Set your shampoo here

Or in our bald-headed cases, your soap, shaving cream, razors, etc.

I just ordered this double niche from, and had an email within minutes saying it would be received in 3 to 7 days. My local tile shop had similar products, but the sizing is what I like about this one. 16" X 20", so it should fit between existing studs and minimize any framing I need to do. I'll verify that for you once it arrives. Just screw to studs, install underlayment, silicone the seam between the niche and underlayment, and tile over.

UPDATE: Ordered at 930 this morning, email around 3 this afternoon from UPS letting me know it had shipped. We like fast.

A few more pieces of the puzzle

The medicine cabinet from Resto showed up today. Just a simple frameless mirror, so not really worth a photo. I will say its solid and heavy as hell, should be very nice when its installed.

It took HomeClick a few days to process our broken basin, but the replacement ships out tomorrow. Thankfully they told us to just pitch the broken one so we don't have to deal with sending it back.

We gave Westport Glass approximate measurements for the frameless shower enclosure and door and they called with their quote today. It was less than I expected, but more than Brett thought it would be.

This weekend we'll order tile and the Schluter products. The only thing remaining is the tile-in niche for the shower, which I need to buy tomorrow. The plan is to have the dumpster delivered Friday for demo next weekend.

Recommended reading

Chris at StyleNorth has a nice review of two books on the collections of Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Berge. Both The Private World of Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Berge, and The Yves Saint Laurent Pierre Berge Collection (the Hardcover catalog from the Christie's sale) are now on my list of books to buy.


We unpacked Lloyd (the pedestal sink) tonight and he's beautiful, except for the back left corner of the basin, which got crunched in shipping. The pedestal was double-boxed and made it just fine. So we'll call HomeClick tomorrow morning and see what we need to do. I wish it wouldn't have happened, but I will say this is giving us a full and complete experience working with them. If this gets resolved quickly without a hassle it will virtually guarantee we'll use them in the future. I need two more bathrooms and a kitchen, and likely a new washer and dryer, so our business is theirs to win.

Update 1, Thursday 10am: They've asked that we email a photo of the damage.

Things I love: Silver foliage

Isn't it great when a plant likes where you put it? Everything in the little side bed is looking healthy, we've had a lot of rain so I'm not surprised, but none of the plants are especially fast growers, save the two artemesia I surrounded Mr. Cement Frog with.

I'm a sucker for most any plant that leans to silvers and blues, this finely cut, bushy variety being my favorite. They like some sun and I was worried they wouldn't get enough on the east side of the house, but it appears to be working out just fine.

Now if the big varigated grasses I put by the garage and the porch would stop looking so dry and scraggly I'd be perfectly happy. The smaller dark green maiden grass seems to be doing well, but the big guys look like they're having a hard time of it. Buckets of water seem to help, as did all the rain, but a few dry days and they're looking iffy again. Fingers crossed.

Mad Props

Just a note to say I'm very happy with First, when we called to see about cancelling the first sink it was no problem at all. Then the shower head that wasn't supposed to ship until next week arrived at Brett's office today. He also received an email letting us know that the sink (ordered this past Wednesday night) shipped this morning.

Not only was shipping on the sink free, there was a popup promotion when we pulled the trigger and we got an extra 5% off.

I'm a fan.

Longevity in design

It's an embarassment of fixtures and fittings here! Everything arrived from HomeClick today save the shower head, which is scheduled to show up in a couple of days. Also a surprise was the box I found on the porch when I went out to get the mail, the pair of Albion single sconces from Restoration Hardware.

We've opened all the pretty things and I'll just say again, Kohler makes some beautiful products. The Purist suite is simple yet visually substantial, and the gleaming polished chrome is gorgeous. I thought about a photo but each thing seems to have a lot of pieces, all of which are wrapped safely in foam envelopes and bubble wrap. You'll see everything in the after shots, hopefully very soon.

Thank you all for your thoughts on the sink dilema. As you likely said to yourselves, there just wasn't much difference between the Barclay and the Porcher. And while the Toto stood apart, its still a white pedestal. More contemporary in feel, but retaining some classic lines. Especially when you look at the pedestal itself. It's the shape of pedestals past, simplified down to the basic elements. In the end, the Lloyd by Toto was the winner.

