Thursday, June 23, 2011

Our Bathroom...the stuff of dreams.

We have built a bathroom!
You may remember that we built another bedroom a shed/office on our property. We impressed even ourselves with how great it turned out. You can read more about it here.

Now there are two fantastic structures on our property! We have built the most awesome outdoor bathroom, right next to the studio. They sit side-by-side, two miniature architectural wonders (at least for us, who are all surprised that these things became reality... better than we ever imagined.)
Many thanks to Ron, Jeremy's uncle, and all of his skillz. He really made this bathroom, while at least I sat back and watched (I think I was actually out of town.)

There are many amazing features of the bathroom, of which I will let the other farm members blog about. I will simply comment on my favorite. The clawfoot bathtub.

There are a few things that I routinely search for on Craigslist. (Are you surprised?) One is a clawfoot bathtub. I have dreamed of having a clawfoot ever since I visited this amazing hostel in the wilds of South Africa, and partook of an aromatherapy soak. This was a clawfoot tub brimming with water heated by a woodburning stove, essential oils and flowers. I soaked in one of these, under the African stars, in the middle of the savannah, and it was magic. Obviously, I've wanted one myself since then.

The problem has been their exorbitant price, and thus my searches on craigslist. One fine day, I saw an ad for... be still my beating heart... a FREE clawfoot bathtub. It must be too good to be true. I thought to myself. Maybe rotting out or completely rusty. I emailed her, and this was her response:

"Yes! If you want it, I will give it to you at no cost. We just want to get rid of it. You must come right away, however. I will give it to whoever comes first! It is a nice old tub. Was in a house I lived in during college. House burned down and I got tub for free. Have held onto it for 30 years hoping to put it into our new house. My husband said NO!"

It was still a risk, but we sent the guys into Alpine (where she lived) to pick it up. I always get a little nervous when picking up Craigslist items, because you just never know if it will be a waste of time. Finally, the guys reported that they got it, and I could tell by my husband's voice that it had not been a waste of time. Hooray!

Overjoyed, we welcomed my dream tub to the farm! It was rusty and needed work, but it was solid, and had the most amazing lion feet. So we stored it outside by the studio, where it sat... for months... waiting for some attention.

Finally, as the bathroom was getting built, Kim and I decided to tackle the restoration. I called around and asked about getting it professionally restored (there's a cool place in San Diego that will come to your house and restore it for about $300) but in the end we decided we could do it for much cheaper.

We brought it into the backyard, flipped it over, and began washing it out with Barkeepers's Friend and some steel brushes.

We found this on the bottom, but Kim searched the Internet and couldn't find anything about A & O Manufacturing Company in Louisville, Kentucky. If you know anything, fill us in. And check out the date: Nov 12 -- 95...that sure ain't 1995.

These are the claw feet. Aren't they lion-y and Narnian? I love them.
There was much debate about whether we should paint the tub, and what color. In the end, we all liked the rust and decided to leave it in it's natural state. After the good scrub out, we screwed on the feet and placed it in the bathroom. That was the extent of our renovations.

The trickiest part was getting the shower kit for the clawfoot. Not an easy or inexpensive piece to find, and even though we got one, it seems to be made for Victorian hobbits, so my tall husband has to duck about two feet to wash his hair.

But nevermind that. We got this incredible, original clawfoot bathtub for FREE and it looks absolutely fabulous in our bathroom.

The bathroom being as it is (part greenhouse, part bathroom) I think the aromatherapy soak under the stars could be a reality.


  1. It looks like an awful lot of windows on that bathroom there. Is Radio Acres turning into a clothing optional farm? :)

  2. That looks awesome, we love those tubs. Can't wait to use it!

  3. Love love love it. Especially the corrugated metal :)

  4. hahaha josh. i need to put some more pictures up. There are windows on one wall, and french doors on the other. Currently, our shower curtain functions as blinds for one side, and we're figuring out the french doors... but they face the hill so not much exposure. clothing is not optional here at radio.

  5. how much was the bathroom structure?

  6. Hi! We re-used a lot of material AND had an awesome carpenter putting all of his work in for free. All in all, with the concrete slab I think we spent around $3,000. Sound right, RA folks?