11 January 2012

DIY: striped bathroom remodel, continued

When I left off yesterday, I told you about how I made a tiny bathroom with red vertical stripes feel so much bigger by painting neutral tone-on-tone horizontal stripes. Which, when combined with the refinished vanity, made the room so much more swanky.

But I needed to do a few more things to make this room feel bigger than its tiny dimensions.

First, remember that behemoth of a wall shelf, which was filed with totally unnecessary junk?

I replaced that with a small espresso-toned wood ledge, which takes up less space both visually and physically. I got it at HomeGoods for all of ten bucks. The candles on it are just as unnecessary as the all the crap on the gold shelves, but the overall effect is so much nicer. USELESS CLUTTER, BEGONE.

Also, I finally replaced the gold/green/silver shower curtain with a nicer, newer one! That’s an extra-long white shower curtain, hung extra-high. It sounds counter-intuitive to put a large item in a little room (especially when I JUST TOLD YOU I downsized the shelf), but in this case, it emphasizes the height of the non-dropped ceiling and gives the impression of more space. I did worry that it would look weird because the tile doesn’t go as high, but I think it looks just fine. If anything, it looks better because the rod doesn’t cut the window in half anymore. So if you’re considering a longer shower curtain, go for it!

I also sprung for a new nickel-tone shower curtain rod. The previous rod was spraypainted gold, and while I’m all for spraypainting anything that sits still, the shower curtain hooks were scraping off the gold paint. No bueno, especially when the paint was rubbing off on sweaters or towels I hung over the rod to dry. Also? Underneath the disappearing gold paint, the rod was BLUE. Like, Lego-block blue (???). So the new rod was money well spent.

Speaking of nickel-tones, I was ready to banish the gold tones from the room completely. And one of the gold-toned things was the light fixture – which had also been converted through the magic of spraypaint. But it was one of those ugly “racetrack” exposed-bulb fixtures, and I hated it with the fire of ten thousand suns. So I upgraded to a new satin nickel fixture, on sale for $40 at Home Depot (I actually picked up three, and installed two upstairs in the master bath as well to replace more awful racetrack lights).

That photo also shows how the drop ceiling is the same color as the adjacent stripes – and how well that works!

By the by, I actually installed that light fixture myself, on an evening when Mr. P was out. That’s right, evening. Which is not the best time to do electrical work, considering that you have to cut the power to the lights and there’s no natural lights. DUH, SARAH. So that’s how I found myself installing the light fixture on a stepladder in the dark holding a mini-flashlight with my teeth. The worst part was that the new light fixture didn't totally cover the space of the old fixture, so I had to spackle all those corners for a seamless finish. And because I wanted to finish it THAT NIGHT, I tried to dry the spackle with a hairdryer plugged in to an extension cord to reach an outlet on a different breaker that wasn’t cut off. Again, on a stepladder, in the dark, flashlight in mouth, etc. At least it got done... and Mr. P wasn’t there to witness the stupidity.

Anyway, there’s another light fixture in the room, a ceiling light. Yes, it’s a boob light. But I didn’t want to drop money on another fixture, so I decided to make it work. Because the vanity light was now satin nickel, I spraypainted the shiny brass fixture with spraypaint I had on hand:

I’m the first to admit that I didn’t do the best job spraypainting it, but you’d seriously never notice unless you climbed up there. First of all, it’s too high up to scrutinize. And when the lights are off, it’s too dim to notice, and when the lights are on, you’re not studying the light fixture. So I’m living with it.

I did a better job spraypainting the gold cabinet knobs, as I told you about in the vanity refinishing post. They got a clear-coat protectant, as did the toilet paper holder, to help them hold up over time. Granted, they’re in a guest bathroom so they don’t get a ton of use, but so far they are showing exactly zero signs of wear.

Finally, to finish up the accessories, I got a nickel stand towel-holder and soap dispenser. The back of the toilet got some fake orchids that were impulse-bought at HomeGoods (but they work so well!), and I also picked up a rug with tonal beige stripes in that same trip. And finally, I created a triptych of art with some beach photos from a trip to Costa Rica, with the colors adjusted to the same beige and espresso through the room.

Whew! I didn’t keep a running price tally (this was pre-blog days), but I’d guess I spent about $170 on this room, including the paint and rollers and super-expensive Frog tape, the stain and spraypaint, the new light fixture, the new shower curtain and rod, and the new accessories. Not the cheapest transformation ever, but that’s a lot of impact for not a lot of cash!


Annnnnd after:

What a difference, right? It’s too bad that it’s just the guest bathroom, so we don’t spend a lot of time in there to enjoy it. But I’m so glad that our houseguests – and potential buyers AHEM – get to see such a pretty room!