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It started with a dream…

…and a tub.

I’ve always wanted a house with a claw foot tub.  A deep, soaking, up-to-your-neck-in-bubbles kind of tub.  A tub where I would spend my evenings, allowing the stress of the day to melt away into the scented bubbles, flickering candles and the story of a good book.

So, although I had wanted this to be one of our first projects, due to unforeseen circumstances (translation: a construction shut down) this particular project got put on the back burner as we had to deal with the other, not-yet but framed, “bathroom” in the downstairs.  Mind you, that project was not started by us but by the previous owner and because it was done all wrong, it was going to be addressed, just not in our 3 month time table or the money allocated from the bank as part of our 203k loan.  But when the man says “fix it or else”, you fix it or else.

I sadly shut the main bathroom door, vowing to buy it a pretty tub, and didn’t open it up again for a year.

Thanks to a Christmas present check from my sister-in-law, Mr. G and I went out shopping for our tub.  We went to the only place we knew we could find a salvaged one (since new ones started at around $900 – our Christmas check wasn’t that big!): New England Demolition and Salvage in New Bedford.

It was a freezing cold day during winter break and inside, it was at least 20 degrees colder.  They didn’t bother to heat the warehouse part that housed the hundreds of tubs, sinks, radiators, windows, sashes, and anything else you could take out of a house before it got torn down or made “new” again.

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Sea of tubs

Although we were making ours new, we wanted it to look “old”.  Just not old as in its current state:

 

(The floor sagged on the right, the door opened against the pedestal sink  – already removed in this pic – and had no natural light – not to mention the peeling paper and overall grossness)

So, we roamed the massive warehouse of NEDS and although my fingers were frozen and my nose had frozen snot attached to it, we found and fell in love with this beauty:

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Isn’t she pretty?  Her feet are in the box.

We had the “claw”  feet (actually, round feet – the claw ones were pretty beat up and ugly in person – some dreams change when you see them in reality 😉 ) sandblasted by a local guy and we painted the outside.  We should have splurged to have the inside repainted, too, but we thought we’d be able to scour out the green blue water stains.  Another project for another day…

We got to work ripping out the rest of the world’s tiniest and nastiest bathroom:

And with some help from family and friends, a licensed plumber and electrician for the stuff we couldn’t do, a lot of long afternoons and evenings, and getting dirty….REALLY dirty, we turned this:

Into THIS:

Dresser turned sink console: Found on Craigslist from an older man in Foster, RI who refurbishes old furniture and takes in old animals.  We liked him as soon as we met him.   A 1890s pine dresser to go with our 1890s house = perfect.  Mr. G outfitted the drawers so that they ALL open and have functional storage.  I added the vintage inspired cup pulls instead of the original mushroom knobs.

Mirror came from our former neighbor-turned-friend and had belonged to his great uncle.  I love the mercury markings on it as it nods to its age.  Smile lines on a mirror.  It is HEAVY and the frame originally matched the dresser but I wanted to mix it up a little so painted it black.

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Moroccan white tiles with black grout – like the black and white penny tiles but grown up.  The “G” towel and silver snowflake bathmat were from my mother-in-law this Christmas.

Little picture frames in the tub area will show off the black and white photos of the girls in the tub when they were little and sporting shampoo faux hawks on their heads.  They’re some of my favorite pics!

For another little piece of history, we framed a newspaper advertisement from the early 1900’s offering a ladies perm for $4.95  that we found inside the wall- very chic!

Gone are the layers of wallpaper, additional walls that were added on instead of fixed, the rotting floor and the gross toilet.  Here’s to a door that opens the other way to lie flush with the wall (and hide whoever might be sitting on the toilet!), a sink and vanity that adds storage and charm, and the dream incarnate: my deep, soaking in bubbles up to my neck, claw foot tub.

A cute, yet functional, old world yet new, bathroom.

Dreams really can come true 🙂

(and some people say I don’t dream big enough – pftt!)

 

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