Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Tile and Voile (Notes on This Old House)

Sometimes, when life hands you lemons, you must make lemonade. Or, in this case, when life hands you bright red voile wallpaper, a red toilet seat, a mauve sink, and peach tile with burgundy wave accents, you must pretend like most of those choices were intentional until you can afford to completely gut and remodel your bathrooms.
The Bad Bathrooms. We put them in time out for a little while for crimes against humanity's eyes. 
The red bath is our main floor "powder room," tucked underneath the second-floor landing. I actually like the voile wallpaper, the old-fashioned Standard sink, and the vintage medicine cabinet, but the red toilet seat, red floor - red everything was a little much (you can also just see in this picture how wallpaper-obsessed the former owners of this house were, as they wallpapered .... wait for it, parts of the DOOR).
I decided to use black and white in this room to balance the red. Here's what I added:
First, I scoured my bookshelves to find books with red, black, and white covers (two favorites immediately emerged). I cut off the covers and framed them in dollar store frames. 
One of my favorite things, the red candlelight star, gave the old plant hanger something to do. 
A Dollar General find ($5). I like the barber-shop feel of them. 
Love this book. So fun. 
I found this quatrefoil rug on sale at Dollar General for $3. Super-excited, because it was just what I was looking for. I had thought about painting the floor black, but was advised against it. Plans are to tile this floor later this year. 
So, that's the crazy conversation piece of a powder room. As for the second-floor main bath, there were very few redeeming qualities. I could not, and I mean could not figure out a way to make it work. I tried. First, I stripped the seashell wallpaper and painted the walls a muted shade of brown that was a complement color to the paint I used in the hallway. Then, I stopped. It still didn't work. And then, one magical day, I stumbled upon this beauty of a shower curtain in Target for $19.99. Inspiration. 

Drawing upon the mahogany color in the curtain, I painted the bathroom cabinet a deep chocolate brown (I also spray-painted the drawer pulls black and then accented the pressed designs with the brown). 
I also removed the yellowed, ugly cover and bulb from the lighting fixture and added these string lights from Target until I can afford the time and money to rip out the medicine cabinet/lighting fixture in the future. 
Some vintage magazine art, antique-inspired accents, and my twig J jewelry holder from Anthropologie, and it is at least livable, until I can say "ba-bye" to the mauve seashell sink.  
You can find the alphabet jewelry trees here.
Overall, I'm happy with the transformation. I really can't wait to take a sledgehammer to that sink though. Until next time! ~Alice (aka jess)
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