One Room Challenge Week 3: Emotions are running high

I have a complicated relationship with tile.

On the one hand, I love learning new things, I think tile is beautiful, I am really excited about the tile choices I have made in this design.

On the other hand, tiling is difficult, I’m not very good at it yet, and the tile choices I have made result in an extra difficult task and lots of small errors and imperfections.

Tile going up represents the beginning of the end of this project. I am no longer just working on something structural that no one will see – we have entered the realm of design and I’m having feelings.

This week I have gone from being very zen about the imperfections in my tile job in the shower to having a complete meltdown and contemplating ripping the whole wall down and starting over (I know… it wasn’t my finest moment).

One of the hardest things about being a DIY renovator is the moment when the project you have been working on for months starts to come into contact with reality.

This bathroom and how it will look has lived solely inside my head for the last two years. I have not had to come to terms with how any of my design choices actually look in reality until now. And reality – isn’t perfect.

I found myself thinking, “Why did I ever think I could take this on in the first place?” The answer is “because we needed to renovate the bathroom.” I sometimes need to remind myself that this room has come so far. Here is a fun before/after shot of the same angle from one year ago this week vs. today:

Same view, one year apart: Slide the bar to go back in time! It’s like having your very own TARDIS

Perfect is the enemy of done

Some of my very wise friends on Instagram this week reminded me that “perfect is the enemy of done.” I need this bathroom to move toward being done. My family needs this bathroom to be done. My toddler is quickly outgrowing being bathed in the sink (to be honest, this ship has probably sailed long ago but we’re still making it work…). As I was agonizing over the imperfections in my penny tile job when I realized that since that wall of the shower now has grout – I can put up the shower fixtures. Which is definitely a step toward finishing this bathroom. I painstakingly sourced these fixtures at a massive discount from eBay over a several month period last year and they have been living in boxes in the barn ever since.

I did not put up the bar that will hold the hand shower either because I couldn’t find my masonry drill bits or I couldn’t find my nerve to drill into the tile – I’ll let you choose. I will still need to do some tweaking of them once we’re ready to turn the water on but I just needed to see it. And, let me tell you, it’s good.

So there it is. The shower is coming together. My anxieties are somewhat calmed. I’m feeling proud of my work again and its on to the next item on my list. Here’s what I have to do to get the shower all the way finished:

  1. Cut new tiles and lay them around the niche
  2. Grout the other wall of the shower
  3. Fix a few spots of grout on the back wall
  4. Install the bar to hold the hand shower
  5. Check the installation of the fixtures for leaks and calibrate the diverters and temperature controls
  6. Caulk
  7. Acquire and install the shower wall/doors

Be sure to check out all the other participants of the One Room Challenge here and on Instagram by following #oneroomchallenge. Give them some extra support during this difficult time of birthing a design into the real world.

Keep up with my progress and emotional meltdowns in real-time @lifeinafixer

Make sure to keep up with the rest of the One Room Challenge Guest participants via their blogs and on instagram. Find them here .

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