Monday, May 20, 2013

The little bathroom that could (because it had to...)

Our house is a cute little thing. And when I say little, I mean eensy-teensy. Don't get me wrong, I think it is plenty big for the three of us. And, really, if (ahem, when, Beau) we add a fourth, it'll probably be big enough for all of us*. A big house means big housework, and ain't nobody got time for that. (Come on, you all saw that coming, right?) 

We do, however, have one majorly irritating small-house problem.

One bathroom.

One very small bathroom.

Wait, that doesn't look that small.

No? Here's an aerial shot of the whole thing.

Some of you gasped. I heard it. Can you imagine not having your counter space/double sink/soaking tub/full length mirror in the bathroom you and your entire family use every-single day? We have none of that. We have a pedestal sink, a toilet and a standard cast iron tub. It's pretty small and way basic. Notice how the door hits the sink instead of opening all the way. The house was built in a time when large and numerous bathrooms weren't the norm. (Nor, apparently, were closets, but I'll get to that some other day.) I'm guessing people didn't brush their teeth at the same time back then.

You're thinking I'm going to write about our amazing redo where I get this amazing bathroom space, right?

Sorry, Charlie, this is amateur hour, not Young House Love.

Beau has talked about a complete gut, but to be quite honest, I like the original tile from 1946. It is charming. It's also in way better shape than I would be if I was from 1946. Since extending the house out to accommodate my dream bathroom is out of the picture, and gutting our only bathroom is impractical, we have taken some baby steps to create a more lovely space.

Namely, we got rid of the peeling and probably lead-filled ceiling paint and the rusty, outdated fixtures.

Look at those chunks of paint just waiting to fall into Little Man's bath water. And that fixture. Ugh.

I chose a soothing gray color for the walls (Sherwin-Williams "Aloof Gray")  and ceiling to give the illusion of a bigger space. The ceiling fixture is the Hampton Bay 2-Light Flush-Mount Restoration Bronze Light From The Home Depot, and the wall fixture below is the Perfect Home 2-Light Oil Rubbed Bronze Vanity, also from The Depot. They aren't the exact same bronze, but I liked the ceiling mount fixture because it felt a smidge art deco and fit with the retro tile. Oh,  and it didn't look like a boob in the middle of the ceiling.

The gray is very, very subtle and very, very hard to photograph. (Especially when the day is the exact same shade of gray as the walls...) I think I probably could have gone a little darker, but I played it safe because it is such a small space. I didn't want it to feel more claustrophobic than it actually is.

As for the actual process of scraping and re-plastering the ceiling, I can't tell you how that went. We hired a very nice man to do that and I took Little Man out of the house. It just seemed easier and safer to have someone who knew what he was doing since it had the potential to be pretty dangerous.

We've still got work to do, obviously: The medicine cabinet had to be special ordered because, like everything else in the bathroom, it is tiny. Beau grabbed a chrome shower curtain rod instead of an oil rubbed bronze one. (And then looked adorably confused when I tried to explain that it does actually matter.) We need switch plates, and Beau needs to hang the cabinet that will go behind the toilet. It'll all get done soon. (Pending the delivery of the medicine cabinet.)

It is a start, but I'm way excited for the little changes we've made to our little bathroom in our little house.

Now, I just wish the paint would dry on this day with 100% humidity so I could take a shower...

What little (or big) projects have you tackled that have made a big difference? Or, how do you feel about my decision to keep the tile and preserve the old feel of the space?

* Disclaimer: I reserve the right to redact that statement at any point in time.

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