Well, it’s not really epic. More like Not So Bad Fail. Or No Biggie Fail. But we like to share our trials along with our triumphs, so here ya go.
We were in HomeGoods scouting night tables, rugs, pillows and whatever else wanted to come home with us when we spotted this baby for a mere 12 beans.
It’s a shower curtain.
Fun modern pattern? Check. In line with the gray & yellow color scheme for our guest bathroom? Check. On sale? Checkity-check-check. So we brought it home (our only purchase of the day, actually, but that’s another story) and threw it right into place.
At first it felt like the perfect step it waking up the vintage yellow tile of yesteryear and making it feel more current. But then we looked down…
Something about the busy Scrabble-esque pattern on the floor combined with the gridded wall, combined with the semi-small-scale busy modern floral pattern just felt like too much going on. Oh well. At least we gave it the ol’ college try.
So we took it down, packed it back up, relieved our bathroom of its pattern-y overload, and returned it to HomeGoods (on the bright side, we grabbed some pillows for the bedroom while we were there – more on those later). We’re thinking we need to find something plain (like a white or soft gray waffle knit curtain) or something with a very simple or subtle large-scale pattern (tone on tone wide gray stripes maybe?) so it doesn’t compete with all that tile. But since we don’t have any overnight guests in our near future (knock on wood) we’re in no rush to hunt anything down tomorrow. Maybe we’ll even take our time and DIY something with a stencil or some fabric dye. We promise to share every detail when and if we do…
Psst- Wanna see something we don’t regret buying? Check out our BabyCenter post this week (with another Clara video, because we’re those people).
I totally agree that the pattern looks too busy in the context of your bathroom, and maybe it’s just my monitor, but the colors look kinda harsher than your tile colors. Probably one of the hardest things to but in the store because it’s not like you can carry a tile around with you. Or can you? You could buy a piece of yellow tile and put it in your purse with your Sue napkin! ;)
Haha, it would probably take us 50 years to find a match to that yellow tile- but that would help!
Snickrsnack Katie says
Hmmm, yeah, that just didn’t work. I don’t know – I sort of think it was too busy to begin with – unless it was in a completely white bathroom. Even without the floor – it just doesn’t do well with the tile on the wall. But hey, you only learn through mistakes. You will find the perfect one eventually!!
Sarah T says
I love the shower curtain, but I can see why you took it back. I have a half bath in my house that looks extremely similar to yours (except the tile in mine is more of a sunny yellow) and I’ve been struggling with what to do with it. We don’t have the money right now to re-do the tile and I’m very interested to see how you update yours.
Do you plan on replacing the tile at some point or just continue to work with what’s there?
Thanks! LOVE your site.
We’re definitely going to work with that vintage yellow tile for a while! We think we can definitely make it a charming little room, we just need to find the perfect not-too-crazy things for it. And paint. Can’t wait to do that!
That’s too bad it didn’t work–it’s such a cute pattern! I love the idea of a gray waffle knit curtain, though and can’t wait to see what you guys find.
Aww, I liked the shower curtain! It was nice and bold so it drew your eye to that instead of to the floor or wall tiles. Well, if we know you guys you’ll come up with something way better still and we’ll forget all about those on-sale leaves :)
You may not be able to find a tile, but you could probably find a paint chip to carry with you that matches the tile.
I think the bath would look great with a crisp white shower curtain. It would help to brighten the space and make it feel more current. And, to add visual interest, you could make sure it has some texture. I love this one: http://www.westelm.com/products/pintuck-tie-shower-curtain-b597/?pkey=cshower-curtains
The lighter floor tiles seems to lean a little “grey,” which on the floor reads as a little dingy (din- jee… not sure if I just wrote ‘reads a little boat’ because of my spelling)… and that is NOT a judgement of your cleaning or your house because our bathroom and kitchen were the same way with a yellowy-grey linoleum when we moved in (matched our yellow toilets…). It may crisp up the space a bit to stick with the fresh aquas or use a large grey graphic on a white or aqua shower curtain if that is a must-have color for the space.
