Mr. Fickbonne’s Brilliant Bathroom Brachiosaurus


Listen you guys: if decorating your adult home with dinosaurs is wrong then I don’t wanna be right.

As I’ve teased (numerous times), we’re slowly but surely, step by step, remodeling our bathroom. It’s lovely and so much more functional now than it was when we moved in. Also, spoiler alert, it’s blue. But somewhere along the bathroom designing way we never really accounted for a toilet paper holder. There’s just really no good place for it given the layout of the bathroom. We’ve generally just been leaving the toilet paper on the shelving across from the toilet, but that’s so casual and uncouth.

A more elegant solution was required.

So Ben got a dinosaur. This dinosaur:


This little brachiosaurus has the long neck and firm base required to prop up a roll of toilet paper at just the right angle to facilitate premium rollage while also looking damn classy and–most importantly–supremely mature. Yes, this dinosaur was exactly the elegant and tasteful design element our new bathroom needed! I’ve never been more proud of Mr. Fickbonne for coming up with a home decorating idea all by himself. (Just kidding he saw it on Pinterest. Yes, my husband frequents Pinterest AND Etsy. If you find that strange then just remember that conventional gender roles are dead, boring, and useless before joining us all in this exciting new world of feminism and unrestricted creativity.)

But there was a problem with the brachiosaurus: it was the wrong color. We wanted something that would fit more with the new bathroom colors. So Ben got a can of Krylon ColorMaster spray paint in Jade and set about painting our little bathroom dino. It took him about three coats to get him perfectly covered, waiting twenty minutes between coats. Then we let the little bugger dry overnight.

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The thing to remember about spray painting is that you should do it on a disposable surface. By which I mean: not just newspaper on top of your driveway or a table. Inevitably the wind will carry droplets onto the surface and it’ll be ruined. So we painted the dino on a strip of cardboard on what passes for “grass” in our backyard. Eventually the “grass” will get mown or the paint will simply wash into the soil instead of lingering on our driveway or a table. This has been a PSA.

Finally, our bathroom dino was complete. Behold!


Timeless, elegant decor. A piece for the ages, surely. I expect HGTV to come calling any minute now. Here’s the before and after:

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All told the project came in under $30: $17 for the dino, $8 for the paint. And because Ben was in a dino-buying mood, he picked up a pack of a dozen to live in the garden too:

Did you guys know there were dinosaurs in this garden?

Did you guys know there were dinosaurs in this garden?


The Great Casa Fickbonne To Do List


My dad was in town for a business trip a few weeks ago, and it was his first opportunity to see the Casa Fickbonne. We followed him around the house nodding vigorously and taking copious notes on the suggestions of this veteran home improver, who obviously knows what he’s doing way more than we do.

One thing he suggested we do–which my parents did when they moved into their house in New Hampshire–was to write a list of every little thing they wanted to do to the house, keep it in a prominent place like on the front of the refrigerator, and cross things off as they get done. It’s a good way to keep track of what’s left to be done, and you get a great sense of satisfaction from crossing things off the list. So I’ve decided to take this advice. But what’s more prominent than my refrigerator door? The house blog of course!

So without further ado, here is our list, complete with everything we’ve already done and everything we have left to do. I’ll update it as things progress and provide links to the relevant blog posts so we can all play along at home!

The Great Casa Fickbonne To Do List 


  • Build fence
  • Build garden beds
  • Plant fruit trees
  • Plant maples between sidewalk and street
  • Build retaining wall in front yard
  • Build fire pit
  • Fix second outdoor outlet
  • Install lights under patio
  • Composter and rain barrel
  • Chicken coop
  • Beehive
  • Plant roses and desert plants in front garden
  • Porch swing and deck chairs for front porch
  • Hanging flower pots
  • Build farm table for back patio
  • Install outdoor spigot
  • Bury electrical line
  • Scrape and repaint all windows
  • Replace window screens
  • Patch and seal driveway







  • Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Insulate attic
  • Fix tile grout
  • Install doorway footplate
  • Install programmable thermostat
  • Hang coat rack



  • Replace electricals
  • Install motion-detecting light
  • Replace alley-facing garage door

So that’s where we’re at for now! From where I’m sitting, the three biggest projects are the front yard retaining wall, finishing the basement, and getting electricity in the garage. They’re also our most expensive upcoming projects, and as a result will probably add more value to the house than anything else. Finishing the basement will literally double our square footage, so that’s pretty high on the list, and building a retaining wall will give us the curb appeal we’re currently all but lacking. I could care less about garage electricity, but someone would like to use power tools out there so there you go.

You’ll notice that we’ve done a lot to the bathroom and you haven’t seen any of it yet! I’m stubbornly holding out until I can do a real before-and-after post. We were supposed to put the finishing touches on it this weekend, but apparently it’s far too glorious a day not to spend it fishing, so my chief carpenter/husband is off doing that instead. So you’ll just have to be patient!

Have I missed anything? Take a look at the blank canvas and give me your ideas!