I’m a dirty, rotten little tease. Over a month ago I got to talking about the bathroom. I made it sound like an exciting before-and-after was just around the corner. Understandably, you were on the edge of your seat. Or at least you should have been.
Well, all those little details I wanted to wrap up before the bathroom’s blog debut just took a while, that’s all. But it’s about as done as it’s going to get, so find a comfy spot to plant yourself, there’s a lot to look at. Let’s start by taking a trip back in time to reacquaint ourselves with the old john, shall we?
View from the outside, from May (you can see a current incarnation of that wall here).
This is a really, really small bathroom. The longest wall measures just over 6 feet and the wall with the window is just over 3.5 feet. The door is on a 45 degree angle, so it’s not even a rectangular 6′ x 3.5′. I’m pretty sure this makes our bathroom about this much bigger than a coffin. Consequently, it’s difficult to take good photos. Basically, this off-white/beige tile wraps around the entire room until about 2 feet below the ceiling, where it was thoughtfully contrasted with off-white/beige paint.
The window casing made me want to cry. I mean, that’s just a sad, spackly mess.
The light fixture had been painted over tons of times and also looked like it might fall down. I assume it once had a glass globe that some careless previous tenant broke. Oh, and that towel rod was a problem because fluffy towels made a narrow space even narrower (the toilet sits in the cozy 19 inches between the tub and the wall) and nobody likes a towel all up in their space when they’re trying to… finish their crossword puzzle.
Yeah, we have some funky tiles happening on the floor, and even though they’re horribly uneven, cracked, and nestled among disgusting grout, I think they’re sort of special. Like a tribute to our landlord’s Italian heritage. You know what’s not special? The hollow-core door all weathered from years of moisture, that clunky wood vanity, the ugly hardware, or the peeling silver-painted pipe. Or our landlord’s apparent love of putting grout where caulk ought to be.
So. Y’ALL READY FOR THIS?!
The walls are painted Benjamin Moore’s “Raccoon Fur” in eggshell. I LOVE this color– it’s somewhere in between a black, a charcoal grey, and a navy without being too blue. It works really well with the tiles on the floor, makes the ceiling feel taller, and just generally makes the bathroom less bland, which is hard to do when you have all that wall tile working against you. The ceiling is Benjamin Moore’s “Simply White” in eggshell, and the trim is all off-the-rack BM white in semi-gloss. I added that little bit of trim around the window to cover up the spackle craziness using a 1/4″ x 2″ x 4′ “project board” I purchased at the hardware store for $4 and cut with a hand saw. I’m not a huge fan of the amount of overhang of the top piece on each side (one of those things that looked better in my head), but I do like the way it cleans up that area.
I’ve yet to find a bathmat small enough (and not for lack of effort), so right now we’re working the Ikea Signe rug, folded into thirds.
Yes, you saw that right. I PAINTED THE MOTHAFUCKIN VANITY. No, I did not ask the landlord. No, I don’t feel bad. I’ll let you know how much of the security deposit I get back when that time comes, but I’m (foolishly, probably) not too worried. That drawer isn’t real, but I picked up some Ikea Attest knobs (brushed finish) anyway with the intention of hanging a nice little tea towel off one of them when I find a cute one. The door pulls are 3-inch stainless steel from Home Depot. I’ll do up a little how-to post about the vanity makeover (yes, they’re the same doors!) since this post is already super long, so get psyched for that.
The pipe got painted, too!
Purely for the sake of luxury and glamor, I splurged and bought this $39 shower curtain from Bed Bath and Beyond. It’s a bamboo-cotton blend that’s nice and heavy and soft without an ugly or overwhelming texture.
I also painted the crappy hollow-core door. I also did not ask first. I used an oil-based primer (it adheres better and is more durable) and finished with more of the off-the-rack BM white trim paint in semi-gloss (2 coats). I also replaced the crappy old doorknob. The door never closed properly before, and then the plastic-and-brass knob broke entirely (a spring came flying out of it once! boy, that was exciting.), so this was necessary. Turns out it’s really nice to shut the door with confidence that it won’t go drifting open when you’re trying to rinse the shampoo out of your hair.
I opted to take the towel rod out altogether (I kept it so it can be replaced when we move) and use these Ikea folding hooks on the door instead. I hate folding towels and I actually like the more casual look of hanging them, so this works out well. And it definitely makes things seem bigger having them more out of the way.
Lastly, I replaced the light with a $15 vintage specimen from Green Village in Brooklyn and another one of those little Westinghouse ceiling medallions ($6).
I didn’t keep super careful track of every little thing that went into this little less-than-20-square-feet room, but here’s my best attempt at a detailed budget breakdown. Let me know if it looks like I missed anything!
BM “Raccoon Fur,” quart: $15.
BM off-the-rack white semigloss, quart: $13
Window Trim: $4
Vanity Makeover: $53
Shower Curtain: $39
Ikea Enje Roller Shade: $20
Light fixture and medallion: $21
Towel folding hooks: $10
So it’s certainly not perfect (hey, we’re still renters after all), but the bathroom is actually sort of pleasant now! And it’s not just that dazzling needlepoint full of friendly woodland creatures, but that doesn’t hurt either.