This post may well be a cautionary tale for husbands.
Mine broke a light fixture — or mangled it, but not beyond repurposing, as it turned out — and that prompted me to embark on a redo of our downstairs powder room.
Truth be told, I’d always thought the blank-slate builder beige room was kinda blah. Boring. Bland. Lacking personality. And yet it’s the room that nearly everyone who visits our house sees. And we all spend lots of time in there. (Just saying.)
So, really the broken bathroom light was a scapegoat. Suddenly, redoing the powder room skyrocket to the top of our list of home projects.
First, let me say how hard it is to take photos of an interior bathroom with no windows without a flash. I’m afraid mine really don’t do this elegant silver and gray powder room justice.
Before the makeover, the bathroom was a blank slate. Builder beige. The only before photo I have is the one below, and it shows just a snippet of the room.
But use your imagination. Blank slate. Nothing in there but a trash can, a magazine rack, a soap dispenser and those handpainted signs on the wall. Yawn.
A new coat of paint was definitely in order. And not only because the attempted repairs to the sconce had left the wall pretty battered.
I wanted some color and some drama in the room.
After trying a half dozen different grays in the room, we finally decided on Sherwin Williams Intellectual Gray. It was a family consensus. It’s a nice medium tone gray — very luxe. We went with the eggshell finish because, well, I live with boys. Enough said.
Even before I started decorating and accessorizing, the paint color really transformed the room.
Because this is our guest potty, I wanted to inject some glamour into the bathroom. Fancy it up, if you will. I originally planned a completely monochromatic scheme gray, white and silver since the existing fixtures in the bathroom are a brushed pewter color.
But then I found my bird artwork, and I decided a few carefully chosen pops of colors would be perfect for the space.
The artwork might look expensive, but it’s pure DIY. I printed the birds and peacocks from The Graphics Fairy. I used regular printer paper. I even think my printer was running low on color ink, but they still turned out beautifully.
I used this peacock, these hummingbirds and these birds on a branch to create my bathroom art. I framed the peacock in a mirrored frame and the birds in silver and black frames. All from Target. All from the Threshold line. I’ve had several guests ask me about these “prints,” and they’re just amazed when I tell them I made them with my inkjet printer.
Those birds inspired the pops of color you see in the bathroom — the camellia blooms and the candles on the back of the throne. But they also inspired some other choices.
I knew I wanted a shiny metal and glass table in the bathroom, and I’d seen some pricey ones in catalogs. Then, I found this perfect specimen online for only $79.99. At my favorite store — Target. I hinted loudly, and this was one of my birthday treats.
Now this bathroom is not all Target. (Just mostly.)
The silvery towels are Tahari at TJ Maxx. The julep cup is from the homeowner’s collection, as they say in shelter magazines. The soap dispenser, also from the homeowner’s collection, but if I recollect, it’s also from Target. The candle stand on the mercury glass table is from Shop Lucketts online (a Christmas gift from my son, who knows his mommy well). The bud vase? Homeowner’s collection — a years ago Ikea purchase, I think.
If you look closely, you will see a spare roll of toilet paper to the left of the toilet. I stylishly stashed a spare roll in a glass and resin hurricane I got from PartyLite years ago.
The silver and gray damask rug is from Wayfair. The trashcan is from TJ Maxx. The tray on the toilet is Threshold from Target, and the candles are either from there or Kohl’s. I can’t remember, but I do know they were a clearance find.
You know, this post really is turning into a version of “If you take a woman to Target…”
…she’s going to find something she loves.
If she finds something she loves, she will buy it.
And when she gets home, she will put the thing she bought on display.
And when she puts the thing she bought on display, she will decide she needs to redecorate the entire room.
And when she starts redecorate the entire room, she ask to take a trip to Target to pick up a few things.
And when you take a woman to Target…
Of course, this all started because my husband mangled that light fixture.
And what became of that light fixture? The one we thought was beyond repair, even after replacing the sockets? The one we were planning to replace because it was missing a finial? But really because during the repair a crucial piece was broken, making it impossible to keep the glass shades in place? That light fixture?
Well, the painter didn’t know it was supposed to face downward. So when he was finished doing his business in the bathroom, he put it back in place facing upwards. And we didn’t have to worry about the shades crashing into the sink.
So, I unscrewed the orphan finial and decided to go with it. Because it does work in the room. And it was a lot more budget friendly than the replacement light I’d picked out.
I bet my husband wishes he’d figured out the upside down light trick sooner rather than later. It would have saved us some trips to Target.