Sunday, July 19, 2009

Master Bath - Making Do

When we moved into our home 2 years ago, I found much to love. I loved the cul-de-sac full of kids. I loved the wooded backyard full of wildlife. I loved the 200 feet of waterfront and dock that just begged for a boat (yep, got the boat!). I loved the front porch where I would sit with coffee and survey the 'hood. Loved the bay window. Loved the fireplace. Loved the floorplan.

What I DIDN'T love was the Master Bath.

First, it had a really weird layout. Tub on one side, shower on the other. Jack-n-Jill sinks in between. The shower shared its own little space with the toilet. How odd. I completely get putting the toilet in its own separate space to minimize odor pollution in other areas of the bath, but then to stick the shower in with it ... Odd!

But it wasn't just the layout. I hated the tile on the tub, the paint on the wall and the vinyl on the floor.

Unfortunately, we don't have a decorating budget - AT ALL. Pity - I love to decorate.

Fortunately, I also enjoy creative problem solving - working with what I've got. Much of our home has been painted and primped to reflect the personalities and lives of its homeowners. One of the last to receive this touch was the hated master bath.

It's not that I didn't WANT to prettify the bath - it wanted it badly - but really, there was no obvious place to start. It was ALL so bad.

If I had my way - and way more money - we would just scrap the bath and start from scratch, but alas - I must make do.

I did paint the room last fall, but was so disappointed with the results (my paint chip promised a warm gentle beige - the result, however, was decidedly yellowish - not awful, but not what I wanted either), that I couldn't bring myself to do any more work on the space.

I wanted it repainted, but I did not want to DO the repainting - and in our house, I am both the painter (and the repainter - as the case may be), so as I didn't want to do it, it didn't get done.

This weekend, I decided to at least attempt to decorate it - in spite of the offending paint - and really, I rather like it.

I still would like to repaint it, and put in new tile ... and new flooring ... and a new shower ... and ... heck, I still wanna start from scratch! But in the mean time, the master bath is, at least, a space I like to be in. I'm no longer cringing when I walk through the door.

When we moved in, this wall was lined with a series of four vertical mirrors which were directly opposite the toilet. NOT a view I enjoyed when using said toilet! Here, the mirrors have been removed - and the resulting anchor holes puttied. Note also the NOT attractive - or contemporary - tile work on the tub.

Here, you see the sponge painting - done on just two of the walls in the bathroom. I always wondered why. Did they start and not like it - but not want to undo it (like I'd not wanted to repaint when the color was wrong)? Did they start - and run out of time to finish? Run out of paint? Or did they always intend to do just two walls? What? I wonder still ...

Also, note the toilet in its own little space. To its left is the built-in shower. Again, what were they thinking?!

Here is the "After" of the tub area. Much better, right? Still not my dream bath (again - change the tile and the flooring and the paint color), but WAAAAY better. The pics were $10 each on clearance at TJMaxx and remind me of the annual trips Jay and I used to take to NYC. Come to think of it, the clock was also from TJ ($15), as was the rug ($15 - marked down from $80 due to a minor tear in the weave).

Here is the "After" of the toilet area. The artwork is a map purchased on a trip to St. Barth's in the French West Indies - it's just a poster that cost about $10 (unfortunately, the custom framing cost about 10 times that!). The wall-mounted magazine rack was a $2 garage sale find - and the spider plant was FREE (from a friend whose spider plant had produced MANY babies).

And, finally, the "After" of the sink area. I put new hardware on the cabinetry (cheap way to update the outdated) and installed a new mirror. Coat hooks were the solution for lack of an obvious place to mount a towel bar.

My very favorite update in the bathroom was a decal that I put in the lower center area of the bathroom mirror. My hubby loves it, too. He says it reminds him of an upscale hotel (that's a good thing!). The decal is a monogrammed "R" for our last name, Riedmann and "est. 1997", the year we married.

This is a shelf/frame that I purchased wholesale for $10 several years ago when I owned a little boutique. The pics are postcards I bought at a train museum for $1 each. I think I'll use the hooks for necklaces.

I love this little jar that Jay found for me in a landfill - of all places! It's been totally sanitized, but some grime persists in its cracks. The bottom of the jar says "Palmolive Cream". It is the perfect size for a few grab-n-go ear swabs.

Bummer - this pic isn't the best. Still, I love this tooled leather caddy for tossing my most used jewelry pieces, specs, and an assortment of trial colognes for Jay. Without it, my clutter would be uncorralled and littered all over the counter top.

Just for the heck of it, I threw in a pic of my "hair drawer". I like using little crates to organize spaces. Here my brushes are in a cute little crate I bought years ago. The tin in the back left was one that came with a Fossil watch that I bought. It holds my rubber hands and hair clips.


  1. KA -
    I loved the tour of your "new master" bathroom!
    Call me crazy but I think you can definitely work with the blue tile. I have seen it lately as a "new" look!!!! I'll see if I can locate the photos and send them to you.
    Also, I would love to know where you got your R decal. That's really sweet, and perfect for a master bathroom.
    You are super duper talented girlie.

  2. Shelly -

    Yes! If you find some pics that show this type of tile work looking current - send 'em my way!!

    And the decal I bought at a home party that Stacee hosted. I can't think of the name of the company though!!! Either Stacee - or Dawn (she's ordered from this company before) could tell you. It's a company that specializes in wall decals.

    PS - I "borrowed/stole" your resource (Cutest Little Blog on the Block) for blog backgrounds!! Hope you don't mind!!! LOVE it!! Did you design your own banner? If so, how hard was that?


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