Not to be too sensationalist with a post title, but I have an embarrassing admission to make. We've aired a few dirty secrets here on the blog in the past, and I think it's about time we publicly own up to this little known fact that both rivals and contributes to the hot mess that is our basement. This little secret sits in boxes covered in dust, tucked away in a dark corner of shelving having not seen their intended use in years.

Our secret? We're slow at renovating. We're also terrible at estimating project timelines. So much so, that we purchased the majority of our master bathroom hardware nearly five years ago. Yes, you read that right. During the summer of 2008, spurred on by a mean deal and a healthy dose of naïveté, we bit the bullet and purchased a couple thousand dollars worth of bathroom hardware and accessories, because we were sure that we'd be renovating...and completing...our master bathroom in just a matter of a few short months. That was a long. time. ago.

Fast forward roughly 1,800 days (or 2,592,000 minutes if I want to feel really bad about the situation) and these boxed polished nickel friends of ours are sad, lonely reminders of what might have been and could hopefully be.

From time to time I venture down into our crowded basement and dig through the stacks of boxes to pay these lonely friends a little visit. I open the boxes and brush off a piece or two, just to check in on our purchase, but mostly to ensure our selections still jive with our design aesthetic.

Lucky for me (and for my spouse) I'm still quite satisfied with our choices. These various accessories and hardware elements came from Restoration Hardware, way back when Old Town still had a Restoration Hardware just a short walk from our home. That fateful day many years ago their summer bathroom sale signage called to us like a siren song to pirates on a pillaging voyage down King Street, boasting discounts of 30%, beckoning us closer and closer as thoughts of a luxurious master bathroom clouded our judgement. The purchase of bath hardware, normally reserved for the last moments of a renovation, was an opportunity that was simply too good to pass up.

With so many options out there for bath hardware, making a decision on what brand and style to purchase can be quite a difficult proposition. We settled on using Restoration Hardware items in our master after using them in a smaller quantity in the guest bathroom, and we've been quite happy with both their look and performance. The hardware is heavy and solid enough to feel like very high end fixtures, but the sale-adjusted price tags bring the overall cost into a more reasonable range. It's more expensive than your typical entry level bath fixtures or those that you'll find at big box stores, but it's a fraction of the cost of places like Waterworks, where you can drop five Gs on a thermostatic pressure balanced control valve without batting an eyelash.

After much deliberation on style, we settled on not one option but a mix and match of two styles for our master bathroom to be -- known in RH speak as "Lugarno" and "Vintage." Umm seriously, how posh and pretentious does that sound?

"Why two styles," you might wonder? Because I'm picky like that. I didn't like the faucet in the Lugarno collection (the "mouth" looked too wide for me), and I didn't care for anything but the faucet in the Vintage collection. Some might call this "high maintenance," but I like to think of it as "deliberate." (Right, Alex?) After all, you're talking to the same woman who agonized over claw foot tub faucets, because one style looked to phallic.

It was not an impulsive decision in the least bit. In reality we, and by we I mean "I", absolutely agonized over this seemingly simple but life altering decision. I knew I'd need to look at these hardware pieces each and every day once they're finally installed, so I had to be secure and happy with my choice. 

So here we are, years after our purchase, waiting for the day we can eventually put these bad boys to use to do such amazing tasks as deliver water, support hanging towels, or provide a convenient method for toilet paper dispensing.

We've got all we need to move forward, but as the best instructions always say, "Just add bathroom." Well, something like that.

Some day, hopefully sooner than in five more years, we hope to be at a point where we might be able to install these accessories. And no, I'm not talking about installing them in some random place in our basement or kitchen, I'm talking about actually installing them in a master bathroom. A girl can dream!

If there's any benefit to doing a renovation where you purchase the expensive hardware elements months or years before you ever get to a point where you can use them, it does do wonders in making your project seem far more affordable and lower cost. No, not actually lower cost, but simply spread out over a sufficient number of years that you forget how much you actually spent. Either that or the fact that things probably cost less years ago when we actually purchased the goods. Yeah, I'll justify it to myself that way, but it doesn't mean I'll be any more happy about it.

Do you have any juicy deep and dark renovation secrets that you're in the mood to share? This is a supportive environment, not one fraught with judgement, so please feel free to spill the beans. I promise I'll leave a very nice response even if we're all silently judging you while doing it. 

Comments 19


5/8/2013 at 9:54 AM
I'm so glad I'm not the only hardware and supplies hoarder!

