Today, I'm going to chat about the major details of the bathroom redo, namely the cabinets, painting, mirrors, and lighting. My idea behind the entire plan was to calm things down and lighten them up. I made some hasty decisions back in the early days of home ownership (and style, evidently). There are three different kinds of stone in the bathroom: the travertine in the shower and tub surround (slightly different in pattern) and the granite. Because of the blue we chose for the walls, the gold tones in the granite clashed with the soft greys and taupes in the travertine. Drawing these two things together harmoniously and softly was my main goal.
There are some nice grey and white tones in the granite, but the yucky cabinet color and the blue drew the gold out instead. You know that I've been obsessing over painting the kitchen cabinets light and I chose the master bath as my testing center for the color and my abilities. I chose a very popular color in the blog world for cabinets, SW6141 in Softer Tan (oil based), and just like everyone else, I felt as though it would be too dark.
Wrong! The swatch is so misleading. It was perfect, light, creamy, lovely... exactly what I wanted!
I was very diligent in my process. First, I sanded the heck out of them to get all remnants of the old paint off. I then primed with oil based Zinsser, two coats, sanding in between with super fine sand paper. Three coats of my creamy oil based Softer Tan later and voila! The granite immediately looked lighter and I knew I had made the right decision. It took three full days to do all this simply because I followed directions. I didn't get pushy with the paint and always gave 24 hours in between coats. It wasn't a problem though, because I had plenty to do in the meantime.
I also painted the doors and all the trim the same color. The former color had a yucky yellow tint to it that just made it look dingy and I wanted everything to look very clean. Finally, my solution for the dated cultured marble tub apron was also, you guessed it: paint!
The wall color was next and I had my heart set on a taupe/gray. I love Valspar's National Trust Historical Colors because I love Googling the sites they originate from. I was a history major, you know... (why?) I've had a paint card for Woodlawn Gray 6004-1B in my handbag for a good while and thought it was the perfect color for the bath, but it ended up being too cold and uninviting. I settled on Ivory Brown 6006-1C, that was the perfect compliment to the travertine. I love love love this color.
Next, came the mirrors. I can't tell you what a relief it was to rip those builder mirrors down! I then had to repair the walls on both sides and texture them with knockdown in order to blend with the rest of the room (house, errr...). That stuff smells so bad!
Now, most folks would simply replace the mirror over the vanity with another big mirror, but it's not really my thing. I didn't like sitting at my vanity and doing my make-up because I couldn't get close enough to the mirror to see all the nooks and crannies. I actually sit on the bedroom floor in front of a leaner, products strewn all over the carpet. I also stand up when blow drying my hair. Because of the way the vanity is configured, with the sink on one end, it just made sense for me to put the mirror there and complete that wall with the glass shelves.
I think it's really important to always keep in mind who you are designing for. In this case, it was me, and although not everyone would make the choices that I did, mainly on the mirror and shelves, it works for me perfectly.
Now, I sit at the vanity and primp in the make-up mirror and still stand in front of the sink to do my hair-uh! The mirrors came from HomeGoods and were $40 for both! The larger one on my side was pulled apart a bit on the corner, so I got it for $10. It took all of two seconds to repair. They are heavy and solid wood, so I know they will last.
Lighting had to be replaced and I really wanted something shiny. I had planned to stay away from traditional bathroom lighting and originally hoped to install sconces, but they wouldn't fit properly due to the position of the window and the wall. Electrical work, which is something I know nothing about, was not in the budget either. The old fixtures were pulled down (very satisfying!) but they left a huge mess on the wall. The ghosts of painters past had painted around the wall plates, causing them to stick to the drywall. This caused damage that had to be repaired. Sanding things above my sight line is not something I enjoy. It gets in my hair and I really like my hair...
I opted for chrome Portfolio fixtures from Lowe's which were $39 and $79 (minus $10 with a Project Starter coupon!). They have little white ceramic knobs on either end that I spray painted with Rustoleum Ivory Gloss. They are certainly a far cry from the dated fixtures that were in there before and each one has all it's globes. SCORE! A big plus in this house!
I really like the look of mixing finishes. The chrome lighting, towel bars, and hardware, along with the ORB faucets and shower door work for me and give things a little depth. I'm so not a matchy-matchy gal!
Lastly, the Ikea cabinet was exactly what I had in mind for the water closet wall. I have a lot of stuff, A lot. Like tons. I searched and searched for something vintage and thrift but I couldn't find anything shallow enough. The piece absolutely couldn't be any deeper than twelve inches, otherwise it would just be in the way. At $150, it was the most expensive purchase, but was a practical solution for storage and a nice piece to showcase some of our treasures (photography, coral, etc.). If only it didn't take three hours and a broken nail to assemble...
It was stark white particle board and I thought about painting it a shade of gray blue in order to draw out some of the accent colors in my accessories. I didn't want to have to paint it again in the event that I decided to switch things up in the future, so I elected to paint it the same color as the cabinets and trim. It's by far my favorite item in the bathroom. Love it to pieces.
If I don't stop now, this blog post is going to go on as long as the actual project...