Archive for February, 2011

The Guest Bath: Meh, But Functional.

How’s that for a title? Haha. We’re about 20% there with this room, but we’re sharing these pics in the name of the work-in-progress reality that is our new house. We definitely think some paint on the walls (we’re flip-flopping between soft gray and mocha) will tie things together and better integrate items like the shower curtain and the bathmat along with the sweet vintage yellow tile. And of course bringing in better art, fun window treatments (maybe a bright roman shade?), changing out the light fixture, and implementing other tweaks down the road will hopefully take it from “meh” to “how you doin’?”

The good news is that it works and it’s clean. You can brush your teeth, take a shower, and use the “facilities” without issue. And thanks to the previous owners’ meticulous housecleaning skillz, there’s not a dot of crud or mildew to be scrubbed. Anyway, enough intro. Here she blows:

That’s right, I folded the toilet paper into a little triangle like they do at hotels. Because I’m crazy.

I apologize for the lack of sweeping see-everything photos, but it’s a tiny room. You can stand in front of the sink and touch all four walls – that’s how small it is. But as for our other little additions, I added a small acrylic trash can to the left of the toilet (you can see it peeking out in that top pic) and we used one of those suction cup shower caddies to store some little sample shampoo & conditioner bottles along with body wash in the shower. We also plopped a mini tube of toothpaste in a cup above the sink.

I thought offering bar soap and liquid soap would please anyone with a strong preference either way, and we hung some “placeholder art” above the toilet (three food related wedding pics – cupcakes, grapes, and lemons – that we already had framed) just to fight the Complete Bare Wall Syndrome that was going on. We figure they’re good for a bathroom because they’re just photos that we reprinted and framed ourselves, so if they get damaged from the moisture over time, we still have the originals and can easily reprint them. Although someday we’d love to hunt down or DIY something that ties into the printed shower curtain and deep teal walls in the adjoined bedroom for a little more pop.

We don’t have much by the way of “countertop” in our tiny bathroom, but we kept the lid of the toilet tank empty so people can drop their toiletry bags there if they’d like (since our sink doesn’t have any lip to speak of). And bringing in some plush white bath towels, hand towels, and washcloths completed the mom-and-Jack-ready makeover. It may not be done but it’s definitely grandparent worthy. Haha. And at least we’re not dealing with this awkward see-your-whole-body-while-sitting-on-the-toilet issue anymore:

Three cheers for a non-reflective door in front of the John. And by John I mean both the commode and my husband. That’s right, it’s a toilet-related double entendre.



Our $297 Guest Room Makeover (& A Luggage Tray Side Table)

Sometimes, you just gotta let things “shake out” – haha. John kept rolling his eyes while I ran back and forth from the guest room to try “one more thing” all day yesterday, but I just love playing around, tweaking things, adding this, subtracting that, and seeing where we end up. It’s probably my favorite part of the whole process, all that final-hour-switcheroo business. And we’re so glad that we shared yesterday’s in-progress pics to show how just a few tweaks in the last 24 hours can really change things up. Not über dramatically, but enough to make a difference for sure. Sometimes it’s those last minute changes that make you step back and go: There. Done. At least for now.

Who am I kidding? I’ll probably be back in there hanging art above the chairs and switching out the bookcase for a proper dresser when we hunt down the perfect one on craigslist in a week or two. And then there’s the crown molding we’d love to add down the line along with a million other changes that we’ll probably roll out over the next few years. But those are projects for another day, because my mom and stepdad will be arriving in T-minus-four-hours. So here’s what the guest room looks like now that we picked up three things from Tar-jay yesterday afternoon.

Those three things were:

You’ll remember that yesterday’s to do list included hanging something above the bed to balance out the big window to the left (hence the purchase of the big round mirror) and adding a nightstand and table lamp (hence the purchase of the cheap-o table lamp and the tray that we attached to the top of the green luggage rack that we got last week while thrifting on our little V-day beach trip last week).

First I repaired the straps on the luggage rack with thick brown ribbon and a staple gun.

Then John came up with the genius plan to use Command removable adhesive strips…

… to securely fasten the tray to the luggage rack in a way that’s 100% un-doable, thanks to those removable strips.

After placing our new luggage-rack-turned-side-table next to the bed with that cute green lamp…

… and hanging the oil-rubbed bronze mirror above the bed…

…we both really loved the idea of bringing in the leather storage bench that was sitting unused in the playroom for the foot of the guest bed.

That way we could remove the patterned brown blanket that we had folded at the foot of the bed (for a splash of dark color) in exchange for the more “classic” and less busy brown ottoman (which would also serve as a place to sit down, store linens, drop bags, set out magazines for mom, etc). All hail function. And ottomans. Seriously, we can’t get enough of them. So for those of you who hated the brown blanket with a passion that can only be described as intense, rest assured that it’s been beaten and burned. Just kidding, it’s sitting in playroom purgatory with all of our other “leftovers.”

And on the subject of stuff we already have, we knew that our guests would love a place to charge their cellphones, so I brought in a ceramic stool from the sunroom and placed it between the two chairs that I shifted apart so the outlet was easily visible right behind the stool. Bam: cellphone charging central. Note: I’ve since come to my senses and removed the cute blue vase to actually make room for cell phones.

And in separating those chairs I nixed the faux sheepskin and brought over the two happy yellow pinwheel pillows for some easy balance. Of course we still have to hang some art above those chairs, but we’ll get there someday.

So that’s the room as it looks today with mom and Jack on the road from NY. Just for fun, here’s another shot of our cute little $1.25 closet door pull and the empty closet with a bunch of wood hangers just waiting for our guests:

The funny thing is that I’m pretty sure my mom would sleep on the floor for a chance to hang out with Clara, so she probably won’t even notice the walls or the curtains or the bedding because she’ll be so busy staring at the bean.

Speaking of our little helper, here she is hanging out while we hung the mirror above the bed.

Gotta love that girl. She already has an appreciation for rugs and other accessories.

Oh and since you know we love a good budget breakdown, here’s what we spent for the guest bedroom & adjoining guest bathroom makeover:

Thanks to working with a ton of things that we already had (like our DIYed headboard, existing linens, the two slipper chairs, the ceramic drum stool, our yellow Pottery Barn rug, and our old bookcase) we came in well under a 1K Trading Spaces budget, even if you add our $488 bed purchase to the total above (which takes us to a grand total of $785.25). Now we just have to do a little last minute vacuuming and dusting before my mom swoops in and steals my child. That’s right, our family voted her as Most Likely To Steal Clara for a reason.