Bathroom Updates

Oy vey, apologies for my radio silence recently. Things have been B-U-S-Y. So, both to kick things back off for this poor neglected blog AND to spice up the tail end of your Valentine’s Day, I figured I’d present some moderate improvements that have taken place in my lilliputian-sized bathroom. Because that’s some sexy shit right there.

After far too many months with one of those little IKEA SIGNE rugs folded up into thirds to fit in the tiny gap between the wall and the tub (see that stylishness here), I stumbled upon this little Navajo weaving in the College Park, Maryland Value Village. Never one to pass up little Navajo weavings that I have no use for, particularly ones priced at $1.29, I brought it back only to realize that it’s the perfect width in here. So it’s not really a bathmat. Deal with it.

See, perfect width. I know it’s all a little crazy with the tile, but it’s so small that I think it’s okay. I like it. I also switched up the art above the toilet to something simpler (since the bathroom couldn’t really handle that rug AND that psycho needlepoint, as much as I love it). Though I’m personally against all forms of guns that don’t shoot out flowers, unicorns, or rainbows, a little framed target never hurt anybody.

I also finally decided to change out my shitty shower head. My showers used to be terrible experiences. Sad, lazy little spurts of water, shooting out at my poor naked flesh without conviction or purpose. It didn’t believe in itself, and I didn’t believe in it.

Looking back, I’m not even sure what I had was a shower head. It more closely resembles those little nozzles that periodically mist the produce in your local grocery store. I would have done this sooner, but I’ll admit I’d been operating under two flawed assumptions:

1. My showers were so crappy because the water pressure in the building was bad. It’s not. It was all the shower head’s fault.
2. Plumbing is something you just don’t touch. Ever. Fuck around with wires and lighting, paint walls, spray paint until you asphyxiate, but if you mess with plumbing you’re messing with your life.

You guys. Worth it. SO very worth it. It was packaged in such a way that I didn’t actually realize it had that whole crazy hose thing happening, but it makes for a really nice microphone for my one-man shower concerts (Ferris Bueller-style). What? I live alone.

I think it has six or seven different settings, so I can have a new exciting cleansing experience for everyday of the week. And guess what? It literally takes about three minutes and a wrench to change a shower head. It’s so easy, it’s one of those project you can assign to your kid or one of your pets.

p.s.- It’s official. I’m on the Twitter now. Do what you will with this glimmering piece of news.

p.p.s- There are new Featured Blogs! Check them out! If I could hug blogs, I’d hug these and never let go.

p.p.p.s- In case you didn’t manage to nab a Valentine today, be mine. Or, I have a more attractive offer for you. Be SCOOTER’S. Chandler introduced me to this and I highly encourage that you watch it all the way through:

About Daniel Kanter

Hi, I'm Daniel, and I love houses! I'm a serial renovator, DIY-er, and dog-cuddler based in Kingston, New York. Follow along as I bring my 1865 Greek Revival back to life and tackle my 30s to varying degrees of success. Welcome!

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  1. 2.15.11

    I love mixed prints, especially in a small space! Your bathroom reminds me of an apartment I had in a 1910’s building in San Diego. The bathtub was so short that I had to sit with my knees bent, but it was really deep. I had to fill it up once to heat up the cast iron, then refill it to soak. My new acrylic tub has nothing on it. Sigh.

  2. 2.15.11
    Rose said:

    I really like the crazy tile with the Navajo ‘rug.’ I think it works. I wish my bathroom looked as nice as that. Our vinyl is yellow/beige with earth tone triangles : (

    Also, replacing the shower head is such a nice thing to do for oneself. I did that many years ago thinking it wouldn’t make it to my other rental houses. But, it’s so nice that I take it with me each time I move! Did I mention that I’m a bit…frugal?

    • 2.15.11
      Daniel said:

      oh yeah, I saved that crappy little nozzle thing. That new shower head is staying with ME!

  3. 2.15.11
    monogirl said:

    I love the rug. It’s the perfect size for stepping out of the shower or sitting on the toilet. Ikea used to make little square Toftbo mats, but they haven’t carried them in the last couple of years. They were perfect for the tiny New England bathroom.
    And that’s great that your waterflow problem turned out to be the shower head and not the water pressure!

  4. 2.15.11
    Süsk said:

    Hullo! Long time lurker, first-time commenter, but I HAD to snort coffee through my noseholes this morning and leave a comment when I saw that someone, oh someone, had posted Scooter’s Let Me Be Your Valentine.

    Having grown up in Germany, Scooter was all the rage and I still get a little misty-eyed when I hear him BLEATING LOUDLY THE SAME PHRASE over a pre-fab beat. My favourite? Probably HYPER, HYPER. I think it just encompasses such depth and emotion, the kind which only Scooter’s music could accurately portray.

    Thanks for sharing a little slice of ear-meltingly bad Valentine’s joy!

    Now imagine me YELLING that last sentence over a casio beat. Yeah, you know it works.

