Towel Rails & BBQs

That’s how I spent my Monday night. I’m a wild one, what can I say? I know I’m a little “quirky” when it comes to details, but the apartment’s original bathroom hardware was a little… worn. Most people renting an apartment would either ignore or be oblivious to these details, but looking at them day after day was getting on my nerves.


With just 2 bathrooms, and a total of 3 towel rails and 2 toilet roll holders, I knew an upgraded solution would be sub-$100. I picked up replacements in Target yesterday and did a little switcheroo.


Truth be told, I’m not in love with the finials. I’m going to check Home Depot and Lowe’s for something similarly styled with narrower finials. I also prefer polished rather than brushed steel, which would better match the door handles (which I’ll probably replace in the next week or two) and faucets. For now, I’m happier knowing my towels aren’t sitting on a cheap, chipped, paint splattered bar.

The new hardware has improved the look and feel of the bathroom, but it still distinctly lacks artwork. I found some nice espresso frames with burlap mats, which will compliment the bedroom furniture and lamps and will tie the  whole room together. I’m waiting to make any more decorative purchases until Thursday when the West Elm designer will be visiting. They offer a free design service, so their Design Consultant will be coming by (along with the General Manager, who I’ve befriended with my numerous trips to the shop) to help plan and style the space now we have all our furniture picked out (we ultimately ordered both the library cabinet and wine tower we were considering from C&B last week).

Before imposing my decorative no-buy, I also ordered an accent stool from Pottery Barn for the master bedroom. We wanted an accent table to store our spare towel set. It’ll be nestled in the corner next to the closet door, where one of the walls is only about 14.5″ deep, so we needed something with a small footprint. I saw the stool online and thought it was perfect. Unfortunately, however, they wer sold out in my local store and online. The sales associated called the other San Diego store; they had one in stock and were going to find and hold it for me, as I was headed down to pick up an outdoor rug anyway. When I arrived, they’d found the outdoor rug but the stool was still MIA. Feeling a little guilty, they rang other stores, found one in Temecula and paid to have it shipped directly to me. Now THAT is customer service!

While I was busy installing towel rails last night, a delivery arrived. With so many recent online orders, I downloaded an iPhone app to centralize all the tracking info. I’d already received everything scheduled for the day, so was pleasantly surprised to find it was the BBQ! (which didn’t have tracking info and wasn’t expected until Thursday). Mark and I planned to watch the first Monday Night Football game of the seasons (Mark’s first ever time watching football and the Chargers were playing). However, impatient as ever, we spent the next hour or so bending parts back into place and bolting bits together (and ok, maybe swearing a little). The end result is the latest addition to our balcony!

Having read reviews, I anticipated the assembly would be a little laborious. Other purchasers commented about the inadequate-for-the-size-and-weight packaging, which caused certain pieces to bend or break. The manufacturing company was reportedly quick to send replacements though, so we weren’t worried. True to their reviews, we had one bent and one broken piece. Neither was an assembly show stopper, but I’ll be contacting Onward to order replacements this morning.

In spite of the assembly issues, we liked this particular grill because of it’s size (2 burners is big enough to cook for 5-6 people when we have guests, but small enough to fit easily on our balcony without being the primary focal point) and the cast aluminum body. Most grills in our preferred price range ($200-300) are made of cheap, rust-prone materials and last a year or less. Cast aluminum offers great heat retention, is much longer wearing and doesn’t rust. This particular grill also features a dual-H burner and heavyweight (porcelain coated cast iron) grids, which produces better heat transfer and more even grilling than comparably priced options. Not expecting the grill to turn up until much later in the week, we haven’t bought a propane tank yet. I’ll be buying a tank this week and look forward to putting our grill to use this weekend!


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