Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Bathroom Reveal: Tackling the Ugliest Room in the House.

Do you have one room in your house that just doesn't have anything going for it? For me, it was an upstairs bathroom that hasn't gotten much use since the kids left home. Well, except for the cat. His litter box is kept in the bathtub. 

When the kids moved out I painted this room white and haven't really bothered with it otherwise for five years. 

But you know how it is. Whenever you walk by your problem room you have that nagging feeling you could do something, anything to improve it.  It can especially be a problem if it's a room no one sees but you.  The cat wasn't complaining.

I decided I wanted to tackle it but then spent several months trying to figure out what to do and finding the time to do it. I finally decided that since no one else really sees it I would do something fun and playful using bright colors. The color palette in the rest of the house is fairly muted and since you can't see this room from anywhere else I decided to do something super whimsical.

All the products needed to complete this project are available locally at Me and Mrs. Jones. 

I love blue and white but don't have a good place for that bold choice in the rest of the house so I knew I wanted to go with that combo. I chose the Mediterranean Tile Set stencil from Royal Design Studio. I used Jolie's Gentleman's Blue and Palace White for the pattern.

Stencils are fun but I like taking them one step further to achieve more of a trompe l'oeil effect. I used Jolie's Swedish Grey to paint in grout lines and dealt with the angled ceiling by painting faux broken plaster. Had I chosen a stencil that had an all-over pattern I would have done the ceiling. 

This also gave the benefit of breaking up the pattern and giving the eye a break from all the business in such a small space. Plus, remember, whimsical and over the top was my goal.

Since I wanted to break up the pattern I thought a plain white shower curtain with blue tassels would be perfect but when I put it up it looked so...blah.

I was happier with it when I stenciled a simplified pattern on it.

This little side piece that I use for storage and where the cat's food dish is to keep the beagle from getting in it was given a little perk up with new knobs that mimic the tile. Bonus: they were free!

I'm loving having this hidden little happy room tucked away by itself.

This is our forever home so I don't have to worry about judgemental house hunters coming through with their negative comments.

This is the second use for that brick stencil. If you missed the cottage floor then read, How To Stencil a Concrete Floor.

I used to really like the way the exposed plumbing looked under the sink but then the pipe was replaced with plastic.

I painted it with Modern Masters Warm Silver as a temporary fix while I try to decide if I want to skirt the sink or not. At any rate, it's an improvement.

Next, what to hang on the walls? I could have easily left it bare but nope!

The artwork I chose was a postcard I purchased in the Bahamas last summer just for this spot and a charmingly bright and whimsical print by Debi Vincent.  My desire to use one of her pieces was a big component in using such bright colors for this room. 

Remember trends will change. Doing what you want in the place you call home is always a good choice and will let you be creative while saving money by not changing when your current decor goes out of style.

Happy decorating, y'all!

Monday, February 10, 2020

My 2020 One New Thing Is...

Every year around this time people start to ask me about my one new thing for the new year. Every year for the past 25 years or so I have taught myself to do one new thing. Read a list of all of them here. Not to become an expert or take a course, but just a deep dive into some useful skill.

This is the year to write a book. 

Notice I said, "write a book." Not get published, or make the New York Times Bestseller list, get an agent or a book deal or go on a book tour, That's because just saying that I'm going to write a book is terrifying enough.

 Saying you are going to write a book leads to a bazillion questions, none of which even need to be asked at all until the actual work is done. Sometimes we don't do something because we are thinking too far ahead. Thinking of writing a book leads to wondering about how should it be formatted? Could it get published? Should it be an ebook? How do you find a literary agent? What if I wrote a bestseller? What would it be like to be on the Today Show? How do you put a wardrobe together for a book tour? 

You see what I mean.

This is part of why we don't start. We jump too far ahead.

I'm actually telling people that this year's goal is to write a terrible book. And in my mind I'm thinking "Just write a crappy first draft."  I mean surely I can get that done!

The other thing I considered was an open mic night at a comedy club. I have wanted to do that since I was 10 years old. I remember seeing Buddy Hacket on The Dinah Shore Show (google it, kids) and taking notes about how to be funny.

What kind of weird kid is taking notes while watching daytime talk shows? 

I'm guessing it will be the thing for 2021. But dang it! Morse Code is still on my list. What if I'm taken captive and need to blink out a message to the media?

The year is still new! What are your plans for 2020?