This is a sad story that has a happy beginning and a sad middle and a happy ending. It's still kind of a sad story, though.
Last year, Saucy was scouring the local online classifieds looking for props for a photo shoot. She came upon someone selling their 1928 cast iron claw foot tub. They only wanted one hundred dollars for it... and they only lived a few blocks away. "I'll take it, sight unseen, don't sell it before I get there!" Saucy shrieked into the phone, slammed it down and then literally raced over to the lady's house. The tub was in the backyard, filled with soil and bedding plants. It had been used as a planter for the last ten years or so but the lady was moving and she promised the new owners it would be gone.
Saucy figured she could do something with it for that price. Maybe she could come up with a photo shoot idea for it. Hell, at the very least she could use it as a planter herself... or sell it for profit. She laid down the cash and called her moving guy.
Turns out, it cost twice as much to move this bad boy over to Saucy's yard than she paid for it. No matter. It got plopped down in the yard and sat there. Saucy wasn't even sure about what kind of shape the porcelain was in, there was still dirt in the bottom (plus a very old spoon, some rocks and a very sad rubber duck... yuck).
Who knew what would linger beneath all that guck and muck? Can you say... one perfectly perfect porcelain finish?
Yes reader, the tub interior is in almost pristine condition. The very (very) minimal marks give it that much-desired vintage character. The only thing this tub needed was a visit from The Fan and The Secret Weapon (who wielded fancy turning wire brush tool) in order to make the exterior nice and smooth for repainting. Saucy spent a day or so adding careful layers of rust-prevention paint to the outside of the tub and gave the feet a little cleaning up and a coat of spray paint. Okay, looking at these pictures she kind of wishes she'd painted the feet white.
The tub was painted that funky mauve colour mostly as a nod to the original apron-front tub that was in this bathroom. All of the fixtures in this room were signature 1960's lilac purple. It just seemed to fit - this was and will always be the purple bathroom.
Back to the sad story... this is where the happy part about the condition of the tub gets to the sad part about how when the contractor opened the floor and found there were basically no floor joists left in the room.
That means there's hardly any strength or support to hold up the walls of the house, let alone add the weight of a cast iron tub, water and Saucy. The contractor said the entire situation needed a structural engineer, STAT. Maybe this room couldn't even be used for a bathroom. Maybe it would have to be converted into the world's tiniest office or most ill-thought-out walk in closet. The possibilities were not endless.
Thankfully - and Saucy cannot stress this enough - THANKFULLY Saucy has a blog reader/friend who she paid a visit to. Again, thankfully, her friend hooked her up big time. An engineer came out for a site visit that week. Saucy dug up the old house plans and everybody had a good head scratch about how much the tub weighed, water displacement, points of contact... it was very interesting.
Okay, so you know from the stream of photos how the story ended. The engineer said the floor could be braced and supported properly by doing this and that, the contractor said he'd charge lots extra for this and that, and Saucy thought twice about moving that damn tub up the stairs more than once. She really didn't want another acrylic apron tub in the house. And she only paid a hundred dollars (plus moving fees) for it. Nope, she went for it.
And that, Dear Readers and friends, is the story about how Saucy's One Hundred Dollar Internet Bathtub cost Veto fourteen thousand dollars.
Anyone fancy a cocktail after that story? It gets happy again. Happy after Saucy had a drink holder installed on the wall.
Happy when she found the perfect vintage faucet for the tub with a rubber stopper for the drain... because rubber stoppers are awesome and retro.
It's a happy story when she found the world's smallest pedestal sink at 20" wide and it was available through a local distributor.
It's an unhappy story when the first sink faucet arrived and did not fit properly on the sink even though they were made by the same company.
It's a happy story again when all that got sorted out and the faucets have adorable little vintage details on them.
It's a happy story because also at the bottom of the dirty planter tub Saucy found two original hanging soap racks. They're not in the best of shape but Dear Lord, they are charming.
It's a sad story when Saucy found this amazing little storage cabinet for Veto's new bathroom but it didn't fit. Amazingly, the story gets happy again when it fit right here. It's the perfect spot to organize bath products.
Saucy is happy when she looks up from her bubble bath to see this vintage photo of Elizabeth Taylor looking down. Don't worry, the room has really high ceilings and a fan and a window that opens so it won't get damaged by humidity.
This little chair is also a happy part of the story. It was a five dollar Internet find... it was yellow... and hey, funny twist: Saucy used this little chair to photograph the delightful daughter of the very blog friend who hooked Saucy up with an engineer. You might say that this little chair links everything together nicely. Saucy happily gave it a coat of that delicious Pantone Colour of the Year, Radiant Orchid.
Saucy was also very happy to have the perfect little spot to hang a very purply watercolour she did in an art class back in 1999. It never really had a home. It's perfect here.
Veto was happy when the original medicine cabinet and window shutters stayed put. Saucy can pretend she did it to cut costs, but she just found them too charming to let go of. Plus, the wooden shutters have a nice deep ledge to set things on.
And then, every night before bed, this happens. And that is by far the happiest part of the story of all.