The end of a chapter and the long awaited before and after photos of Project Ugly House!

I wanted to share Heather’s spectacular renovation for your reading pleasure, while I toil away on my MisAdventures. See, there can be light at the end of the tunnel. Now she is on to her next project. I’ll be watching.

Project Ugly House

Sadly, this is probably the last post I will ever make for our “Ugly House” as we officially closed on the sale last Thursday. We poured our hearts and souls into this house for almost 3 years, and are finally done making improvements to it.

With construction moving rapidly at our Creekside home, we felt it was the right time to put our “Ugly House” on the market. Unintentionally, we listed our house on Easter weekend. We were pretty bummed when we realized this, as our realtor told us that real estate can be slow over holiday weekends. We worked so hard getting the house ready to go on the market that we didn’t want to delay, even at the chance that we wouldn’t have a good turn out due to the holiday. Our listing went live early morning on Good Friday, and within a few hours the calls started coming in from realtors requesting showings. We had 5 showings…

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Using Motorcycle Parts in the Bathroom

OK, the internet is generally a good thing – search is a good thing – sometimes.

I’ll explain later

1 wall painted

We left off here with the wall painted and the sconce electric now finished by adding a mud ring to bring the wall boxes out to the wall surface.

2 toilet flange

Now it’s toilet time. I plumbed the floor closet flange with a stainless steel doodad – use this type if you can instead of the all PVC or stamped steel versions.

4 toto toilet

Here’s the toilet – it’s a Toto Soirée one piece toilet.I chose this because my wife wanted a one piece unit – and because I made the paneled wall go to the back of the toilet, it reduced the drain center to 11″. A standard toilet needs 12″ from the center of the drain flange to the finished wall – I only had 11″. Oops, another design faux pas.

3 toto toilet rough

 Toto to the rescue. This toilet uses a doodad that lets you adjust the distance the toilet sits next to the wall. The one that comes with the toilet is for a standard 12″ – but you can buy (for another 65.00) one that makes a 10″ or 14″ rough. So here I’m installing the 10″ rough. I’ve also installed the supply valve and stainless hose.

5 Bristro wall sconce

Then we get up off the floor to install the sconces. These are Restoration Hardware Bistro Sconces. I like these because the arms are adjustable.

6 sconces and toilet installed

Here the sconces, marble window sill, toilet and water supplies for the tub are in.

7 removable tile

I had a tile panel made that is removable for access to the plumbing without having to demo the tile to get access. The water supplies screw into the plumbing below the floor. The wall baseboard is also removable to get the tile panel out. Now we need to plumb the bathtub drain.

10 drain instal

The PVC pipe goes through the floor into the drain trap. The threaded compression fitting had to be close to the floor so the trim ring would sit flat on the floor.

9 marble sill

The window sill is marble and had to be installed before the water supplies. I made a wood template to take to the stone guys and then I installed the sill with silicone. The pipes holding the faucet were pretty stable, but I wanted to make it more secure with some sort of bracket to fasten it to the wall.

That’s where the internet and motorcycle parts come in.

I spent several hours searching for something that might work. Searches for “Pipe Hangers, pipe brackets, tube and/or rod holders and every conceivable search word combination came up with nothing. Nothing in plumbing worked, nothing in electrical, drapery, or closets worked either. So next was marine, auto and then finally motorcycle.

And these popped up.

11 handle bar risers

The criteria was as follows: Chrome and shiny? Check / Split so that they  can be installed without disassembling the water supplies? Check / Fit a 1″ OD pipe? Check / Can be attached to the wall? Check. What the heck are they? Handlebar risers for a Harley Davidson. Sure, that will work.

12 recessed bolts

So we make a poplar bracket and recess the back for the bolts.

13 painted bracket

We paint and finish the bracket to match the wall. Then install the risers.

14 bracket instal

We attached the bracket to the wall. The tub will hide most of this stuff, but I still wanted them to look pretty.

15 bracket closeup

A little hole filling and touch up and these pipes are staying put. So we’re starting to get to the bling – hang in there.

Thanksgiving 2001 and Now

For many years I have written a newsletter for our art gallery. The first page is always something of a personal note – sharing simple reflections and a gentle nudge for folks to pause and enjoy the life given. I was looking back through past issues and came across this note written after the Tragedy of September 11.

Thanksgiving 2001Even though this has been a very challenging year for me personally, I have so much to be thankful for. And my hope is that each of you will have a most special Thanksgiving tomorrow.



Nance Galleries History Part 4

Here is the final history overview of our Gallery. I’ll be posting the details of the new gallery renovation here. After all, this is a renovation blog,

nance galleries

I last left off at a critical time. September 1989 and the city had put a stop order on the building -and rightly so, I might add. My genius contractor didn’t bother with permits and zoning laws. Boy, what a pickle he put me in. So what’s next? I ask the guy in charge of the building commission. You have to have a hearing in front of the board. Great, I said when should I be there? December 21. silence…You mean I have to wait until December 21? What about my holiday shopping season? I need to get the gallery open. silence… Not gonna happen. So to say that 1989 was going to be a bleak year would be an understatement.

I give you exhibit A


And exhibit B


These were the exhibit photos for the hearing. And fortunately for us the vote was 6-1 in our favor. Yeah!…

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Nance Galleries History Part 3

Another chapter – and this time with remodeling!

nance galleries

Finally we get to start on some renovations – I’ll repost this entry over at my home renovation blog Adventures in remodeling because this is a major renovation.

My father passed away in 1984, so I helped my mom run the business until 1988 when I purchased the business and land so she could have a well deserved retirement. True to my renovation genes, by July the following year renovations are well underway.


I designed this building a couple of years earlier and it was modeled loosely on a Long John’s Silver restaurant.  I’m not certain why I was attracted to that building – but we get inspiration everywhere – good or bad.

There are going to be a lot of mistakes this time. I hired a general contractor for this project for a couple of reasons. The major reason was that I was in a hospital in Houston for…

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Nance Galleries History part 2

Here’s some more old photos – and a little renovation too!

nance galleries

Continuing this little history missive has been pretty interesting. I’m doing it mainly for a record for the family, as I have inherited all of these old photos and negatives. Almost every family has snapshots and vacation photos. What makes it a little more challenging for me is that my dad was a photographer and on many photo shoots he would have extra film left over and would take a couple of photos of the family or the  business. So when I would go through an envelope of negatives of a lumber mill I would find a picture of me – like this.

curt-with-cameraYou know I still have that camera – and I know how to use it. Why I even have unused flashbulbs and that little black leather photographer’s bag to my right? – I’ve got that too.


I found some additional shots of the showroom – they sure…

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Nance Gallery History

I thought I’d add a little history about my real job. They’ll be some remodeling going on big time in some later posts. Stay tuned.

nance galleries

It’s been 66 years since this little enterprise was born. A long time.

I thought I would put together a little history of this place, and show how things have certainly changed over the years. I’ll be rebloging these posts over at my renovation blog at misadventures in remodeling – the other place I spend a great deal of time. One reason is there has been a lot of renovating over the years – most instigated by yours truly. You’ll see.

Mom Dad

Here’s Mom & Dad – Marian and Owen Nance in 1946

Dad 1946Of course dad had to have a flashy car to impress mom. Notice the Nance Studio on the door.

Hudson Hornet 1952A couple of years later he had to get a flashy Hudson Hornet in 1952.

321 S Kentucky Ave at Walnut 1955By the 1950’s the new studio was located at Kentucky Ave. and Walnut St. This was Highway 41 the major North – South roadway…

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