Portland Day 5: “Live-in Fairy”

While I’m still not quite 100%, by Day 5 I was feeling much better. Let this be a lesson to you: running ten thousand errands and self-prescribing several different over-the-counter medications totally helps you snap out of a cold pretty quickly. Sitting down, taking naps, drinking tea—these are things for the weak. The less you tend to your illness, the better. All that common wisdom mumbo-jumbo just encourages it.

On that note, I’d like to thank my friends for this recent bodily triumph. I couldn’t have done it without you guys. Cepacol, you taste almost as awesome as you smell. DayQuil, you’re a star, only upstaged by your funner counterpart, NyQuil. Neti Pot, you are a disgusting but effective invention whose benefits outweigh even the humiliation involved in trying to describe you to the pharmacist at Target (“you do what with it?”). To my buddy Mucinex: apparently, you should not be taken at the same time as liquid Robitussin DM, but I love you both and I think I love you even more together. Even if I couldn’t coherently express my thoughts that one funky night (night 2? I think? It’s all a blur.), I could still put together this coat rack—totally by instinct and without instructions—that Chandler pulled out of storage. I can only assume that my liberal use of these groovy capsulated wellness-aids had something to do with this feat of construction, so I tip my hat to them.

But I totally got Chandler sick. I’m telling you, this bug is like playing a congested, phlegmy game of hot potato. So after the past few days of running around this city like crazy people, we needed to dial down the intensity a few notches. We took a trip to Home Depot to pick up a gallon of Behr’s “Dinner Mint,” the paint color Chandler chose for the bathroom (the lightest color on the chip furthest to the left from yesterday’s post).

When we got home, Chandler laid down for a nap and I channelled my guilt over getting her sick into painting the bathroom. In this case, the prep wasn’t the hardest, most time-consuming part of painting… but it was, by far, the nastiest. If I were a nicer blogger, I’d spare you. But keep in mind that I had to actually clean this heinous scummy disaster. Imagine the horror in my eyes and in my heart when it was uncovered in the first place. It was like stumbling upon a crime scene. Avert your eyes if you have a delicate stomach.

Disgusting, right? Chandler wasn’t a fan of the old mirror at all, and while I didn’t totally hate the retro style of it, it’s pretty filthy and rusted and painted, so it’s not going back up.

Then I just painted, painted, painted. Since we’re trying to keep our budget down, we went with the cheap-o Behr paint in satin. DIY tip o’ the day: If you buy the cheapest paint rollers at Home Depot, run your vacuum tube over the roller pads before you use them. Otherwise, cheap rollers always leave little fibers that are a bitch to get out of your paint.

It’s hard to get wall colors totally accurate in pictures, but here’s a preview that looks right to me. The color isn’t really my cup of tea, but it’s cute and Chandler likes it, which is what’s important. A few people expressed some concern in the comments yesterday about painting the bathroom green (it has quite a lot of blue in it, too, but it’s definitely green), but it’s light enough that it doesn’t make us look sickly or weird, I swear! Then again, we’re both kind of sickly anyway right now… so maybe the jury’s still out.

Later, continuing with the theme of not taking care of ourselves (soup? hah!), we got our nom-nom on at Reo’s Ribs, a soul food barbecue restaurant where I had what was possibly the most extravagant and decadent meal of my life. To give you an idea, I distinctly overheard someone at the table next to us say, “Would you like some butter with your barbecue sauce?”

More importantly, it’s owned by Snoop Dogg’s uncle. Ah, to be in the presence of royalty.

About Daniel Kanter

Hi, I'm Daniel, and I love houses! I'm a serial renovator, DIY-er, and dog-cuddler based in Kingston, New York. Follow along as I bring my 1865 Greek Revival back to life and tackle my 30s to varying degrees of success. Welcome!

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  1. 1.12.11
    Aleth said:

    I love your daily Blogs! Make sure to replace the toilet seat cover. I am renter and that is the first thing on my list.

