Thursday, January 22, 2015

Powder room reveal

When we moved in, the powder room originally looked like this:

In the interim it was painted a bit to look like this:

It was dated and not to my taste, but it was perfectly functional.  We planned on redoing it completely a few years down the road, but for now it was fine.  Then we did the floors in the master bathroom, and while he was here the installer gave us a quote for doing the downstairs powder room floor.  It was inexpensive, and it would look so great for selling the house!

And thus the "if you give a mouse a cookie" bathroom was born.  If I had a time machine I'd probably go back and tell myself to just leave the bathroom alone.

In order to do the tile floor, the vanity would have to be removed, in order to tile under it.  The vanity was not in the best of shape and the veneer was peeling.  There are plenty of new vanities at Home Depot for about $150, what could go wrong?

Except the placement of the plumbing meant that none of the cheap vanities would fit.  And the space from the wall to the door jamb is 36.5 inches, thus rendering every 36 inch vanity with a 37 inch counter top unusable.  (Suddenly, the off-center placement and weird box thingy of the previous vanity are miraculously making sense.)(I'm glossing over two full weeks of desperate hunting for a vanity that was not One Million Dollars.)

The current shower stall, light fixture and toilet paper holder are all very good quality (if ugly) 80s brass in good condition.  The realtor recommended that we change it all to silver.  I'm sort of fine with light and toilet paper holder and sink faucet can be had for under $150.

The shower enclosure, on the other a cheapest quote of $, no.

In the end, after much agonizing about whether we prefer to give the impression we only changed half the bathroom fixtures to silver because we ran out of money, or we kept them all brass because we are cheap bastards with dated taste, we stuck with dated taste brass. (Actually, I like the brass, but I am assured that the rest of the world who does not read design blogs don't know how cool it is.) The shower enclosure is so in-your-face the moment you open the door, there is really no hiding the fact that none of the metals would match or look cohesive.  (Yes, I know you people know that mixed metals are cool.  People buying a house in the OC do not know that fact, nor would they believe you if you told them.)

The gray tile is the same product as our master bathroom, but cut to half the size. The walls are painted Behr's Silver Drop (remember the dirty beige color from the master bathroom cabinet debacle? I just saved the gallon of paint and used it here.) The rug is from Target a few months ago (not available online), the roman shade was from Pottery Barn ten years ago, the light fixture is from Shades of Light, the faucet and vanity are from Lowes.  I'm not seeing it online, but the venetian glass style mirror is from Lowe's a few  years ago.

I can't really recommend the vanity.  Although the marble top looks lovely, the vanity itself is cheaply made; the doors and trim don't line up correctly, and it came out of the box with a chip in the door.  But we made it work. I spraypainted the silver handles to match all the brass fixtures.

All in all, I'm happy with how the room turned out.  It is delightfully boring and neutral, good for selling a house.  Its not the route I would have gone had I been staying here and renovating for myself, but as a relatively inexpensive refresh, it looks fine. (Damned with faint praise.)


  1. i think it looks great! and who doesn't know that mixing metal is trendy? ;)
    dont forget to send me the tile name, thanks!

  2. What an improvement! It will look great in your listing photos. Real estate agents aren't always the most realistic or imaginative people.

    1. thanks! I am no longer invested in how the house reflects my personal taste--I just want it to sell.

  3. Well, it looks like you have terrific taste! It's lovely--or as lovely as it can be with a wonkin' big brass shower in the middle of it. Looking at it, there seems to be a difference between the old 80's brass and the new teens brass. The new brass seems softer, somehow. (At least in photos) The room looks great!

    1. Thanks, Alana! The old 80s brass was lacquered,but the new style of brass is polished, with a softer patina. (The new light fixture is polished brass, but the new faucet is lacquered.)


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