Sunday, August 26, 2007

Quick Design Lust Post: The Bathroom

There are actually 2.5 bathrooms in my house: the master bath , the "kids bathroom" down the hall painted bright yellow, and then this one. Since the other 2 are upstairs, this is the most public bathroom, and though it's the smallest, it's also my favorite.

This next picture below shows how the previous owners had the place decorated when we bought the place over 3 years ago (!). It was the primary bath of a teenage girl, which I guess explains the red M&M clock. Even so, if I was her mother, no way would I have let her pair purple accessories against the orange-ish brown tiles:

Not a terrible looking room, but certainly not all that inspired, either. I lived with this same bathroom, with its white walls and cheap builder-grade fixtures for over a year, and couldn't quite figure out what to do with it. This was my initial decor for the bath, which was perfectly okay, but even then, was fairly yawn-inducing:
For a while, I considered tearing out that rather unattractive white wraparound counter and putting in a stand-alone vanity sink. But, the room needs some counter space, as this is the bath that our infrequent house guests use, too.
Also, this was meant to be a quick, cosmetic fix-up, not a total design overhaul. I did know that I wanted the feel of the room to somehow jibe with the style of my retro-modern living room. Then one day, I was flipping through a catalog and was struck by a picture of some pretty aqua-blue robin's-egg hand soaps, all tied 'round with a dark brown ribbon. And voila, my inspiration was found. (If you think hand soaps are a strange source of inspiration for my bathroom design, well, I can't wait to show you how the colors in the family room were inspired by a drinking glass from Ikea.)

Myk and others were a little dubious at first of my idea to paint the walls dark brown. My argument was: since there are no windows in this room anyhow, even with bright white paint, you'd still need to flip on the lights to avoid doing your business in pitch-black darkness. Speaking of the lighting -- one of my favorite parts about sprucing up this room was being able to change out the dreaded 4-globe fixture about the sink. (Sorry I don't have a photo of its replacement, which has milky white glass and brushed nickel.) Also, even though I again don't have a photograph, I need to mention the terrific job that Myk did installing white crown moulding around the ceiling. This room has an extra-tall ceiling, and the white up there against the brown really draws the eye up and adds a feeling of space to what might have otherwise felt like a small, dark closet.

We also changed the faucet to a brushed satin nickel, the same finish as the towel rack. Just to the right of the door here, there's a shower with white faux-tile and a glass door. After this project was done,
this became one of my favorite rooms in the house, and it alway gets a big (positive) reaction the first time people see it. What a surprise to enter, flick the switch and see all that dramatic contrast and the rich cherry-brown walls. Barring the need for some kind of artwork on the big bare wall to the left of the door, it also feels great to know that this is probably the only room in the house where I don't feel the need to buy anything else to declare it done. No wonder I love it!



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