I almost went and bought a sink for "someday" the other day until Mike talked me out of it, though haha.
Nope, you're definitely not the only hardware and supplies hoarder! Good for you for turning down the sink. I bet that was hard to walk away from. :-)
5/8/2013 at 11:37 AM
I've mostly avoided "big" stuff, but I do have a vintage medicine cabinet that I'm holding onto until we redo the bathrooms...which is in the 10 year plan. Hah! It's a pain in my ass (it floats around our very small garage, getting in the way) but I love it!
Oh good grief. I think we have one of those too, Kate. I completely forgot about it, because it falls in the ten year club as well! :-)
5/8/2013 at 2:38 PM
I am only starting our bathroom hoarding. But I am on my way! I figure it will be kind of like Christmas when we go to actually do the bathroom and just have to walk to the garage to dig out all of our goodies!
That's a great way of looking at it! Or sort of like layaway, right? :-)
Kelly C.
5/8/2013 at 4:58 PM
LOL! Just remember that things seem to go in 20/25 year cycles. It's going to be out of style soon - J/K, it's beautiful! Y'all get on it, I want to watch and see what you two come up with :)
Oh no! It's already halfway to becoming today's version of the brass bathroom fixtures of the 1980s!! Augghhhh!!! :-)
Kelly C.
5/8/2013 at 6:59 PM
Aren't we humans a weird lot? I was just telling a friend yesterday ( in a facebook group for those of us that collect vintage fiestaware) that my mom hated her mom's fw dishes. They were what the poor people bought. Now, they are highly sought after. And, her parent's furniture (that again was what poor people bought) is highly sought after Mid Century Modern, lol! I might just keep my 90's brass bathroom and wait for it's comeback :)
Isn't it amazing? I suppose the old saying is right -- one man's trash is another man's treasure! :-)
Kelly C.
5/8/2013 at 7:01 PM
*its* darn typos! I drive myself crazy when I do that :)
5/8/2013 at 7:02 PM
Don't feel bad. We have a clawfoot tub faucet and supplies that have been sitting in a box since 2009. And, it doesn't look like we'll get to do the bathroom this year either. Most of this year's tax return is going toward having a critical repair made to a dormer.
Hang in there! You'll get back to that bathroom when the time is right. And I know it will be beautiful. :-)
5/10/2013 at 10:05 AM
I'm a supply hoarder, too. It drives R crazy!

We have:
- all the interior doors we need to replace our obnoxious hollow panel ones
- a cast iron laundry sink
- a stainless restaurant-style sink for a bar area on the back porch
- the bathtub for the guest bath
- the sink (but no pedestal) for the guest bath
- all the bath hardware for the guest bath
- all the subway tile for the guest bath
- lights for the guest bath
- a pedestal (but no sink) for the hall bath (planned to use it for the guest bath but it looked weird with the sink)
- a faucet for (the sink we haven't bought for) the hall bath
- new vent fan for the hall bath
- various light fixtures I couldn't pass up

And probably a lot more that I'm forgetting about.

I'm going to go reevaluate how I make life/financial decisions.
Wow! I'm totally envious of your hoard. :-)
5/14/2013 at 2:32 PM
We did it the other way ... our bathroom was done and we were waiting on the final fixtures so long that our plumber installed a temporary shower arm and head for us!

Then again, that is what we get for going with a finish that has to be special ordered! But, we love our fixtures!
5/16/2013 at 8:13 PM
You aren't alone, Wendy and other commenters. About ten years ago my office was only a few blocks away from all of the DIYers' dream stores in Richmond -- multiple bathroom fixture outlets and tile suppliers among others. I went crazy! For our guest bathroom -- built into a space that had been a walk-in closet and was originally a sewing room -- I bought a special order frameless glass shower door, glass blocks, and I don't remember what else. Since the room was just studs at that point without the shower even being framed in, these items stayed in our garage for at least 8 years. When my husband built the shower and tiled it I think he'd forgotten about the door but miraculously he made it fit!

Anyway, it was among our multiple projects that took 5 - 10 years to complete and were long since given up on by our friends and family (almost all of whom are pretty anal and only work on one project at a time, seeing them through to completion in a timely fashion).

We are still "hoarding" various light fixtures bought 10 years ago, doors, other bathroom fixtures, etc. all with future projects in mind.
7/11/2013 at 10:13 PM
we literally did the exact same thing and have about $7,000 worth of Lugarno fixtures and Hutton furniture stacked up in the basement waiting for us to install it. Ordered in August 2010 during a 30% off sale. Classic.
Hysterical. We're both like hoarders of high end bathroom fixtures and furniture. There's got to be a support group somewhere for us.
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