Several years ago, in an attempt to disguise the mustard-colored uglies, I painted the bathroom walls turquoise, the vanity a medium shade of blue, and put up the small bit of wallpaper that my mother-in-law had leftover from her last bathroom remodel -- it had a mosaic of brightly colored "tiles" that created an image of fish -- golden fish. The goal was to blend the fixtures into the scenery, making them look like an intentional choice. Complete the decor with shells and sea prints, and I called it done. It didn't work out quite like I thought it would, but we've lived with it for five years that way.
Well, now that the little boy of the house has grown up past the age of reasoning (we hope) and no longer throws his wet washrag up on the "popcorn" ceiling above the bathtub just to see what would happen (what do you think happened?), I decided it was probably time to revisit the idea of a renovation.
Given the budget we have for home remodel projects (i.e., no money, since we already have replaced the roof, fixed major plumbing issues, added a wood-burning stove, installed new energy-efficient windows, installed a new hot water tank, etc.), I had to be sure this "fix" would be the last fix for that bathroom. And since the budget doesn't allow for ripping the Harvest Gold uglies from their spots, I did what every stumped girl does: I called Mom.
My mom is no ordinary mom, just so you know. She's a retired interior designer/decorator whose client list included some of the finest homeowners in upscale neighborhoods throughout Maryland, Washington, D.C., and the Raleigh/Chapel Hill area. She's worked on beachfront, lakefront, and city-front properties, and has made fairly basic suburbia houses look like it was ready to grace the cover of a well-known shelter magazine. My mom is a self-taught colorist with an eye for details and a flair for making things work when everyone else says, "that can't be done."
When I told her of my conundrum, she said as if waving a magic wand, "Just make it disappear. Hide it in plain sight by painting the walls a lighter shade of yellow. Add a bold accent color. And add black. Every room needs black."
So, last Sunday, I started with the basics: Strip wallpaper. Check. Putty holes. Check. "Cut in" edges. Check.Get one coat on -- not looking too good. Hubby and Son are not liking this color choice so far.
Try to spray on popcorn repair patching. Wrong, wrong, wrong. The nozzle got stuck in the spray position.
Clean up huge mess in the bathroom. Check. (Sigh.) Down on hands and knees scrubbing floor to within an inch of its life. Check. (Why did I think this project would be a quick fix?) Run out of time. Definitely. I'd forgotten how long these projects take. Meanwhile, we've all been sharing the other bathroom, taking turns using the remaining functional shower. That's loads of fun at bath time!
Yesterday, like a girl possessed, I continued the project:
- Finish second coat. Check.
- Try a putty-like popcorn patch -- works perfectly, is easy, and isn't messy! Big CHECK!
- Paint three light coats of black paint on a narrow shelf unit to increase storage (and to add the touch of black that every room should have). Check. (More coats still needed.) Half a check mark.
- Put mirrors back up. This is starting to look good! Check!
This evening, after work, I'll paint the ceiling patch white. I'll also put another coat on the shelf unit. Son chose a nice black and silver shower curtain, and is starting to feel less hostile toward the yellow color (Hubby's smart enough not to comment at this point. He knows I'll hand him the paint brush and walk away if he does.)
By midweek, I'll hang new towel bars and officially call it done. Oh, how I love that word.
I started this blog thinking of how I was able to compare hiding bathroom fixtures in plain sight with how I place clues in a mystery -- like the one I'm working on now, the second in the Mystery at the Lake House series for children; but I'm not going to do that. I think you can see how it might turn out. And I'll let you know when that project is done, too.