  2. 1.12.11
    Mom said:

    Ok, so no offense meant to Aleth but what is people’s deal about toilet seat covers. I just ordered a new one today, only because after 12 years it was showing wear. But, I have them cleaned regularly, I swear. (Note: I did not say that I clean them).
    I have a freak of a neighbor, however, who had construction people in her home for like over six months. Really. You’d think you might know these people after awhile and be comfortable with them. Apparently not. She had a bright blue port o’john in her front yard–for the whole neighborhood’s enjoyment for more than 6 months.
    Like, really? These people that are now practically family, as they are living in your home like 10 hours a day for months on end, can’t use one of your 5 bathrooms?
    Is it just the toilet seat paranoia or what?
    BTW, not all about me. The green is nice, even for a green. AND, yuch–behind the mirror–good job my love.

    • 1.12.11
      Daniel said:

      The deal is that landlords are supposed to replace toilet seat covers for each new renter, but they don’t always do it. They’re only about $12 a piece, and it’s just an easy fix to make things that much more sanitary and fresh, especially if you don’t know how many people have used them before you! Ick!

      Chandler’s toilet is brand new however, so I don’t think we’re going to worry about it. Pretty sure we were the first to, er, break it in.

    • 1.12.11
      Aleth said:

      @ Mom – none taken. I agree with Daniel, landlords should take care of that but they don’t always do. I always replaced the toilet seat when I move to a new place. It is an easy fix and super cheap so I don’t even bother asking my landlord to do it.

  3. 1.12.11

    hhahahah you always make me laugh.

  4. 1.12.11
    TEM said:

    Oh man, I found the *exact* same horror behind my bathroom mirror when I replaced it! Ewwwwww! And I may have totally just covered it up with my new mirror, leaving the mess back there for the next poor soul who lives in my apartment…

    Also, Snoop Dog’s uncle? That is *awesome*! :-P

  5. 1.12.11
    ashley said:

    Love your blog. Have been reading for a few months. Always know I’m going to find something to make me laugh (and think, awww) every time you post something new.

    Bathroom looks waaaaaaay better. Great job!

  6. 1.12.11
    misa said:

    when i was renting, it never even occurred to me that i could take anything down. we had these huge three-way mirrors in both bathrooms at my last apartment, so you could see yourself on the toilet from three different angles. it was the most depressing thing i’ve ever seen in my life. i can’t believe i didn’t take them down. i was such a fool!

  7. 1.12.11
    Ang said:

    I’m enjoying following this makeover – thanks for sharing! Also, I had one of the best meals of my life while in Portland — Le Pigeon http://www.lepigeon.com. Maybe a bit pricey for Portland, but a steal compared to a NYC dinner. So gooood. If I remember correctly, there were some consignment shops on the same street. Not quite thrifting, but still fun. Thanks again!

  8. 1.12.11
    Ana @Rearranged Design said:

    I like the mint. It’s very cute.

    A word on Snoop’s uncle; I think he uses the tern loosely. Almost every guy Snoop puts in his videos he calls them “uncle”.

  9. 1.12.11

    I like the mint. It’s very cute.

    A word on Snoop’s uncle; I think he uses the term loosely. Almost every guy Snoop puts in his videos he calls them “uncle”.

  10. 1.12.11
    Jill said:


    I don’t normally comment but I stop in from time to time to see what kind of neat projects you are up to. I could help but leave this link for a bathroom mirror idea I found on another blog bathroom upgrade recently for Chandler-


    not sure how much work it would actually take.. but it looked pretty awesome.

    (that is not my blog, just for the record).

    Good luck with the rest of the apartment decorating!

  11. 1.12.11
    Ruby_j said:

    Just out of curiosity… What’s in the basket on the back of the toilet? Btw, Love what you are doing- in friends’ apartments and in your own place. Thanks for the steady inspiration :)

  12. 1.13.11
    audrey said:

    That paint color is fantastic. It’s hard to find paint that looks good in both artificial and natural light, but I think you guys chose a winner.
    I commend you for being able to paint post flu as well.
    Love your blog.

