Tuesday, January 26, 2016

1930s Hall Bath Remodel Finished!!! Reveal

My theme for the bathroom has been "Men's Club Bathroom"; In an old bank, the bank manager always had his own bathroom, this is a "Bank Manager's Bathroom". Reminder, our house was built in late 1920s and remodeled sometime in late 1930s.

Finally, our hall bath remodel is finished.  Well, all most 100%, I still need to find the "perfect" rug for the floor.  I need one in front of the black vanity and one over by the shower opening. Just have not been out looking with this last store.

To recap what needed to be done:  marble floor in shower and rest of bathroom grout was stained and had gaps;
Wallpaper was coming loose at the seams;
paint trim on door and cloths cabinet had chips and paint was dull;

metal towel fixtures were tarnished; light fixtures dusty;
sealing around vanity counter and top of tiles needed to be redone.
The wallpaper came off first. Then Frank took down all light fixtures, towel bars, towel rack. I removed all the decorations, pictures, normal bathroom things so we had a clean slate to work in.
After going to 3 different paint stores looking for Venetian Plaster, I discovered they don't make it any longer. So in the end, I decided to paint the wall with the Annie Sloan Paris Gray paint.  (I went online and checked to see if you can use the furniture paint for wall paint.  Yes, and in fact in England she has come out with gallon sized paint for floors and walls).  For me, I liked the finished look because it reminds me of the old plaster walls and it doesn't have a high sheen to it. The paint color and stenciling around the vanity, stayed the same as the stencil is gray.  OK for now, I like it.

Frank grouted the shower floor and the bathroom floor.  This was the hardest and worst part of the remodel.  The product we purchased was pre-mixed grout, but when it dried, it left a film all over it.  Not the normal grout residue, it was hard on.  We had to go back to the store and get a special cleaner to get it off along with using paint thinner.  Horrible job, poor Frank.

Then I painted all the clothing storage cabinet and any woodwork.  Luckily, our original installation of tile wainscoting and trim all around the room helps to keep it clean and requires no painting!! But I did paint door and door trim.  I love painting, most people hate it but I love to paint, it always shows the biggest impact and makes everything look fresh, new and clean.


  He also caulked all around edging of tile and counter. I washed all the light fixtures, replaced bulbs with new energy efficient LED lights, new light switch plates. Pretty much done. The last part was decorating, editing and adding. 
 I love carrara marble, it is in the kitchen and in my bathroom. I have no idea why people are afraid of it, yes it MAY show some imperfections, but so does tile and even granite.  So does my face and hands as I am getting older, but I think that is character. It is soft, smooth, easy to clean and timeless.
The shelf in the bathroom above the vanity was a piece left over when we had the top done, it already had the bull nose done on it. Frank made a bracket and it is perfect for the lamp and displaying things.  OH, was it supposed to be used for bathroom things like hair dryers or tooth brushes??? Probably, but I use it to display old watches and other "men" kinda things for this bank manager's bathroom theme. Ha Ha
 I love old rosaries and religious crosses.  I think they are beautiful and spiritual so I have many of these items hanging in both the bathrooms.
In the one photo, you will see an old bathing suit from the Sutro Baths in San Francisco.  When we were newly married, the old remains of the Sutro baths were still there at the Cliff House in San
Francisco.  We read and even at one time had several old photographs of the baths.  If you haven't ever seen any pictures or never heard about the Sutro baths, take the time and go read about them.  Incredible 1800s-1930s greenhouses with plants all around different swimming pools of sea water on the edge of SF cliffs. I was able to find many, many years ago, an old bathing suit made out of WOOL, can you believe it. It is hung up in the bathroom now.
One other point about this bathroom and a couple of spaces in our house, is the hunting dog theme.
 The Finnie family who built this old house ran hunting and fishing clubs all around this area, even had Gray Lodge as a hunting location at one time. As I decorated the house, in certain locations, I have old hunting dog paintings, or tin trays or photos or even as you see in this bathroom, a wooden carved hunting dog.
 Another interesting item in the bathroom is this stool.  I found it in Siskiyou County at a yard sale about 25 years ago.  The legs are made out of tree branches and the top is wood.  Underneath the stool says "O'Hara, High School 1934".  I think someone made this as a high school wood project.  Makes me feel so good every time I see it, it is perfectly designed, has a beautiful old worn finish on it, I wish it could tell me what that young person did with the rest of his life. Works well in the "man's" bathroom (with a femine side too) to hold shoes or clothes.
And look under the picture with the dog poster.  Those are old walking sticks I found several years ago.  They came in a lot with other items so really didn't pay much attention to them for several years, just had them in an old crock.  The black walking stick is black lacquer with a sterling sliver band, and if you pull on it, inside is a beautifully made umbrella.  I am possibly guessing it actually may have been for a lady because it is fine and delicately made.  The other walking stick is either Bakelite or bone inlaid in a painted shaft.  They are so interesting, I thought they needed to also be in this bathroom.  The small round antique mirrors hanging on either side of the silver cross, are called "shaving" mirrors.  Every traveler or 1800s-1930s person had a small mirror to hang up in a tree or in their travels to use for shaving.  That is another item I have collected for years and when I re-do the master bathroom, I will show you my collection in there of so many different shapes and sizes of shaving mirrors.
Lastly, I want to say a little about the light fixtures.  They are "period" to the time of the house and are reproductions with black porcelain brackets with light shades trimmed in a black band. All the towel bars and towel hooks match the light fixtures, they came from Rejuvenation Hardware.  Again, if you haven't ever seen that catalog, please do.  They take great efforts to re-produce lighting, door knobs, accessories using old and vintage items and make new ones.
That is it, finished.  Hope you enjoyed the process along with us.  Now we are on to the spare bedrooms.  I will be sharing that project with you too.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Thank You Field To Vase For Hosting Our Windmill Farm Flower Articles

