Sunday, January 22, 2012

Powder Room Update

I recently updated this powder room. The wallpaper was hung 25 years ago when the house was built so it was due for an update. It was very difficult to take photos of the room because it is only 3 feet by 5 feet.
Framed botanical prints provided interest on one wall.
The frameless mirror installed by the builder was replaced several years ago by a framed mirror.
The fixtures and the brass faucet and towel bar stayed. They are heavy duty solid brass and still in good condition. Never one to jump on to trends, I have not bought into the “anti-brass” trend in the blogosphere. I have stayed in some wonderful hotels in this country and abroad that had original brass fixtures and I loved them. In my opinion, the quality of the brass should dictate whether or not it needs to be changed.
The old wallpaper was removed and replaced by this Thibaut pattern. The name of the pattern is Royal and it is in the Artisan collection. The color is Metallic Pewter. I was very pleased with the quality of the Thibaut paper. It was an excellent weight and was reasonably easy to hang. A sunburst mirror was purchased and hung above the toilet to replace the bird cage.
Another vintage mirror was purchased and hung above the towel bar to replace the botanical prints. While there is still a lot of pattern on this paper, the large scale makes the room much less busy than the previous paper. This was not particularly a “budget” project. In spite of the tiny size of this room, the update cost was about $500.  However, if it lasts 25 more years, the cost will be a very affordable $20 per year! Now that is a budget update!
I will be linking to Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch and to Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

What Not To Buy!


The first item on my project list for 2012 is updating my kitchen and I have gotten started. I will be doing a full post when the job is more complete. As part of the update, I am switching from a countertop microwave oven to an over the range microwave. My current microwave/convection takes up a lot of counter space and the range hood was in dire need or replacement.


Because I keep things a looonnnggggg time, I wanted to make a good decision. I promptly paid for an online subscription to Consumer Reports to read the reviews. While I don’t need a lot of whistles and bangs I do need quiet operation because I use the microwave for much more that popcorn and reheating. I actually use it for cooking quite a bit. I purchased a GE over the range microwave for our summer cottage a couple of summers ago and was happy with that model. So, I looked up the number and checked Consumer Reports. The ratings were fine and the “noise of operation” was rated “very good!” I proceeded to purchase and install GE model JVM1540. Upon completion of installation I turned on the microwave to try it out. Much to my DISMAY, it was VERY LOUD!!!! It sounded like the vent fan was running on “high.”  Thinking that something was wrong, I sought help from the owner’s manual only to find out that the fan is on an automatic setting that operates whenever the microwave is in use! Excuse me, but I would like to be able to hear myself think while I am cooking. I was appalled at the noise and I am very disappointed in Consumer Reports.



Knowing that I could not live with this noise issue for the next 10 years, the hub and I proceeded to uninstall the microwave and box everything back up in its original packing material and drive back to HHGregg where we had purchased it. Customer service at HHGregg was great. They were very sorry that I was not happy with my purchase and promptly issued a refund, no questions asked. Next, I went to the telephone directory and started calling stores that sold appliances. I told each one that I was looking for a microwave but wanted to hear it run before I made a purchase. One of the other local big box stores was of absolutely NO help. The salesman told me that none of them were hooked up and that all of them made a lot of noise and that I would not be able to find a quiet model. Not to be deterred, I continued to call. I called a locally owned furniture/appliance store and explained my dilemma. The salesman quickly told me that his microwaves were not hooked up but that he would be happy to get an extension cord and plug one in so that I could hear it. Now that is customer service. We drove to the store and he had the extension cord waiting! It took me less than 30 seconds to make  a decision.


I chose Whirlpool model WMH1163XVS and I could not be more pleased. The Consumer Reports rating for this model is only “Good” but I beg to differ. The difference in this model and the GE model is night and day. In fact, this Whirlpool model runs more quietly than my expensive countertop model.


It does not have a rack or a probe but I have never used those features in my current model. Just in case you are wondering, that is a sweet potato for the test run.


I am so glad that we did not have to pay someone for installation then have to pay for uninstallation for a purchase that I was not happy with.


Now I am a happy camper cooker!

I was not paid to write this post LOL!! ALL opinions expressed here are mine alone!


I will be linking to Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch and to Wow Us Wednesdays at Savvy Southern Style.