  5. 2.15.11
    anne b. said:

    scooter! I grew up in the netherlands, and kids in my school were * really * into him. as in, not ironically.

    the navajo rug and the tile kinda work together, I think. I totally hear you on buying weavings/rugs that you have no real use for. I tell myself that Being Pretty is a use in itself.

    • 2.15.11
      Daniel said:

      “being pretty is a use in itself” might have to be my new life philosophy. Watch out, thrift stores!

  6. 2.15.11
    Brismod said:

    You are hilarious. And you’re right, a little framed target never hurt anybody. Your changes look great. x

  7. 2.15.11
    Monica said:

    Looks fab. I think the target art is totally appropriate. :) Glad, that you posted again. It was getting kind of tedious going through 100+ comments just to make sure that you were still out there.

  8. 2.15.11
    Jess said:

    I hate to get all stalker-ish on you but I pretty much fucking love you. You crack me up every single post. I’ve even referenced something you wrote in a conversation only to get deer-stuck-in-headlights stared at. Yeah, you wanna know what’s worse than blog-stalking? Admitting it to someone.

    • 2.15.11
      Daniel said:

      I pretty much fucking love you. Don’t be shy. This is a safe place.

    • 2.15.11
      Beatrice said:

      Jess, I feel you. Maybe we should form Blog-Stalkers Anonymous or something?

  9. 2.15.11
    Maxwell said:

    So, replacing a shower head might be easy, but I’ve been in the “plumbing is something you just don’t touch” camp ever since I changed the faucet on my bathroom sink. My sink, pipes, wall, and floor have never recovered. But this might have to do with the fact that I’m extremely challenged when it comes to any project that requires more tools than my own hands.

    P.S. I’m digging the framed target!

  10. 2.15.11
    bliss said:

    you are my hero. seriously.

  11. 2.15.11
    Annapolitan said:

    Ah, low-flow shower heads. Thank your landlord for that little bit of evil. I remember those from college. Plus, yours may have been clogged up a bit from hard water.

  12. 2.15.11
    Care said:

    I love what you have done! Now you’re making me feel guilty and like I have no excuse to change things up a bit in my house!

  13. 2.15.11
    bethany said:

    is there something wrong with my eyeballs? is it the lighting? or did you paint the walls black? anyhow, i love the little rug. it’s a shame that nasty flooring is beneath it.

    missed you.

    • 2.15.11
      Daniel said:

      Nah girl, nothing wrong with your eyes! They’ve been black for a while! Check it out.

    • 2.15.11
      Claire said:

      I actually really love the tiles!!!

  14. 2.15.11
    bekah said:

    what are your plans for the extra room you now have?

    • 2.15.11
      Daniel said:

      Subletting! Which means I have to make it cute-ish and habitable first. projectsprojectsprojects

  15. 2.15.11

    1. YAY! Love you missed you. 2. I am really feeling the rug and tile together. I’m not sure why it works but it just does. 3. Timely post as I begin work on my super low budge bathroom spruce up this weekend.

  16. 2.15.11
    coucoumadame said:

    hi! can i ask you where you got your shower head and what the brand is? our showers have similar heads as your old one, and i would LOVE to change it to something like that. thanks!

    • 2.15.11
      Daniel said:

      I bought it at Bed Bath and Beyond, but I have no recollection of the brand. I know it had “elite” in the name, which is mostly why I bought it. I think it was around $30? Something like that, they have several fancy looking options.

    • 2.15.11
      coucoumadame said:

      thank you!!

  17. 2.15.11

    For the past two weeks I’ve visited your site a few times a day anxiously awaiting a new post. I’m nit sure if this means I’m a loser who needs to get a life, or that your blog is just that damn good. For my prides sake I’m going to go with the latter.

    Anyways I was wondering how you would rate the college park value village? I live not too far away but have never been. Wondered if you thought it’s worth a trip? I’m about a 40 min drive away.

    • 2.15.11
      Daniel said:

      DEFINITELY the latter. If you read this blog, you must be cool. That’s science.

      Well. I was at the CP Value Village/Unique Thrift COMBO STORE. It’s like a Costco-sized wonderland of thrifty crap. But if you like thrifting, it’s totally fun. Their furniture and household stuff is cheap and they seemed to have some good stuff! I’d say worth it… but I’m also the kind of (crazy) person who will entertain ANY thrift store until I’ve made sure there aren’t any hidden gems that need to come live with me. Not for the faint of heart is what I’m saying.

  18. 2.15.11
    Charlene said:

    When you changed the shower head, did you use a gigantic wrench like Scooter did in the video? Chandler needs a blog too, that girl is hilarious.

    • 2.15.11
      Daniel said:

      Absolutely. ALL my tools are enormous and made of styrofoam (my lil DIY secret).

      She used to have one! I’ll bug her to get started again. The internet would certainly be a better place with her blogging in it.

