Making A Fabric Shade and Frosting A Window

Surprise! We painted the guest bathroom this weekend! The walls, the trim, and even the ceiling. And double surprise: we went with a fresh clean coat of white (Decorator’s White by Benjamin Moore). Bet you didn’t see that coming…

Why’d we go white? Well the old paint was dingy (see the difference in the pic above?), but we’ve decided to embrace the yellow tile instead of yanking it all out gut-job style or painting or reglazing it. It’s completely original 60’s tile that’s in great shape – and the color is happy and cute so we’ve decided it’s charming. Especially with our fresh white (albeit bare for now) walls – which will allow us to bring in some personality and color in other ways without overwhelming the small space.

Our hall bathroom sports original tile as well, but we were able to crisp it up and bring in some fun accessories so it flows with the rest of our house…

… so we decided to give that the ol’ college try in here before bringing in the demolition hammer, a la this

Oh and we raised the shower rod to ceiling height and added an extra long 95″ waffle weave curtain (from about six months ago that hides inside the shower now (this is the view from inside the shower, so the rod is 100% invisible from the main part of the bathroom). It was weird to see the lower bar hanging down around 4″ below the doorway that leads to the shower.

I wish I could have shot a better picture of the other side of the shower doorway so you could get a better idea, but the room’s just too tiny. I’d have to be out the window to get the right angle…

Speaking of the window, we finally frosted it (using leftover frosting film and this method) which is nice because it lets in all the light, but doesn’t let anyone standing on the deck creepily spy on you.

Between the freshly painted walls and the glowing frosted windows, it’s definitely feeling crisper and less murky in here already.

After my little frost-job I dug out this fabric remnant from over a year ago (originally from U-Fab here in Richmond and made by Iman) to make a sweet little no-sew shade. After nixing a faux roman shade like this one I made for the kitchen (not enough fabric) and considering a simpler version like this one from the hall bath, I decided to go with something closer to the latter, but with a twist. So I dragged out my materials (a tape measure, some iron-on hem tape, a scrap piece of wood, and my staple gun) and got to work…

I measured the window width (23″), cut my scrap wood about a 1/4″ shy of that size, and cut my fabric to 25″ wide and as long as I could make it (which ended up being 30″) so I could hem it on both sides and at the bottom to end up with a 23″ x 29″ shade. See how the wood is a smidge thinner than the hemmed fabric? That’s so you don’t see it poking out on the sides.

Then I stapled the top of the fabric to the scrap piece of wood (centering the wood so the fabric was slightly longer on both sides) and screwed through it from below three times to hold it into the window.


I opted for a cute little rolled look at the bottom thanks to a smaller piece of scrap wood (old shoe molding) that I cut to be a teeny bit wider than 23″ – that way I could roll the fabric around the molding and shove it into place so it held itself between the sides of the window, sort of like a tension rod.

Here’s the view from out in the guest room. I love how the fabric works with the polka dot curtains in there. Not too matchy, but compatible and layered. It’s also nice to see the dark teal color from the bedroom walls carried into the bathroom, so it feels less like a random yellow box without any relation to the adjoining room.

It feels good to cross a few things off the list in there, but there’s still more on the agenda.

We think three more simple upgrades will make all the difference, so here’s the plan.

  • paint the walls
  • frost the window for privacy
  • make a window treatment with a bold fabric remnant
  • paint the frame of the mirror so it stands out against the white wall
  • hang some art over the toilet
  • go accessory happy (if Lesley made her pink tiled bathroom cute with the right stuff, there’s hope for this old room yet)

Is anyone else embracing something old? Any painting going on? Shade-making? Did anyone else watch the Atlanta Housewives reunion and laugh at how many times they said “throwing shade”? I gotta start working that in.

Psst- See how we upgraded the light fixture almost two years ago here.


  1. says

    I am so glad you’ve decided to keep the original tile! You’re absolutely right, it is so charming and happy. I can’t wait to see what comes next, keep up the good work!

    • says

      Aw man! Yeah, since they’re in such good shape and we’re so happy with how the hall bathroom came out, we definitely can’t wait to see where we end up in here :)


  2. Diana T. says

    We also have a yellow-tiled bathroom that we decided to work with, but our house was built in ’71, so it’s less buttery-yellow and more goldenrod. We used sort of a brown/gray paint color and some light teal accents to make it look much more purposeful. Can’t wait to see what you guys do for art!

  3. says

    You’re right, I didn’t see that coming! I thought the next shade lighter blue than in the guest room or something along those lines. I’m sure it will all look awesome when you tie it all together!

    I had to laugh at Burger…did you close his “water bowl?”

    • says

      Haha, he was so funny! I totally think he wanted to get into the picture. So he was like “oh you’re shooting this room? I’ll just sniff around for a second. CHEEESSE!”


    • says

      I thought about that but it’s such a tight space the skirt might brush against the toilet – gross! So we’re going for the more open look in the hopes that it doesn’t close things in – or get toilet germs on fabric. Haha!


  4. Amy says

    Can’t wait to see what else you do!

    And painting. Oh painting. Our house is going on the market TODAY and good thing because I am sick to death of painting! (We like bright colors and are moving rather unexpectedly, so I had to do a lot of neutralizing. My husband is already working in another city, so this was all up to me! While raising a 3 yo and working FT. Ugh!)

    • A says

      We are in the same position! We live in an area that was specifically developed for retired couples and us “youngins” are having to go all neutral because they apparently don’t care for blues. I’ve developed a claw from all the painting the past week..I feel your pain, Amy!

  5. kelsey says

    Love that you are embracing the yellow! The fresh walls are lovely!
    I don’t have any experience with funky tile myself, but I used to babysit for a lady who had this exact yellow tile in one bathroom, the infamous pink tile in another bathroom AND a green tile in the last bathroom! Yikes!

  6. says

    We embraced the old this weekend by finding about $25 worth of baby toys at our local thrift store fore 50 cents. We’ll be combining them with something new that we’re making for our girl that will save us a bunch more $$!

  7. says

    We’re renting so most everything we do requires ’embracing the old’. Thankfully, there are a lot of great details that we get to work with and we’re allowed to paint (so that very much helps).

    PS – I’m sort of a fan of the yellow tiles in the bathroom (mostly the flooring) because it’s so unexpected. Glad you’re keeping it for now!

  8. says

    I love white walls, especially in a small bathroom! We just painted the walls in our basement bathroom white and I can’t believe how much cleaner it looks in there! ://

    Oh and we painted our whole main floor on Saturday… Yeah, we’ve been doing a lot of painting recently (and I love it).

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