Why painting is the worst job in the world… 

Painting is shit. There’s no other way to describe it. When we decided that we were going to purchase a house to renovate, I was inundated with the offers of help to paint. In recent weeks I have come to the conclusion that the people offering have clearly never painted a house. 

There are so many reason why painting is the worst job in the world but let me take the time to explain to you my top five. 

  1. Preparation – no one (let me reiterate this: NO ONE) likes prep. Nor does anyone tell you how long that shit takes! They say it’s all about the prep and you know why.. Because it takes a bullshit amount of time. Now factor in decorative cornices and 80 year old plaster walls and you’ve at least tripled your time. Sanding and patching is messy, tedious, mind numbing and time consuming. It’s also hard! You have to have good eyesight and attention to detail and it’s not something you can do well at night after work. Therefore, taking up your whole weekend *sigh!*. 
  2. Priming – if your previous owners were anything like ours and decided that the colour terracotta would be nice for those cornices in the bedroom, baby blue in the lounge room and mustard in the halls you have yourself another nightmare. Welcome to weeks of priming! Priming paint is hard to use. It’s thicker than most paints and if you’re painting decorative cornices then you’re using a special brush which is round with a blunt end. Dabbing primer on 15m of decorative cornices in each room is not fun and cannot be done in a weekend. 
  3. Choosing a paint colour – White is white, right? Wrong. There are like 40 shades of white which, if you look at them for too long, begin to become the same colour… And this is just in the Dulux range! With five or six brands to choose from in any one hardware store, you suddenly have a white colour pallet of about 100 shades! It’s ridiculous! I’d also like to know who’s job it is to name these colours because, as if looking at the colour isn’t enough, there are competing cutsie names which is enough to make even a seasoned renovator confused! (Did I want vanilla ice cream skies or polar bear love? – argh!). Not to mention, they never look the same on paper as they do on the wall!
  4. Coats – So, after you’ve gone through the paint colour debate and you’ve prepped and primed, it’s smooth sailing home right?! Well, let me tell you something. Not even all the best priming in the world will hide the hideousness of terracotta paint. Alas, not one, not two but three coats of paint might just be required. Remembering how long the decorative cornices take to paint in the first place and couple this with mind numbing task of painting the same thing three times, let me assure you that by this stage you are bordering shooting yourself in the foot!
  5. Rolling – This is the part which is the quickest and easiest but definitely the least satisfying. After working for weekends on end to get to the rolling stage, rolling the walls is almost disappointing. If you’re anything like me, your spaghetti arms serve as useless work tools when painting high ceilings. Which means a stronger (male) counterpart will sweep in and take the glory by rolling the walls in one day and finishing off the room off. 

Needless to say, we are only one (beautiful) room down at this stage. A paint job is a sure way to freshen up a room and give the space a new lease on life. Just remember to be realistic with your time allocation to complete your project – particularly if you’re working after work and on weekends. 

Despite the pain, the end result is more than worth it and for this reason, paint project two has begun in the lounge room in this cottage.  We’re definitely hanging out for it all to be done but when it is, we will stand back and think we did that!

 What we began with in bedroom one.  

Our beautiful bedroom now!  

Replace the 50’s lampshade and…   

Ta da!  

Painting project number two – lounge room     

Another before shot  

The not so glamourise side of painting! 

Rolling, rolling, rolling! 

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The importance of doing your homework. 

We learnt the hard way this week about the importance of doing your homework and the realities of assuming. 

As with every renovation, unless you are privileged enough not to consider the financial implications of your decisions, the budget has been looming over us and governing the decisions that we make. Though we had quite a healthy budget to begin with, renovations quickly add up and things can be far more expensive than you’d imagine. With the budget in mind, I’ve shopped around and not paid anywhere next to retail for anything. (Remember those tiles?!)

In upcycling my 1900’s washstand that I picked up from gumtree, I decided that I would replace the worn marble top with a beautiful ceaserstone one to compliment our oversized, on counter, vessel basin. Given its tiny size, I was able to source a small piece of stone which was an off cut from a larger job for next to nothing. The new top, coupled with a fresh coat of varnish has meant the washstand has a new lease on life and will be a beautiful feature in our newly renovated bathroom. 

