30 August 2011

mini-bathroom renovation

Sorry for my long absence! We've been enjoying the end-y bit of summer, which has been dry as a bone and hot as hades here. (I'm not complaining, though. Weeeeell, maybe I am just a bit. Looking forward to lovely crisp autumn and all that comes with it.) We had a two-week "staycation" at the end of July, followed by a week with my family in the mountains. Now, fully rested and totally depleted of vacation hours, it's back to work we go.

Our staycation was lovely though, full of great food and summer movies and relaxing together. Around the beginning of the second week, I started thinking "my, wouldn't this be a great time to try to renovate the bathroom a bit?" I mentioned this to Matt, at which point he sighed heavily, then gamely agreed to help me. Because he's such a good hubby.

This is the master bathroom, which is remarkably large for our modest, 1920s-vintage house (we think it was added on at some point). The fixtures are all fine, if a little generic. Since moving in, we've talked about doing a gut renovation "some day," and I started a wish list: free-standing tub, vintage-style lighting, hexagon tile flooring. But the reality is that we probably won't have the moola for a total renovation for many years. So we set out to see what we could do with as little investment as possible. The total renovation is still on the wish list, but we wanted to make it a more enjoyable space right now.

I forgot to take a "before" shot, but here's an in-progress picture to show you what we were working with. The floor was a hunter green vinyl sticky tile and the walls were the color of a band-aid. Somebody at some point must have liked this color combo. I'm not a big fan. I knew just changing those two elements would make a huge difference.

We stuck with sticky tile (hee) but chose a light, faux-marble one from Lowes. The colors in the tiles are quite lovely--mostly white and cream but with enough gray and brown smudgy bits that it has a lot of depth. And it hides dirt like a dream. I actually really enjoyed laying the floor, believe it or not. It was like one giant jigsaw puzzle. I LOVE jigsaw puzzles. Matt does not. We realized this after an hour or so, so he took over the painting from that point.

The walls are a very pale blue-gray and we repainted all the trim white. We also painted the base of the vanity a medium gray. I had originally chosen a minty green color that ended up looking dreadful. Just awful. Matt gave me an "I told you so look" and helped me pick out the gray color. Much better. We also replaced the giant frame-less mirror above the vanity with a smaller, framed one that we already owned.

We replaced some of the hardware with shiny new ones. The rusty black floor vent was replaced with a bright white one. We finally mounted a toilet-paper holder on the wall (we used to just keep the roll sitting on the back of the commode...it took me three weeks after installing it to stop twisting around behind me to reach for the tp).

This odd corner beside the shower is where we store our linens. There used to be two large, deep shelves here where we piled all our linens. It was impossible to keep it organized and neat, so we took down the shelves and put in an inexpensive storage cabinet. Now I don't have to stare at a jumble of towels and sheets.

I was going to sew a new shower curtain but then found this awesome one at Target. We also picked up the wooden floor mat and the cheerful yellow trash can there. I like the yellow accents and warm wood tones against the cool gray background.

I don't normally keep fresh flowers in my bathroom but maybe I should. I also hid all my ugly toiletries and only left out the pretty ones for these photos. I maybe watch too much HGTV. Speaking of which, there is an episode of Design Inc (here are some pics) that really inspired this bathroom. I love me some Sarah Richardson. I don't know that I am posh enough to live in any of her houses, but I do love watching her shows. Especially Sarah's Summer House. It is a modern day Blue Castle. (And if you haven't read The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery and have no idea what I am talking about, you need to read it. It is one of my favorite books of all time.)

I had to include this picture because Abby looks like a ghost. A sweet, friendly puppy ghost.

The whole "mini-reno" probably set us back about $200 and a few days of labor. One day we will get our claw-foot tub and ceramic tile, but in the meantime I know we will really enjoy this space.