Throwing in the Towel

Because I’m OCD, I’ve always purchased items in sets. Dinnerware? I need 12. Sheets? Gotta have the fitted, flat, and pillowcases. I was no different with towels. I had to have 2 washcloths, two hand towels, and two bath towels for each color. Well, I’ve decided it’s not worth it. We rarely use wash cloths. And certain colors of towels we use more often. Getting the main bathroom functional has made me rethink my old ways. I’ve been craving more color and pattern, so I’ve switched methods. Rather than buying a complete set of something, and not using all of it, I’m going to buy what I use and like. Not limiting myself to a set.

What spurred this revalation? Pretty towels at TJ Maxx. While the hand towels are pretty, I don’t want to pay $7 or more per towel for a matching set. So, I bought one hand towel. I brought it home and happily hung it in the bathroom.

And then I realized, I kind of bought two towels. You see, when flipped over, more of the white is exposed, making it look different.

A few days later, while browsing through World Market, I spotted a gray and coral floral towel. Perfect color combo, so I brought one home. The front has more gray than coral.

But the back has more pizzaz, and flashing the colorful coral made me smile.

When in Minnesota, I do as the Minnesotans do; shop at Target. For some reason, Minnesota Targets have slightly different stock. I couldn’t help throwing a gray and coral towel in the cart along with a fun yellow pillow to toss on the couch.


So excited to see what the new towels look like in the bathroom. Still haven’t found nice navy towels.
What’s your towel policy? Do you prefer matching sets? Or single fun towels for an eclectic look?

Un Homme & Une Femme

As I mentioned yesterday, the main bathroom isn’t finished, but that’s not stopping me from working on finishing touches.  I could resist making art for the back wall.  A large piece of art at that.  For bathrooms, I try to stay away from anything with eyes, because that just seems creepy to me.  Who wants to feel watched while doing your private business anyway?  So, I thought up bathroom appropriate art, but nothing felt perfect.  I didn’t want anything frilly.  Nothing too fancy.  Nothing to compete with the patterned shower curtain.  But something bold, simple, and most importantly, fun.  Then, it came to me.  Why not make an over sized version of the classic man/woman signs to mark commercial bathrooms?  It’s bold.  It’s simple.  It’s fun.  And bonus, it was easy to make. 


I started with a 2 foot by 3 foot frame I had sitting in the basement.  For my background, I painted a large piece of paper I had on hand navy blue.  An internet search gave me photos of the signs, so I made a design in Photoshop, printed it to plain paper, and used the designs as a template.  Then, I cut a man and a woman from card stock.  A few piece of rolled tape on the back held my people in place.  Popping it in the frame instantly made it look more chic and cheeky than the standard bathroom sign.

It certainly adds a dose of fun to the bathroom.  Best of all, it cost me under five bucks for materials!

Would it be too much to hang one of each of these vases over the toilet?

In other breaking bathroom news, Ben grouted the shower.  Crisp white grout is nice to see.  Once we, ah hem, Ben installs the faucet set, we can shower in here.  Yippee skippy. 

One of these days, I should wash that mirror.

So there ya have it, cheap, funny, eyeless bathroom art.  What do you think?  Too commercial feeling?  Just the right amount of kitsch to add personality to the space?  What do you have on your bathroom walls?

Coral Crush

Our main bathroom remodel still isn’t done, so most people aren’t using it, but that doesn’t mean I can’t work on storage.  Being drawerless in the bathroom, wait, that came out wrong.  Without drawers in the vanity, I have to get creative with hidden storage.  So, I took to Pinterest to see what fun I could come up with.  I saw neat tutorials to make soft sided fabric bins, creative hard sided boxes, and even considered a rope covered box.  Ultimately, I decided to combine a few ideas to make something perfectly suited for our bathroom.  So, I started by cutting a large box to fit inside our small linen closet because I couldn’t find a pre-made box to fit the same.

Of course, cardboard boxes are ugly.  Luckily, I’ve been hoarding fabric lately, so I pulled out a yard of light gray duck cloth.  I didn’t have a long enough piece to completely wrap around the box, so I cut one strip 12 inches wide along the long end of the fabric.  To cover the back, I cut another small 15 inch wide by 12 inch tall strip to piece together.  With my long strip taped in place, I marked the corners.

Using those small marks, I sewed the smaller piece to make a box slip cover.

Because I was feeling lazy, I used Gorilla tape to hold the fabric in place along the underside and around the top edges.

It seemed too boring, so I dug through my paint stash until I found a bottle of coral acrylic paint.  How ’bout some stripes?  After measuring and marking two-inch wide strips, I taped off my edges.

And used a sponge brush and pouncing motion to paint near the edges and filled in the middle.

