The byline of Anthony Wilder Design/Build is “Architecture with Whimsy.”

That means something different to everyone, but for us, it gave us permission to be creative and have fun with our space.

It also let me try something new for a logistical problem for small bathrooms: WHERE to hang all of the towels?? I know from experience that kids prefer hooks to towel rods, and if it is summer time and there’s bathing suits and towels and cover-ups, you need more places to hang things. This “tree” was a creative solution. I had spotted an idea similar to this on Teh Interwebs, and decided it would be fun to try.

Tree decal

Tree decal

I got the tree-shaped decal on sale from Pier One. I also found leaf-shaped hooks on-line; (they were bronze so I spray-painted them black.) Once the bathroom was painted and I washed down the wall, I put up the decal. And then, George, our lead carpenter, put up the leaf-shaped hooks.

Close-up view

Close-up view

And hey! they even work! 🙂 I love it!

photo 3-10

Sources for this design:

  • Pier One: tree decal (website says it is discontinued, but I also spotted it here.)
  • EBay: Leaf-shaped hooks




Preview of coming attractions

Coming soon… the big reveal. We are getting CLOSE!

Shower head system

Shower head system

Master bathroom light fixture.

Master bathroom light fixture.

Shower stall

Shower stall

Newly painted stairwell. Note that decorator handrail!

Newly painted stairwell. Note that decorator handrail!

Master bedroom closet converted into a walk-in.

Master bedroom closet converted into a walk-in.

So, how are we coping?

Another post I forgot to Publish. Gee. What HAVE I been doing??


Someone asked me this week, “SOooo…. how are you coping?” The short answer is, “OK.” The long answer is, “OK, but I am ready for them to be done.” So here’s a “life in the trenches” blog post. Things are not neat and pretty around there. The storage choices we made are functional but not decorative. If you are a super neat person who alphabetizes your underwear, it will probably make you twitch a little.

First, the purrbabies. They have their own room in the basement where it’s quiet. It comes with their own couch, litter box, water bowl, food… and it is room most insulated from the noise and dust during the day. Do they like it? Not really. But they are coping. This is a daily task, though, that I’m very grateful I have an early-rising spouse. They have to be captured, carried into the room, and the room has to be relatively cat-proofed.

Tiria and Henry on "their" couch.

Tiria and Henry on “their” couch.

We moved our clothes out of the closet area. It is embarrassing to admit this… but we have a LOT of clothes. And shoes. And bags. And sweaters. And… well, you know.

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The old master bedroom closet when it was relatively neat.

It didn’t help that we spanned two seasons of clothing and shoes (winter and spring). So clothing which would normally be switched out the early part of April is still being retrieved from boxes and bins. And it’s just everywhere in the house, from the 2nd floor to the basement. There really isn’t an area of the house that isn’t affected. Here’s the dumping zone that was our living room. Out-of-season clothes, pictures, small furniture pieces. Lamps. Boxes of books and toiletries. Throw rugs. Extra linens and towels. Curtain rods. And the beat goes on… This meant we had to cover and pad the grand piano too.

The "entrance" to the living room.

The “entrance” to the living room.

Another view.

Another view.

More stuff.

More stuff. Mostly out-of-season clothes.

My study is now my dressing area, and where I have clothes from my dresser (Tshirts, underthangs, socks, etc.). I organized it in bins. It’s less than perfect, but it’s been do-able.

My desk is to the left. A pile of bins and baskets holds my clothes to the right.

My desk is to the left. A pile of bins and baskets holds my clothes to the right.

My dress clothes for work are in the basement.

Thanks to my beloved, a "custom" hanging rod!

Thanks to my beloved, a “custom” hanging rod!

And earrings, hair dryer, toiletries and sundries are on the dresser in my daughter’s room. photo 2-6 While I’m sleeping on the floor on an air mattress. photo 1-8 My husband has likewise used a daughter’s closet and a hanging area downstairs for his clothes, as well as his own set of boxes and bins. photo 2-11 In short, it’s been chaotic. I’ll post more about lessons learned through all of this. Once I can find my desk again.

Master Bath Demolition

Another post I didn’t click “Publish.” Sorry about that.

This is where we started.

The old bathroom floor. The finest 1973 had to offer.

The old bathroom floor. The finest 1973 had to offer.

With Phase One almost done, it’s time for Master Bath Demo.

So the fun begins. We moved out of our bedroom and into my study, the basement, the living room, and our daughters’ bedrooms. For the next 8 weeks or so, we’re camping.

The old fiberglass tub is removed

The old fiberglass tub and surround is removed!

That "lovely" avocado green vinyl floor? Buh-bye.

That “lovely” avocado green vinyl flooring? Buh-bye.

Snitching some space from the stairwell for a double vanity.

Snitching some space from the stairwell for a double vanity.

Looking at the future double vanity and toilet from the doorway.

Looking at the future double vanity and toilet from the doorway.

Future walk-in closet.

Future walk-in closet.


How will it look when we are all done? Stay tuned! 🙂

Phase One – 99% DONE!

One of several posts I forgot to “publish.” Oops.

We are at the point of “substantial completion” of Phase One! This means that the first floor half bath and the hall bath are close to being finished. There’s still a few finishes left to do (like installing the wall art in the hall bath, as well as a new shower curtain rod. There also needs to be a hand towel rod and a toilet paper holders. But those are small potatoes. Just look at the difference!

Here’s the old half bath:

Powder room - the OLD one

Powder room – the OLD one



And here’s the new!


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Brighter, lighter, and a redirected heater vent takes care of moving the duct from the ceiling to the toe kick of the cabinet. The tiles are beautiful and clean like a dream. I’ll need to get some new things like a soap dish, but it’s really great that the toilet doesn’t leak. 🙂 Among other things, the original builder of the home took some plumbing short cuts. (Or, perhaps to put it more kindly, followed a standard of plumbing that is not recommended any more…)

Now, the hall bath. Remember we had leaking issues and problems with a sub floor. Turns out the toilet was installed incorrectly here as well. And the shut off valves were frozen. The stained fiberglass surround is GONE and is replaced with brighter tiles, better lighting and an easy clean tub.

Here’s the old hall bath:


Hall bathroom - OLD

Hall bathroom – OLD

And here’s the new!

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Yes!!! We’re excited. Not having “cascading fountains” into the living room is a good thing.

pictures of the master bath demolition
plans for the walk-in closet space
how we’re coping for sleeping, dressing and storage while we are kicked out of our bedroom (HINT: It’s a good thing our children are in college.)

17 flights of stairs later…

This weekend was the major “move-out-of-the-closet” time. Meaning, all of our clothes, shoes, out-of season clothing, etc had to go someplace else.

And after sorting out an embarrassing amount of clothes, shoes and STUFF, I have eight bags of things to take to donate tomorrow. If I were going to follow the 50% rule of simplifying there would be about 20 more.

Today I did a lot of shuttling of clothes from the bedroom to the basement or first floor. My FitBit says I ran up (and down) 17 flights of stairs. My knees know it, too.

Anyway… We set up temporary daily closet space (he’s using a closet, I’m using a temp closet rod) and have a few more things to finish before it’s completely empty.

By this next week, the remodeling will be close to finishing the hall bath, and the powder room…

And then the real dust and noise begins.

Pictures soon…


The tile on the right is the tile accent for the master bathroom shower.

It is a beautiful sea glass. I really love the color.

The rest of the tile in the shower will be a high gloss white ceramic tile.


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The other tile (on the left) is the sample for the vanity top. More news when we’ve got it.