Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Historic Denver

As most of you know, we bought this house in a state of 1980s nostalgia about 20 months ago. We had lots that we wanted to (and plenty we had to) renovate and Mike had amazing "vision" for the process. One of his biggest visions was for the main floor bathroom. While it's not the only bathroom in the house, it is the only one that gets used now since the shower and the rest of the bathroom are in two separate places in the basement (and they are quite gross looking, really). But the bathroom did not start out usable. So like it or not, we had to start from scratch. Seriously, we used the bathroom in the basement for the first 5 months we lived in the house!

The most important thing in the bathroom vision was that we chose "period" style items including unpolished (i.e. impossible to keep clean) black and white mosaic floor tile, a subway tile surround in the shower, bead board, and a pedestal sink. And what's incredible is that other than the air conditioner register and the tub we had refinished, every thing else was bought new, and most at big box stores but really did look period. The only two things we had to order special were the flooring and the glass block window.

We shop a lot at the Habitat for Humanity Home Improvement Outlets when we are looking for house stuff. On one of our visits, we saw a poster advertising a contest sponsored by Historic Denver that was looking for historic homes renovated to keep the historic feel. Our cute little bungalow was built in 1925... and we had been doing a lot of renovations... so I picked up a flyer knowing that really, only our bathroom qualified, but hey, it was worth a shot, right? When we entered the contest in May, we had to choose only 5 photos of the entire renovation. I have gazillions of pictures of this house renovation and paring down the choice to only 5 to include before, during, and after? No way! But I did my best. I wish I could remember exactly which 5 I chose to send in, but here's an example of what I may have sent in (this is even 3 more than the judging panel got and I still feel like I haven't given a good enough idea of what went in to this makeover):

We had a great time doing all of our house projects, but it would be very exciting to be recognized for our efforts as well. In doing the bathroom in particular, I learned to wear gloves when using black grout lest your patients and their families think you don't wash your hands before work, how to use a nail gun, how to use a jigsaw, and that sometimes your first paint color doesn't work out; Mike learned how to use a gas powered saw to cut through brick to re-open a window that had been bricked over sometime in the past 75 years, how to lay subway tile, piece by piece, and when to stop and let someone else doing the grouting around the tub.

I hear that the judges have made a decision, so hopefully I will have some official news to pass on in the next few weeks!

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