The Downstairs Bath, Its Parts And Pretties

I will admit that I am a girl prone to using a theme in my decor schemes.  Often it is a concept that revolves around a desire to evoke a time, or a place– or in the case of my “1950s French hotel” guest room– both; sometimes it is based on a character or idea; and well, sometimes it’s just a plain’ ol’ accident.  That would be the case with the downstairs bathroom.  Toooootal accident.  In a good way!

When we moved into this house just under a year ago, we made the amazing leap from one funky bathroom to three full baths– one small (the finished master), one medium (this downstairs bath), and one large (the upcoming kid’s bathroom).  This has given me an amaaaazing freedom to really have fun and expand on the looks of these three baths in new ways.  No cookie cutter bathrooms here!  I tackled the master bath first, if you would like to see it, visit here–
We’ve been really enjoying the eclectic feel of it since it has been finished.  The second upstairs bathroom is now currently underway, hot on the heels of this one I’m talking about today, and it is turning out to be really very, very theme-oriented and youthful– it’s kinda a secret as of now– but hopefully will be enjoyed by all ages (as it is the main bath guests will be directed to at parties, when staying with us, and the like).

But with the mostly-mature master bathroom done, and the upstairs/guest bath going full-kiddo, I really was at kind of a loss for what to do with this downstairs bathroom.  It has a full bathtub, worn wooden sink cabinet unit, and is accessed by walking through the laundry room.  I felt that it really needed help since it has no natural light, and it’s sort of awkwardly spaced.  It’s tight in there.  Plus if you get the washer and dryer running for a few hours, and it’s very easy for it to feel damp and dungeony in the bath part, there is no fan or anything to move the air.  That is not a good ambiance at all, and the truth is, we use this bathroom A LOT.  It has to feel… well, plain and simple, like a place where you want to go.

So.  In the last few months I peeled the old gross wallpaper, and was keeping an eye out for enough rolls that I could do not only this bath but it’s adjoining laundry room, and I finally came across this cute purple gingham paper for a dollar a roll at Knox Rail Salvage.  I have looked high and low, and you cannot GET wallpaper for better than a dollar a roll!  All of their stuff at the salvage place is from unknown age and origin, and they have several rows just *stacked* with paper, so if you dig a bit it’s likely that you can find a few rolls of something you like.

Oz Kitty Wants To Help Show You Scale

Oz Kitty Wants To Help Show You Scale

Graple Gingham Wallpaper

Graple Gingham Wallpaper

I’ve already told you in the last post that I’ve put it up on its intended bathroom walls already, and I’m really happy with the way it looks.  (I have yet to do the laundry area, because of the attached shelving, I’m not sure what’s happening in there yet.)  I’ve also painted the back wall with the little tiny bit of crocus petal purple paint that I had left from the master bedroom.  Ya’ll, this wall needed *help.*  Heck, the whole bathroom did, really.  The wall still might, a little.  It seemed like someone had taken the leftover flat pale blue that they’d used in the room we use as the playroom, and touched up various places that had once been gloss white.  (Including the sink cabinet in there, and the back of the door, and some trim in random places…  ugh.)  These places are now totally filthy looking, no matter how much magic erasering that you attempt.  That back wall also had that paint, and I don’t know that it’s that it wasn’t primed first, or what the real issue there is, but it was pocked and flaky and streaky and just plain funky.  I tried sanding the flakes in an inconspicuous place, and… not better.  In the end, I just painted my eggshell Ben Moore purple straight over that nasty wall, coating it twice and calling it a day.  Ben does great work, so it does look better, but some things cannot be fixed merely by slapping great paint over it.  (If that worked, I’d be doing makeovers.  Come over, I’ll paint you in Ben Moore grey, you’ll look 15 lbs slimmer!)  So.  It’ll hold while we live here, or until I decide it has to be another color, but it’s a good matte for what we did as art in there.

Bath Clock with New Shower Curtain

Bath Clock with New Shower Curtain

Speaking of art, that is a lot of what evolved spontaneously for in there…  In a fit of desperation months back, I had bought this butterfly shower curtain at a big box store soon after scoring my cheap wallpaper.  I just needed to have a curtain, frankly, and when I saw this cheapie, it seemed meant to be!  So I got it, fixed up my cool bath clock (after all, it obviously goes in the purple bathroom, right?), and started rounding up the few hard plastic wall decs that I’d bought over the years.  I only had a few, a couple of bows, a nice rose about the size of my hand, and a larger hobnail basket.  They seemed like they might be a cute idea with the clock….

At this point, I began googling and pinning a bunch of stuff on pinterest.  (I LOVE pinterest.)  I had been especially searching out vintage butterfly wall hangings, as I knew they existed and I thought they would be ideal with the shower curtain.  My sweet friend Adri must have seen my flood of wishin’s– who could miss it, really– and sent me a note asking for my address.  It was near Christmas, I assumed she was mailing a card, I didn’t think twice about it.  A couple of weeks later, I get this amazing package with something like fifteen silver seventies butterflies!  I literally squealed when I opened that box…  In one fell swoop, she had more than doubled my collection, and with what’s more, with butterflies!

Vintage Plastic Butterflies

Vintage Plastic Butterflies From Adri

My course at this point became a lot clearer, and over the last six months, as I’ve peeled vinyl wallpaper top layers, I’ve searched thrift stores looking for any fun, kitschy, plastic wall hangings that suit the bill– especially cuteness.  Anything cute, really.  One or two bucks here and there, and I’ve amassed a funky little collection for the walls.  I’ve updated them with color, so they don’t have any old fuddyness, now they are more silly.  Unexpected.

At this point, all I needed to do at this point is figure out what was happening with the sink cabinet, acquire towels, things like that.  I’m rounding up those last few details here and there, and it will be finished enough to show off to you.  I’m afraid that this collection is not going to stop when I run out of wall space in that bathroom….


Sep 18, 2013 | Category: Home Journaling | Comments: none | Tags: , , , ,


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