  13. 1.13.11
    jo said:

    Yay for this post! I have been anxiously awaiting the Portland posts, and was starting to worry you had been laid low by either the cat or the sickness. I’m glad you’re feeling better.
    Your faithful lurking reader.
    P.S., Behr paints get really high ratings from Consumer Reports. I used them to paint my house – they’re the best deal in paint. I swear I’m not employed by Home Depot.

    • 1.13.11
      Daniel said:

      I don’t know, it’s not BAD paint, but it doesn’t hold a candle to my usual Benjamin Moore. BM also has a bath and spa formula that comes in matte… I would have sprung for a quart of that instead of the gallon of Satin Behr paint we bought.

  14. 1.13.11
    Simone said:

    Love the colour good choice. You Guys move fast despite being sick!!! The colour even improves the look of the cabinets.

  15. 1.13.11

    How nice that you painted for your dear Chandler! We know how much you LOVE painting… you’re a good, albeit, sickly friend. Looks nice. We’re in the midst of a bathroom re-fresh, and I’ve been considering a soft greeny-bluey-pale-sea-glassy color. So, now I know what it might look like in real life. So, thanks to both of you!

  16. 1.13.11
    Maureen said:

    I stumbled upon your blog after similarly stumbling into Door 16. Now I’m hooked on both. You make me laugh! Looking forward to the next Portland installment.

  17. 1.13.11
    kirsten said:

    I LOVE this post–you are hilarious!
    It’s lookin’ good and I love seeing this progress! I wrote too much last time and didn’t add, but thought of the folly of selecting lighter colors for paint. Your instinct tells you that it will leave the place light and airy and won’t dominate, but I think in practice light greens, blues and yellows look institutional. I was trying all these powdery light blues for my bedroom and it looked like the boy’s bathroom of my grade school. It wasn’t until I took the plunge and used Benjamin Moore’s Spa Blue for my bedroom that it took on the personality I was looking for in choosing color for the walls.

  18. 1.13.11
    Amanda Kay said:

    I’ve been constantly checking every day to see if the next installment of the Portland saga has been posted, what a fun adventure! Sans the sickness. I can’t wait to see the rest of this apartment transformation, you are my DIY hero! Oh, and fun little renting story to add to the other’s here: the last apartment we rented based on photos only, and claimed to have been professionally cleaned after the last tenant moved out. What a lovely surprise it was to open the fridge and kitchen cupboards and find them FILLED with old moldy food and one strange little cupboard completely filled with black dirt…purpose? Unknown. And don’t worry, it WAS professionally cleaned after those discoveries.

  19. 1.13.11

    Where did you get that fabulous coat rack?!

    • 1.13.11
      Daniel said:

      It’s from Urban Outfitters. I think they still make it!

  20. 1.13.11

    Let’s start a blog devoted entirely to photos of the crud lurking behind bathroom mirrors.

  21. 1.13.11
    beansprout said:

    Ew @ mirror lurker yucks. It looks like the tobacco stains that clung to the walls of my grandparents’ house when I was a wee lass. That, or it’s the accumulated oils of many moons of soaps and human bodies in the water droplets that is left behind once the condensation disappears.

    Just a thought – I used this in my bathroom: http://www.ikea.com/ca/en/catalog/products/50072645 along with some hooks (for hairbrushes) and one of the 75 cent baskets to hold toothbrushes/toothpaste/floss under my bathroom mirror. It keeps things off the vanity top and generally makes my bathroom look cleaner, but everything is still at hand.

  22. 1.15.11

    That frosted paper is so helpful and now I feel like an idiot for not knowing about the soapy water. That would have helped so much.

    BTW, if I see another Braun aromaster I’ll let you know!

    • 1.15.11

      Oops, just realized this was meant for the newer post!

  23. 1.17.11
    megan said:

    Is that a basket full of tampons in the bathroom? I really hope so.