HOUSE: Newburgh

Still moving forward.

I’m still struggling a bit to get over the trauma of the plumbers canceling this morning. I realize in the scheme of things it’s not THAT big of a deal, but after spending so many sleep-deprived weekends struggling to get things ready for what was supposed to happen today, it’s a huge letdown. I also wasted a vacation day for this, which is irritating.

In the mean time, here’s where we’re at…

Benjamin Moore Simply White on the paneling and trim (2 coats), Olympus Knight’s Armor on upper walls/trim (3 coats). I am SO HAPPY with how this looks. It’s exactly what I had in mind.

I did an awesome job caulking between the floor tiles and the tub. It took us forever to track down sanded black caulk! FYI, if you need it, Tec makes it.

I spiffed up the mirror with some Restor-A-Finish and Feed-N-Wax, my standby products for making old wood look good. We did a test-hanging to make sure it looks good in the bathroom. It does!

You see that? It’s a little shelf, PERFECTLY SIZED TO HOLD FOUR ROLLS OF TOILET PAPER. Yeah, it’s pretty much the best thing I’ve ever created in my entire life. I have dreamed of this moment since I was a little girl! These shelves will be covered with fabric doors, and the wood will be stained to match the mirror. I still have to cut the remaining three shelves (which will be used primarily for display) to fit.

There really is still plenty to do in the bathroom even without the plumbing work completed. I’m sure I can fill the next couple of weeks with searching for the perfect toothbrush cup, the perfect Q-Tip jar, the perfect bath mat…and, of course, the perfect trash can.

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  • Reply anh-minh March 3, 2009 at 12:23 am

    AMAZING. Anna, you must be so proud … and exhausted. As always, it’s a real treat to see the progress you’re making on the house. Yay you!

  • Reply Tanya March 3, 2009 at 1:08 am

    I would never have the guts to paint a room black. You are awesome.

  • Reply Katja March 3, 2009 at 1:35 am

    wow, that black is GORGEOUS!

  • Reply Live a Colorful Life March 3, 2009 at 1:36 am

    I am super impressed. Having gone through a couple of remodeling projects, I know you were really disappointed today, especially taking a vacation day. But your bathroom looks amazing. Love the flooring AND the black grout.

  • Reply Lindsay March 3, 2009 at 1:41 am

    Wow, I never in a million years would have guessed that BLACK paint would look so nice. You did it just exactly right though, with all the bright white as well. So pretty. 🙂

    And did the plumbers not tell you they were coming until it wasn’t worthwhile to go to work anymore? That is so annoying! Argh!

  • Reply Benita March 3, 2009 at 2:11 am

    What is it with those snow days over in the States? Does everything shut down? Nobody works or goes to school? Amazing! We have a lot of snow for months on end and I wish I could occasionally get to stay home for the day because of it 🙂

    Anna, your bathroom is looking awsome! I wish I could tear mine out completely and start from scratch and make it beautiful like yours…

  • Reply Dagny @ Beautiful Living March 3, 2009 at 2:39 am

    I LOVE it! Great job! 😀

  • Reply Rose March 3, 2009 at 3:02 am

    I know the pain/irritation/extreme disappointment of cancellations! But the bathroom looks amazing – very very fresh and crisp. Fantastic!

  • Reply janet March 3, 2009 at 3:16 am

    :O !! the black is amazing. i’m looking forward to seeing the fabric door on the cupboard!

  • Reply Missteee March 3, 2009 at 4:48 am

    That floor is the coolest thing ever – can’t wait to see the room all finished!!

  • Reply jo March 3, 2009 at 5:06 am

    ooohhh. getting closer to a finished room!!
    I’m beyond excited to see the end results!
    go you!!!!

  • Reply Maaret March 3, 2009 at 5:39 am

    Wow. It’s so much fun to see the progress in your home projects. This looks amazing. And I’m looking forward to see the end result!