  
Therefore, when we decided on the cupboards in the laundry it was only natural to assume that we’d pick a lovely matching ceaserstone top in this space to tie our bathroom and laundry together. With simple gloss white doors and handmade ceramic and chrome door handles, this cabinet was bound to be perfect. 

Without any consideration for price, given that the cabinet itself was two doors and a washing machine hole, we sent the cabinet maker on his merry way to create and install. 

Now, for anyone who has built or renovated before you might not have been as naive as we were to choose a ceaserstone top in a laundry. I mean, there’s no need really for stone in your laundry and in most laundrys someone sensible might use a laminex top or the like. 

Well, there’s a reason that those who aren’t first time rookies don’t use stone. Unknowingly, the boy and I had purchased $1700 worth of stone to put on top of a cabinet worth about a quarter of that! 

Needless to say, I’m glad we decided not purchase expensive tiles after all and that we’ve been thrifty with all other purchases otherwise this really would have way extended our budget.

There’s nothing else to say but that it was a rookie error. In future, we won’t just assume the price of something without having double checked it first! If nothing else, we have ended up with a stunning laundry cabinet which is spacious and functional. Though, perhaps in the next house we could do without the stone in the laundry!

  

  

  

Don’t sweat the small stuff

Someone failed to explain to me when I decided to start my blog about renovating that I would suddenly not have the time to blog because I’d be too busy doing the thing I was supposed to be writing about! 

Between renovating and managing a crazy work schedule our social lives have disappeared into dust (perhaps that’s why there’s so much of it on my floor!) and the renovating itself has becoming an all encompassing being which invades my personal life, dinner conversations and relationship! However, every story has an end! And we are quickly approaching a foreseeable end – for the bathroom and laundry at least! 

In recent weeks, walls were installed and tiles laid so it’s been all systems go on the exciting times but not without a hiccup or two. 

So, I took a week off work after the walls went up to open the house for the tiler and plod around painting and doing other odd bits and bobs. On day two our tiler, a delightfully polite man of afghani descent with a love of tim tams (a pack a day!) and cans of V Energy drink, (politely) informs me after trying to tile the wall in the delicious but painfully small subway tiles I have chosen that the walls are too bowed to lay them and that the walls need to come down, be packed and reinstalled. You can imagine my dismay and absolute desperation to know how much work this could possible be, how much of a delay this could cause to our potential move in date and how seriously out of my depth I am to deal with such a dilemma! 

Thankfully, a team of problem solvers consisting of plaster, tiler and boy all came together to find a practical and reasonable solution to the wall debacle! With some additional gyprock sheets, base coat and some talented plastering magic, the problem was solvered – as they say – and things were back on track! 

Our poor tiler was very patient in the laying of the delicately small tiles and finicky patterns (because the mood board doesn’t exactly explain to you just how labour intensive the look you have your heart set on might be!). I have a feeling that when his wife asked ‘how was your day today?’ at dinner time each evening that he’d happily tell her that he was at the shittest job he’d ever done! Oops! 

Our second mistake in this same week was to underestimate the length of time it would take to tile said ridiculously small tiles. Almost two full weeks were taken to screed, waterproof, tile floors and walls to the ceiling, grout and silicone. 

But boy, was that two weeks worth it! 

 Who doesn’t love a checkered floor?   

Welcome to the open shower on the left and the proposed vanity on the right. How gorgeous are those tiles?!  What we have ended up with is beyond our wildest dreams. It looks beautiful and more stunning than I could have ever imagined! I’m ecstatic with the end result and once fittings and fixtures are installed, we really will have something special! 

So, don’t sweat the small stuff! Everything can be fixed one way or another. And if you have a vision, don’t compromise. The end result will definitely be worth it! 

Its all about the little things

Over the last six weeks of renovating there has been a lot to learn, a lot to do and a lot to be thankful for.

Part and parcel of the renovating journey is the unexpected ‘pop by’. We have been arriving to the house bright and early on Saturday mornings, staying Saturday night and working the entire way through the weekend to meet our July move in deadline to find ourselves constantly surprised by friends and family popping in to say hello. Many are in the area and wanting to check up on the progress, some are there to lend a much needed helping hand, some it seems like a cuppa and a chat and some… well.. I’m not quite sure.

It is easy to think of these pop by’s as an inconvenience. You just get on a roll hand-painting the decorative cornices (and by roll, I mean your brain finally switches off and you’re on autopilot because its such a mind numbing task!) and someone stops in and wants to chat.