It seems like the curtain above would have worked great if it didn’t bring another shade of yellow into the room. The blues look great against that yellow tile, in my opinion! I even think the graphic adds a really sweet touch of vintage charm to the space. Not trying to be that person that dictates how you roll… just want to encourage; your house is looking fabulous and you’re just getting started!
brandt @ New House on the Blog says
I didn’t notice it until you mentioned it, honestly. But I do agree with you, it’s one too many patterns. Speaking of Scrabble, you should get tiles with letters printed on them and replace some of the tiles in there with names or funny phrases. Because honestly, when someone goes into the bathroom, who focuses their eyes on the floor unless its needed!
And “we’re those people now” sounds like something lifted from Modern Family…
liz @ bon temps beignet says
Aww, don’t ya hate that.
I had a major fail a while back too…
Great attempt, but no dice. :) I also have a vintage banana yellow and black tiled bath. It’s in desperate need of some love,so I’m keen to follow your lead.
Amy Button says
I rented a house once that had a similar retro yellow bathroom. After trying color and pattern I went with white. It seemed boring but the yellow grid thing was really not something I could compete with. Not successfully anyway. I’m looking forward to seeing what you come up with.
We have that same tile on our bathroom floor (mid-century ranch) only it’s in blue/gray. There was blue tile halfway up the walls (as well as blue toilet/tub/sink), but everything has been updated except that floor. The floor and I tolerate each other. For now.
Good call guys! And um, is it the angle of the photo or is that shower opening like a foot wide? It looks so teeny!
The angle makes it look even skinnier, but it’s not a massive opening by any means!
sarah (sarah learns) says
i’d say as epic fails go, this one is not so bad! it was easily un-done, right?!? also, i had to check out the bathtime video – so cute! i also talk in that high-pitched singy voice anytime i encounter a human under 4 years and any animal of any age. every time i realize i’m doing it i try to stop, but it’s really hard!
Stephanie Phillips says
I FEEL YOUR PAIN on this one! Our bathroom has brown tile on the walls and blue, brown, and cream on the floor. We picked up the cream for the wall color (trying to neutralize!) but have had the HARDEST time with a shower curtain. We’ve settled on a tan/blue floral one that was discontinued by Southern Living a few years ago. It doesn’t feel perfect, but I’m sure it won’t matter once I finally get to gut that bathroom!
Umm did this go up against the napkin first? Just wondering (sorry if I missed that somewhere)
Nope. We didn’t have Sue with us. Hence the fail. Haha. We grabbed it, thought “we can always return it…” and return it we did! Just wanted to share our fails along with everything else about the journey of making our house a home!
We recently purchased this shower curtain and I thought it might be mellow enough for your bathroom.
Carol N. says
I think the white waffle weave might be your best bet. You could always have your monogram done in the center in a pretty grey. The ‘squares’ of the waffle would tie into the square floor tiles and wall tiles without being too over the top. Then maybe you could add a pattern in some window treatments instead. And I like the idea of using old scrabble tiles for artwork that someone mentioned earlier. Maybe you could find an old scrabble at a yard sale or thrift store that is missing a few pieces and use those to DIY some artwork!
I recently wondered if the both of you ever had ‘decorating blunders’… Thanks for sharing!
Yeah, no. That didn’t work. It’s too busy and the colors aren’t right, and the yellow will be hard to match.
I like this shower curtain here but maybe you could custom order one without the yellow (just the grey and the white?)
I have faith in you that whatever you come up with will rock our socks!
Jessica M says
We have the same yellow tile in our 1957 ranch full bath. I LOVE IT! The floor was in awful condition when we moved in, however, and we replaced it with large white tiles. Looks clean and bright with the white fixtures. We have a white waffle-weave shower curtain in there, with a blue-and-green striped mat on the floor. We actually painted the walls a yellow to match the tiles! That way it looks seamless. Next step, to deep clean the old grout in our bath/shower (any tips for that?) and have the tub reglazed – I can’t wait!
Chantel I. says
Actually, I thought that the shower curtain and the scrabble-esque tiles looked good together. Since the yellow is muted (at least on my computer screen), it doesn’t overwhelm the pattern on the curtain.
