Be our guest, be our guest…

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…you know, Beauty and the Beast is probably my least favorite in the Disney princess franchise.

My favorite?  The Jungle Book (in the original).  I know it’s not right to anthropomorphize animals. And, don’t get me started on the geographic misrepresentation of fauna.  But man, who doesn’t like a scatting orangutan?

Anyway .  . .this post is a joint effort.

Currently, Via Corona doesn’t look much different than she did a couple of weeks ago.  We’re at what TD calls the John Cazale Stage of the renovation – it’s the necessary stuff that no one notices because it isn’t super sexy – you know, plumbing, electrical, and the like.

TD here.  For the uninitiated, John Cazale appeared in five films in six years, all of which were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture.  The Godfather, The Conversation, Godfather Part II, Dog Day Afternoon and The Deer Hunter.  Cazale wasn’t the star of any of those films, but he did a ton of heavy lifting in each.  Can you imagine Michael Corleone without Fredo?  Of course, you can’t.  (Except Shannon can because she’s never seen the Godfather. There’s something wrong with her.)  So, here we sit with new copper plumbing, LED can fittings and a freshly hot mopped shower.  Fredo stuff.  RIP John Cazale.

Lacking anything cool and new to show you,  we’ve got plans.  Literally.  Starting with the guest bath.

At the top of the stairs just off the linen closets, the original layout of the guest bathroom was pretty unfortunate.  Like a limo with a hot tub: long, narrow and inefficient.


It also hid some of the most hideous wallpaper in history, which is saying something in the storied history of wallpaper.  Actually, last week we found new wallpaper in the ceiling of the powder room–that stuff is currently in a sudden-death shoot-out with this for most hideous wall covering.

Nothing says “I’m an exhibitionist” like having a window in the middle of your bathroom.  Come to think of it–all three of of Via Corona’s bathrooms are like this.  We played with the idea of doing something about it but ultimately did not want to compromise the symmetrical look of the windows from the exterior. Luckily the upslope of the hillside and the occasional visitor with poor timing are the only potential witnesses to TD’s morning gun show.

With that pleasant visual dancing around in your noggin, let’s explore the guest bath as it used to be.

The tub-shower combo was tucked into a dark corner behind the door.

While long and technically spacious, the vanity area was not very efficient.  It was also 29 inches high.  No joke, TD could bang his knee on the countertop.  To borrow from the great Steven Wright, perhaps the old owners posed for trophies.

And  I know they call it a throne and it is generally integral to the successful functioning of a bathroom, but having the toilet front and center wasn’t much fun to look at.  Of course having it sit in the middle of what used to be the kitchen isn’t a much better place (we’re assuming this is just an ornamental stopover on its way to the dumpster).

Changing the size of the bathroom was not an option.  So, we rearranged everything (except that window).  We added a door to the guest bedroom to make the bath an en-suite.  This not only created another form of entry but added a little privacy to the commode area.

Neither TD or I really cared about having a bathtub but we knew we needed to keep one in the house for resale value.  And the one currently sitting in our front yard doesn’t count.  Also, TD likes to quote former 49ers running back Roger Craig who once told him, “you can’t make the club in the tub.”  If I heard it once, I’ve heard it a thousand times.  I’m not kidding.  He says it all the time. I still have no what it means.

Alas, life is about compromise and in this case we gave up vanity space.

As for the look, we’re keeping things pretty neutral and clean with a couple of interesting touches.  The flooring is a warm grey chevron limestone tile.  I originally wanted to use dark charcoal fan-tiles but when the estimate for the hand-made pretties came in at $10 per tile…PER TILE…I changed my tune.

To play off the warm grey and to offset the more masculine fixtures (TD: Which is a misnomer because no man ever has cared about the look of a fixture. TMH: It’s a description not an assignment of interest.), we’ll go with an almost-there shade of pink for the walls.  The color is Benjamin Moore Opal…yeah, I know…you read the May issue of House Beautiful too.  I also think the pink will make a nice contrast to the bright white glazed subway tiles in the shower/tub.  We’re going with a white shaker vanity with a marble countertop and clear lucite hardware.  The fixtures are all in stainless steel.  Oh, and I am very anti-towel rack.  You won’t find a single one in Via Corona.  It’s all about the hooks baby, and this guest bath will have a couple of cool ones topped with sliced agate.

While designed as the guest bath, this lovely space will be mine (TMH) for everyday use.  TD and I have very different schedules and there are plenty of bathrooms to go around with just the two of us in the house so–why share?  TD gets the master bath.  The master bath has an eight-foot shower.  Just remember that when he complains in a future post about how my inability to share got him kicked out of the walk-in closet..


Want to read more about our renovation adventures? Go here: Via Corona


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