Just a quick note to let you know that our Windmill Farm's winter blog article has been posted on the Field To Vase website. Check it out: http://fieldtovase.com/
If you have never been to that website, it is worth taking a few minutes of your time to be inspired.
The Contributor's list at the top will take you to links to some of the most fabulous flower farms,
flower shops or wedding designers you have ever seen.  Each contributor gives a brief introduction about their farming "story" and also links up to their farm telephone numbers and websites.
We have had the privilege to write for the website for a couple of years about flower farming and the flower business, at least from our point of view as a small Northern California farmer.  The growing notion for people to buy fresh flowers directly from local flower farmers has taken off and I am happy to say that the founder, Farmgirl Flowers in SF who started Field To Vase, has been instrumental in spreading the word and educating people.
This is the time of year farmers are planning, designing their fields, buying seeds, bulbs, plants, tending their hoop houses to insure customers will have the freshest and most beautiful plants.  
It is our wish, that you will think about our farm for wholesale flowers; floral classes; bouquets; flowers for small events; flowers for small weddings in 2016.  We will continue with our vegetables and have fruits from our extensive orchards this year also.
If you don't live in the Northern California area, then check out Field To Vase contributors to see who is farming flowers in your local area, across the USA.
Windmill Farm thanks again, Kendra at Field To Vase for hosting our articles and supporting our flower, fruit and vegetable farm.
Frank & Paula Carli

Monday, January 11, 2016

Remodeling Hall Bathroom - Again!

From Fixer Upper B&B
We have been hit hard with chest colds and have been under the weather for almost 2 weeks.  It is like we lost so many days with things that needed done around the farm.  It is a nasty business, maybe we should have gone to the doctor.  It would have been cheaper since I have made 3 trips to the local Rite Aid buying everything you can imagine to make our suffering easier.
Today is day 14 of it and at least we both are up, dressed and talking.  Well I am trying to talk, because I have lost my voice about 4 days ago, I believe from so much coughing.  We may be on the mends because we are talking about needing to go to Home Depot to get some necessary supplies to work on the remodel of the bathroom.
Have you been watching the new HGTV show Fixer Upper??  I love that Gaines family.  Joanna Gaines used this cement tile in their new B&B,where they fixed up an old house and put the tile in two bathroom areas.  I am crazy for it myself.
 I had wanted something above my range between the top of the stove to the bottom of the range hood.  We were going to use stainless steel so it would be easy to clean, but now I want to use this black and white cement, mosaic looking tile.  
In fact, I would love it in our hall bathroom if the marble tiles weren't done only a few years ago.  I have black, white and aqua blue in that bathroom so those tiles would be perfect, but a real waste of money at this time.  So the black splash in the kitchen will have to be it for now.
I have taken down the old wallpaper in the hall bath and decided to do the wall above the tile in Venetian plaster.  That is on our list to buy it so maybe in a few days when I am better, I will tackle applying it.  I always feel that you should try a paint color you want or wallpaper you want, don't stress about it.  Everything can be changed or un-done.  Repainting is so cheap to a different color.  Wallpaper is a bit pricey but it can be changed too.  Don't live with something you hate, change it!
If I hate the Venetian plaster, the next application I want to try is old world plaster, the kind that was done on Italian walls.  It is a soft, flat white look that is very appealing to me, so that would be Plan B if the Venetian plaster walls turn out not to my liking.
Outside, the fields are sleeping; my gardens are covered in leaves resting, but the fruit trees need pruning.  Maybe in a few days Frank and I will have our strength back and be heading outside.
Hope you all have managed not to be sick-take care.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Windmill Farm Classes and 2016 New Year's Remodel Projects