From the title of the post, I was expecting a more dramatic failure. Like the curtain was way too short or something. This just seems more like an issue of personal taste than anything.
Wooo hoo retro! That was a little bit much. Are you guys thinking about trying another pattern or a solid color?
We keep changing our minds. Today we’re in love with the idea of a soft gray waffle weave curtain. Who knows where we’ll end up…
Awww… not really epic, but it is nice to see your fails. It helps the rest of us relate to you on a whole new level :) *smooch*
Emily @ Merrypad says
Bummer. Cute too. Wouldn’t have wanted to save it and reuse as pillow fabric?
Della @ Della Grace's Life says
I think that a grey curtain with one word written across it would be really cool…kinda artsy/modern.
Melissa K says
I actually didn’t hate it, but hey, not my house! I do have a question, though. Is there a light in the shower? Because the opening is so small, without an overhead light (which I usually don’t like)I would think it would be super dark in there with a solid, heavy curtain.
Yup, there’s a big ol’ light in there. Thank goodness.
Melissa @ HOUSEography says
I really don’t think it was all that bad and not of “epic fail” proportions. I like mixing the patterns but maybe it was too much. I actually get so I don’t even “see” floor tile unless it’s completely obnoxious. I was in lamp return mode all weekend. Fun times!
We had the pale yellow tile paired with a light green. Looked JUST like your bathroom. Same layout and everything. Anyway, we went with a palm tree theme. I didn’t realize how horrid it was until 8 years later when we were listing the house. WHAT were we thinking? Well, we staged it with an ivory waffle shower curtain and painted over my less than desirable Green/yellow sponge painting. Love your site! Thanks for the memory and thank you for sharing your journey and inspiring others! If only I had your guidance 8 years and a house ago.
Cait @ Hernando House says
I actually liked that way that looked, but maybe it doesn’t translate right on my scren. Glad you got some pillows you liked out of it!
I like Micha’s suggestion! In fact when you were talking about texture, instead of waffle weave, my mind immediately jumped to linen (texture, but no pattern).
OK, I’m weird. I think it’s the floor that made the curtain work! It’s the wall tile that seems too dull-peach next to the curtain (IMO). But I’m sure whatever you end up with will be fantastic!
Stacy @ Design Something Better says
I’m with Emily on the crisp white… so how about a crisp white waffle weave? You could always jazz it up down the line with some trim or use decorative hooks?
Can’t wait to see what you guys end up with down the line – I’m sure it’ll be perfect!
Thanks for all the suggestions guys! We’re not worried about finding something at all- we know there are probably at least 500 solutions! We just wanted to share what didn’t work for kicks- you know to keep it real! We’ll definitely post all about what we settle on when we get there…
Good call! I loved the up-close photo but it’s just not “the one” for that room. It can’t be a fail if you realized the error in time to return the curtain, right?
I’m now on Team Crisp White for the shower curtain (hey, it worked for your mirror!), especially if you go with gray walls.
Michelle @ Chasing Ambulances says
I agree with Chantel above! I actually liked this. I kept looking at the picture, thinking it looked great, and the yellow in the curtain seemed to go nicely. But I understand if you didn’t like it or it looked different in person – it did bring out the yellow in the floor tile more. At the very least, it’s not an epic fail in my opinion ;)
Well I’m pretty boring, but I say a white waffle would look best.
Ana Silva says
I agree with your choice. But to me the color is even a little to bright for that bathroom. My favorite color is yellow but even I can say that bathroom is too much of it. It definetly needs to get toned down with a solid color. Can’t wait to see what you come up with. I know it will be good because I dont think there is anything you all do that I dont like.
Love the “scrabble-esque” reference…very appropriate. I can’t wait to see what you guys do with that bathroom, and love, love, love grey with yellow.
Shannon R says
I like it! And even if it didn’t fit your preferences, I’m not quite sure it was an “epic” fail…maybe just a teeny mismatch. At least it wasn’t neon stripes or something crazy!
Melissa K says
Well, in that case (the light), I’d love to see what a blueish gray waffle weave curtain would look like in there, because I’m seriously loving blue/gray/yellow together right now. In fact, I just recovered some throw pillows and bought some throws for the back of the couch from HG in that combo this weekend.
