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 target.com) 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.
About half a year ago we cut the base of the vine…
… in an attempt to kill it and rescue our oak tree from its death grip.
And then it just sat there, a la Rose in Titanic. It never let go. And things took a turn for the ugly when the leaves and branches got all dry and dead.
So after 6 months of waiting for it to give up the ghost and magically fall from the tree, we decided that we’d need to take matters into our own hands… with the help of some pruning shears. Basically our method was to clip each dead branch off right at the base where it met the vine since we couldn’t wrestle the vine itself from the tree (it was literally as firm as cement on there, and we didn’t want to damage the oak).
Miraculously we could reach almost every last branch thanks to a ladder and a long handled branch cutter for those upper portions.
Here’s a before shot for ya from last year:
And an after that I just snapped this morning:
It’s nice to no longer have what appears to be a tree that’s eating the house.
One more before:
And an after from that angle now:
I love that there’s not a giant vine weighting down the oak anymore, and the new openness of the upper patio is awesome. It used to feel pretty closed in – and so many berries and pointy leaves (both of which the vine produced en mass) used to fall all over the table and chairs. It’s nice to be free of that dusting o’ junk.
So that’s how you ignore a vine for a few years, then attack the base, then wait for it to surrender and fall to the ground by some vine-miracle, and then make things happen with some shears and a ladder. Any pruning or yard stuff going on in your neck of the woods?
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Now that Clara’s old enough to hold a tiny paint brush, get down with some Mod Podge, and rock out with a nail gun (just kidding about that last one), I thought doing the occasional project with her would be a good time. And I’m not gonna lie, this project is still fun without a kid (and can definitely be done with adult-made art or even some awesome decorative gift wrap or wallpaper), so let’s slap a “no children necessary” label on this baby.
As for the how, first my trusty assistant and I perused some of the art that she made at school (she loves to paint) to choose the one that she liked the best. Her winner was the one closest to the camera below (with yellow and orange and red in it).
Then we grabbed one of those very lightweight wood craft boxes that we picked up at JoAnn (I think they’re also at Michaels). Clara watched intently while I laid the art under the box lid with both the art and the lid facing down and cut the corners of the art like this, so they met up with the corner of the lid:
This allowed me to wrap the painting around the box as if I was gift wrapping it, and I used some decorative washi tape (it was a gift, so I’m afraid I’m not sure where it’s from, although I’ve seen similar stuff at Target) to hold it down on the inside of the lid.
I repeated this process on each side of the box as Clara watched attentively from her chair nearby.
Then I ran some of the tape around the side of the lid, just because I loved how it looked with Clara’s painting so much, but if you like seeing the art wrap around the lid instead of adding a tape border, you can leave it as-is.
Oh and you’ll notice in the background of that picture that Clara and I had gotten down to work and painted the bottom of the box red. She loved helping with that step, and it took a few coats (with drying time in between) so we went off and played with a few other things and got dressed and all that good stuff in between coats.
After all the paint was dry, Clara also enjoyed helping me slap some Mod Podge all over the top of the box, to seal her painting and protect it for the long haul.
So to anyone who loves doing projects with their kid, there are actually three steps that Clara enjoyed. The first one of course was making the art in the first place, the second one was helping me paint the base of the box, and the third one was applying some Mod Podge to the top of the box to seal things – so I just did the harder stuff like cutting the paper and taping it into place on the lid.
I think the finished product is pretty cute, and I love how fun it was to tackle with Clara. What kid crafts have you guys been doing lately? Don’t you love finding ways to incorporate their art into your home so you can enjoy it instead of storing it away in some box that you never open? Clara’s teacher says when they paint in class she stops and steps back and looks at the paper and then steps forward and paints a little more and steps back and looks at it again and then dives back in. Is that cute or what? She’s my little Van Gogh.