Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Happy New Tub!

Well, Chickens, it is 2015.  And despite what Back to the Future might have promised us, we are still missing our hovercars and rocket shoes and other key technological advancements.

Here at the Castle things are moving right along, mostly in ways that don't really make for sexy pictorials.  Vapor barrier installed in the wine cellar?  Check.  Ducting in for the Vinotemp wine cellar cooling system? Check. Massive new water heater installed and working?  You betcha.  Plumbing and electrical all roughed in?  Yep.  But mostly, it looks much the same down there as it did at the end of 2014.  Tomorrow the radiant heat floor gets officially connected in the basement, so that will be toasty, but not really visual.  And the electrician will do one final pass to put in the boxes for the bathroom sconces and ceiling fixture and then we wait for inspection.

Once inspection happens, then things can really start rolling along...closed cell spray foam insulation will go in, and then SHEET ROCK!  I never in a million years thought that the very idea of drywall would make me all tingly in my bits, but it totally does.  Because once there is drywall, there can be paint, and once there is paint there can be furnishings!  And really?  Aren't you tired of seeing pictures of construction and not of finished rooms that look warm and inviting and pretty?  Because I can tell you that I certainly am!  HGTV seems to think that overhauling a whole house can happen in about twelve minutes, but I am here to tell you that is very much not the case.  Now some of this is because when HGTV is PAYING for said construction, they can afford to have eleventy million workers stumbling over each other 17 hours a day seven days a week, but here in the real world, one has to pay as they go, and we are not in the "time and a half" business over here.

But the one thing that has changed in a way that I can actually show you might seem small, but is huge for me.

I might have mentioned before that I am a hot bath kind of girl.  Not for washing, that requires a shower with great water pressure.  For soaking.  For relaxing.  For reading a good book and sipping a hot cup of ginger honey tea (more on this later) or wine, for nibbling on a tangerine and luxuriating in steaming water.

Or I would be.  If my current tub did not look like this:

And lest you have a problem with judging scale, and imagine that this is actually one of those huge oval two-person soakers, let me be precise.  This is a 1978 corner tub.  The interior dimensions are 46 x 28 x 12.  This is the perfect tub in which to soak a child under the age of 3.  But I?  Am 63 inches long, and wide enough that I don't even want to tell you what happens when I try and take a bath in this hateful thing, but let's just say that there is suction involved.  And 12 inches deep does not qualify as soaking anything except a skillet, particularly when the stupid overflow valve has been installed as a mere EIGHT INCHES.  It's not a bathtub, its barely a puddle, and its very existence makes my brain want to explode in frustration.  Plus?  It is almond bisque.  Sort of a flesh colored taupe.  Shudder.

Wanna know what a tub should look like?


This?  Right here?  Is 72 inches long and 36 inches wide and 22 inches deep and it is IN MY BASEMENT RIGHT NOW.  Note that my contractors have put all kinds of signs on it saying not to step into it, because they know me and know that I would absolutely be curled up in there taking an imaginary bubble bath if they didn't warn me off. It doesn't have faucets yet, or proper support, and we are a good eight weeks from being able to take a bath in it, but it is there and beautiful and it makes me inordinately happy just to look at it.  Go on.  Scroll back up and look at it again.  I'll wait.


Some other fun bathroom fixtures have also arrived...

This is the sconce we will be using both over the vanity and in the tub nook.  All of our finishes in this bathroom will be in antique brass, because the hardware on the antique vanity we are repurposing for the vanity is brass, so we are going off of that.  There will also be a ceiling fixture over the tub:

Just a very simple brass drum.

Over the vanity, where we are doing one long trough sink with two sets of faucets for a his and hers look, we are hanging his and hers mirrors:

Also in antique brass, these are reproductions of a 1920s French design that has a 5 inch deep shelf with protective bar at the bottom, and since we will have limited counter space and didn't want to do medicine cabinets, this will provide much needed (and attractive) storage.

I'm really excited about how the bathroom is coming together, and very ready to see it all actually in place!

Finally, because it is winter and horrible cold and flu season, I want to share with you one of our new favorite items in the Arctic survival kit.  Ginger Honey Tea.  A recent trip to a local Asian market unearthed a jar of magic.  It looks like a cross between marmalade and ginger jam.  But one heaping teaspoon in a cup of hot water or blended into tea gives you the perfect hit of spicy ginger, soothing honey, and just enough sweetness without being cloying.  It has about 1/3 the sugar and calories per teaspoon versus straight honey, and the ginger is real julienned ginger root, which makes for a crunchy little chewy surprise at the bottom of your cup.  We are addicted, and strongly suggest you hit your nearest Asian market and pick some up.  They carry it on Amazon, but it is insanely expensive, more than three times what we paid for it at the store.

Here's to a new year and all the happy (and healthy) I hope it brings to us all!  More updates soon!

Yours in Good Taste,
The Polymath


  1. The tub looks amazing and I'm jealous! I would totally curl up in it. Can't wait to see the finished bathroom!

  2. Could you please post a picture of the jar of honey/ginger jam, please? Or a link to Amazon? I'm ready to seek it out on Argyle and would love a visual if possible.

    1. Thank you so much for the speedy response! Can't wait to try it.

  3. when I saw the picture of your current tub I actually thought it was a sink…. Oh man…

    I'm lovin' the new tub and all the fixings!

  4. I'm also in the midst of a bathroom renovation. Bought a wonderful 50's ranch a few months ago, and the master was,let's just say,... a baby blue disappointment. It was also leaking terribly, so the renovation was planned at time of purchase. I'm busting through the back of the wall of the existing bathroom to take over a small bedroom behind in the process. I'm itching to actually use the space, but it's a few weeks off as yet. I feel your pain about things being so close and yet so far. The items in your bath are gorgeous; they will be heavenly when you are done. Mine is a more simple affair, as I'd wanted to move the laundry upstairs as part of the renovation, and this eliminated the space to have a tub. But there is one in the other full (and so very 50's pink) bath, so I have the option. But the design has a rather comfy shower that is big enough to eventually house a teak bench, and my contractor is currently working on the heated floor. I'm in Michigan, and I will go into it every morning and sigh with happiness to have warm toes.

  5. Your new bath tub is a very big improvement from your old one, and I mean that literally! Haha! Your old bathtub may be small, but are you still using it, or have you gotten rid of it? Also, how is the big bath tub now? I do hope it really was finished for eight weeks. Thanks for sharing!

    Traci Romero @ Harris Plumbing

  6. The old one is toast! Never heard a better sound than the sledgehammer hitting that sucker and busting it into a thousand pieces. The new tub is glorious, and has even converted my husband into a regular bath guy!