Toilet room: Take two

Alright guys, you ready for a quick, inexpensive makeover that we did to the teeniest, tiniest space in our home??    It’s one of those “why didn’t I do this sooner?” tweaks that, seriously, I should’ve done many, many moons ago.  I became especially antsy about wanting to get this done while I was nesting during my pregnancy, but alas… I feared that my belly was too big to actually fit in the space to reach all the nooks and crannies.  Haha.  Better late than never, though.

The space in question?  The toilet room. (applause! applause!)

If you’ve followed me for a while, you know that this is a space that lives up to its name….

It’s a toilet.

In a room.

And that’s it.

Literally.

When we moved in, it was a purple blank slate.  Observe….

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See what I mean??   No baby bump could safely fit next to that toilet.  😉

Back when we took possession of the house, this space had nothing, and I mean, NOTHING in it but a toilet.   And copious amounts of purple paint.  We.mustn’t.discount.the.purple.paint.  It looks greyish here, but no… it was purple.   And it made me cranky.   Not joking.   I know that color can affect mood, and I’ve never heard of purple inducing anger, but seriously guys… It made me ornery.  It needed to be gone.  Big time.

In addition to the color, there was no function, no storage, etc.  It had nothing but a *well loved* over-the-tank TP dispenser left by the previous owners.  #no

So, a while back, I painted the room a bright color, built a pipe shelf and industrial toilet paper dispenser, and hung some art, which brought us here…

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To be honest, I’m not really sure what I was thinking with this space.  I was going for “fun pool bath” and,  I mean, it was cute-ish, but not really our style at all.  Plus, every time I looked at it, I felt like there was something lacking.   It was seriously falling flat in some way.   This became blatantly obvious as the rest of our home started coming together in a way that DID feel like us.   More neutral.  More simple.  A mix of old with new.  Warmth and coziness is key in our home, and this space felt just… cold.

So, on a whim, during one of Henry’s naps, I busted out the paint roller and some leftover paint and toned down the space with my FAVORITE grey tone ever (Driftwood Grey by Glidden).

Oh look, here she is now…

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Isn’t this color the Sophia Loren of greys??  Sophisticated and rich.  For real.

This tone is also in the guest bath (stay tuned for that update) as well as the master bedroom and Lucas’s room.   It looks slightly different in each space, but just as lovely.  The power of paint, guys.  It never ceases to amaze me how just changing the color of a space can actually make it look more expensive… that’s my impression of this color.  It somehow makes the room look higher quality.

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After painting the walls, I sanded and restained the shelf I built with Varathane’s Early American stain to match the wood tones throughout the rest of the house, and then I decorated it more simply with practicality in mind.   TP = necessary.  A simple faux rosemary (from Target) and white plate (to hold jewelry and such while swimming) completed the look.

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As for art, I kept the New York print (from Urban Outfitters), and found this vintage painting at a thrift store a while ago.   I love the mix of bold and modern with subtle and old-school.   The entire space flows now, both in itself and with the rest of the house.

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I still want to do something with the ceiling in this space, whether it be simply adding crown moulding, or possibly something more architectural.   Plus, wainscoting or some sort of board and batten would be nice on the walls.   We’ll get to it.  I’m sure of it.  In any case, I spent zero dollars on this as I already had everything on hand and it took a mere afternoon to complete.   This little refresh really, REALLY goes a long way into making the space fit the vibe of our home so much better.  No more random aqua room in this Casa.  And I’m okay with that.   🙂

So, that’s our toilet room, and boy are we so much happier with it.   Next up, I’ve taken pics of our living and dining spaces as they stand now, and lemme tell ya, I’m so, SO happy with how those rooms are coming together.   I can’t wait to put those posts together for you guys, so stay tuned.

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Bathroom blitz

Dude.

Duuuuude.

I had a busy weekend last weekend.

It wasn’t supposed to have been.

But it became as such thanks to this little guy…


Remember our fugly master coffin bathroom?  Well, I had this notion that I’d change out the hardware on the cabinets with some knobs that were gifted to us by Joey’s parents a while back.

So, I did.

And I liked them.

But… The stainless steel finish made the dingy almond paint on the cabinets look WAY yellow.  If you’ve been reading for a while, you know how adamant I was about de-yellowing the guest bath in our last house.

Samesies.

And that was all it took. My previous proclamation that I’d accepted our ugly bathroom as is until we could afford a full gut renovation flew out the bathrooms nonexistent window.

And the whirlwind began.

Before I knew it, I had the side splashes torn off (much like I did here)…


…and I’d busted out a quart of Clark & Kensington paint in Rockaway Beach, that I’d been sitting on since our last house.


I painted swatches on all of the cabinetry (also above the toilet) and decided… Hey, it’s free, I like it.  Let’s do this.

