Details, details

It feels like ages since I updated this blog, probably because most everything is done. This week the painters finally finished painting the ceiling in the bathroom, so now literally the only thing left in there to do is the mirror over the sink. The full effect of the bathroom with the finished ceiling looks like this:


I was actually able to both decide on and purchase a mirror yesterday after work. I got a 60x70cm mirror with LED back lighting at a store called Bauhaus (like a Home Depot, for those of you in the US). It looks like this (photo ganked from the link):


I need to get an electrician to install it. I wish I had gotten my act together back when I actually had an electrician working here a couple of weeks ago. Now this will be super expensive to install, but that’s (literally) the price you pay for being disorganized. It will be centered over the sink:


When I was at Bauhaus I noticed they had nice looking shower caddies that fit over the shower hardware. I’ve been thinking one of these would be nice to have, having seen them at one of the tile stores I went to months ago, so I decided to go for it:


Cool shadows, no?

I also finally picked up a clothes rod and some brackets so that I can start hanging coats in my coat closet. I also had to buy a hacksaw, since none of the rods were the right length. It was much easier to saw through the rod than I was expecting. Here’s the rod in action:


Yes, all those coats are mine. Norway has a tricky climate and a person needs a lot of coats for all kinds of conditions. I’m really happy with how this storage space turned out. I can get a lot in there, and it’s easy to keep organized. The rest of the hall storage looks like this now:


It’s a tight little corner of the apartment, but it seems to work ok.


As I sit down to write this post, I am newly showered, and I am at home. Put two and two together and the astute reader will understand that as of this afternoon I have a fully functioning shower!


Given that today is 12 April, and I moved back into the apartment on 4 February, I think it’s fair to say that this has been a very long time coming. It was amazing. The size of the stall works perfectly, the door is fabulous, the fan is both quiet and efficient, and I’m really pleased with all the fixtures.

Basically, my bathroom feels like a really nice, upscale hotel bathroom. The layout with everything in place works better than I dared to hope. It really seems like I’ve squeezed the maximum out of this tiny space:


While it would be a stretch to say it feels spacious, it definitely isn’t cramped. I think having all the surfaces roughly the same neutral color contributes to it appearing more generous than it is. And I have to admit, the more I look at the tiles, the more I like them. I actually think I like them better than I would have liked Microcement, all things considered.

So, yeah. I think that was the best shower I ever took. I almost cried, I was so relieved!

Bathroom storage

Boy, this has been a long time coming; the bathroom cabinets are in!


They were originally delivered in December, and they’ve been filling up space in my living room and bedroom ever since. Regardless of how I feel about them in the bathroom, it’s wonderful to free up the space elsewhere. I was so sick of looking at those big boxes!

I’m basically really happy with them. The only thing I’m not enthusiastic about is the placement of the knobs on the tall cabinet. If I had been here when the installer was doing this, I would have insisted on having them all the same (either centered or to the right). It will bug me for the duration, but not enough to do anything about it. The difference is because the lowest door hides a pull-out laundry basket that I’ll use for delicates. There’s lots of storage in the tall cabinet, obviously, but also in the two drawers under the sink:



It will take me a while to figure out what goes where, but I’m positive there’s enough room for everything I use in the bathroom. Currently all my bathroom stuff is in one large drawer in my kitchen, so it will be a luxury to be able to spread it out and organize it better. The sink is of course itty-bitty, since the countertop is so shallow, but that’s fine. I can use the two huge basins in my kitchen sink for activities like hand washing knitted items.

The contractor tells me that the plumber may be able to come in on Monday and install the shower, sink faucet and washing machine. That would be fantastic. I’m very curious to see how well integrated the washing machine will be under the countertop:


You can see part of the opening for the washing machine to the right in the picture above. It will stick out by a few centimeters, but hopefully won’t be too obtrusive. Also, note how the tall cabinet just barely squeezed in between the door trim and the wall. Phew, that was almost too close for comfort. The room really is tiny; you can sit on the toilet and open the cabinets right in front of you.

The plastic you see in the pictures is up because the painters are working on the ceiling. It’s got some kind of a base coat right now:


I actually think this is a gorgeous gray-blue, and totally wouldn’t mind if that were the real color. I think the painter has already bough the paint for the final coat, though, so I’ll stick with the plan, which calls for plain white.

The only negative in all this, is that I discovered that the mirror I though I had ordered didn’t get delivered back in December. I’m not quite sure what to do about that, other than to follow up with HTH to see whether it got ordered, paid for and then misplaced, or if I didn’t actually order and pay for it.

Bathroom progress

I realized that I haven’t posted any pictures from the bathroom since the walls were grouted, so here’s a view that shows both the big square tiles and the small hexagonal tiles:


I also forgot to post a picture of the door now that it’s trimmed out. Here it is, also from a couple of days ago:


Some pretty small scale things happened today in the bathroom. A painter applied tape and compound to the ceiling and an electrician finished off most of the electrical work. Tomorrow is kind of a big day because the installer from HTH is supposed to come and install the cabinets and sink in the bathroom. I’m very excited about that, but I just realized I’m going to have to jump up and move things out of the way so that he can get to them. They’ve been stashed away since Christmas!

Almost there

The kitchen is now so close to being done. The tiles are up and grouted, and everything else is up and running except the vent to the ventilation hood. It looks exactly how I had hoped it would look:


I’m especially happy with how it looks behind the sink:


This I can live with. Funny thing is, a carpenter who came in today to frame in my bathroom door was very opinionated about everything in the apartment (he walked around commenting on everything). He was skeptical to blue tiles because of Feng Shui (!) and started to suggest that I should have used red tiles instead. Anyone who knows me knows I have a strong aversion to the color red, mostly because I grew up in a house with tomato red wall-to-wall carpeting throughout nearly the entire living space. That was more than enough red for a lifetime. I’ll stick with my periwinkle blue, thank you very much.

The cabinet installer from HTH has tentatively agreed to come on Friday to install the cabinets and sink in the bathroom. I need to remember to ask him to install the kitchen vent too. That is the last little detail before the whole kitchen is totally finished. Phew.



I almost thought it would never happen, but as of Friday evening, there was a sofa in my living room!


It was totally worth the wait. So darned comfortable! I was only able to hook two of the modules together, so some work remains to be done, but that will come later. For now I’m just going to revel in the most comfortable lounge spot I’ve ever had.

The Joy of Tiles II

The bathroom tiles are all up, and the tile guy will be back on Monday again to finish up. I’m really happy with how the bathroom is turning out. This shot probably gives the best overall impression of how the walls look:


Here’s the shower enclosure:


I’m so relieved that it’s symmetrical. And here’s the niche above the toilet with all the surrounding tile in place:


Here’s how the window was dealt with:


The plan is for the tile guy to come back on Monday and do the grout work and start on the kitchen tiles. Tuesday will probably be a plumber and then a carpenter will have to do some finish and trim work around the door, and a painter will have to deal with the ceiling.