However, its not an inconvenience at all. We have remarked time and time again over the last few weeks how grateful we are to have our friends and family want to stop by and check in on us.

Whether its to stop past and offer advice and ideas on how things should be done (some advice is definitely more helpful than others), or just to drop by to offer your congratulations, we could not be more thankful.

A couple of things have really warmed our hearts over the last couple of weeks and for those of you who know someone renovating, this is your chance to take notes!

Do:

  • Ring with the offer of dinner at 7pm at night because you know that said renovating couple have been beavering away since 7am that morning. This has actually happened to us a couple of times, by different friends and words cannot even explain the joy your tired body feels not having to go to the dodgy IGA up the road to conjure up something for dinner.
  • Stop past on your way out with bottle of wine in congratulations and send a follow up text offering great ideas about the layout of a new kitchen because ‘I’ve been thinking about you and your renovation’.
  • Pop by on a Saturday night for a alcoholic beverage or two (usually a red wine or a port to fight the freezing temperature of this house!) to distract us for a little while, catch up and make us feel like we have taken a break for a short while in our weekend before Monday morning rears its head!
  • Jump the fence to drop off power tools whilst trying not to get caught by the neighbours because you know that the things you are dropping off are going to make particular jobs just a little bit easier.

Dont, however:

  • Walk inside a place currently being renovated to say ‘Wow, there’s so much work to do!’, ‘You’ll be busy for a while!’ or any other comment which is directly related to how many days, months or years we are going to be using up our weekends to complete this project.
  • Make note (out loud) about the amount of dust or plaster on the jarrah floorboards inside the house or how dirty the floor is. Trust me, it doesn’t matter how many times you sweep or mop, those bastard dust particles will appear.

So, if you know someone who is renovating but you think you’re inconveniencing them by stopping by, know that they’d probably appreciate the visit. We like showing off our progress to you as much as you love seeing it.

Not to mention, there is always time for another coffee.

The big (and expensive) decisions – tiles and doors

Last weekend we set off on a mission to purchase the doors and tiles for the newly renovated bathroom and laundry. Now, if you cast your mind back many blog posts ago to my research on tiles specifically, you might remember my shock at the cost of replacing the mosaic pattern tile which was featured in the existing bathroom. Over the weeks since that blog post we have um-ed and ah-ed about the prospect of forking out over $100 a square metre for these tiles. I have surveyed family, friends and work colleagues and with no firm decision about what to do, I jumped in the car with dad armed with my bank card and measurements to make these purchases.

 Remember these tiles?

My first stop was a local, family owned tile shop in the southern suburbs of Perth. Though polite, I wouldn’t have rated our store assistant in the highest category on the customer service scale. I began by explaining the vintage of our cottage and the look were trying to achieve and basically was told to visit what seems to be the only period tile shop in Perth. Before insisting we head somewhere else, she did (unenthusiastically) show us the same style of mosaic tile as mentioned above at double the price I had seen it at that period tile shop. Very helpful.

The second shop on our list was a recommendation from a friend on Facebook who had told me to visit a particular store saying that they had a great range of tiles and that the store was beautiful. Now, how beautiful can a tile store really get? Let me tell you! Dad and I pulled up at a store featuring a mesh steel facade in to a car park which only featured cars made by high end european car companies. I turned to dad and said, ‘Something tells me that this isn’t our tile shop!’.

See the lesson here is two fold. 1) Always listen to a personal recommendation because word of mouth is truly the best source and 2) never judge a book by its cover.

Hesitantly, we went inside and were overwhelmed by the beauty and range of tiles on show. This store really does take the term ’tile showroom’ to a whole new level. Sales assistants who are as knowledgeable as they are beautiful, walk around immaculately dressed and in high heels putting dad and I in our steel cap boots and painting overalls to shame! We were blown away. In recent weeks I have visited countless tile stores and never have I seen decorative tiles, stylish mosaics, colourful timber look tiles and extra large porcelain marble look tiles like these.

Still unsure about whether I was going to find the tiles I needed, I made my way to the back of the store to a ‘sale’ section like you might find in any clothing boutique. I scanned that sale wall to suddenly realise that all my Christmases were coming at once. Beaming with excitement, I took a closer look at the perfect 200x200mm black and white matte floor tiles, which would suit my space perfectly, and found them discontinued and on sale for $20 a square meter. What’s that you say? $308 to tile my entire bathroom and laundry floor – that sounds like winning to me.