Pulling off the tape is such a fun part of painting.  Especially when the lines are crisp.  I had some rope on hand, so I marked two holes to create a handle.  Using a screw, I rotated through the fabric and cardboard to make the pilot holes.  Stuffing a pen through widened the holes enough to get the rope through.  Simple knots on each end hold the rope in place.

Now I’ll have to find a white or gray vinyl to line the inside.  Right now, it holds bath toys and we’ve got room for other ugly junk.

I’m really surprised at how sturdy it seems, but we’ll see how it holds up over time.  I think I’ll add fabric to the bottom so the shelf doesn’t get scuffed up when it’s pulled in and out.  Gotta hunt down a good-looking clothes hamper and maybe a few wire baskets.  Or maybe I’ll get all DIY on the hampers arse and make something myself.  Who knows.  Until then, tell me about your bathroom storage situation.  Do you prefer drawers, cabinets, boxes, open shelves?

The Chicago Blues

Knowing we’ll have several rounds of visitors over the summer (and in the next few weeks) we’ve pushed to get more done in the main bathroom.  Despite the vanity needing a few details, I put the first coat of Chicago Blues on.

I love it.  The swatch looked a little nuts, but in the space, it reads as a brighter navy.

A second coat will follow once Ben installs the top trim pieces, but the change and progress is welcome.  You might notice I painted the walls and ceilings.  Well, everything that I could around the patched areas.  In my mood board, I used Stone White from Ben Moore, but it looked too blue in person.  Eventually, I’ll paint the main areas Wood Smoke by Glidden, so I had the paint guy at Home Depot give me a 25% tint to flow with the rest of the house.  I figure getting a first coat on the majority will help.  Then I can prime and paint the patched areas, go over the entire room again for a seamless paint job.

Handy Sammy’s family stopped in to stay with us, so I added a few accessories to pretty it up a bit.

We’ve got more trim work to do, grouting in the shower, and painting, but we do have a functional toilet complete with toilet paper holder.

Fingers crossed Ben has time to grout the shower to get it functional for our guests.

How was your weekend?  Did you do any painting?  Maybe you installed a toilet?  We had fun chatting with family and eating dinner on the deck.

The Moody Blues

As we inch toward a completed bathroom, I’m planning the finishing touches.  Finding a clearance shower curtain changed my whole vision, in a good way.

1.  Originally, I thought we’d use a bluish-green paint color (like Dragonfly) for the vanity, but I remembered I had a blue shower curtain (number 10) and I switched gears.  Now I’m considering using Chicago Blues on the leggy vanity and Stone White for the upper part of the walls.  Admittedly, the blue looks crazy on a flat surface in bright light, but in the dark bathroom, on the vertical surfaces of the vanity, it reads more as a navy blue.  While navy blues look black.

2.  Warm gray one foot by two foot tiles with pearl gray grout on the floor should help the floors look cleaner.

3.  For a cohesive look, we used the same tiles in a lighter color for the shower surround, taking it up to the ceiling.  We’ll add white grout for a seamless look.

4.  Cleaning sinks isn’t my favorite task, so we chose a streamlined porcelain sink and sleek chrome faucet.  The eight inch wide-spread faucet makes cleaning between the handles easy, too.

5.  Two industrial style pendants hang over the vanity, adding much-needed light and allow a wider mirror.

6.  Because we liked the sink faucet, we chose a matching tub faucet.

7.  The great toilet paper debate doesn’t have to happen with this simple holder, placed vertically.

8.  In our last house, we used towel bars to hang our wet towels.  Folding the towels to look pretty didn’t allow proper drying, so we’re skipping the bars and using double hooks instead.  Medium gray towels are perfect for daily use and a coral ribbon loop adds color and prevents the towels from falling off the hook.

9.  Lacking drawers in the vanity means we need a practical storage solution for our toiletries.  This lazy Susan utensil caddy should do the trick, while bringing in a pop of our accent color, coral.

10.  Bring on the coral accents.  A plastic cup is great for the boys.

11.  This is the shower curtain that started it all.  Actually, we used it as a tablecloth for Thanksgiving, will add pattern and color.

12.  Monograms and pretty blue, sign me up.  These little trays are on clearance, so get one while you can.

I’m still figuring out artwork and I’m sure plans will change over time.  Maybe a few gold accents will find their way into the room?  This is a departure from our favorite blue and green combo, but I like where we’re headed.  Coral doesn’t pop up all over our house, so it’s a fun accent color and balances the boyish blue.

Have you been working on a mood board lately?  Figuring out the finishing touches for a room?  Have you ever used a clearance item as your inspiration?  Or switched plans half way through?