my house: bath before & after

I thought it was about time for a little look into my home. As anyone who knows me could tell you, the bathroom is one of my favorite rooms—a place to revive, relax, and get pretty. I love a good bubble bath with a book; I love lighting candles. Could you imagine doing any of that in this bathroom? No. This bath started out my worst nightmare.

Really, the bathroom when I moved in was pretty scary: that unflattering green paint,the flimsy little pedestal with zero storage, no mirror, the cheap faucet, and that dark wood beadboard, that to add insult to injury was just on one wall, giving the tiny room an odd, unbalanced feel.

Sorry for the small pic. I think I sized it smaller for email at one point and didn't save a large original. In any case, you really don't want to see it any more closely than this! As I started to dig into transforming this room, the first thing to go was the carved molding topping the beadboard panel—it was overly heavy and traditional. My thought was to replace it with something simpler and more modern, and then to freshen it all with some white paint. Look what I found behind the trim!

Apparently, someone took the easy way out of bad tile by slapping some beadboard over it. And because of time and budget, I wasn't about to completely tear apart this room either. So, I had some new beadboard installed on the opposite wall to balance out the room, and painted it all. Then I enlisted a local furniture-maker friend to custom-design a more updated trim molding with enough of a ledge to lean pictures and things on. All I gave him was one little picture from Country Home magazine...

And he gave me this gorgeous finished product...


 Isn't the trim lovely? And here's a better view of the whole room.

First of all, isn't it amazing what some white paint can do? The paneling and trim are Benjamin Moore White Dove, a nice, soft, not-too-bright white; the walls are Martha Stewart Araucana Blue.

The new vanity is more practical, not to mention better-looking, than the original pedestal. It's got a countertop to spread all your pretty things out on and a storage drawer; yet it still feels light because it's up on legs. There's room for a big basket for towels (old house=no linen closet) to stow underneath. The vanity came from Home Depot at a bargain $179; the granite top with integral undermount sink came from Lowe's and was equally budget-friendly at about $230. More storage comes thanks to the mirrored medicine cabinet from Pottery Barn.

The faucet was a compromise; I resisted the urge to special order a $300 Kohler faucet and instead opted for the nicest off-the-shelf $99 Delta I could find. In the end, I'm totally happy with it, and with Dad's help (what would we do without handy fathers!?) I had a new bath vanity, sink, and faucet installed in a day.

What I did splurge a bit on was the lighting, and I have no regrets there either. If you're going to spend in one place, lighting is the place in your budget to do it. Good lighting can give a room a richer, higher-end look; I think it's the lighting here that really gives this budget room the look of a much more expensive space. The light is the Campaign triple sconce from Restoration Hardware. But even at a splurge it was still only about $250 with shades. When I went to order it, I wanted white linen shades but they were backordered for months. So, I reconsidered and went for the flax. What a lucky break; I love the color of these shades, and I think they really give the room depth and contrast; they also pick up on the colors in the granite. The white, I can see now, wouldn't have worked at all.

What really works is that wide trim atop the beadboard. Instead of the typical towel bar, I thought it'd be fun to place some hooks in a row instead. It's one of my favorite little touches in the room. But the room is really more than the sum of its parts. I love spending time here now. And I'm sure you can see why.

1 comment

erica at decorica said...

I love love love the vanity - it looks way more expensive. Looks great!