The wins didn’t end there either. Whilst on the way to another tile store, we stopped on a whim past a store with signs out to say ‘end of year financial sale’. I was delighted to find the perfect 150x75mm white gloss subway tiles down from $137 a square meter to $40 a square meter. After a quick call to the boy and a hesitant ‘just buy them!’, I bought both the floor and wall tiles that almost every store said we wouldn’t be able to find because they’d been discontinued, for $1400. Tiles under budget – tick!

 The style we have decided on. 

The doors are a little less noteworthy but still worth a small mention. I’m not sure what I was expecting but my god, are doors expensive! We’re using the the existing antique jarrah door as the entry to the laundry. This means there are three doors left to purchase; the bathroom door, the sleepout door and the external backdoor. I’ve decided on two barn-esk doors for the internal doors and a traditional panelled backdoor with a frosted glass panel, for the addition of some extra light, in the laundry. Two stores later and $800 out of pocket, we have three doors. Pictured below, they’ll fit perfectly with the style we’re setting out to achieve once painted in gloss white and featuring heavy chrome antique handles.

Internal barn-esk doors   
External laundry door 


Want to visit those tile stores?

Glory box delights

The boy sold his apartment fully furnished and given that we had only acquired things in the last couple of months meant that we only had a handful of things to move. Or so we thought! 

With a thrifty truck hired and a friend and dad in tow to do the moving, we were ready to stop inconveniencing people all over Perth who had kindly looked after our belongings over the last few months. I waited eagerly at the house for the boys to arrive with a truck full of goodies, ready to unpack and for a house to feel a little more like home. (The truth is, this truck meant a fridge, kettle, cups, plates, a toaster, pots and pans – all of the things to make overnight sleepovers a little more comfortable!). 

However, when that truck arrived and the door flung open, I was a little bit confused by the number of boxes inside. How had we acquired so much stuff? 

Now for those of you who have European friends you might know a little something about a glory box. Traditionally prepared by your parents as a gift for you when you move out for the first time, you could think of it as a kickstart to your new life with the foundations and essentials for everyday life as an adult. Think blankets, tea towels, a cultery set, other bric-a-brac, etc. The stuff you know you need when you move out of home but would never be sensible enough to acquire before actually moving out.  However, apparently my mum had mistaken the glory ‘box’ for ‘boxes’. 

In that truck contained the gifts from my very own glory box(s), collected over the best part of a decade. My thoughtful, organised, wonderful, Portuguese mother had collected and stored TWELVE large sized cardboard boxes filled with treasures for the kitchen and linen cupboard. She had even labeled every single box with a thorough description of their contents! 

Treasures inside included Pyrex dishes, serving bowls, Tupperware, a pot set, steak knives, designer curlery sets, porcelain mugs, crystal vases, glasses of every description including port glasses, martini glasses, shot glasses and two sorts or red wine glasses (glasses are not indicative of our drinking behaviors, I promise!) and the list goes on! 

Collecting these bits and pieces over such a long period of time cannot have been easy and though a few pieces have dated and there are double and triple ups of a few things (she’d forgotten what she’d purchased over the years!) we are absolutely indebted to her for such a special gift. It hasn’t just kickstarted our lives in our new home but has sent us running in the right direction and saved us a significant amount of stress and money. 

I hope this is something we are in a position to do for our children so that they too may sit in their kitchens and feel the excitement of opening a box to find a jaffle maker (sandwich toaster) inside! 

Don’t you wish your mum was this good? I know you’re jealous! 

We’re off and running

This weekend was the Western Australian Day long weekend but instead of having a relaxing weekend celebrating the beautiful state that we live in, the house was a flurry of activity. 

Remember those naughty rotting timbers? Well, thanks to the help of a super handy brother/brother in law we have removed them and put a concrete footing it its place. 

After much um-ing and ah-ing we also made a decision to remove the timber cladding in the sleepout which would have once formed the external wall to the house. In cementing in the new footing in the bathroom, timber cladding on the outside of the house has had to have been removed because, as in many instances with houses of the age that ours is, homeowners over the years have patched the outside timbers where holes have been made. The timber cladding from inside the sleepout can now be recycled and used on the outside of the bathroom to give that wall a fresh new look whilst the walls in the sleepout can be nice and flat to match walls in the adjacent laundry and bathroom. A win, win! 

