Monday, November 10, 2008

all in a weekend's work

Despite having one sick little honey with a relentless stomach bug, this weekend was glorious. Sometimes it's nice to have an excuse to stay home and just be. For us, it was also a good time to finish some home projects.

For the past few weeks I've been trying to figure out what to do with our very shabby kid's bath.
At first we thought we could live with the purple paint, but with time we realized that the color was close to horrendous, and having the house re-piped this summer left it in even a more disheveled state. Instead of ripping everything out and filling our own small landfill with the retro-turned 80s-remnants of our bathroom, we decided to work with what we had, which basically meant just painting.

Usually picking the wall color is my favorite part of of redoing a space. But in this case, it was so difficult because the wall tiles are a mismatched variety of whites and the floor tiles are a VERY big & bold black and white checkered pattern. Most colors I liked looked cheesy with the floor tiles. Somehow everything seemed to clash (but not in a fun, interesting way). I didn't think that was possible with black and white...

Then, I was flipping through my magazine clippings and was grabbed by a vintage-y but simple kitchen that I saw in House Beautiful this summer.

After trying 3 different colors to no avail (they all made the room look dingy)I decided to go bold, and use the same color as the butler pantry cabinets above (Benjamin Moore's South Beach). The result was kind of shocking.

It's hard to tell from the photo, but the color is SO bold, and painting a whole wall (not just cabinets) had a very garish impact...especially since in contrast to the calm palette in the rest of the house. Still, the color seemed to fit the space. It just needed to be played down with some distractions.
I was inspired by some of the wall decals that friends (Alissa!) had shown me in the previous months, but I wanted something original and something that would hold up in a kids bathroom. Thank you paint. I came up with a design incorporating elements from some of the decals I loved. Also, I tried to make the figures resemble our girls. Happily, it worked, and the girls love it. It's fun to have a bathroom that they're excited to be in now, definitely makes bathtime more fun. I also think it does the trick in terms of distracting from the shock of color.

I didn't want to go overboard with the painting. Just enough to add some interest and tone down the color. So, I was delighted to find this placemat on a recent trip to anthropologie. It was the only one left. I thought it would make nice wall art for another bright wall in the bathroom.

So nice to have another room feel like a room instead of a construction zone.


  1. Leah, you are amazing! That looks fabulous.

  2. professional!!!! come paint my house when i grow up!

  3. that is adorable! You are so darn creative and talented.

    Sean's bathroom is also horrendous 80s/tile/walpaper. I am thinking about what to do with it on a budget, and you are continually inspiring me! Amazing work!

  4. Awesome job, Leah! You are amazing... This is such a gift to the girls! I echo that you can come and paint at our house! Hugs!

  5. Thank you for posting this! We have very close to the same tile in our main bathroom and I've been wondering if a turquoisy-blue would work with it. Glad to know it can work and look fabulous.


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