“Now, she’s sitting there in all of her glory, with a new sophisticated up-do, caressing the leg she’s got kicked up in the air.”
Remember those old 1980’s “Calgon” commercials? You’d see a scene with a woman all caught up in the throes of life – the old landline phone is ringing off the hook, kids are running an absolute muck, and the dog is barking his head off. And then when she just can’t take it anymore, she clutches her sensible mom ‘do, looks to the sky and begs “Calgon, take me away!” Then, all of a sudden, a fancy video effect scoops her up and places her in a huge soaking tub in bathroom dec’d out with marble and chandeliers and mountains of suds everywhere. Now, she’s sitting there in all of her glory with a new sophisticated up-do caressing the leg she’s got kicked up in the air.
Now, this of course is an exaggerated depiction of real life – well, on most days – but sister, I FEEL you! I’ve never called on Calgon, but I know that feeling of wanting to escape all too well.
In our homes, the bathroom is one of the only places you can truly get away from it all – even if only for the amount of time it takes to handle your business…ahem.
Now, I think we can all agree that a sumptuously designed bathroom is something we’d all sign up for – like yesterday. But next to the kitchen, the bathroom is the most expensive room in the house to remodel. So, unless you can afford to renovate – or at least make some serious updates – you have to work with what you’ve got.
My Husband and I have a 1950’s cape cod-style home. It’s been 4 years since we bought it, and we’re just starting to get an itch to either add on or purchase another home.
It could be some time before we decide which direction we’d like to take. But there’s one thing we are sure of, our bathroom is challenged – decoratively speaking – and we couldn’t go another day with it looking like this:
You thought my bathroom had pink tiled walls, didn’t you? You’d typically find that in a lot of non-renovated 1950’s homes. But we’re lucky in that we didn’t have to deal with pink, blue or green tile, shag carpet, or hideous wallpaper. Score!
What we do have, however, is a basic. beige. bathroom which my design eye and I have been yawning at for over 4 years now.
My wish list for this space was a long one. But since our budget couldn’t support gutting it, there were three big-ticket items we chose not to spend money on and to work around them instead – the tile, the fixtures and the vanity. I’m always down for a challenge.
Want to see how it turned out? Take a look!
The easiest and most inexpensive way to change the mood of a room is by painting it. Here, I used Filmy Green by Sherwin Williams. The custom-made shower curtain was installed almost flush with the ceiling to add a cozy and luxe feel.
This low profile round mirror by IKEA was the perfect substitute for the bulky medicine cabinet that originally occupied this space. Opting to lose the storage that the previous solution provided was a gamble we chose, but well worth the visual breathing room we now have in this small bathroom.
The pre-existing beige tile with odd-looking floral accents would not have been my first (or 20th) choice, if I had one. But in the spirit of “work with what you’ve got” – I chose a curtain pattern that does a great job at incorporating the color of the tile without drawing too much attention to it.
Meanwhile, this gorgeous gold light fixture adds some 1950’s roots to the space. The previous (and original) owner of our house actually had this light installed in the brown-paneled stairwell leading to the basement. It looked so sad there, so I dusted her off, shined her up and put her somewhere she can truly shine!
I LOVE the look of mixed metals, why should we have to choose just one?! Mixing metals is also great way to update your space without being confined to what’s already there. In this case, I added gold touches despite the silver you see elsewhere.
The same goes for wood. This reclaimed wood tray really ties in well in this space. Its golden yellow undertones pick up the color of the gold light fixture and cabinet knob but some of the dark striations in the wood grain pick up the ebony wood color of the vanity. I LOVE it when that happens!
And that same rich reclaimed wood is repeated in the wall art to make it look purposeful.
I’m not a hang-decorative-towels-on-a towel-bar-in-the bathroom-only-for-show kind of girl. People end up using them anyway and they end up looking messy and dingy. I replaced the pre-existing long towel bar that used to sit horizontally across this wall with simple towel hooks to keep things neat as well as add as many inches of additional space we could find.
And there you have it. What do you think? We love the way our newly designed bathroom looks and feels.
Now before I go, I have a trivia question for you. If you’ve got a keen eye, you may have noticed that we went from having medicine cabinet storage in our small bathroom to just a mirror that sits flush against the wall above the vanity. This took some valuable storage away from, among other things, our toothbrushes.
Can you guess my storage trick for how we store our toothbrushes now?
Comment below if you have an idea. I’d love to see what you all come up with!