLY fair.

Ok, so back to MY bathroom. My mission? Get thee a toilet paper holder, add some bling, stop scaring the neighbors and make it more functional. The overall plan for this bathroom includes some dark gray paint on the walls and on the cheapo vanity (to make it less fugly until I can figure out what the space will allow). But until then, I needed to handle some basics.

First, a toilet paper holder. Since the walls are tile 3/4 of the way up, I wasn’t really up for the idea of drilling into tile. So the side of the vanity was calling my name. I marked the anchor, drilled two holes into the vanity and screwed the anchor in to the vanity….upside down (details people, details). So I unscrewed the anchor and installed it again upside right this time. Then put the holder in place and tightened the screw that would keep it squarely in place. Voila!

Here are some before, during and after shots.

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Next I felt compelled to make the vanity look a little less cheapo by dressing her up a bit. What gal doesn’t love some bling? So bye-bye plain white knobs and hello gorgeous glass! Since the old ones easily unscrewed and the new ones easily screwed on, it was a piece of cake. And it makes a huge difference – until I take on the painting of the vanity!

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One of the biggest challenges of this bathroom is the window – it’s tall and narrow. In other words, to give me some privacy (and to prevent any kind of traumatic TMI moment with our lovely new neighbors), my choices were limited. My immediate solution was to hang a towel over the window – functional but not exactly the long-term aesthetic I was going for. So I decided I could pay for some really expensive specialty install of wood blinds or a shutter, or I could go to Home Depot and pick up some semi-transparent film for the window that would give the appearance of frosting the glass without the “you can never go back” permanency of actually frosting the glass. I went the Home Depot route.

First, I had to cut the film to the right size, then clean the glass and then wet the glass so the film would stick, but not be so wet that I would end up dealing with Niagara Falls when I went to apply the film – no easy feat! I did finally get it up, got the bubbles out from under the glass and voila – privacy and light all in one!

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My last task on this lovely Tuesday afternoon in late July was to make my bathroom more functional – in other words, one towel bar is not enough. So I found some lovely curvy hooks that would be perfect on which to drop my bath towels and bathrobe every day. This project raised the bar on my DIY skills as it required me to drill into the wall and to get the two hooks parallel to one another.

I marked the holes for the first hook using the anchor for the hook. I drilled, I put the drywall anchors in and then I screwed the anchor in place. I then placed the hook and tightened the screw and voila! Hook 1 was in place. Next I measured the distance from the top of the wall tile to the bottom of hook one and marked where the hook should go. I repeated the marking of the holes and started drilling – and whoops! – I hit a stud. Not what I wanted to have happen so I shifted over a half inch, drilled again and hit my mark. Then I installed the second hook like I did the first and was thrilled with the result. Both hooks were tight to the wall, solidly installed AND parallel.

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At this point, I broke out into a lovely rendition of Alicia Keys’ “This Girls is on Fire!” – it was the perfect theme song for the moment and felt a lot more GirlPower-ish than say “I am woman hear me roar.”

With my bathroom tackled, I checked those items off my to do list and moved on. And I would be remiss if I didn’t thank my father for teaching me my excellent DIY skills and my lovely assistant Finley, who kept me company while I worked…

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If only I could teach him to hand me my tools….

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