  19. 2.15.11
    Jamie B said:

    Just wondering, when you’re changing things like the showerhead that you want to change back when you move, do you keep a list? Haha I can just see myself forgetting half the stuff I did, although I imagine having items like the old showerhead and the towel rack lying around somewhere would be a good reminder.

    • 2.15.11
      Daniel said:

      I keep meaning to make a list, but so far it’s just a mental one. It’s a great idea in theory, I’m just not that functional of a human being. Also, it would probably make me cry just to look at all the havoc I have to un-wreak on this place.

  20. 2.15.11

    your landlord got “sneaky” and stuck in one of those low flow shower heads. i rip them out at all places I move into.
    I want to take a shower….not get misted!
    Good for you for replacing it.

  21. 2.15.11

    your landlord got all “sneaky” on ya and had a low flow shower head put in.
    they are supposed to conserve water…but in reality they just cause you to take even longer showers in order to be able to actually rinse the shampoo out of your hair.
    i have the same shower head as mine at target. LOVE I!

  22. 2.15.11
    Diane said:

    Seriously. The interwebs have been so sad without your blogging presence. Glad to have you back with a new post!

  23. 2.15.11
    augusta said:

    now that you have tried your hand with plumbing maybe you can do a switcheroo with the faucet in the bathroom?
    everthing looks great and i do love the new rug!

    • 2.15.11
      Daniel said:

      I’ve been staring at that faucet for months and fantasizing about switching it out, but I still might be too scared! Also, faucets are expensive and I’m not sure I could remove the old one without totally breaking it, meaning I’d have to donate the new one to the apartment. Or, worse, ACTUALLY ASK MY LANDLORD FOR A NEW FAUCET. Gasp. I get panicky just thinking about it.

  24. 2.15.11
    d a b said:

    Yes! A new, good-looking, strong showerhead is worth all the money. I can’t deal with wimpy, idiotic ones. That pretty much applies to everything, right? So, I read somewhere you’re subletting, when can I move in?! Hah! And lastly, big HUGS, yo!

  25. 2.16.11
    unabridged said:

    I like the target over the toilet especially. It emphasizes the importance of achieving good aim.

  26. 2.16.11

    Love the rug in the bathroom and I think it looks fine with the tiles since they’re the only two patterns in the room. And the shower head is terrific- good water pressure is on my must-have list.

  27. 2.16.11
    maryama said:

    You were at my neighborhood value village! I feel like i missed seeing a celebrity. I always stop by there on the way to trader joes. Just this Saturday i was rewarded with six danish mobler chairs at a price i am still giggling over.

  28. 2.16.11
    Matt said:

    Ditto on touching the plumbing. If you diy and do something wrong, you might as well hand over your money and first born to the plumber.

    I don’t mean to be critical and please don’t be offended, but what’s up with the tiling on your bathroom walls? I don’t know if there’s a technical term for it, but the spackling on the tile job seems a little… off?

    • 2.16.11
      Daniel said:

      No offense taken, I didn’t do it! Yeah, I’m sure the walls underneath are horribly uneven, and therefore the tiling is really uneven and the grout is pretty old and chipping. Just comes with the territory of living in old buildings, I guess.

  29. 2.17.11
    CindyE said:

    I want to thank you for your blog. I have been somewhat “down” and over the holidays I started exploring home decor/design blogs and somehow I found you. I read your archives – I was laughing outloud. You are a gifted writer – storyteller. You stand out from the crowd! I am 51 and from Southern Illinois – very rural. Why do you need to know this(?)…maybe to let you know your reaching a wide audience! Love Door Sixteen, too! Thank You!

  30. 2.17.11
    Caitlin said:

    Daniel, you’ve been missed. Glad to see you’re alive and kicking and still making progress on that fabulous pad of yours :)

  31. 2.18.11
    Mea said:

    I’m deeply embarrassed for my nation that Scooter has made it to an American blog from a New Yorker. Jeez, we have so great things to offer like Bauhaus, the Beatsteaks and Nutella. Love the Navajo btw, even more with the tiles!

  32. 2.18.11
    jbhat said:

    There is nothing better than a fancy shower head. I hope you have enjoyed the variety of the multitude of settings as much as you thought you might throughout the week, or if you have already settled on a favorite. Can you share?


  33. 2.19.11
    pixie said:

    God bless Home Depot and the cheap shower head that is *still* 10 times better than the leaky, drippy one that was in my apartment. Isn’t it the best? Love reading about your home adventures, wish I had the courage to tackle my little palace (meaning extremely tiny studio apartment). Or the space. :)

  34. 2.20.11
    Christian said:

    after reading a few of your posts I thought you’d like this desktop!

  35. 2.23.11

    those floor tiles are beautiful!

  36. 3.2.12
    Jen said:

    I like your improvements – gives me a lot of ideas for my new small bathroom.
    I know the low-flow shower head didn’t look like much but they really save on water. I found some that look kinda like the new fancy one you have – I”m so excited that I can save money and it doesn’t have to look like a sprayer from my garden!