a peek inside the fishbowl

17 Oct, 2004

testing 123

Posted by andrea in: Misc. life|Uncategorized

this is recycled content for test purposes


As some of you know, we’re renovating our downstairs powder room. We are fortunate to live in a home with two washrooms. This was one my list of “must-haves” when we were looking, and it will come in enormously handy when the girls are teenagers and we are left with no place to hide. The upstairs bathroom is small, but it has a large tub with shower, one sink with under counter storage, one medicine cabinet and one toilet. The bathroom was renovated about 10 years ago, and not by us. Although it’s not exactly to my taste it’s ok.

The downstairs one has been a sorry sight since day one. It is small, but nice to have as a second bathroom. It basically comprises of nondescript bluish patterned linoleum floor tiles, one gargantuan water-sucking misbehaving toilet (hold down the handle for five seconds, flush twice, pray, repeat), one sink with ho-hum cabinet, one ugly cheap mirror, one oversized medicine cabinet, peeling paint, and cracked walls. The peeling and cracking happened last summer (or was it the summer before?) when the gutter clogged and the excess water spilled into the ceiling. Yikes. But for some reason we didn’t really get around to plastering and repainting. We like to do things all at once.

And now, that’s what we’re doing.

The process has opened a window for me into my own mental health. And this is it: when confronted by too many options, especially as it pertains to home decorating, I feel overwhelmed and am unable to make a firm decision that I can stand behind.

I hadn’t fully realized this about myself until I took a trip to a bathroom specialty store on Saturday.

So there I was, at Plumbing Mart (not it’s real name), wandering aisles which seemingly lead to more aisles, slowly moving from the Front Showroom to the Upper Floor Showroom, and then to the Basement Showroom, amid couples who were clearly in advanced stages of lavatory renovation. Many were camped out in the bathroom displays, husbands making wild hand movements indicating height and width saying things like “but it won’t fit honey” and “but don’t you know that model is more expensive?” while the wives looked on, worn out, but stubbornly refusing to budge on the issue of the Italian marble.

What got to me was the amount of stuff. It was mind-boggling. All I wanted was a SIMPLE PEDESTAL SINK and TOILET that look COOL and won’t make my powder room like it belongs in (a) romance novel (b) an institution (c) a roman/greek inspired mansion (d) a home for the minimalist bachelor who needs a good bathroom to impress the ladies.

I wandered, I looked, and found two sinks that might be contenders. I can’t even begin to look for toilets, simply because they all look exactly the same to me.

I’m not asking for much here. All I want is to see a display bathroom that is exactly the same dimensions as ours, in exactly my taste. I would buy it all, as is, right down to the toilet roll dispenser.

I want to point at it, call to the salesman, and say “deliver that to my house, and make it snappy.”

I want someone to do the thinking/planning/design for me. It hurts too much to do it myself. My dilemma is this: I know what I like, I just have trouble imagining what that is exactly. My new powder room has to be like me me me – shiny and clean, sparkly and bright, hip, yet comfortable and inviting. It can’t be cluttered (although this is where the bathroom is MOST unlike me. I think I’m cluttered.) and there has to be some kind of storage, preferably hidden. I prefer my toilet paper stashed, and no, not under the skirts of one of these – http://irenecrafts.com/patterns/tissuecover/tissue_paper_cover.htm

By sheer coincidence my in-laws emailed us an article from the Toronto Star today: “How to lower the flow but not the performance” and it quotes a URL of a CMHC-funded Toilet Performance Report complete with ratings. Amazingly enough, the toilet we were thinking of buying at Home Depot did not meet the 250g threshold. In case you’re wondering, they use soybean paste as an, um, replacement for the real thing.

‘Nuff said.

Anyway, after my visit to the plumbing store I made the tactical error of going to a different store that specializes in ceramic tile. As soon as I walked into the tile place I broke out into a sweat. It’s a good thing no one approached me. I would have broken down and wept.

After all that, we returned to Home Depot to purchase these retro-looking black/white tiles for the floor. I am happy with that. We have decided on yellow walls. I am happy with that too. Now if only the rest of it can come together without any effort on my part…

While we were at HD we bought a towel hook for the upstairs bathroom. You may think this is a small thing, but this purchase of a $13.99 chunk of V-shaped polished chrome has shaved years off my life. I no longer have to perch my towels on the corner of the sink as I shower, or on the towel bar that is clear across the bathroom. I no longer have to carry out a series drippingwetnaked reaching-type hops just so I can obtain the object of my dry desires. My towel can be there now, ready for me, hanging at arm’s length so I can pluck it off the hook and dry my weary wet self.

So at least I can say I have that.

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The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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