September | 2012 | What Else Michelle

September 2012 archive

Renovation: From ICK to sleek toilet

It’s been almost two weeks since I have last updated this blog. I’ve got to earn some extra bucks and so I had been awfully busy with work. Ok, I admit, that’s what usually happens when laziness strikes. It’s like losing the momentum and starting again is such a challenge. Anyway, I posted a proposed toilet design earlier this month and now it’s finally finished! Here’s the “before” pictures before I go through the details. I wasn’t able to take the actual “before” picture of the ladies’ toilet because they had already stripped it down when they turned it over to us. This is the men’s toilet actually. The ladies’ toilet was a pink/maroon version of this–pink marbled tiles for the wall, maroon version of the green floor tiles and yes, you guessed it right, pink toilet bowls and lavatory! The wash area looked exactly the same as the image on the left (except it was pink and the mirror had a huge chip on the upper right hand corner and our pail was way smaller than theirs. Hehe)

PROBLEM: Upon entrance, there were three cubicles squeezed in this tiny space. The two on the left were so tiny, they were less than 70 cm in width and less than 1 meter in depth so if you’re taller than average, your knees would probably touch the door when you’re doing your thing. And if there were at least 2 people using the mirror/lavatory, it was quite hard to get into the 3rd cubicle. I hope you can visualize how small this space was.

SOLUTION: We demolished the concrete partitions, moved the cubicles (now just two instead of three) to the left side with toilet bowls facing the right wall instead of the door and opted for wooden partitions to save space.

Here are a few progress shots:

The hanging countertop!

Almost done!

The project is our Kingdom Hall’s toilet (I am one of Jehovah’s Witnesses) so the funds were donations only. Here’s what we did to maximize the budget (P30,000 + donated water closet and lavatory + labor of love):

For the walls, I wanted a lot of horizontal lines to make the space look wider and since plank tiles are too expensive (around P160/pc), 60x60cm tiles (P152/pc-Arte Ceramic Tiles) were cut into 4 making them 15x60cm. We also used 60×60 tiles for the floor and cut them in half. (30X60 tiles are about P90-110/pc). White grout was used to emphasize the lines. Since this is a just a toilet and not a bathroom, tiling the entire wall would be unnecessary. Only 1.05m of the wall was tiled, just a little above the water closet. 2″x1″ painted wood were placed where the tiles end for coverage and accent. Instead of using granite slab for the countertop, we used granite tiles which we got from Floor Center on sale for about P135/pc. The sleek water closets were also on sale in Wilcon (about P3,800/pc. Similar types are priced P7,000 up) Overall, we spent about P8,000 for the tiles. Most of the budget went to our fabricated wooden partition which totaled to more than P15,000, including marine plywood, formica, fittings and accessories. But still, it’s way cheaper than buying from a supplier/installer. The cheapest they can give us was P17,000 for just a PVC partition. No way!

That floral ceramic tissue holder and soap dispenser were just P29 and P19. The white vase was P199, all from Uniwide Warehouse in Novaliches.

And yes, knowing me, I would never, ever type the toilet rules in Word, print it out, laminate it and just tape it on the wall. Gotta do it with style! Here is the “after” shot again: 

We installed four pin lights instead of just one round light in the middle. See how warm white light can easily make a space exude an elegant, hotel-like vibe? When using daylight bulbs, you can see every visible flaw, making the space look so ordinarily blah. Plus, everyone seems to look prettier in warm light considering that really huge mirror. Hehe!

Again, everyone who worked for the completion of this renovation were all volunteer brothers and sisters, pure labor of love. Noone was paid, but still, everyone was more than willing to devote his/her skills, knowledge, energy and time for the improvement of Jehovah’s house. This is just a small toilet, but the brothers and sisters in Joplin, Missouri worked on a bigger scale project–an entire Kingdom Hall finished in just two weeks.

The Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses already built one in Joplin following last year’s deadly EF-5 tornado.  A brand new church on Highway N north of Republic is built with Insulated Concrete Forms — basically giant Styrofoam-type Lego blocks that can withstand winds up to 250 miles per hour. The blocks are a foot thick with a six-inch reinforced concrete center. Once the foundation is poured, more than 500 volunteers built the new church in about two weekends — all without accepting paychecks. read more

Want Pantone without commitment?

Who doesn’t love Pantone? Well, as much as we all love it, some unlucky ones (ahem, ahem, that’s me) cannot afford it. And besides, the paints and textiles are not available in my country (or I probably just didn’t look hard enough).  But that doesn’t stop me us from incorporating rich, bright Pantone hues into our homes. Those solid colors can really brighten anyone’s day. That’s why we’re so in love with Pantone, right?

Here are some ideas on how to inject Pantone-inspired colors to your home with little or almost no commitment at all. Just choose paint or fabric color closest to your desired Pantone color and start being happy! No one would know it wasn’t the real thing anyway.

Pick one small wall (if you don’t want to commit too much) or a big one (if you’re totally decided), turn it into your accent wall and leave the rest of your house neutral. Pick a bright shade like citron yellow for instant sunshine. It works best on sunny dining rooms.

Add an instant pop of color by adding a piece of Pantone-inspired furniture. (This tangerine chair is designed by Verner Panton during the 60s but it still makes hype in interior design. Good thing Panton adapted Pantone, or is it the other way around? Hehe)

For the quite daring, choose areas you want to accentuate like kitchen backsplash, countertop base and a small wall.

When everything else is grey or monochromatic, add a splash of color by painting the back of your shelf. For no commitment at all, use paper or fabric instead so you can peel it off whenever you get tired of it. Match it with an accent chair in similar shade.

This is a total no commitment at all. Instantly add color to an all brown room by using brightly colored vase, flowers and fruits!

Tip: If the room is generally monochromatic, see if the colors are warm or cool, then pick a bright accent color under the same family. For example, the picture above has different shades of brown which is warm, and so the accent colors chosen were lemon yellow, tangerine orange and lime green. Doing so would save you from having colors that are an eye sore rather than an accent.

Before you feel intimidated with way too many neon colors, let me tell you that this has least commitment. Why? The walls, coffee tables, floor, ceiling and that long couch are left neutral so all you have to do is buy a huge piece of fabric and hang it as a curtain. (You can just pin it if you really don’t want to commit yourself to it). Your throw pillows can add extra neon punch to your room and yea, slip-cover your other couches if you still can’t get enough. That wall art? Well, you know you can always change the picture, right?

For those who still want to stick to muted tones, frame several color swatches to create this mosaic-like wall art.

Do I still need to explain this one? Hint: post-its.

May also start with a printable poster like this one.

Click here to download Poster.

For complete list of Pantone paint and interior products, please visit Pantone’s website.

Pantone Craze

As a graphic designer, I have always loved Pantone although I never really used it for print works because as we all know, it is customized color. That means a specific Pantone blue in print isn’t made up of four inks (CMYK) but rather a single ink in exact color with a numerical value. I don’t think you can accurately achieve a Pantone color through 4-color printing process and that’s what makes every Pantone color so special and expensive.

And now that I’m trying my hand on interior decorating, I still love to inject some Pantone hues in the design. Right now, I’m thinking of doing it in our work area since I have a document organizer in orange, close to Tangerine Tango. But I have to do it so subtly to maintain the beach-theme in our house.

For now, here’s a free printable that may inspire you to incorporate some Pantone hues in your own space. This is based on Fall’s 2012 colors.

Download Printable

8.5 x 11 in (If you need a bigger one, feel free to email me and I’ll do my best to create it in the size you want.:))