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When a Bathroom Redo is Like Dieting...

Posted Mar 18 2013 6:00am
Much like a body, a room in your house can begin to feel old and tired after time.  What to do, what to do...well, with your body, you can do things to give you more energy - be it losing some weight, or changing up your exercise routine (or hey, even starting an exercise routine); you can weed out old clothes and purchase some new things that fit well and make you feel great when you wear them; you can change up your food choices (like going to fresher, less-processed food) - these are just a few options that can help you revamp and refresh your body.

What about a room?  Even though there's technically nothing wrong, eventually, if you live someplace long enough, your rooms will begin to feel old and tired.  We were at that point with our master bathroom - it hasn't been painted since we moved in nearly 13 years ago.  And while it wasn't necessarily in terrible shape - there were a couple spots that needed a little repair work (the drywall tape was coming loose near the shower) - it was pretty bland.  Bathrooms aren't super fun to paint, considering all of the cutting in you have to do around mirrors, cabinets, doorways, etc. - but that wasn't really the main thing holding us back.  It was the wallpapered toilet room - we knew that not only would removing the wallpaper be a chore (and it was), but the drywall underneath wasn't textured, and we'd have to tackle that as well.  So we put off doing anything to the bathroom for several years longer than we should have...does this sound familiar for dieting, too?  It does for me!

Anyway, much like my decision to start my last diet in May of 2008, this was another somewhat spontaneous decision - yes, I've been looking at paint colors for a couple of years, but we finally decided that since Jeff would be in town for a few weeks, we should go for it, so we went to the paint store, got some samples to put on the walls, and started tearing down the wallpaper.  Again, much like dieting, it was a lot of work (thankfully it didn't take NEARLY as long), but we are very pleased with the results and once again I am left thinking "why on earth did we wait so long to do this?!?"

Here's a couple before shots (and unlike the start of my diet, I made sure to take these pictures!):
Blah.  Sun-faded.  Meh...

And now, the after pictures  Medium gray on the walls (Sherwin Williams Gris), light gray on the ceiling (SW Tinsmith) - I love how it makes our white cabinets and countertops look fresh again! Curtains!  We have to have something in the window - the frosted glass isn't enough.  These are fairly sheer - don't know why the room looks so dark in this shot, but I wanted to show you the squiggly gray line/design on them.  These are "cut to length, iron on hem" curtains, and I stressed like crazy getting them to line up evenly since they are always closed.  Me, a tape measure, a ruler and a lot of double-checking, plus a hot iron, added up to Sweaty Shelley - but in the end, they did line up - whew! I framed the photograph on the lower left - it's the succulent picture that I bought last summer in California.  I also reframed (into a floating frame, so the wall color becomes the mat) the watercolor on the top left - I bought that one at an art fair at the elementary school my kids went to in San Antonio (holy cow, it's pretty old).  The watercolor on the right was done by an artist who my Grandmother took an art class from.  The top shelf needs more stuff...a shopping I will go! We replaced the old shiny gold fixture with this one from Ikea.  You can also see the paint color difference between the ceiling and the walls in this shot.  Jeff likes to stand on a rug/bathmat while he's shaving; Paco thinks the rug is his to lay on while he waits for me to put on my make up.  I bought this white one at Ikea - I already like it better than the old one, which was purple, because the white dog fur REALLY stood out on the purple rug.  Hopefully this one won't look like I need to wash it every day! We had a hook rack to hang our bath towels on, but wanted something a little more modern.  Found this one at the Container Store and loved how it bows out from the wall.  It was the single-most expensive item for the bathroom so far, but it was too perfect to pass up.  I still need to hang "an art" (as we call it) above the towel rack - I had the batik-looking watercolor there, and it looked great with the blue in the towels, but the other grouping needed a third picture, so I moved it. This was the room where we did the most work, between removing the wallpaper and texturing the walls (and the massive cleanup that ensued).  The only light comes from an overhead fixture; I was sure it would feel like a dark cave once we painted it, but surprisingly, it doesn't!  The picture was hanging in our bedroom - it's just a poster that I liked and had mounted and framed years ago.  Cabinet above the toilet was from Target 13 years ago - I still like it, so we put it back up.  
Here's where my fun came in - the pops of color!  I picked out some turquoise/teal-colored towels and went from there:
  All towels are from Ikea; so is the water glass, stool and hanging towel holder.  The woven bowl for the washcloths (that I use for hand towels) is from Macys - I had one similar to it, but it's been cracking and when I picked it up to move it, a big piece broke off and more are threatening to.  So I put that one on the high shelf in the bathroom (and hopefuly I'll remember that it's almost broken next time I move it) and bought the new one.
We aren't completely finished - we'd like to replace the faucets on the sinks and bath tub.  We looked at both Lowe's and Home Depot, but didn't see anything that we particularly loved, and considering they aren't cheap, plus we have to buy three of them, we decided to keep looking.  There are a couple of bath stores in town that we'll go check out in the next week or so - it would be nice to get this room done.  Well, except for the flooring...ack.  Our entire house needs new flooring - ever have a project that is so overwhelming, both in cost and execution, that you just put on the back burner?  Yep, that's us and our floors.

Oh - we're also painting the bedroom - pictures of that redo should be up on Friday!  I am ready to be done with this...haha, how many times did I say that while dieting, too?
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