Monday, August 6, 2012

Bathroom makeover

Our little beach house has one bathroom. That's right - one. bathroom. And there's a teenage girl living here! The entire first floor of our house is painted in a khaki color by Benjamin Moore - Berkshire Beige, which works well with the tan and smokey blue accents in the living and dining room. The color was a bit dark though for the bathrom, and when I changed the shower curtain and towels to a pretty aqua color, it still seemed too dark. Additionally, as the towel bars were loose and kept threatening to pull out of the wall, I decided it was time to make a change. I enlisted the help of my favorite handyman who pointed out that it might not be as easy as I hoped!

Bathroom - before with towel rod, old color and some
paint color testing on the wall.

It's hard to see from the picture, but the towel bar is attached to a piece of chair molding that was hung at some point in the last thirty years. My handyman mentioned that the chair molding was probably put there because the wall was unable to hold the towel bar - and that was because the studs were not the proper distance from each other. He also was concerned about what we would find behind the molding since it appeared to be glued on and not nailed. At this point our goal was simply to remove the chair rail, paint the bathroom and then hang a shelf that I had purchased that would have towel hooks on it. This would take away the need to have a towel bar.

Here's what was behind the chair rail. 

After removing the chair rail and discovering that it covered holes made by past towel bars, we had to come up with another plan. We talked about bead board, but the bathroom has very little air circulation and can get extremely humid. This can cause normal wooden beadboard to warp or buckle. Handyman didn't want to use that. So as he checked out options, I was still checking out paint. I really liked a Benjamin Moore color - Pismo Dunes, which you can see in the center of the three test colors, but it was just as dark as what was already there. I settled for a color in between the two right test colors, also Benjamin Moore - Hot Spings Stone, with their "Super White" trim.

After - with new paint, paneling and shelf with towel hooks.

We decided to cover the bottom half of the wall with a composite beadboard and trim. This glued on, and then he used a few nails for security in the studded areas. He had to do this the day we left for vacation since he needed to brace it for over 24 hours to make sure the glue held. With only one bathroom, this needed to be done the morning we left town! He used caulk to cover the nail heads and they're almost invisible. The lighter paint color helped to give a little bit larger appearance of a very small bathroom. The shelf had to be placed a bit higher so that it didn't sit right on top of the wainscoting but the towel hooks are not too high since there are no small kids here. In keeping with my "beachy" decorating, I also love the towel hooks and think they add alot to the cottage-y feel.

Distressed shelf with towel hooks.

I purchased this shelf over a year ago - it was a colonial mustard color and had four wooden pegs instead of metal hooks. I followed instructions I found on Pretty Handy Girl's blog called "How to Age, Antique and Distress," that I had pinned to my "Projects" board on Pinterest months ago. I painted the shelf two coats of an aqua color - Peace River by Ace. I bought the 4.75 oz. tester and it was enough. Then I used the super white and painted two coats of that. Following the instructions from Pretty Handy Girl - we used the handheld power sander to make the paint look aged and worn. You can't see it well but the aqua shows through beautifully. Then, again following the instructions, we painted on a little oak stain and wiped it off immediately, to give the wood an aged look. I love the way it turned out - don't you? 

Here's a few more views of my bathroom makeover. What do you think?

Other than the paint change and the starfish-shaped dish
of seashells, this side stayed the same.

I added the large conch shell, the lantern and a few other
items to the top of the shelf.

"Near the sea, we forget to count the days."
By the way, I found the shower curtain on a sale endcap at Target about two years ago and have never seen it since! This gives my bathroom a one of a kind look! They didn't even have towels to match it, I had to get them at Macy's.

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