It was 1982, and little did I know it but my world was about to be turned upside down. The days of being an only child (not the mention the only grandchild on my Dad's side) were numbered. I still distinctly remember the day when my parents sat down with me to let me know I was going to have a little brother or sister, and I was elated. 

As the time for my new sibling's debut approached a lot of changes started to happen. Not only did we pack up and move to a larger house, but the room next to mine in the new house started to undergo a radical transformation. Out went the hideous 1960s shag carpet and in came the makings of a nursery.

The theme my parents chose for the room was Beatrix Potter, and my mom ran with it with gusto. My parents installed a stained chair rail and above it hung a themed wall paper adorned with the covers of many children's tales. And while they may have deviated a bit from the Peter Rabbit theme, my Mom added many personal touches like this cross stitched piece for the room.

My Aunt Susan got in on the action and sewed a beautiful Peter Rabbit quilt, which would later be known as "Gankie" and would secure its place as my brother's prized possession for many years. 

While adorable and charming, there was no way to argue that this was anything but a baby's room. The colors, accessories, wall paper, and even the Humpty Dumpty lamp all played into a room fit for a youngster. It served its purpose for many years, but as my brother turned into a toddler and eventually a "big boy," I remember his exclamation many times that the room was fit for a baby, and he wasn't a baby any longer.

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Comments 10

As with any major project, no matter how experienced you are, things don't necessarily go quite as planned.

Rather than just simply going with a big "Look at how awesome our floor looks, and it was so easy" blog post, I want to share our grouting process with you. And that include everything...The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

Though our grout color selection was a major step in the overall progress of our bathroom, it was ultimately a small component of the much larger "give our bathroom an actual floor" task that has required quite a few steps to complete.

The main thing an actual selection of a color resulted in was our ability to move forward with the remainder of those many additional smaller tasks. And after our trials and tribulations with color selection, we approached our actual grouting with gusto.

We actually kicked off the whole process even before we selected a color by first sealing the tile that had been laid.

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Comments 10

Stop me if you've heard this story. The Three Bears jump into a time machine and waste a whole weekend in search of the grout color that was juuuuuuusssssstttt right...

No? Not familiar with this little DIY fairy tale? Well then, let me fill you in.

The selection of a grout color for a large bathroom is easy...said no one...ever. That's why, once upon a time, three little bears named Wendy, Alex, and Lulu went out in search of the perfect grout color for a bathroom renovation that's taken longer than any of them would like to admit to the world.

Since these three bears were using one inch marble hex (actually, 1.25" marble hex) with 1/16" grout lines on their master bathroom floor, the color of the grout would ultimately play a major role in the overall look of the room, primarily because there's going to be a ton of it visible.

The bears knew that choosing the correct color could both highlight the tile while also distracting from any inconsistencies or layout issues. (Though I'm sure each and every one of those issues had been resolved through the bears' diligent search and correction techniques.)

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Comments 28

We get quite a few questions here on Old Town Home, but one of our blog's most frequently asked questions is:

"So, now that you've had your IKEA butcher block counters for a while now, what do you think?"

Whether its being asked by someone considering IKEA butcher block (or a butcher block counter of any type) that would like our take on the surface, or by someone who already has it installed and wants to see if our opinions align with their thoughts, we receive quite a few emails and comments regarding our install and how it's been holding up.

Besides, how often do you see information about how wonderful a new product or finish is but never hear an update on how it's holding up to the daily wear and tear as an item that's actually used in a home?

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Comments 19

I'll tell you one thing. Yesterday was a day!

Really, it was a day and a half at least. The whole day was packed full of effort and we got nothing of substance done on the bathroom. That being said, all of our efforts were actually plumbing related necessity items that bumped our regularly scheduled program of grouting.

The roots of this project all started quite some time ago, possibly during the Mineral, VA earthquake of 2011. It's my theory that the shifting and shaking that rattled the ground where our 1886 house stands, worse than any trembler in our home's century plus history, actually caused a little damage to our hundred year old cast iron plumbing stack.

Since our home wasn't built with plumbing, when the first bathroom was added around the turn of the century, a large 4" cast iron plumbing stack was attached to the side of our home to handle that original bathroom's waste water.

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Comments 14
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