Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Bathroom Blues.

Now that you've made and eaten your beans, we can move on to what naturally comes next. If you're like me, perhaps you've eaten a bit too many beans because they tasted so good that you couldn't stop yourself before you got too full. Like anything in life, there are consequences to such frivolous behavior, and in this case most of them will take place here:

That's my very tiny, very much in need of help, main bathroom. I could hardly get a full picture of this space because of it's itty-bitty factor! For such a small space, there are many spots that need an immediate design makeover. Small space, big problems. That's always the way, isn't it?

This is the view of the bathroom when you're sitting on the porcelain throne (don't worry, I wasn't actually DOING ANYTHING on the throne ewww yuck gross). Notice how the pedestal sink actually juts out into the walking space. I told you that it was a tiny bathroom! The door (and walls which we primed white) is a rather sad shade of beige, and the paint is completely cracked. There is also a row of hooks that has been attached to the door and painted over...

...I think it's more visible in that photo above. I don't think the hooks will come off the door without doing some serious damage, so we're going to have to work with it, even though "Painted Floral" isn't exactly part of my design aesthetic. We're also going to have to take care of the unsightly door as well. I'd like to spruce it up without using gross chemicals to strip the paint away. Maybe it will require a good sanding and then a fresh coat of not-beige paint? This will be a good outdoor project during the warm months, I'm thinking.

The door has an unsightly latch, and it will need to come off. We recently replaced the old and icky faux brass door knob with this pretty little (oil-rubbed bronze!) thing, which has a WORKING LOCK! Hooray and huzzah, and now we can finally take that ugly latch off.

We've had to get creative with storage solutions in this smaller-than-postage-stamp-sized space. We found a toilet paper holder that hangs over the side of the toilet tank; it has been a great space saver. Notice how close the (very crusty) rad is to the potty - toasty buns, anyone? Yousuf wants to build a wooden radiator cover to enclose it...I'm hoping we can get that done this summer too!

Because we're working on a budget, we've had to make changes slowly throughout the room. The first thing we did (that was really inexpensive) was to put up a new shower rod and hooks. I picked out an oil-rubbed bronze tension rod and similar-colored hooks, and then got a white cotton shower curtain that had a bit of texture with alternating matte and glossy stripes. It was an instant face lift for what was at that time a dark and dreary space.

Warning: Taking pictures standing on the edge of the bathtub, tippy-toed, is not for the faint of heart!

I also couldn't wait to replace the faucet, but I had to wait until my birthday to get the piece that I wanted. Who asks for a bathroom faucet for their birthday? ME, that's who! I'm glad we waited and saved up for it, though - every time I look at this I feel like it was worth being patient for.

We recently primed the whole bathroom even though we hadn't chosen a color for the space. It was just really not nice to look at, and the walls had some moisture damage that needed to be addressed pronto. After we painted the room and trim with a simple white primer, the room opened right up and seemed a lot brighter (and bigger).  This is a good shot that shows you what we're working with as of today:

It looks like it's not too cramped in there, but I was actually standing inside the bathtub because it was the only way I could get everything in one shot.

There I am, with some artwork of Inara's that was drying on wall behind me. Good thing I didn't lean against it while shooting!

Did you notice the "light fixture" (and I use that term loosely), above the sink? It's just a bare fluorescent bulb, and it's hideous.

That's one of the first things we need to address, so if you have any lighting ideas feel free to share!

You can't really tell in these photos, but the bathroom is actually quite a dark space. For these shots, I threw up the blinds and was immediately struck by how light and airy the room was transformed. Wouldn't it be great if we could always have that much natural light coming into the room, and not have to worry about privacy issues like this:

That's my sweet unsuspecting husband, taking care of the recycling out on the back porch. So yes, privacy is definitely an issue (welcome to city living), and I have a great idea for the window that I can't wait to share with you in an upcoming post. It's going to be mahvelous (I hope!), and I hope it will allow me to keep all that lovely light while still preserving our privacy. Otherwise I'm just going to have to make sure nobody takes out the trash while I'm showering. For EVER.

I've been looking at tons of inspiration photos for this space, and the one thing I keep coming back to is just how much I like the white. In this tiny room, I can't help but feel as if a predominantly white background will keep things looking fresh and open. But that's not to say that I am opposed to color altogether. I'm thinking white with a few big pops of color. Here's some of my inspiration photos to show you what I mean:

I absolutely love that grassy green color of the garden stool, and am thinking about using it on the bottom half of the bathroom walls, below the trim. The rest I'd like to leave white, and I'd like to change out the medicine cabinet and add some interesting visual pieces to that big empty wall space.

Here's what is inspiring me right now (and if you're on Pinterest, you can follow me there to see the things that I'll be adding in the future):

There's that green again - I'd love to wallpaper the entire bathroom, but when I mentioned it to Yousuf he just laughed at me. Pffffft. I might have to wallpaper my own closet, just to spite him. It's just so PRETTY!

Both Yousuf and I love these next photos - so I think there's lots for us to go on as we plan and design our main bathroom in the days to come. I think it's going to be a lot of long as we don't strangle each other first.

West Elm


What do you think of these ideas? Like, love, meh? Comment away, and let the inspiration flow!
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