A simple bathroom refresh with big impact

As an essential, everyday use kinda space, bathrooms can be tough when it comes to renovations.  Especially when you're in a home where there is only one bathroom for showering.  In addition to finding alternative showering locations, complete bathroom renovations can be messy, dusty, expensive, and long.  This bathroom in particular had been partially updated by the previous owners with new floor tile, vanity, toilet and fixtures.  Unfortunately, the original wall tile had been painted with some sort of tile paint that may have covered up the original peach color but has proven to be less than durable in the shower area.  But despite these misgivings, it's not currently an option to do a complete tearout of the space.  Instead, we focused on increasing the functionality of the space and giving it a bit more character with some new fixtures and finishes to spice up the builder-basic renovation that was previously completed. 

Below was the state of the bathroom when the home was purchased, while clean and maintained looking it was Boring with a capital B. 

bathroom angle 1.jpg

The first steps were to install a ventilation fan, because we knew that we were going to be installing wallpaper and also, it's just a darn good thing to do, because despite having a window, you really don't want to be opening that during a shower when your neighbors windows are directly across from yours (!).  The next step was to make space for a new medicine cabinet that we picked up at Restoration Hardware Outlet for a great price.  The traditional style of the cabinet is probably close to what would have originally been installed in this space. 

bathroom angle 2.JPG

Upon opening up the wall we could tell that there had previously been a medicine cabinet in the space, something bit smaller, but the remnants of the spot were there. We also found a signature on the wall stud with the year dated 1925, the year the home was built-so cool! 

bathroom angle 4.JPG

We had the electricians swing by and install an outlet in the medicine cabinet.  I encourage all of my clients to do this (and we've done it in several of our own homes), it's a great place to plug in toothbrushes and other personal care necessities that you may not want out in the open.  The electricians made the line a little longer since we hadn't yet done the wallpapering, that way we could remove the cabinet for the wallpapering rather than try and cut the paper perfectly around it.

bathroom straight 5.JPG

We also wired up the new light fixtures and primed the walls in preparation for the wallpaper. 

bathroom angle 3.JPG

The next step was installing this gorgeous wallpaper from local Philadelphia artist Carla Weeks.  It added the character we needed for this monochromatic space and was especially affordable since we needed to only paper above the tiled wainscoting. 

bathroom angle 5.JPG

And now for the reveal...we added a couple kokedamas for plant life and swapped out the handles on the vanity for some more interesting and substantial pulls

Photo Credit: Kyle Smith Born 

Photo Credit: Kyle Smith Born 

The new brass sconces really pop against the patterned wallpaper 

Photo Credit: Kyle Smith Born

Photo Credit: Kyle Smith Born

Kokedama's add life to the space, I like to think of them as suspended art, and they just require a once a week soak in the sink. 

Photo Credit: Kyle Smith Born 

Photo Credit: Kyle Smith Born 

I added in a curved rod to make the shower area feel more spacious and the shower curtain is a subtle grey stripe fabric, because stripes pair so nicely with just about every other pattern. A vintage wonky legged stool holds some spare towels, a glass of wine during the bath, or magazines on the daily. 

Photo Credit: Kyle Smith Born 

Photo Credit: Kyle Smith Born 

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this refresh.  Would you attempt something similar?  You can find more of my work in my portfolio, or more before and afters here. xo, Nicole

One Room Challenge-Week Six

We're almost to the finish line at week six of the One Room Challenge! Thank goodness for an extra week to pull everything together.   In all honesty, the room is pretty much done as I had to have it complete for my awesome photographer to come and capture the space earlier this week.  If you're just checking in your can see the progression via week one, week two, week three, week four, and week five.  This week I'm sharing those last major pieces to go into the room before all the finishing pretty touches are added for the reveal...

First up was getting the new Ikea VALLENTUNA piece into the room.  Since we are going to use this space as a multifunctional room, I thought this was a versatile piece that could function as a nice lounging piece or a bed for guests.  It's a modular system that is slipcovered, so all the parts can be easily washed and it comes apart in smaller pieces, which was also important since we're in an older home with smaller staircases and doorways. 

