Redecorating the Guest Bathroom

The people from which we purchased our house subscribed to the "neutralize everything" college of thought. Seriously - I think we counted about 4 shades of beige. Since we had about a week between our closing and the arrival of our furniture, we did a bit of painting, but the intent was always there to continue the process later. 

So, it only took a year and a half for me to get motivated enough to actually pick it back up again. 

A yellow bathroom
Before - Can you say YELLOW?

This bathroom is tucked away in the basement, so it doesn't see as much use as the others in the house, but does serve as the main bathroom for anyone staying overnight in the house. And it didn't really do a great job of serving as a guest bathroom. There was an abundance of towel racks, but only one of them was in a place where it was remotely accessible by a person using the shower. Conversely, there was very little storage. Apparently the previous owners needed to hang 4 bath towels, but never needed to put anything else in the bathroom.

The house was built in the mid-90's, and while my dignity requires me to insist it wasn't THAT long ago, I will admit there are certain design features that do look dated *mumble* years later. Example one: the vanity. You can see a corner of it peeking out in the photo above. However, since we didn't want to sink (ha!) a bunch of money into redoing the bathroom completely at this point, it would have to stay.

So, I decided to paint. It seemed easier (this is the point where you laugh at my naivete). How did it go?  Well, here's what I posted on Facebook partway through:

If you decide to paint your bathroom, you'll want to tape first.
If you decide to tape first, you'll realize it makes more sense to remove the towel bars.
If you decide to remove the towel bars, you'll realize that this is the perfect time to replace them, since you hate them.
If you decide to replace the towel bars, you'll need to remove all the hardware.
If you decide to remove the hardware, you'll discover that some of the screws are stuck.
If you need to remove stuck screws, you'll end up using multiple screwdrivers and clamps.If you use multiple screwdrivers and clamps, you'll realize the humor of the situation and decide to post about it on Facebook.If you decide to post on Facebook, you'll need to sit at your computer. If you sit at your computer, your cat will hop up in your lap and demand pettings.

The moral of the story is that my bathroom is still unpainted, but I have a kitty.

Yeah. I discovered that the previous owners apparently subscribed to the "who needs to remove hardware from the wall before painting" school of life. Argh. 

Anyway, after one very busy day, I did manage to get everything painted. Partway through, I realized how much of a difference a wall color change makes. 

Blue Bathroom mid redecoration
It's not yellow!

A day or two later, we made a family trip to the hardware store to pick out new holders for the toilet paper and hand towel. Later, I made a trip out to Ikea (the plan was a cheap redo, but I still wanted slightly nicer quality than a big box store) and grabbed some new furniture for the bathroom. 

Finished bathroom
After - Functional and pleasant to use.

Voila! It looks more modern, and there's room for both towels AND storage! Plus, I finally found a place to put my octopus picture. Goodbye, shiny towel hangers! Hello, wood elements! 

Sink corner of the bathroom
Confession time: The towel rack is secretly a toilet paper holder

The original vanity is still present. When I was planning the project, I considered painting the wood portion. Looking at it now, I'm glad I dropped that idea. I don't think it would have added enough to justify the huge effort. I still don't like the sink, but it does look better in the space. 

View of the toilet corner of the bathroom
The lesson I learned here is that painting behind a toilet is really hard

Storage space! I like the open shelving as a place to make certain things more readily accessible. One of the baskets has extra washcloths, the other has extra hand towels. Now it's easier for guests to find extra toilet paper or to store their toiletries.

View of shower corner of bathroom
Same old shower, brand new wall

The chair is what now serves as a towel rack. We never have more than two people staying over at a time, so it should be able to handle two bath towels. I like how the chair also fills the awkward size of the bathroom, along with providing some flat storage underneath. It also adds a place to sit when drying off. 

Lastly, I finally found a home for my octopus picture. I stalked it in Target all last summer, waiting for it to either go on sale or clearance. When I saw the red sticker, I pounced, and then it proceeded to hang out in our study for the next 7 months as I tried to figure out WHERE it would go. I think it adds a nice oceany touch to the room. 


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