  • Reply lena March 3, 2009 at 7:11 am

    the ceiling looks AMAZING!

  • Reply Regan March 3, 2009 at 7:56 am

    wow. Pretty, pretty. Spot on.

  • Reply lindsay March 3, 2009 at 8:36 am

    Gosh! your work looks so tidy! The paint job is perfect and your chaulking!!!….Maybe I should learn to chaulk. My husband is a wee bit sloppy with the stuff…urgh…the bathroom is looking fabulous Anna.

  • Reply tania March 3, 2009 at 8:40 am

    It looks amazing! I LOVE the floor.

  • Reply CarolineB March 3, 2009 at 8:44 am

    can’t wait to see everything pulled together!

  • Reply Meg March 3, 2009 at 9:34 am

    I have just recently discovered your blog and am so impressed with everything you have done! The bathroom looks fantastic so far. I really love the colour on the upper walls. I wish I was as patient with caulking – I never get such a perfect finish. Lovely stuff!!

  • Reply Shashi March 3, 2009 at 9:38 am

    Wow, it’s beautiful. I love the floor and wall combo – really nice. What kind of fabric are you planning on using for the doors?

  • Reply Corey March 3, 2009 at 9:47 am

    Why did you use sanded black caulk? Just curious, as most caulk I see is unsanded.

  • Reply Nikko Moy March 3, 2009 at 9:50 am

    Looks FANTASTIC.

  • Reply anne March 3, 2009 at 9:58 am

    Seriously looks amazing Anna – congrats! Sorry about the snow storm/plumbers canceling – that totally sucks!

  • Reply Anna at D16 March 3, 2009 at 10:13 am

    Shashi: I’m going to use the same linen as the shower curtain.

    Corey: The floor tiles are grouted with sanded grout, so I wanted to use sanded caulk to match the texture. Non-sanded caulk looks much smoother/shinier, and I didn’t want it to look so obvious. The sanded caulk really looks indistinguishable from the grout. (I did use non-sanded caulk in the tub/wall area, though, since the grout on the wall tiles is non-sanded.)

  • Reply Jemma March 3, 2009 at 10:24 am

    Looks fab! Love the black and much prefer the new shower curtain plan. Not keen on the busy black fabric. I hate my bathroom so am very jealous!! Good job.

  • Reply katie March 3, 2009 at 10:31 am

    amazing job!!!!

    it’s making me want to try to paint something black!

  • Reply michelle March 3, 2009 at 11:05 am

  • Reply Heather March 3, 2009 at 11:06 am

    Lovely and Amazing! And can you believe we spent all weekend long talking about the very same perfect little trash can?

  • Reply dee March 3, 2009 at 11:20 am

    Your bathroom looks stunning!!! Absolutely loving the crispness of the black with the white. I especially like the look of the trim at the top of the white walls and of course the caulking around the bottom of the tub is perfection. Have you ever considered presenting photo tutorials on how to do some of these projects? Like how to caulk or put up shelves etc. I tried to caulk around my tub and quite frankly it looked like crap. How did you learn to do all this stuff? Amazing. Can’t wait to see more pictures of the finished space.
    Way to go Anna! (and Evan).

  • Reply kristin March 3, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    wow, that looks amazing- I love the black paint above the painted white board. I’ve always had a thing for this trash can myself:

  • Reply stef March 3, 2009 at 12:22 pm

    you deserve to celebrate each step of the way – this is a wonderful achievement. everything is looking gorgeous! 🙂

  • Reply verhext March 3, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    so good, so good. i love those black tiles with black grout. who knew!!

    did you decide on which fabric you were going with?

  • Reply Abigail March 3, 2009 at 1:05 pm

    anna, it looks fantastic! i hope the plumbers get there soon.

    can you describe the difference between simply white and moonlight white? it seems to be a common combination. we have simply white on all our trim and are about to redo the kitchen. we have beadboard up to a chair-rail and i’m debating between using simply white on both beadboard and plaster or using a different white on the plaster.