Photo Nov 07, 10 48 15 AM.jpg

I chose the light grey slipcover that complemented the mural well and also looks great against the green walls.  I love the modern lines of the piece, they add a little tension against some of the more traditional elements in the room.  The piece went together easily and seems really sturdy.  I've already been snuggling myself into those high arms. And of course Shelby thinks that we're just doing the whole room up for her :) 

Photo Nov 07, 10 42 26 AM.jpg

The bottom portions of the sofa slide out like a drawer to reveal a support that the cushion then unfolds on to create the bed.  This simple design is ingenious!

Photo Nov 08, 9 00 41 AM.jpg

Down came the boob light and up went and older West Elm fixture that we've moved from two other houses...we've typically have had it in our dining room, but I thought it would be fun to have it in this room.  It adds more of the modern element that I want to infuse into the space. The fixture didn't always have the gold interior shades, I got a wild hair years ago when I first bought it and gold leafed the insides of the shades for some contrast.  

Photo Nov 07, 10 43 29 AM.jpg

Ultimately I think I'll have to have a smaller down rod made for it as it hangs a tad lower than I'd like it to (we only have 8' ceilings).  At 6 feet tall I can walk under it ok, but anyone much taller might bump their head...good thing this is not a high traffic space! 

I also made some progress on this little side table.  It's an old bubble gum stand that I've had for years, I think I bought it for $20 at an antique festival in Florida.  I gave it a fresh coat of matte black paint and bought a pre-made top at Lowes (don't judge) that I gave a quick whitewash treatment to. 

Photo Nov 07, 10 50 16 AM.jpg

We also installed a dimmer control switch in the space.  Whenever possible I think it's a little luxury to add a dimmer to a space so that the lighting can be controlled throughout the day.  We ended up going with Lutron's Caseta dimmer which can be controlled via a remote as well as smart devices like iPhones or even the Alexa device.  We primarily did this so that we can control the lights when we are out of town instead of adding timers to our outlets, but it will also be nice to be able to adjust the lighting without having to get up every time.  Plus, our guest can use the remote (or their iPhones) for turning off the lights without having to get out of bed. A little luxury  that will hopefully go a long way in the space.  We hope to add more of these switches to other rooms as time goes by. 

Photo Nov 07, 10 44 02 AM.jpg

All the little details for the room are coming together as well, here's a little sneak peek of some of the pieces coming in....

Beautiful weaving from my friend Sara of The Forest Fern.

Photo Nov 07, 9 23 48 AM.jpg

Some midcentury glass goodness from Scout and Annie

Photo Nov 07, 9 24 41 AM.jpg

All the cozy pillows...including the beautiful printed one from fellow artist Made of Cloth.

Photo Nov 07, 9 24 30 AM.jpg

And of course....plants :) 

Photo Nov 07, 9 23 59 AM.jpg

That's it for this week!  Thanks so much for following along and be sure to catch up with the progress  with the featured designers here and all the other guest participants spaces via the One Room Challenge Blog.  Hope to see you for the final reveal next week! 

ORC Logo.png

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One Room Challenge-Week Four

A wallpapering we'll go!  That was the focus of this week.  As someone who hasn't wallpapered but only once before with a product that is *slightly* different than true wallpaper, I wanted to tackle the wallpaper project for the room as soon as possible.  As I mentioned in the post from the second week I knew that I wanted to go with a mural for the room, but floated around to several different options before settling on Anewall's Clouded Mural.  I've been pinning wallpaper in general for the last few months (you can see my "stash" here), there are so many good options!  Anewall had excellent customer service.  Since their papers are from Canada, I wasn't sure that it would arrive in time to support the One Room Challenge, so I sent them an email and they replied promptly with timelines (that would work-yay!) and also sent over some great samples so that I could choose a paint before the full mural arrived.  

Since I was doing full length walls in this room, I thought it would be a good idea to have a second set of hands so I had my studio assistant come in from the woodshop for the day and help me out with the papering.  It was so great to have another person to help move those wet, drippy sheets of wallpaper and maneuver the paper in place to line up the pattern.  Here's the progress after the first couple panels went up.