Aaaand here’s where the decision-making turned south.  Or maybe where hindsight was better than, um, presight.    I thought that painting the bathroom cabinets would be a good test run for our kitchen makeover since they were painted exactly the same. And it was.  BUT, I’d originally thought that stripping them of their poorly-applied beige paint was the ticket to the best possible finish.

So, I did that.

Ugh.

Now, I’ve stripped furniture before and it’s always time consuming (like here, here, and here).  But these cabinets were BEASTS.   The process was absolute misery.  Seriously.  Kathy Bates had nothing on these guys.   AND after all that work I didn’t even end up with as smooth of a finish as I’d hoped thanks to some stubborn paint chips that wouldn’t quit.  Once I started, I basically had to go all the way because it ended up looking like this for a while.

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And those chips were firmly attached.  And didn’t sand well since they were encased in waxy residue from the stripper.  All said and done, I worked for nearly two full days on stripping four cabinet doors and four drawer fronts… simply to get them back to a point where they’d be acceptable to paint again.  It took 4 applications of stripper, about half a gallon of mineral spirits, insane elbow grease, plus a healthy dose of sanding to get them smooth-ish and residue-free.  Given the final surface I was left with, I would’ve been better off priming and painting over the existing paint.

Thus, it was decided.  Oh.   It.  Was.  DECIDED.  There was no way in H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks that I would be stripping the kitchen cabinets when the time came (…have I mentioned that there are FORTY FOUR doors and drawer fronts in there?).

Lesson learned.

I did, however, discover that the paint-riddled hinges were salvageable after a little time with some stripper (fresh! 😉 ) and a rinse in the sink.  That’ll be a nice money-saver for our kitchen reno (66 hinges!!).

The following day, after I finished stripping the cabinets, I primed them with Zinsser’s BIN shellac primer…

… followed by two coats of paint.


I have to say… The Clark & Kensington paint plus primer was pretty awesome.   It covered really well.

Once that was done, I took stock of the space.  And I had this sudden, unexplainable itch to paint the ceiling.    See, the walls were white and the ceilings were beige.  And it always bothered me.  And I was on a roll.  If you read this post, you know that I had a different color of white paint on hand that I’d always wanted to use for this space but hadn’t.  But it was a different shade of white than what was already on the walls. So, if I painted the ceiling, I’d also have to paint the walls again.


So, I did that.

Then, I caulked around the counters and mirror to make everything look more finished.

Did I mention that all of this happened in the span of three days?  Two full days of stripping plus one of painting. By the end, I was so ridiculously tired that as I was cleaning up, I wiped up a rogue drop of paint with a tissue.  Then, threw said tissue into the toilet.   Then, I stared at the toilet deciding how to proceed. Then, I flipped the light switch.   That’s right…. I was so exhausted that I forgot how to flush the toilet.  Once I realized what I’d done, I proceeded to bust out in inappropriate laughter every time I thought about it. (I’m laughing right.now) 🙂

So, as a refresher for where we started, here’s our master bath shortly after we moved in (peach walls and all)…

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And here’s where we’re at now.

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I love how the darker cabinets help the ugly 1970s purple marble fade away.  And they almost make the coffin-shower blend in more. Sort of.  Almost.

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I tried to add some “life” with a fake plant.  I seriously would LOVE to have real plants in here, but until we tackle a full reno of this room (which’ll include adding a solar tube), we have absolutely zero natural light in this space.   So, fake it is, unfortunately.

Anyways, onward…. here’s the “toilet room” just after we moved in…

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And now…

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Please excuse how yellow the glare is in that pic.   Like I discussed in this post, light bulbs make a huge difference.  I need to trade those babies out for cooler bulbs so that the proper colors are reflected.

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I decided to leave the doors off of the cabinetry above the toilet.  They always hit the light fixture anyways.  And, let’s face it… I wanted as few cabinet doors to strip as possible once the process got going. I really love the look of open shelving and this change just makes me jazz-hands happy.  I kept the styling simple with useful things that we’ll actually need…  towels, toilet paper, bars of soap.  Attractive function.  Totally my jam.

Next we’ll be changing out all the light switches from taupe to white.   I traded out the switch plates in the meantime, but we still need to tackle the switches.    I’ll also be deep cleaning the nasty floor grout.  I’ve been reading about how to do it with baking soda and vinegar, and I’m intrigued.  So, I may give that a whirl.   If that fails, there’s always grout paint.    In any case, I’m thrilled with the changes so far.   It actually took the space from the thorn in my side, to a cozier space that feels much more like us.  It’s just so much more in keeping with the other rooms of our home.   All in all, I only spent $31 (on stripper and switch plates) since I already had the hardware, paint and primer.   TOTALLY worth it.

So, what do y’all think?  SO much better right?   Have you ever had a project that started with something teeny, but then snowballed to a full-on makeover?? Spill!  I wanna hear your stories!

TDC Before and After