  • Reply puck March 3, 2009 at 1:18 pm

    fabulous job! you always wow me!

    oh, i included a picture of your hex tile bathroom floor in my hex tile blog. 🙂 it’s my favorite!

  • Reply heather March 3, 2009 at 1:36 pm

    I need that trash can.
    I love everything you’ve done! Those shelves are awesome. Be very proud – it looks incredible!
    What kind of paint is that on the pipe? Is it the same finish you used on the walls?

  • Reply Anna at D16 March 3, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    Dee: The problem with photo tutorials in the real world (as opposed to on TV shows) is that it’s really hard to stop and take pictures while I’m doing this stuff. Also, I don’t usually embark on projects with a really specific plan — I kind of just do what works.

    kristin: That trash can is cute, but my dogs would go “fishing” in it for sure! I need something with a lid.

    verhext: Floor-length unbleached linen! I’m actually going to just use window curtains so there will be a lot of extra volume.

    Abigail: Definitely go get to the paint store and pick up some samples and/or chips. Whites are very difficult! Simply White is a bright white with no undertones, and Moonlight White is much warmer. They both work well with other whites, which is important to me — I don’t want bright white walls to make my white furniture look dingy. I definitely recommend that you use a glossier finish on the beadboard than on the plaster, though — we went with flat finish on the walls and satin on the woodwork throughout our house.

    heather #2: Yes, it’s the same kind of paint. That’s just the vent, but I’ve used regular paint on steam pipes throughout the house and haven’t had any problems with blistering or peeling — just prime really well first. We decided not to box in this pipe because of the offset at the top. We would have lost too much space in the bathroom. I’m fine with it like this, it’s actually kind of a nice element now that it’s painted. p.s. I ordered the trash can. DO IT, you know you want it! (15% off at DWR + free shipping…)

  • Reply ej718 March 3, 2009 at 2:10 pm

    Stunning, just stunning! Bold choices pulled off beautifully. And quite a tease for those of us waiting for the final reveal!

    One question: I think you mentioned in a previous post that you had the tub powdercoated, and in another (later) post that you were repairing some rust on the tub. Why was there rust after the powdercoating? (I’m considering the same treatment on our tub, mainly because of rust stains.) Or have I mixed up posts from this bathroom and the other?

  • Reply sonofcontractor March 3, 2009 at 2:15 pm


    Tip of the hat to you on the bathroom. Not only is the design stunning but the work you have done looks terrific–clean, straight, sharp. A quality job indeed. Hey, if this book design thing doesn’t work out, you could have a career as a GC. 🙂

    Don’t sweat the plumbers. It happens. My father was a plumber and then a contractor. In a case like this, a good plumber will make it up to you. That means they will come at night or on the weekend (a bummer, I know but better than taking another day off). Or, you could give them a key and they could work on your place during the day. Plumbers are the most trusting people on the planet. 🙂

  • Reply sonofcontractor March 3, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    Sorry, meant to say “trustworthy” not “trusting.” In this case, they would need to be “trustworthy.” You would need to be “trusting.”

  • Reply Karrey March 3, 2009 at 2:29 pm

    Ugh, I love it. I’d probably have a black wall or two in my house if my partner weren’t Mr. Veto.

  • Reply Anna at D16 March 3, 2009 at 2:33 pm

    ej718: That was a different tub (in the other bathroom) we had sandblasted and powdercoated! I highly recommend having it done — we did a sink and two radiators, too, and they look great. The finish is extremely durable, much more so than epoxy “reglazing”, which is what the in-house companies do. It’s not much more expensive, either. The only disadvantage is that the tub actually has to be removed from the house. (We decided not to have this tub refinished, because the damage to it is minor.)

    sonofacontractor: Oh man, I wish they would come on a weekend or at night, but it’s a definite NO. We’ve had two long years of really bad experiences with plumbers not showing up (sometimes with a phone call, sometimes not). I’m just ready to be done with this bathroom…

  • Reply kay* March 3, 2009 at 2:42 pm

    i just painted a half wall in the kitchen of my apartment black and i love the look.

    looks great in your bathroom too – can’t wait to see the finished room with all of the details.

