Tuesday, September 6, 2011

the powder room

I'm afraid that after the kitchen and the bath, I start to get onto ever shakier ground. I have ideas...but...I'm not sure. Maybe you can help.

I'm afraid I don't actually have pictures of the room. But it's fairly simple in concept. It has beadboard on all four walls and the ceiling (currently painted white, and in need of caulking some fissures and repainting). It has a vintage sink, like this one:

It also has tile on the floor that I don't really like. It's ceramic, and square, and an odd-ish size...maybe three inches square? And a strange color...a sort of gray-violet. It's in good condition, although it appears to be going un-level - it's actually pulling away from the baseboard a little bit.

And it has a little older built-in electric heater, and an older white toilet, and a door and a window with a nice sash. It has a teeny bit of extra room for a half bath - not enough to add a shower, but maybe enough to add a little chest and store some things in it. So here are my much-conflicted thoughts.

First of all, the room desperately needs color. I tend to think that I can't paint the beadboard a color other than white, so that the color would have to come in from elsewhere. I didn't find many inspiration photos with floor-to-ceiling beadboard, but this one offered an interesting way to introduce some color. I think I could do brightly-colored trim paint and maybe a piece of brightly-painted wood furniture:

And then I had another inspiration. I could bring in some awesome color in the floor! A while back I had a fascination with these penny-round tiles:

They're bright, right? I think they'd make the bathroom so lively...but maybe too much so? In general I like white ceramic tiles, but white tiles with white beadboard on every surface would just be too much. And then, today, I was flipping through the posts in Thrifty Decor Chick's before-and-after party and I was immediately hooked by the title of one transformation - "Grand Hotel Mackinac Island blue." DH and I honeymooned on Mackinac Island (though we were too poor for the Grand Hotel!) and the reminder of it made me smile. I'll admit that I don't recall the hotel being painted that color, but it is an absolutely magnificent color:

It looks to me like a variant of "haint blue." So that means, if nothing else, when the ceilings of the porches need repainting (the front porch ceiling is already light blue! Yay!) I will use that shade.

In addition - thus far I have resisted the increasingly popular distressed turquoise furniture trend. If offered either the stained or the painted version of that little occasional table, I would definitely take the before - I love the look of the wood and it would fit beautifully in the picture of the living room I have in my head. But she did a wonderful job and even though it's trendy and it pains me to say this - I do love that color. And the shade is just pale enough for me to think...maybe I could paint the bathroom's beadboard walls that color? Maybe? Too much? If I kept the ceiling white???

And then maybe I could use white penny round on the floor:

That really doesn't leave a lot. I may switch out the mirror (I remember it being generally unimpressive but I can't conjure up any specifics), and I guess I need to think about hand towels. I'm mostly set on a light gray shade that can't really be discolored (I'm committed to my bright white bath towels - they always get back to white with a nice bleach wash - but I unwisely put out both white hand towels at a huge party we had a few years back and I've bleached them a dozen times and they will never be white again. Lesson learned). So just before our latest party (this past Saturday) I picked up a Cynthia Rowley hand towel in "graphite" at Home Goods. This is not my house, but this is the towel:

It has already been washed once and used repeatedly, and it is still soft. And no discoloration. So, maybe I'll grab a few more.

Hmm...that's all I've got. Would be delighted to hear your thoughts!


  1. You're probably not going to like my suggestion, but I have a bit of an obsession with white in bathrooms. I am in love with the white penny round tiles that you've chosen! Your choices look fantastic, as usual.

  2. I'm with JB, love those white penny tiles for the floor! I like the idea of using color in the trim and accessories rather than walls and floor. Just my two cents. :)

  3. I love the white tiles, but think carefully about the grout. We went WHITE WHITE WHITE when we tiled our bathroom floor, and the grout, even with all the sealers and yadda yadda and bleach, never looked white again after a few month's use. Maybe a nice gray? If you're going for a haint blue. Or electric blue? He he. They do make that stuff...

    What about adding color with art? I find I get sick of color schemes periodically, so having the flexibility of changing out a big, bold, funky framed picture is helpful.

  4. I am a $hitty commenter - so sorry!!! Haint blue = beautiful... I just may use that myself. :) And I definitely vote for the white penny tiles, although sprinkling color in the floor or somewhere else would be fun.