Another handy brother/brother in law was also able to reroute our television aerial and phone line cables to accommodate our plans to make the front room with the fireplace our bedroom and the other front room the loung room. Thank goodness for handy family members, even if they choose to proudly pass you a bag containing a rat found in the roof which looked like it had been dead for longer than house had existed (and affectionately calling it Rodney!). Ugh. 

We also decided to move our furniture in this weekend which has made a hell of a lot of difference in the comfort of staying there overnight. Finally, eskys are made redundant by a beautiful new stainless steel fridge and the barbecue may be less used now we have pots and pans. 

I also began the tedious task of sanding and priming our soon to be bedroom. However, this and other stories must be left for another day. Some action and progress pictures below until then.

Ornate cornices – beautiful until you try to prime them!  
The fun of unpacking. 

 

First time sleepovers

Like any time you purchase something new, you wait with baited breath until you can unwrap the packaging and use with enthusiasm whatever is inside. Buying this house is no different, except for the fact that between getting keys and moving in, there’s a shit load of work to be done!

Last week marked our two year anniversary of being together. This time, two years ago, I would have never imagined that we would be where we are now or undertaking a project together of this size. However, it’s been a wirl wind couple of years and we are proud as punch to be where we are. 

To mark this special occasion, I was surprised to find the main bedroom of our beautiful cottage transformed in to a candle lit retreat, complete with blow up matters dressed up in new linen I had bought for the house and the bench seat from our verandah lined with blankets as a spot to drink champagne. (Look ladies, he’s not bad!). 

Since then we have stayed a couple of more times at the house in our makeshift bedroom. Though, to say it’s been a piece of cake, is a lie. People have asked us why we aren’t staying in the house while renovating it and the fact is that living in a house with no shower, storing food in eskys and living on a diet consisting of meals which can only be cooked on a bbq (not to mention camping out on the floor to eat your meal in your furniture-less home!) is no ones idea of fun! 

But hey, it’s all part of the bigger picture as our friend Colin Barnett would say. So if sleepovers mean leaving the house in the wee hours of the morning in your track pants and brown leather business shoes (because you forgot any other type of footwear) to get in to work early for a shower before anyone sees you, then that’s what has to be done. …and yes, that did happen!   

Our makeshift bedroom on night one 

Camping out on your bedroom floor, now this is living! 

Slow and steady wins the race!

So, I have been M.I.A. for the last few weeks as paperwork jumps from one desk to another to be processed by Western Power, the Water Corp, Landgate and what feels like the half of the Government agencies in the Southen Hemisphere. As the issuing of formal titles for the new subdivision of our block slowed, our plans came to a sudden holt.

However, there is a God and late last week we have received an email titled ‘Titles are Imminent’.. I am back to being a happy little lady. In the absence of titles I have been scouring pintrest and home renovator magazines working out exactly what sort of vanity would suit our space and style. Themes reasonating with the boy and I were both rustic and traditional. Think wooden vanities which are free standing and oversized on-the-counter basins which are coupled with our beautiful Victorian chrome tapware. 

The fact is that in this bathroom, the vanity will be one of the first things you see as you walk in the door. It needs to be functional but petite enough to work in the space. And, much like the cottage itself, it needs to have oodles of character! 

Armed with my trusty iPhone, I have been on the hunt for the last three to four weeks for a piece of furniture we could turn in to our vanity. In the early stages we decided that if we couldn’t find what we wanted we would have a cabinet maker make something to order but I was determined. 

Early Settlers had some beautiful bathroom furniture sets which gave us a good idea about what was possible and practical. The antique stores gave us ideas about what was “age appropriate” for the vintage of the cottage. However, it was Gumtree which came through with the goods. 

I had enquired about a number of wash stands that I found on Gumtree, though many were too small, needed a lot of love or were ridiculously over priced. The wash stand itself isn’t an uncommon item. Just finding the right one was going to take time. 

Out of bed I leap on Saturday at 6:45am (with far more energy than a normal person should at that ridiculous hour) to wake my sleeping beauty of a boy to show him the latest find. By 8:30am I had rung the seller, found out the entire life story of said wash stand and organised to be there at 10:30am. Dragging an unwilling participant of a boyfriend 30 minutes north of home, we had purchased a beautiful, antique, oak and marble wash stand before 11am. 



