Unlike the lucky ones who are born with a full tank of internal motivation, I come equipped with precious little get-up-and-go. I'm not a driver, nor a doer and find just about enough satisfaction right around the 80% mark. Not even my blood is type A (it's B positive, obviously).
Because of this I'm a big fan of external motivating factors. Like deadlines and workout classes. Really anything that forces me to be somewhat accountable (hello, blog readers!). And when it comes to all things domestic, there is nothing quite so motivating as knowing someone will be seeing your home who hasn't seen it before. It's one of the best reasons I know to host a party!
Out of town guests are especially motivating because unlike dinner guests who see what you want them to see and leave at a certain point, overnight guests are granted pretty full access. When we say our house if your house, we're not kidding around! So knowing someone is on their way to town with a suitcase in hand always forces me to look around at my house with a fresh pair of highly judgmental eyes.
Suddenly the things I've grown accustomed to over the years - the almost matching touch up paint in the living room, The Boat, the falling apart front porch - stick out like a sore thumb. And, since company usually arrives at a certain date and time, I have a deadline built right in. I can't imagine anything much more motivating than that!
So naturally when I found out our friends Steve and Grace were planning a visit from Reno, we took the opportunity to look around and see what could use a little sprucing up (after doing a happy dance, of course - we love having company!).
Oops. That's our whiskey dance. Eh, same dif...
The front porch had recently become dangerous (Liam managed to put his rain boot through a rotted out board after school one day) so it was first on our list. Right after we replaced our newly broken dishwasher. Then I set my sights on The Boat.
The Boat is our second bathroom, conveniently/inconveniently located in my fancy new office (aka, the laundry room). It earned the nickname because it's teeny tiny and the floors are so uneven you feel like you're on a sinking ship every time you sit on the toilet.
We had never ever done anything with The Boat except make fun of it and apologize to anyone who had to use it. But with Steve and Grace on their way, it felt like the time was right. So we got in there (no small feat - it's literally the size of a shoe box) and shook things up.
First things first: the sink. The one we had looked cheap and the size and shape were all wrong for the (lack of) space. I thought a classic pedestal would be a much better fit but as soon as we hesitantly began demolition, we realized that the plumbing came from the floor, not the wall. So we had to search for another option.
Fortunately, we spied this little beauty on sale on our very first trip to Home Depot:
I liked the look of it and thought the vanity/pedestal hybrid would be a much better fit for our space. Plus the cabinet would accommodate our plumbing and give me some space to stash a few things. Perfect!
Except as soon as we got it home we realized the plumbing came out of the floor 2 inches farther from the wall than the vanity. So our quick little DIY makeover had to be put on hold while we called the plumber.
(Although, how great is it to have a plumber you love? Pretty fantastic if you ask me!)
I am beyond thrilled that we called him because not only did he move the plumbing he also installed the sink. Which might not sound that hard but remember how I mentioned the floors are really uneven? They're REALLY uneven. From one end of the vanity to the other was almost 2 inches different. If we had done it ourselves, it would have looked like something out of a carnival fun house. But our plumber trimmed the bottom of the vanity to accommodate the slope of the floor so the surface of the sink looks level. If you couldn't feel that your left hip was 2 inches higher than your right hip, you might actually think the room was somewhat level.
Your hips don't lie.
He also fixed the floor and trim to match the new vanity which would have been a DIY disaster for us (we probably would have just apologized for it for the next five years before some other out-of-town guests motivated us to fix it). Once he worked his magic, all that was left to do was paint, install new shelves, and add all those finishing touches that make a house a home. Now that I can do myself!
I tied the green floor of the office in to the bathroom
with the shower curtain print and some (faux) greenery.
What you might look like when sitting on our toilet...
I wish I had more pictures to share (a before would have been nice...) but it's pretty much impossible to photograph such a small space. All that really matters is that our guests loved it and it felt really nice to offer them their own bathroom without an apology. Grace even complimented me on how beautiful it was before I told her we had just finished decorating!
And I don't know if it had anything to do with the lovely and comfortably stocked bathroom, but on their way out of town she thanked us for showing them true Southern hospitality. Which, I mean, come on...is there any greater compliment?!
So, obviously, we can no longer call The Boat The Boat. Liam suggested The Titanic but we ixnayed that for obvious reasons. I'm thinking maybe The Yacht? Because it's still teeny tiny and crazy uneven but so darn pretty we will happily forgive it.