  • Reply sonofcontractor March 3, 2009 at 2:45 pm


    That is plain awful. My only advice. Keep searching for the right plumber. We have a house in Brooklyn and one in the Catskills and we are lucky to have good plumbers in both places. They are worth their weight in gold. Both plumbers have keys to our home. One day, I got a call at home in Brooklyn…it was our plumber in the Catskills…he was calling to say power in the area went out and would I mind if he went to the house to see if our power was out because he didn’t want our pipes to freeze. I kid you not! Keep looking. There is a good, honest plumber out there who when you find him you will understand. Given that you always need a plumber and you will always need a plumber when you least expect it, it is worth the continuing search.

    Keep calling. Ask for guys who work on weekends and nights. What you need is what we found. A union plumber who has a job with the city (and is licensed) and is looking to pick up extra bucks at night and on the weekend. They are out there!

    By the way, plumbing is not as hard as it looks. It is actually much easier than the work you have done on your bathroom. Do you get to use PEX in your neck of the woods? If so, it is so easy, you may want to consider doing your own plumbing.

  • Reply Thessa March 3, 2009 at 3:03 pm


    “Olympus Knight’s Armor”… fascinating.

  • Reply another anna March 3, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    ooooh. Anna, I think having the same name might just not be enough…… i may have to take to copying everything you do…

    it looks fantastic!

  • Reply Helen X. March 3, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    Love your place!!!!!
    Love the black ceiling!!!!!!!!

    btw, question: how did you installed those shelves?

  • Reply Anna at D16 March 3, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    Helen X: The shelves are just resting on shelf pins. The walls are wood, so the pins sit very firmly in place. Benita shows how this is done very clearly here.

  • Reply Adam March 3, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    How amazingly beautiful Anna! I love the combination of blacks and white, you must be so proud! What a difference compared to what I saw when you moved in, this bathroom looks like it truly belongs in your house! I love that garbage can too!

  • Reply Barb F (Australia) March 3, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    I am loving that black against the white of the beadboard. Stunning!

    That is bad news about the plumber, how frustrating. I hope you can work something out soon.

  • Reply kim de montreal March 3, 2009 at 4:54 pm

    holy cr@p Anna, I’m blown away. It looks amazing so far. Black sanded caulk….wow, it never would have occurred to me to even look for that!
    You’re a rock star to me.

  • Reply Vic March 3, 2009 at 6:08 pm

    We are re-furbishing our bathroom right now too and it is hard work. As always, there are barriers and unexpected delays all along the way. Chin up. You will get there. It looks fantastic – inspirational! x

  • Reply Hazel March 3, 2009 at 8:08 pm

    I saw your kitchenn on Flickr via Decor8. I really like the choice of going light blue with the black and red. Inspiring.

  • Reply lisa March 3, 2009 at 10:35 pm

    that black is as if i am looking into deep space.
    a starless, vast, eternal sky. GORGEOUS!
    and relaxing! i’d fall asleep in your tub every time…

  • Reply Kara March 4, 2009 at 5:53 am

    I have to admit that I was let down when you said you were now going with a solid linen shower curtain. I must have been one of the few that preferred the idea of the black print. And this was after being let down that you weren’t using your original shower curtain! But now that I’ve seen the mirror in that space, I think the natural linen texture will be good complement and will tie together the look.

    And I have to say that I really like that dash of the beautiful decayed element of the mirror against the sleekness of the tile, tub, walls, etc. It’s so much more interesting and unexpected than the mirror shown in an earlier plan.

    It must be wonderful to live in a home where every nook and cranny has been designed to your liking!

