Thursday, March 2, 2017

What to do with a bathroom you hate when the reno has to wait

www.BoHoHome.com @bohosusan
Susan Lawson photo / BoHo Home

You've listened to me complain enough about it, I thought it was time you saw for yourself the ugly pink 1980s bathroom tile I have to live with. I've seen many a vintage tiled bathroom I loved, but this one isn't on that list.


www.BoHoHome.com @bohosusan
Susan Lawson photos / BoHo Home

We replaced the ugly, dated tile in our master bath last spring, but sadly, Ye Olde Lawson Household Budget doesn’t have room at present to chink the pink out of our guest bath. 


www.BoHoHome.com @bohosusan
Susan Lawson photo / BoHo Home

Perhaps later in the year, but we may have to live with this tile even longer.

It’s really ugly, don’t you agree? I'm sure at some time in the 1980s, when this condo was built, it was de rigueur. My mother-in-law moved in here in 1996 and positively adored all the pink the original owners selected—toilets, tubs, shower, bathroom counters and cabinets (mauve-tinged pickled oak), carpet, curtains, floor tile, etc. She didn’t change a thing, except for adding a fresh coat of white paint to the walls.

All of which meant that when she moved into assisted living and we bought the condo from her in 2012, EVERYTHING needed updating. New carpeting and flooring (even the kitchen and baths were carpeted in pink), new appliances and lighting, removal of mirrored walls and dropped ceilings, plus plaster work and a whole-house paint job ate up the bulk of our budget.

Since then, we’ve added specialized attic insulation and replaced windows, HVAC, all pink toilets with white, that master bath tile, and the concrete patio. So you can see why the budget's busted.


www.BoHoHome.com @bohosusan
Susan Lawson photo / BoHo Home

The pink tile in the guest bath is actually much uglier than the stuff torn out of our master bath, as far as I'm concerned, but the master bath tile was in worse shape. Plus that’s the bathroom that gets the most use, so we fixed it up first. You can read about the master bath transformation here, here, here and here.


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Susan Lawson photo / BoHo Home

Our eventual plan is to replace the pink guest-bath tile with the same Carrera marble-look ceramic used in the master bath shower. Pretty, isn’t it? 


www.BoHoHome.com @bohosusan
Susan Lawson photo / BoHo Home

Back to the guest bath, where I chose Porter Paint's "Fog" for the walls, hoping to tone down all the pink. But covering the ugly tile up seemed to be a better solution.

When I realized all improvements to this room had to be incremental for now, I traded in a very pink shower curtain for this lovely gray-and-white stripe fouta-style curtain from Serena & Lily. I find it very calming to look at and so soft to the touch.


On to the environs of the sink!


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Susan Lawson photo / BoHo Home

The sink area of the guest bath had the same issues as the master bath: Water damage to the bottom edge of the mirror (though not as deep as in the master bath) and a really ugly pickled-oak cabinet finish.

And so our solutions were the same. We...
  • Framed the mirror with a custom Mirrormate kit 
  • Painted the cabinet a matte black 
  • Changed out the cabinet hardware 
Supplies and prep were the same as for our master bath, so follow the link to that series of posts for the nitty-gritty how-to.


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Susan Lawson photo / BoHo Home

The only difference was that our Mirrormate kit for the guest bath was Broadway Brushed Chrome SLIM—with a 2.25-inch profile instead of the 3-inch profile used in the master bath. We needed the deeper coverage there because the mirror damage was greater.


www.BoHoHome.com @bohosusan
Susan Lawson photo / BoHo Home

The slimmer profile saved us about $40 ($160 versus $200). We also replaced broken towel hooks with a black bar of hooks, also as used in the master bath, and I added fouta towels to coordinate with the shower curtain.


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Susan Lawson photo / BoHo Home

And the black paint and new hardware really classed up that pickled-pink solid-oak cabinet, didn’t it? Sorry I missed getting you the "before" shot. I thought I had one of the casing after the doors had been removed for painting, but I must have been hallucinating because I can't find it anywhere. Just trust me, it was super-duper dated and ugly.


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Susan Lawson photos / BoHo Home

I added the Fab Funky dictionary prints over the towel rack (say hi to Chilly and Silly Lama!) and toilet some time back, double-matted in hollyhock pink and silver and framed in chrome, and they will stay for now. I’ll always need a little pink to go with the pale pink bathtub, right? And I’ll need that little bit FOREVER, since the doorway into this bath is too small to get the old tub out and a new one in.

But I’ve come to accept that. I think the tub will look a LOT better when we the tile is redone, and not replacing it will save a bunch of cash and bother. For now, I’ve satisfied my remaining yearnings with a darker gray, plushier toilet-lid cover, matching bat mat, and oriental-style rug.


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Susan Lawson photo / BoHo Home
  
And since I pass this door only occasionally and go in only to change out or put away hand towels, I can live with it as is a little longer.


2 bathrooms down, ½ to go


www.BoHoHome.com @bohosusan
Susan Lawson photo / BoHo Home

The half-bath is also in for a spruce-up with cabinet paint, new cabinet hardware and a mirror frame, but I’m going to go a little wild with some of my choices. My plan is to paint the dingy pickled-oak cabinet Martha Stewart Punch (a flaming coral). I already have the paint because it's what I originally planned for the walls and chickened out.

Then I want to use a mix of colorful ceramic knobs, which I’ll carry over onto the cabinets in the adjoining laundry room, where I spend A LOT of time and need the stimulation.

I'm still working on Chris to convince him of my bold vision, so wish me luck!


Until then, if you want more...

  • Follow these links to read about my master bath reno in four parts: 1, 2, 3 and 4.
  • Follow my blog with Bloglovin, or get to-your-inbox posts hot off the press by becoming a subscriber. Just use one of the subscription links at the bottom of this page, and you'll never miss a post ever again.

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