The classes we host here at Windmill Farm has become part of who we are - having fun learning something new, using products many times grown right here on the farm; or expanding skills.
As I start organizing our calendars for planting the fields, etc, I always pencil in potential monthly classes.  I would love to hear from you what you would like us to provide.  In the past, we have given classes on baking, canning always in the summer,chalk writing classes were a big hit,  knitting, upholstery, gardening, chicken raising, soap making, flower arranging, bee keeping, wreath making, health, nutrition, drying fruit.  There have been others but can't remember them all.  Please take the time to write a comment of any class you would like us to repeat or a new skill class.
I knitted several items for the grand kids and friends before Christmas and right now, I am working on a pair of fingerless mitten for Collin, my grandson.  While here at Christmas, I knitted a pair for Carli, my granddaughter but not Collin as I thought he wouldn't be interested.  He loved them so I let him pick out his own yarn and they are a project in process.

I crocheted a friendship bracelet for a friend of mine who loved them so much, she wanted to know if I would make another one, bigger for her little dog Daisy to be used as a fancy collar.  I also had crocheted some balls for the dogs using left over cotton yarn.  I did another one for her dog and gave both the collars and ball to her yesterday.  These photos are from my friend.  She said Daisy hasn't given up the ball yet and takes it to her bed with her.

Maybe a new career!!!  Making dog collars and balls.
The rain has started and due to continue for about a week.  Frank and I have been working towards taking each and every room in the house and revamping it, fixing anything that is wrong; cleaning thoroughly, remodeling if it needs remodeling.  Since we can't work in the gardens outside, we take on inside projects.

Our next room to work on is the hall bath.  It was remodeled a couple of years ago, but the wallpaper I put on myself is starting to pull up at the seams.  It is damask print and I love it, but probably not the smarted application for the bathroom, next to the shower.

I can glue it down but I think the real issue is, Frank doesn't particularly like it. Since it is the bathroom he uses the most, I am willing to make the change.  The plan is to take down the towel rack, shower curtain, rugs, pictures any decorations I have put in the room.  Then I will remove the wallpaper, hopefully it will just peel off since I did prime the wall prior to wallpapering. I want the room to be done in a Venetian plaster or a plastered look wall.  I love that look, so soft  I will take photos as I go along and share with you in future posts.
When I am finished with the painting or plastering, Frank is going to re-grout the marble tiles on the floor and in the shower.  We rushed getting this bathroom done when we first remodeled it about 3 years ago.  And the grout needs to be done again to fill in gaps and then we are planning on sealing it to keep it clean.
The final revamping is to clean everything that goes back up on the walls and on the counter.  We live in the country with lots of dust from tractors, disking fields all over this county.  Everything has dust even if you happen to be a clean nick who dusts every day!!! Then we will do some paint touch up on the nicks on the baseboards and on the cabinet that stores some of Frank cloths and the dirty laundry bin.  Frank has highlighted those areas with blue bits of tape.  Maybe even a new shower curtain.  We would love to have a seamless glass shower door but they are very expensive, in the thousands and we just don't have the funds to do that.  Maybe someday!

I hope you follow along in the revamping process of the hall bathroom and please, do let me know your thoughts of any classes you might be interested in attending or just suggestions.  Would love to hear back from you.

Hope you all had a wonderful Holiday Season and we are all starting out in our 2016 New Year together.