Martha asked the question I think I needed to hear: how would either look in ten years?

I think they'll both look good in a decade actually. But I also recognize that over time my taste has changed, and it seems that it's been a movement toward simple and more streamlined. The materials in the room, the black and white marble, white porcelain and polished chrome, are timeless and should hold up as well as they always have. The toilet and sink especially recall the lines of their predecessors, and hopefully that influence, pared down to the essential shape and proportion, will keep them looking both classic and fresh for a long time to come.

A little wrench

Ok, we've hit a slight hitch. The pedestal sink we ordered is on backorder, and won't ship until September. Sure it happens, but in this case it's going to require a replacement. So, here are the candidates.

First, the Lutezia pedestal from Porcher. Not all that different from the original choice. I'm a bit bugged by the curved deck below the spout but can probably deal with it. This ships from HomeClick in 4 to 5 weeks, so it would have to be purchased elsewhere. I've found it on eBay at $318 with free shipping.

The other choice is the Lloyd pedestal from Toto. Ships in 2 to 3 days, for free, from HomeClick. But it's $538. It's also more contemporary, which isn't what I had originally envisioned, but also isn't something I mind. One thing that I do like a lot is that its 34 inches tall. Both Brett and I are around 6 feet tall, so we like a little extra height.

The Purist faucet would work just fine. Also we bought a pair of the Albion bath sconces from Resto. They're seriously minimal, and would also work really well with this sink.

Alright, lets hear what you think.

House in a box

Thanks to my buddy Russ, I've discovered something you might be interested in. Most people know that Sears used to sell entire houses, everything you needed to build, right down to the nails. All cut, packed and shipped to your building site.

Well they've got most of their old home plans archived online here.

I've spent a huge chunk of my evening looking at renderings and floor plans, and wondering if any of the countless little bungalows and tudors I've visited might not have started out as a Sears & Roebuck Modern Home.

Rooms are generally (but not always) small, and some plans don't contain bathrooms (outhouse plans were available too), but it's surprising how well the designs hold up. Many of the decades old exterior elevations seem especially graceful to me still. There was even a fourplex apartment plan that could be any number of apartment buildings around KC.

Bathroom in a box

What better way to celebrate a distinctly American holiday than with some good old American consumerism! After exhaustive research and price comparisons, we ordered most everything we'll need for the bathroom this morning. was the winner with an average of 37% off manufacturer's list and free shipping on most items. We compared with Lowe's and HomeClick was lower, plus theres no tax for the online purchase. Then on top of that, they were taking another 8% off for the holiday.

Barclay Constitution pedistal sink
Kohler Persuade dual flush toilet

Kohler Purist widespread faucet in polished chrome

Matching Purist shower mixer and head

Tissue holder, towel ring and a pair of bars (below)

We've found an oversized Carrera subway tile for the walls, floor to ceiling, and a black 12x12 marble for the floor, and will be measuring and figuring out how much we need today. We also need to order the Schluter shower underlayment system this week.

The electrician's bid is in, now we just need to find a plumber. And hope that there's nothing horrible awaiting us when we start demolition. I can't wait to call for a dumpster!

Prada: Resort 2010

While her daddy is back in Michigan celebrating his nephew's first birthday, Prada has been hanging out at our house! She's run Alex ragged but I think he's been happy to have some company.

Tom and Prada moved to Brookside in April and it seems like he's having her groomed more. She must have been matted on her legs though because they've shaved her down close, but her little bit of a beard is coming in nicely.

Happy holiday weekend everyone!

Auction score

I didn't go to the auction this week, but I saw this pitcher on the website and ran down over lunch and left a bid that turned out to be successful. The manager at the auction house said things went cheap, I'm kind of bummed that I didn't go, there were a few other pieces I would have bid on.

I think that this is redware, but I'm going to have to do some research. The unglazed bottom, rim, and scrapes on the applied handle all have that dark reddish color. I'm pretty sure its old, the interior glaze has crackled like you'd expect, but that's all I know. I feel like I've seen the orange color and/or polka dots before, but I'm not sure.

If anyone has any redware knowledge or knows of a good source let me know.