As if leaving NYC to buy a home in the suburbs wasn’t going to be a big enough challenge for me, I made the crazy decision to throw on a few major renovations during my first year as a homeowner. It all started when I noticed some weird dents in my thighs (I kid you not) and my sister mentioned that it may be because my bathroom vanities were so low. After giving her some serious side eye for making such an insane comment, I secretly decided I’d start standing on my tippy toes to do my makeup and see if it made a difference. Sure enough, it did. Looking back, I probably just should have botoxed my thighs (is that a thing?), as it would have been a lot cheaper. But obviously instead, I decided that thigh dimples were reason enough for me to blow the entire bathroom to pieces.
Let’s just say there are not enough anxiety meds in the world for me to ever embark on another bathroom renovation. This is a quick summary of how most of my days went: Contractor – “What color would you like us to paint the trim” Me – “White” Contractor – “Yes but what shade of white?” Me – “WHAT? I have no idea what you are talking about, don’t ask me questions like that. WHITE.” Contractor – rolls his eyes and nods his head having learned from the 90 days prior, that I’m clearly not a rational person and this is probably not worth discussing further.
For those of you like me, I pulled together 5 (possibly obvious) tips I learned along the way:
- Polished Nickel vs. Chrome are very different things!
They both look beautiful but polished nickel is much harder to find and therefore even my toilet paper holder had to come from Restoration Hardware (ching ching ching). Items like the air conditioner vent and towel holders are things you can, and probably should, get at Home Depot so pick chrome!
- Faucets will make you broke.
I hope you like mac and cheese.
- Compare all of your tiles before the contractor arrives to lay them!
One of the most disturbing things I learned from both my kitchen and bathroom renovations are there are about one billion shades of white (whyyyyyy). Seriously, why??? Why can’t the world just be easier than that? Anyway, back to the tiles, make sure to pick them up early and lie them next to each other (floor, shower pan, shower walls, etc.) to make sure you like how they all look together! Laying tiles is no joke and ordering new tiles can take weeks. Your tile guy/gal is probably a very busy person so make sure you are ready for them when they come.
- Pick grey (or a darker grout) for floors.
Floors can get dirty fast and a darker grout is a great way to extend the life of your new floors! This was a recommendation from my sister that I am so glad I took. I love the look of the contrasting grout to my white tiles and after years of wear, my OCD will too.
- The position of your lighting matters.
Lights between mirrors are pretty but lights above mirrors are a lot more functional.
I learned a lot of things I hoped to never know throughout the renovation process. Ask friends, seek advice, plan to spend twice your budget, use contractors you don’t mind living with for 3 months and by all means – load up on the Xanax!