  • Reply Dewi March 4, 2009 at 9:34 am

    WOW! Aesthetically I adore the black wall and ceiling. It reminds me of the high ceilings in an industrial loft bathroom, you know that the black makes the ceiling and wall disappear.
    So a bolder shower curtain will work. Not the fabric with a black background, a white background large print would be crisp and fantastic in that room.

    You can change shower curtains like clothes.
    There is a guy in the city who makes “button holes” he’s near 6th avenue and West 35th street(??).
    I had many a shower curtain made.

    Great job!

  • Reply Dewi March 4, 2009 at 9:47 am

    I just looked at the Marimekko site, why not go back to a different Marimekko fabric?
    They have some seriously amazing patterns.

  • Reply Anna at D16 March 4, 2009 at 10:10 am

    Dewi: Because the ceiling is so graphic, I would prefer to not overwhelm the space with a print. The lines and angles created by the paneling meeting the wall are all I need. My approach is always to take away whatever is unnecessary to make a room feel balanced, and a bold print just isn’t needed here. Also, I will be hanging the exterior curtain through a pole-pocket, so not buttonholes will be required! I would prefer not to see the rod or hardware.

    But yes, Marimekko does make amazing prints — the best, IMO.

  • Reply Amy March 4, 2009 at 12:19 pm

    wow-it is coming along sooo nicely, anna! i love it.

  • Reply elaina March 4, 2009 at 2:22 pm

    it looks amazing! great choice with the black paint, it will look great with linen curtains. can’t wait to see it finished – i’m sure you can’t either!

  • Reply jennifer in sf March 4, 2009 at 9:15 pm

    I love the black on the walls. It’s making me wonder what I can paint black!

  • Reply pve design March 5, 2009 at 4:43 am

    great style here.
    priceless paper shelf.

  • Reply Teresa March 5, 2009 at 1:45 pm

    LOVE your progress!! Beautiful. I’m dying to know where you purchased the hex tiles… but I imagine the answer is here in your blog. Going to go look around. (my first visit today – I love it! and wondering why I hadn’t discovered your blog before now…)

  • Reply Teresa March 5, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    By the way – the black is on the ceiling, right? I love it!! (I noticed the comment a little above mine…)

  • Reply Anna at D16 March 5, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    Theresa: The black is on the upper portion of the walls (above the paneling, which is 8′ high) and on the ceiling.

    The floor isn’t hex tiles, though – they are penny rounds from Nemo Tile. You can see a better photo here. 🙂

  • Reply Jan's camera March 5, 2009 at 2:42 pm

    I love the paneling. It looks great.

  • Reply Jesse March 5, 2009 at 11:50 pm

    This is freaking amazing. It’s really making me rethink our bathroom renovation…

  • Reply Bespoke Letterpress March 6, 2009 at 6:06 am

    Oh your walls look perfect. Such gloriously high ceilings – love it!

  • Reply far out brussel sprout March 8, 2009 at 4:39 am

    bloody fantastic!

  • Reply Shashi March 8, 2009 at 11:41 am

    Anna, the linen will look really pretty. Btw, do you have suggestions on places to get contact paper – I’m planning on putting some in my old metal kitchen cabinets to spruce them up and am looking for some fun designs.

  • Reply lindsay March 9, 2009 at 12:08 pm

    knight’s armor = amazing

  • Reply wide open spaces March 9, 2009 at 8:02 pm

    loving the paneling, the black and the floors.
    loving your choices.

  • Reply bungalowbliss March 11, 2009 at 9:26 am

    What a wonderful space! The tile is stunning…I love the high paneling and the black paint–so brave of you but it looks absolutely amazing! Very nice job!

  • Reply 808living May 6, 2009 at 4:39 pm

    how did you fix the bathroom shelves to the wall? it looks like it’s floating.

  • Reply Anna at D16 May 6, 2009 at 4:44 pm

    808living: The shelves are just resting on shelf pins. The walls are wood, so the pins sit very firmly in place. Benita shows how this is done very clearly here.

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