Archive for April, 2013

Cheap & Charming: Our $50 Bathroom Makeover

The guest bath = so much cuter. That sweet little space reminds me that even small seemingly “stuck” spaces can shine with a few easy upgrades, like fresh paint, a new window treatment, some art, and a few mixed and matched accessories. Sometimes it’s fun to embrace an old feature like vintage yellow tile (complete with a floor that looks like a scrabble board) instead of hammer-drilling it out of there. So stick a fork in this baby… for around $50, she’s a whole lot easier on the eyes.

The room has this casual Anthropologie-ish vibe now, which isn’t usually something I’m very good at pulling off – so all the credit goes to the items that were already there (like the original white sink and that sweet 60’s tile). And it definitely didn’t hurt to add some art and a few accessories to fill the voids. Here’s a before shot taken from the same doorway about a week after we moved into our house:

Thank goodness the I-can-see-my-full-body-while-I’m-on-the-toilet mirror is gone, eh?

It’s a tiny room, so please excuse my lack of diverse and all-encompassing shots. The print hanging over the toilet is just a page I tore out of the September issue of Real Simple last year (I keep a flat tupperware box under the bed in the guest room full of “someday art” – so I sifted through it and thought the colors – and the water/fishing thing – was cute for a bathroom). The frame is from Target and came with the mat for $22.

I like how the softer white frame and art works with the deeper mirror and light fixture. Instead of competing and feeling busy, the art falls back and the charcoal mirror over the sink (which I painted Silhouette by Benjamin Moore) says “look I’m the focal point.” Both of the P hand towels are from West Elm (from two different readers at book signings, which was such a fun surprise). And that lemon tea towel is also from someone at a signing. So glad we found a spot for them :)

Dag guest bathroom, why you gotta be so sweet? Here’s where I’ll insert John’s terrible third grade joke about how you have to have two monogrammed P towels in a bathroom because that’s where the pee pee goes. Please forgive him.

And for those requesting a shot of the shower opening, it’s a crazy-tight room, so this is the best I could muster. But you can see the art that hangs across from the mirror a little better. That’s just an old fabric remnant (from U-Fab last year) that I slapped in a frame.

I like that it relates to the brighter yellow tiles in the floor as well as the pops of yellow in the guest room. And here’s a shot of the bottom of the shower, so you can see how that tile lip keeps the curtain from encroaching on the sink. And because it’s polyester (just like a typical fabric shower curtain liner) we just wash it to keep it clean. So far, so good (it’s been in use for 6 months).

This is the view from the guest room, which is nice and tied in, thanks to everything from the blue window shade and the turkish towel on the door (don’t they look cute next to the polka dot curtains?).

It’s so funny how an old yellow bathroom that used to feel like “the weird room” in our house suddenly fits right in.

Here’s what we did in there to snap it into shape:

How you like me now, list? Yeah, that’s what I thought.

And here’s our budget breakdown:

And that’s why I love accessorizing. The end.

Is anyone else framing pages from Real Simple, painting mirrors, or bringing some P’s into the bathroom? Don’t knock it until you try it…



Talk The Talk

We’ve gone and done it. Nope, we didn’t create a hybrid ceramic animal robot. And we didn’t build Burger a dog-sized palace in the backyard. Instead… we’re introducing Young House Love Forums!

The idea for a forum section (or “message board” or “community” or whatever you want to call it) has been floating around for a while. Several of you have suggested/requested it and we even put it into our 2013 resolutions back in January (see #2). So consider this to be one resolution that we’ve officially kept.

You’ll notice that the site says “Beta” on it, which basically means this is a test. Kind of a trial period to see whether or not people find them helpful and fun, whether or not we can figure out a system for running them without stealing too much time away from DIY, and whether or not everyone can support and encourage each other. That last part is especially important to us because, just like our blog, we really want the forums to be a happy place where everyone feels comfortable. There are plently of places to get your snark on, but this little slice of the internet is meant to be a positive and encouraging spot to share advice, ask questions, and have fun. If Sherry were writing this she’d pull a Mary J Blige and start singing No More Drama. You can read more about our hopes for the forums in our Community Guidelines.

We hope you’ll all find the interface pretty easy and intuitive. We’re relying on a leading forums software called Vanilla Forums, which has lots of functionality built right in. For instance, they make registration super simple (especially if you’ve already got a Facebook, Twitter, Google, or OpenID account). UPDATE: We notified Vanilla about the too-strict standards of the password registration and they say they’ve changed it so “weak” passwords don’t prevent you from registering.

If you sign up using one of your social accounts, it’ll fill in most of your profile for you. You can also edit or add to it pretty easily (like including links to your website, removing things you don’t want to share, adding a hometown, or even including a status update in the “Activity” box). But there’s no need to spill anything you don’t want – you can just start with your username and a photo. People like seeing who they’re chatting up. Bonus points for mustaches.

Posting and commenting is pretty straightforward too. You can start a new “Discussion” (aka topic thread) or comment under an existing one using a nice standard comment box. It allows you to style your text, quote previous commenters, and even include images. We’d love for people to share photos of their projects, rooms they’re working on, etc – but please just post photos that are your own, and just use links to reference other inspiration pics (we don’t want anyone getting into any copyright battles).

We created a couple of categories to kick things off.

The forum software has some built-in systems for blocking spam and other abuse, which is nice, but you guys can also be our eyes and ears. If you see something sneak through please flag it. It helps the system get smarter so we get closer to a spam-free site. Oh, and it also lets you mark posts for good reasons too – like if you liked it or it triggered your LOL reflex.

So with all that said, we’d love for you to sign up, read the community guidelines, and then get your chat on. We’re excited to see where Young House Love Forums go (we always say that you guys put the “you” in Young House Love, so we can’t wait to see all the inspiring and hilarious stuff that’s shared).