Monday, February 11, 2013

striped powder room

I did kind of a sneak peek of my main floor powder room in one of my more recent posts, but decided today to finally take some photos of it for reals.  I'm hoping that what you, dear reader, take away from today's post is that you can oftentimes find a way to work with fixtures/finishes which you at first found totally repellent, but with the right accessories/paint, etc. can actually look halfway decent, in the end.  

First, a before photo:

This was a room of compromises, since on my limited budget after moving in, I could not afford wallpaper (either to buy it OR to have someone hang it), nor could I bring myself to cough up the $$ to rip out the vanity that was already in the room.  The vanity was, incidentally, not to my liking IN THE LEAST: it was, to put it bluntly, an ugly cherry wood base with a booooring black granite top.  Actually, I guess the black granite was tolerable, but the base was just...ugh.  Plus, the hardware is brushed nickel (you know my loathing for brushed nickel) and couldn't even be replaced because the vanity drawers are curved, and hence the hardware seems to have been manufactured specifically for that piece.  Come on.   And let's not even talk about that heinous frosted glass mirror or the absolutely dreadful light fixture (which you can't see, but it was saaaaaad).  

So I put my little thinking cap on and asked myself, since I was strapped for cash and trying to work with what I had, if I could do something, create a motif, as it were, that would work with the cherry tone cabinet and black top.  And then somewhere I got the idea that I wanted to paint striped walls.  And then from there I kind of started thinking along the lines of "fun rich person's home library," which I realize when I type it makes no sense, but I am not often making sense when these ideas go through my mind.  

The room is quite small, but here are some photos of how it turned out, after all my work was done:

After uploading these photos, I realized it would have been in much better taste had I put down the toilet lid, but...too little, too late, at this point.

The stripes, as you can imagine, were a bit of a bitch to paint, and required a level, green frog tape (much better than that blue 3M crap!) and a LOT of patience.   When I was doing a lot of the painting in my place, I would watch (or more accurately, listen to) old episodes of "Frasier" on Netflix.  I think I listened to an entire season of "Frasier" measuring the stripes in this bathroom.  But the effort was worth it, when all was said and done.  There was almost zero bleed through, thanks to the frog tape, and I'm so glad I used that level - the lines look straight and clean.  

I switched out the lighting fixture to one that looked kind of schoolhouse-y (from Home Depot) and replaced the mirror with one I got at West Elm a few years ago.

A better shot of the cabinet.  I think that the stuffiness of the wood tone and the shape contrast really well with the stripes.  Since they're so lively, they have the potential of looking juvenile, but the rest of the space seems to tone them down.

The rug on the floor was a purchase from - they have great Persian rugs and seem to always be running a "Last Day 50% off Sale" promotion.  Seems a bit sketch but they have great photos of the rugs on their website and offer free and super fast delivery.

Last but not least, that awesome oil painting was something I grew up with, in a sense - it hung very proudly in my grandparent's house for decades, and after they had both passed away, my mom snatched it up (it was on its way to Goodwill).  She just had it stored in her crawlspace ever since, and I thought it would be the perfect addition to this little room.  Which it is.

 So, the moral of the story is, you really CAN take lemons and make lemonade!  A lot of people that come over say this is their favorite room of the house.  Wouldn't YOU like to take a little pee pee in here?  And does my "fun rich person's home library" idea even make sense, now that you see it?  Rich people like Persian rugs and oil paintings in their home libraries, don't they?  At least on "Downton Abbey" they do.

One last shot of the room from a distance:

That's one fun little room.


  1. I am SO glad that you said something about frogtape! Just this morning I was trying to figure out if it was better than the blue stuff. I was googling "frog tape vs blue tape", watching youtube videos, etc. And now here you are saying "frogtape all the way!"

    YAY! Thanks for the tip!

  2. I can't even comment on this bathroom because I'm still reeling from the zebra...