Monday, March 11, 2019

Blue & White Master Bath Remodel

Reasons we remodeled our bathroom even though the house is only 13 years old.

1. I don't care for brown countertops.
2. I don't care for brown travertine tile.
3. I don't care for knotty alder cabinetry.
4. I don't like jetted tubs.
5. I also don't like tubs not big enough that I can not be submerged. (I am 5'9). This bathroom is way too small for a separate tub.
6. I don't like mirror slabs.
7. I don't like crappy one-inch grout lines. The tile job was so bad we couldn't even have an air vent cover fit the floor vents in the floor. Who knows how many q-tips I lost down that hole?
8. I wanted radiant heating in the floor because Utah has sucky winters and I was tired of playing Frogger, jumping from one floor mat to the next at 3am to avoid the glacially-cold floor.
9. We needed a pocket door to let in more light from the one window. The entrance to the bathroom is pretty wide so the door blocked way too much light.
10. Old vanity was too short for us tall peoples.

I love my new white and blue bathroom. It's the perfect mix of modern and traditional for us. A modern walnut vanity, paired with traditional beveled mirrors. Classic subway tile, but modern faucets. You get the picture.

Three colors of tile: white, denim blue, gray floors in shower and bathroom

Here it is before:
Before: Travertine floor with enormous 1" grout lines

Now that the too-small tub is removed we have a nice spot for a stool, some shelves, and a place to hang our towels. We opted to take the subway tile all the way across this wall and up to the ceiling. It's a west facing window so I ordered a navy black-out roller shade.  And now the floors have radiant heating. Best decision ever. Warm tile in the winter is life changing. 
After: No more tub!

Here is the same corner before:
Before: Very small tub I used 2 times in 13 years.

Wiring the floor for radiant heating.

I knew we would want a custom walnut vanity with big deep drawers (no cupboard doors!) that hold everything. The old vanity had very little storage. I found this vanity from Restoration Hardware as my inspiration, then had it custom made. Guess what? It was about $2,000 custom made, compared to $3,500 from RH. Score!

These mirrors  topped with these light fixtures take advantage of our 9-ft ceilings. They are super tall at 4-feet. The blue photo prints were taken by myself and overly saturated in blue; the black and white print is from Minted.

New vanity is counter height

Before: the drawers were too small to be of much use.
Old vanity, way too short

We had enough walnut leftover to make some floating shelves. Great for blown glass, art, and functional space as well.

The perfect spot to remove jewelry before showering.

My favorite feature, next to the radiant heating is replacing the big door, which blocked all the window light, with a pocket door. (You can read more about my navy doors here, best decision to paint them blue four years ago.) Adding a pocket door meant ripping out the entire wall where you now see the shelves, to add all the hardware. I felt sorry for the subs who had to do such an arduous task. They also had to carefully remove the transom window which we absolutely wanted to save.

Tearing out the old wall to add the pocket door.

Pocket door

radiant heating thermostat for floors

We've been living with this bathroom for 8 months now and honestly I would not change one single thing. Our contractor, Leah of L&D Construction in Provo, Utah was amazing as always. She is meticulous and demands perfection from her subs. She was in charge of our kitchen remodel 7 years ago as well. Ok she has been in charge of all our remodels. The bathroom took about 4 weeks total. And it's a pain to remodel because this is how we lived in our bedroom for about a month.

The fun of remodeling!
But worth it in the end!

Other sources: White paint is White Dove by Benjamin Moore. Most rooms in my house are now this color of white. I don't have the info on the Moen faucet, nor the specifics of the tiles. The denim blue tile in the shower I just found at Lowes. The gray floor tiles in the shower and bathroom, along with the white subway, is from Comtempo Tile in American Fork, Utah. The white quartz counters and shower bench are just a basic pure white quartz. 

Saturday, March 02, 2019

Sourdough Oatmeal Wheat Bread

I love to make crusty artisan sourdough bread but soft sourdough sandwich bread is also a favorite. I developed this recipe over the last several weeks, making multiple loaves each weekend to get it just right. I absolutely love the slightly nutty taste of oats in the bread.

This recipe makes one loaf but I have also doubled it. The Kitchen Aid actually kneads it even better with two loaves. A scale is a must for thus recipe but I assume if you already make sourdough bread then you definitely have a scale. Electronic scales are very inexpensive now, mine was $30 and purchased 12 years ago.

Sourdough Oatmeal Wheat Bread
Makes 1 loaf in an 8x4 pan

193 grams warm water
132 grams sourdough starter (bubbly and active, 100% hydration*)
½ teaspoon instant yeast (optional, but it does help it rise a bit more)
55 grams honey (can do as little as 20 grams if desired)
55 grams old-fashioned oats (plus extra for coating the dough)
110 grams wheat flour (I use freshly ground hard spring wheat)
160-180 grams bread flour (start with lesser amount)
22 grams vegetable oil
11 grams salt (approx 1½ teaspoons table salt)

Place all ingredients in your Kitchen Aid mixer. Knead on speed 2 or 3 approximately 6 minutes.
You want the dough to be tacky, not too wet, not too dry. Add an extra tablespoon or two of bread
flour if needed. The way I gauge this is it should stick to the bottom of the bowl but not the sides.
Or, by touch it should feel pretty sticky but not stick too much to your hands when you pull your fingers
away from, the dough. Better to be too sticky than too dry as it will absorb more of the flour during the first rise.

After kneading for six minutes in the Kitchen Aid place in a greased bowl and let rise until close to
double in size, approximately 2 hours depending on temperature of your kitchen. I have also mixed
the dough at night and immediately placed in my refrigerator overnight. Press out dough into a rectangle
the width of the pan, roll up, coat in a few more tablespoons of oats, place in greased 8x4 loaf pan,
cover with greased plastic wrap. Let rise another 1-2 hours (or place in refrigerator overnight)  then
bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.

*I use equal parts water and flour, by weight, to feed my sourdough starter.


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