Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Home Improvement -- Faith in Action

We are a family with a lot of passion -- for faith, politics, cooking, reading, medical maladies, etc. The last several weeks have been stressful -- between the medical issues, the news on the Church in Europe, and the health care legislation debate, passion has been on overdrive.

Last weekend, I could take no more! I had to do something with the the pent up energy needing to be released. I had to make it purposeful, and in service to God and to the family. So, I brushed off my power tools and headed for the powder room. I love to remodel and some of you may have seen my status updates on Facebook (if you read this blog and want to follow me on FB, send a friend request). It's a meditative process for me, a problem solving process that helps me to focus on what is good and true and beautiful.

The project:

1. Correct a remodel quandary that stumped me 7 years ago. Well, I was either stumped or too lazy to fix it at the time. I needed to raise the floor by 3/4 of an inch. For 7 years, I have had a sunken powder room. That needed to change.

2. new flooring over the new sub-floor.

3. Replace the pedestal sink with a small vanity cabinet. I had gone with the pedestal sink 7 years ago not realizing that a) I would have no storage -- with 6 kids who use that bathroom every morning, what could I have been thinking -- b) the plumbing was not designed for that type of sink, thus the over-sized vanity that I originally removed had a purpose.

4. Remove the wall paper trim, wash, patch and sand the walls before repainting. Choose paint color. Carefully remove and reinstall the baseboards, adding new white quarter round strips around the room.

5. Respond to the problem of the light that is now slightly off center of the new vanity as a result of the placement of the plumbing. (This is still a work in progress as I search for the appropriate light fixture.) Replace the old mirror and find a smaller white mirror to take it's place.

6. Remove and reinstall the toilet, which by the way was perfect from the moment we installed it 7 yrs. ago. (Pat, pat, pat on the back for us -- one thing actually worked out the way I wanted it to last time around.)

I gave myself 2 days to get the big stuff done -- Saturday and Sunday -- and everyone got to help in some fashion. It became the family project.

The Process:

Here are some before and after photos to let you see the difference. The room has been toned down to soothing neutrals to better match the color scheme in the rest of my home. 7 yrs. ago, mint green seemed like a good choice -- not so much, now.


Pedestal sink with plumbing exposed. It's hard to tell but you have to step down into the room.

Photo of the wallpaper trim and green walls before the makeover.


The new sub-floor I laid down before putting in the new flooring.

The new flooring -- look Mom, no sunken bathroom anymore!

After the room was painted


New mirror, vanity and accessories installed

Toilet, art and knick-knacks back where they belong.

I am so pleased with the outcome of this project! It wasn't costly because I was reusing much of what was there already. Once I find the perfect light fixture, it will be complete. But, it is quite functional and pretty...and the perfect stress reliever for me. Focusing on a project, including the kids in the painting and redecorating, watching my husband teach my son how to install a toilet, and getting behind the power tools again left me with a great sense of pride and accomplishment.

These activities are life skills that will help one to channel frustration and anxiety into glory for God. They are a form of prayer --putting our love for the Lord into the practical moments of one's life. And, they are leisure, spending the days with God doing something wonderful, recognizing the connection between the Carpenter and the worker. It helps the family, it helps the soul, it just plain helps -- the sense of satisfaction at the end is wonderful as well!

In [Christ] who is the source of my strength I have strength for everything. (Phil 4:13)


Peony Moss said...

Testing out the comments, as you requested, but I'm in awe of the subfloor. I hope you'll teach me how to do that sometime....

Kathy said...

A tape measure and a jig saw are your best friends. I had the piece of plywood cut to the approx. size of the room at the hardware store.

Sure, I'll teach you.