Friday, December 16, 2011

the bathroom

All right, ladies, it's time. You've been very patient.

Some of you may remember way back in the dark ages when I said that I was going to work on our house's only full bath. Yet before that, before even the dawn of time, I'm sure I published (probably repeatedly) this inspiration photo of what I consider more or less the platonic bathroom:

Gast Architects: Projects traditional bathroom

So that was my inspiration. And here's what I had to work with:

That's the only listing photo of the bathroom. And there's a reason for that - the space is below whatever square footage would be required to photograph it successfully, as you will shortly see in my pictures. The former owners had chosen a green-and-bamboo theme (there's also a bamboo shower caddy and a kind of half-hearted green drape thing). The walls were a totally inoffensive shade of beige. I don't like beige.

Oh, here's one more "before" picture I took:

And you all remember the "during":

Hmm...maybe that's just how I remember it. Does this look more familiar?

OK, anyway, before we even ripped off the toilet like insane people, I painted the walls. I settled on Behr's "Fresh Day," a blue so pale it's almost white (and, indeed, it looks white in the can, on the top of the can, on the swatch, and everywhere but on the walls, in person). Don't believe me? Here's a picture of the wall with a bright white piece of printer paper against it:

Right. That doesn't help you at all. Here is a picture of some nice person's room - too bad I've lost the link to the blog post that persuaded me to try the color in the first place. Anyway, doesn't this person's house look nice?

It looks nice in my bathroom too. It has an airy lightness about it - like the bathroom is somehow the color of sunlight. Delightful. OK, so I repainted the walls. I also discarded all the textiles as quickly as I could. That rug had to go. I found this one for about $6 at Ross's:

At this point I have to apologize for all the pictures. I took them all on a camera phone because it was the only way I was realistically going to get them up here, ever. And I took them at whatever angle I could (I told you, the bathroom is hard to photograph), which would have been fine, except that I don't have Microsoft Office on my laptop, so I can't edit the blasted things. Actually, maybe I could open them as .bmps and edit them in Paint...OK, I might try that next time. For now, just tip your head to the side, could you? :)

Anyway, I found this Nautica shower curtain on clearance for $12 at Home Goods:

Also at Home Goods, I found these chrome-finish C-shaped shower curtain rings. I found something appealing about their simplicity:

Unfortunately, I only bought one package when I first saw them, so while I got the first dozen for $6, I later had to buy another dozen for $10 from Amazon when I realized that a claw-foot bathtub takes two sets. Oops! I got real wood Venetian blinds for $25 from Ikea:

The previous owners had already installed a nice hotel-style towel rack (behind the hallway door), so I just put our towels on it, and our laundry basket under it:

What the bathroom desperately needed was storage. Obviously there was a place for the towels and the laundry, but the bathroom only had a pedestal sink (I actually switched the hand holding the phone so I could wave at you in this picture. See how I care! Let's not talk about the fact that I hadn't showered or combed my hair in two days):

(Everything in that picture except the toothbrush holder was there when we moved in - sconces, sink, little shelf, mirror. They did a great job with that, so I left it alone.) There was some wall space, though, so I got this cabinet at Bed, Bath, and Beyond - with my 20% off coupon, it was $48:

Here's where it lives in the room. (Yes, someday I will drop something in the toilet trying to get it out of there. If there's any justice in this world, it will be a rotten HPT.)

It's only MDF, not real wood, but for the bathroom I thought it was fine, and it holds the things we need to use. (I put a crate with things like extra toothbrushes and longer-term supplies in a bedroom closet that's all shelves, but isn't deep enough for coat hangers.) And the finishing touch, which I finally ordered just recently:

It was $15 on Amazon. It's also available at Bed, Bath and Beyond for $30. The BBB version is woven polyester or vinyl or whatever, is opaque white, and has a more photographic-looking version of the tree. Also, the tree is off-center on that version. I do like the off-center version, but I specifically wanted a curtain that was a solid sheet, not woven, because I am concerned that a woven material could wick moisture onto the wall behind it. The Amazon version (in addition to being cheaper) is a solid sheet of PEVA, and is translucent, which I like. The tree has a more choppy, sketch-like quality, but that's OK. I love the look of it - it makes me smile whenever I walk into the bathroom. I did give up on the octopus I really wanted. Apparently my DH doesn't really like the tree; he's just relieved that there's no octopus in our bathroom.

So I'm not sure how much credit I get for "redoing" the bathroom. I repainted it and I added some linens. I did install a cabinet, though, and blinds, so that counts for something, right? So now I'm sort of wary of adding up the total, given that the changes were pretty cosmetic...let's see. $25 for paint. $25 for the blinds. $6 for the bath mat. $6 for the toothbrush holder. $12 for the cotton shower curtain, $6 for the vinyl liner, and $15 for the tree shower curtain; and $16 for the rings. $48 for the cabinet, and about $10 in little plastic trays to put in it to keep things sorted. The hamper, and the towels, of course, I had. That's $169 total. I don't think that's really so bad.

Of course, that doesn't count about $40 for toilet repair materials, or the fact that I'm going to be replacing that floor in the next year or two, but those aren't precisely decor items.

So there you are. The master bedroom may be next - or, maybe, I will need to consult you all about window treatments before that can happen.

Aaaaand...I am participating in my very first before-and-after party, and I am so stoked. It's Metamorphosis Monday, at Between Naps on the Porch!

Go on over and check out the other before-and-after posts that are linked up. (Because it's almost Christmas, there are lots of wonderful inspirations for Christmas decor, and probably some good recipes too - gotta check it out myself next. At other times of year, there are more hardcore renovations. All the previous Met Mondays are viewable on Susan's blog, so check them out if you're looking for some inspiration!)

Ooh and now I've also joined the Thrifty Decor Chick's January before-and-after party! Go check it out!


  1. I have the same arrangement in our Master Bath - the storage over the toilet. We've managed to not drop anything into the toilet in the 2 yrs since we installed it, so that's pretty good :).
    Everything looks great so far! Love the wall color. That is similar to the "Mountain Air" by Sherwin Williams that I put in our craft room that eventually turned into Isaac's nursery. On sunny days, it looks almost light grey, but on overcast the blue really comes out. Exactly like I wanted :).

  2. LOVE it. Am seriously considering hiring you out for design work and ideas when we finally get enough money to redo our bathroom. You'll probably think I'm kidding until I flood your inbox with photos of our awful bathroom under the subject line "help"

    PS, I reminisced about the Octopus before I even got to that part of the post. :)

  3. It is so gratifying to finally have pictures of all your work (even cell phone pics!) I really like the color too; it's just what a small space needs. And it must be so refreshing after that blah beige. I'm going to have a bathroom reno underway after Christmas...perhaps I should get your opinion on paint colors. Hmmm, I know I just blogged about not blogging, but I think I'll put a post up with current bathroom pics and my plans and get people's opinions. Would love for you to stop by. :)

  4. I have a similar cabinet over my toilet and have had very few 'falling into the toilet' accidents, although I am super careful about putting the toilet seat down when the cupboard is open.

    I had a dream the other night that we were discussing house decoration and your bathroom was the main topic! Your pictures are even nicer than what I dreamt!

  5. Seriously, you inspire me. I love that wall color.

  6. I LOVE it!!! I'm going to have you pick my paint colors ... you do a great job!
    I also have a cabinet over the toilet. So far (knock on wood), nothing's fallen in. It adds so much storage, which I love, as my vanity is only 27" wide.