And my husband thought I was the QUEEN of returning things. LOL! :)
I love the thought of a soft gray waffle shower curtain. Sounds lovely!
And can I say I can’t wait to see if you guys go teal in the other bathroom – I fell HARD for that beautiful bathroom picture that you said inspired you guys.
I would go for a plain shower curtain, and stencil a design that’s not as busy but complements the lovely floor tile. OR…get a bath rug or two to cover the floor.
I’ve secretly been wanting to ask this since the first bathroom post. Just wondering if you would ever contact your Tile sponser in case they had a neat solution for your tile (like a magic tile matcher or something). It actually looks like a pretty common tile (I know I have it’s speckled beige brother in my bathroom, and I’ve got an 80’s house). But I know that even a small tiling job would probably be 200th on your list of things to do.
We have a no-swag policy so we wouldn’t accept any special treatment or freebies, even from a sponsor. But if we did manage to hunt down some matching tile through them (or someone else) we’ll definitely post all about our adventures!
Jen D. says
Have you considered reglazing your bathrooms? Our home was built in the 50’s and we had ours professionally reglazed about 4 years ago & it still looks perfectly white. Best money we’ve spent! I’m sure you two could do it yourselves (although it is super stinky, so beware of the fumes!).
Yup, thought about it but want to work with the yellow for now. We think it might actually end up looking really sunny and charming…
Hello! You may (or probably not) remember me from a long ago (a couple of years at least) email from a fellow 1950’s bungalow/ranch rehabber. Hello again! :)
Good news! It will *not* take you 50 years to match your tile- you simply have to stop thinking of it as “yellow.” The small square floor tiles are yellow, true enough, but the biggest slice of the color in that bathroom is from the wall tiles, and they are more cream than true yellow.
When you are out and about looking at furnishings and products and thinking “yellow” you will almost always come home with a yellow that’s too bright, too blue (think lemony) too red (think cheesy) or too harsh.
Instead of yellow, think of the wall tile color as French vanilla. Think of it as butter. Think of it as rich cream. I can almost guarantee that you’ll end up with a better color combination if you frame it as a variation of cream and start from there.
As far as patterns go, don’t worry too much about the grid. I’ve put all kinds of patterns in my black and white grid bathrooms. Granted, your gray and yellow grid floor looks more mid-century modern than my vintage black and white subway tiles but I think you’ll be able to use a pattern.
I’ve used toile, art deco, vintage 1950’s novelty prints and right now I have stripes. You are spot on, I think, that your floor tile is a bit more modern. Try stripes or circles.
I know y’all are screaming busy right now but don’t forget that shower curtains are easy to make. It’s cheaper to buy them than to make them, in my experience, because I tend to buy simple, inexpensive shower curtains, but a trip to the fabric store and a few yards of fabric may be a lot of fun. Along those lines, don’t forget that discount sheets can make great yardage.
And that’s all I have to say about “cream” colored tiles and shower curtains. :)
Dang, that’s too bad as I LOVE that shower curtain print!!! Any chance you’d be willing to paint the tile floor a crisp white!?! Or is that weird and impossible? I’m a renovation-dummy!
It’s possible to get them reglazed, but for now we’re happy to work with what we have. We love a challenge!
Psh, not an epic fail at all. I love the blue color, I must say. And if I find anything fun that could go with the color, I’ll let you know. You can always check out the retro renovation sites to see what people used to do back in the day with these bathrooms…
I’ve been eyeing this gray and white bold strip shower curtain from West Elm. The stripes might be too large for the size of the space, but I immediately thought of it when you said graphic/gray.
Can’t wait to see what you guys come up with!
LCA in RIC says
Love that pattern! Too bad it didn’t work — may have been worth snagging a weekly photo with Clara to commemorate diy-misadventures! ;) Can’t wait to see what you guys come up with!
Darn. We wished we would have thought about doing that before returning it. Oh well, at least we found those aforementioned bedroom pillows when we took it back!
Jenn @ Peas & Crayons says
Better a new curtain than new floor! financially at least =)
I like the scrabble floor! <3