The vanity is a perfect fit for our vessel basin and traditional tapware. The question now is whether to replace the marble top for a ceaserstone equivalent or to leave the weathered original marble top. A question for another day!

In the meantime, I’m on the hunt for a shaving cabinet to be coupled with this beautiful find. A treasure which I’m sure will be equally as satisfying to find!

Tapware Fit for a DIY King and Queen…

Whilst the waiting game for settlement is still being played, now is the time for us to turn our painting tape designs on the floor in to a reality. The boy took the draftsman to the house to measure the bathroom, laundry and sleep out spaces accurately to have our winning design from two posts ago turned in to something legible to a tradesperson.

In the meantime, we have been on the hunt to find the perfect tapware. There is a lesson to be learnt in this blog post which as a rookie, was bound to happen. As you know, we’ve been flicking through a ridiculous number of home and bathroom magazines, creating mood boards and piecing together our ideas. In the search for ideas I noted that all of the tapware I was cutting out and pinning to my mood board was from the same company. So with this in mind I set out to find local stockists of said tapware here in Perth.

Unfortunately, we aren’t as spoilt for choice here in WA as they are in some of the eastern states when it comes to shopping around for this sort of thing! However, there are two local stockists for this particular brand (or so the website says!).

So, off we set one Saturday out to Midland to find the perfect tapware, Given that we have a character home, we are on the hunt for chrome Federation or Victorian styled pieces. We had decided that we preferred lever tap handles and that the shower set needed to have a hand-held shower as well as a drop down given there’s theres no room for a bath in the tiny space and our future may or may not include little humans. I was filled with anticipation, particularly because apart from thinking about it, this was the first actual purchasing we were going to be doing! We drive the 40 minutes out there, chatting with excitement, product codes and product pictures in hand to realise… the stockist had closed twelve months ago.

Never mind! Remember that there is two stockists in Perth, perhaps we’ll have more luck with the second store. On his lunch break I send the boy to the store in the hunt for this tapware specifically. He walks in the front door that afternoon and hands me a product brochure with handwritten dollar amounts besides the products we had marked. Put simply, I had sent the boy in a store not knowing that the prices of the tapware I had been lusting over for weeks would cost almost the same price as my car! I asked him ‘how did you respond!?’ and his response was this:

I had to pretend like I was fine with it but I literally had to try not to sweat bullets when reading what the guy was writing down. I kept thinking to myself, I wonder if he’s going to charge me just for asking!’

They had quoted us almost $3,000 for the toilet, $2,835 for the shower set and over $1,000 for the basin tap set with additional charges for the handles that we preferred. Like any woman, I know that style (and good style at that!) is worth its price tag. However, this just simply isn’t in our budget. The lesson learnt is, they don’t quote the prices in magazines for a reason! They want to suck you in, make you fall in love and make an emotional purchase that your heart loves and your wallet does not! The save in grace in this situation was that the laziness of the shop assistant meant that there was no followup the next day as promised and the boy never had to provide an explanation (perhaps his acting wasn’t as good as he thought!).

In compromise, we have hunted around and found a company which creates similarly themed products without the hefty price tag. Don’t get me wrong, we aren’t being cheap with out tapware at all but the Bastow range which can be purchased at Reece Plumbing, and in part at Bunnings, ticks the boxes for us. It is beautiful, elegant and suits our theme perfectly. It also comes with a 7 year warranty which says it all really.

Bastow-Georgian-GGIAN-LVR-EX-TPH-SHW-SET-200-BGCER3-2259994-hero-1

Bastow-Georgian-Large-Sink-mixer-2259965-hero-1

Bastow-Georgian-Sink-Set-2259951-hero-1

SetSize695521-Ideal-Standard-Tonic-Vessel-Above-Counter-Basin-9500068-hero-1

Tapware from the Bastow range thanks to Reece Plumbing

So, its done! For about $2,800 we’ve purchased the shower set, basin set, the basin its self and the laundry mixer tap. The next steps are to send the dimensions of these products off to the draftsman for him to pencil in to our plans, choose a toilet and meet with the cabinetmaker to have him draw up our vanity, matching shaving cabinet and laundry cupboards. Slowly, the dreams are coming to life!