Photo Oct 20, 11 43 48 AM.jpg

We had a slight snafu on that second panel that required a bit of quick, slightly panic thinking.  I had painted a couple of the dark green samples on that wall....I am not really sure why, because I always planned to put a mural on it, but when we put that second piece up over the paint sample swatch IT SHOWED THROUGH THE PAPER (!!!!!) I'm not sure why I didn't think to prime over it...I was so diligent about priming over the walls in the bathroom wallpapering project....I blame it on having a lot of irons in the fire right now.  But at any rate, this was a problem, it looked really bad.  Now we had this wet wallpaper that we had started hanging, heck, mostly smoothing it on the wall and it had something bad behind it....yikes!  

Luckily, I already had a wet primer roller stored at the ready from some other projects and we quickly (and gently) removed the strip of wallpaper from the wall, wetted it a little more with a sprayer and re-booked it to keep it from drying out.  I then rolled out the painted sections with the primer and Caira took the hairdryer to them to quickly dry each coat...as we were doing this, I kept checking in on the paper and giving it light spritzes of water wherever I saw it starting to dry out. 

Photo Oct 20, 10 55 04 AM.jpg

After three coats of primer it looked like we had covered most of the dark green paint and we gently repositioned that second piece back into place.  It seemed like it was behaving a little different that it had before, but after some deep, calming breaths, and slowly and gently working it into place, all seemed fine.  I'm happy to report after being up on the wall almost a week, the paper seems just as secure as the others! Whew! 

We continued hanging the remaining panels, moving across the wall.  Below is a quick snapshot of the booking process.  After soaking the panels in a tub of water for about 15 seconds, we would unroll the panels and then fold them adhesive sides together to let the paper "relax" for about a minute before hanging it on the wall.

Photo Oct 20, 3 47 04 PM.jpg

Getting closer! I love how the clouds have a luminosity about them, we could start to see the colors shifting and changing throughout the day....so pretty! 

Photo Oct 20, 2 43 37 PM.jpg

And then one more panel and around the corner of the wall....and done! 

Photo Oct 25, 3 57 36 PM.jpg

Instead of trying to cut the edge on that corner by the door, which would probably seem really awkward, I decided to wrap it around the corner to meet the doorframe.  This would also allow for a peek of the paper from the hallway which I thought was a pretty touch and would encourage the eye around the corner since the mural is not on a wall facing the doorway. 

Photo Oct 25, 3 49 51 PM.jpg

The print quality on the paper is a really nice, watercolor feel. 

Photo Oct 25, 3 51 37 PM.jpg

I'm loving how it works with the green walls...

Photo Oct 25, 3 52 33 PM.jpg
Photo Oct 25, 3 51 13 PM.jpg

Beyond the wallpaper I didn't accomplish much else this week except for ordering a few more items that we need.   But I have a couple ideas brewing for details in the room....this green charcoal portrait that I picked up when I lived in Jacksonville, FL four years ago has yet to find a spot in this house....I think she'd be lovely in here...

Photo Oct 25, 3 48 34 PM.jpg

I've also had this old bubblegum machine base that I picked up years ago #hoarder and I'm toying around with the idea of making a wood top for it as a side table to the loveseat/pullout bed...I'll likely change the color of the base to something that jives better with the colors in the room.  I love the old-fashioned details on this piece and I think it would provide a nice contrast to the more modern lines of the loveseat. 

Photo Oct 25, 3 53 42 PM.jpg

That's it for this weeks progress!  We also received word that due to the storms and fires that have plagued so many over the last month and a half and their impact on timelines, scheduling, shipping, etc, the One Room Challenge is being extended a week so that everyone can finish strong! The new reveal date will be Thursday, November 16th.  

Thanks again for following along!  Your kind words mean so much to me.  I'd love to hear your thoughts and ideas on wallpaper or anything else, I so enjoy hearing what everyone else has been up to.  

Check out what the other guest participants have been up to here, there are so many great transformations going on, it's a great way to get inspired!  And if you missed the previous weeks posts, you can can up here. xo, Nicole

ORC Logo.png