Our journey with our first floor bathroom is far from over. I feel like this leg is a good one. One where we got to a nice, comfortable point of feeling like it’s heading in the right direction even if it’s not completed. And that feeling is sometimes all I hope for when it comes to our home. My standards are lower now. No need for perfection or completed projects…
It’s like Finding Nemo….just keep swimming….just keep swimming. It’s my house mantra. If I can just keep moving forward, that’s good enough for me.
I definitely felt in the past few months that we were literally swimming backward with this bathroom and our many other plumbing trials. I’ve complained about it before but I’ll recap for those of you who are miserably suffering through your own pipe problems….misery loves company, right?!
- First this bathroom suffered a tragic loss when Will flushed a toilet cleaner with a plastic hanging piece. It flooded (eww) and we didn’t have the time to address the real problem so we asked all our guests to use our office bathroom for several months if the ‘need’ existed.
- Then the kitchen sink decided to stop working properly. As in…it didn’t drain. More on that soon.
- After that, the office bathroom decided to spring a leak…thankfully it was an easy fix (we tightened some of the plumbing connections) but we are giving that bathroom the side-eye because we aren’t 100% convinced that drama is done.
- And finally the bathroom in the basement threw out an “I QUIT!” and “I SPIT IN YOUR FACE” due to a clog in the main drain. You can read about that fiasco here.
The good news is…we tackled all four problem areas and right now things are looking dry. In terms of the first floor bathroom, we sortof had a DIY snowball effect happen when it came to fixing it. After removing the toilet, we decided to replace it, paint the trim and ceiling and then I tackled the walls. Here is where we left off….
The trim was nice, clean, bright and white…just like I dream the rest of the trim in the house to be one day. (hopefully?)
And I started the paint job in the same color as the kitchen – Benjamin Moore’s Metropolitan.
The toilet we had bought was beautiful and hit our must-have list….
So then it came down to painting the weird little nook that the vanity sat in. Eventually I would love to wallpaper or stencil behind the vanity…but since I already had my paint brush out, I decided that for now, I would just do something fun to add some interest back there.
I tested quite a few different treatments – washing with a brush, drybrushing, wet then wiping, dabbing…
And in the end, I picked the simplest and fastest method to add a little pattern to the back of the nook…
Basically it’s just using the texture of the brush to make little lines of squares….it’s far from perfect but I like that it’s more interesting than just a plain painted wall and it gives me an idea of what I really would like scale-wise when it comes to wallpaper or stencil.
Here’s how I did it. The back of the nook got a coat of eggshell in brilliant white and then after it dried, I mixed up my gray paint for the texture part. It was 3 parts water to 1 part paint….which makes it SUPER thin. I used a 2 inch brush that was not angled (it looks angled in the photo below but trust me…it was not).
I would dip the end of the brush in the paint mixture and then press out any excess. I pressed the brush on the side of my container probably four or five time flipping it over because I wanted to get as much excess paint out as possible.
Then I would gently press the brush bristles on the wall while holding the brush as parallel to the wall as possible. It helps to have a paper towel ready for any big drips…but try to dab and not press too hard or wipe.
Repeat, repeat, repeat about a million times. Sing your mantra as you go 🙂
In the end, it looks really much more interesting…even if it isn’t the final FINAL…it’s much more texture and in my book, that’s a good thing.
I also decided to switch out some of the wall hangings for a cleaner, more contemporary look. I love giant mats in frames. I always will. These frames were really cheap – under $5 on clearance at Target. As you can see, I still need to add my own black & white photos….I considered for two seconds whether I should leave the other photos just to see who notices…
And now for the dramatic before and after….
And in the toilet area…
I am building shelves today for over the potty. It’s the perfect spot for big chunky dark wood shelves and you’ll have to wish me luck because I am doing this mostly solo. eek! math!!!
Jennifer R. says
I really like that you incorporate some darker wood into your “light and airy” feel. Most decor seems to lean towards all white and pale hues… I think a bit of darker wood adds a nice mature contrast. Major bathroom improvement for so little $$$. I am always impressed with how far a can of paint can go!
Looks great Katie:-) I love the color comboMath was never my strong suite but if I can build than you can! You have way better skills!
Mary | Lemon Grove Blog says
Love the color!! Do you plan on painting the vanity down the line, or will you be leaving it red?
I LOVE IT!!! I am also the mom of 2 little ones (3 years and 4 months) without one on the way, but I agree on the letting go of perfection. I also enjoy that you call it the Potty. In our house, it’s always the potty, and what we did in there (#1 or 2) is always the topic of conversation! Thank you for your inspiration 🙂
I can’t wait to see your shelves and how you did them! I’ve been wanting to put shelves up in my master toilet room that has a space JUST LIKE yours, and it’s up on my ‘next to do’ list. (OK, it has been for a while, and keeps getting surpassed because I’m not sure how to tackle it and make it look classy.) Can’t wait to see how yours turns out! So far, everything looks great!
I love the way the red vanity looks against the grey walls. Beautiful!
And since misery does love company, here’s a pipe-problem story you might enjoy: “Check out these pipes! Part II”. Congrats on fixing all your plumbing — here’s hoping your dry spell continues!
Wow – looks so much larger and cleaner!
Hmmm, sorry Katie, I think this one is a miss. Time to get the roller back out!
Julie @ Living on the Ledge says
Hey! I had those girls in the Target frames hanging up in my house for the past two months, too! Finally got around to changing them…they bring a fun energy for the time being though, don’t you think?
Love the idea of a focal wall for the sink nook, but the lines are throwing me off. Oh well, your house, not mine 🙂
I’m glad you’re happy with it; isn’t that the most fun part of home ownership? Making it your own?
Kris B says
I can’t believe you lived with that bathroom in the state it was for so long! I would have stuck some peel and stick vinyl strip flooring over that tile. Man, that is some nasty tile. Sorry, don’t like the texture/paint technique behind the vanity. It’s your house/home so that’s all that matters 🙂 Congrats on expecting a 3rd boy!
Well that’s kinda rude! I think this kind of thing is totally personal preference. I would have preferred all solid gray in my own bathroom (LOVE the color btw!) but clearly she is happy with the results! This is one of those “if you can’t say anything nice” situations…
Jessica Moroney says
Please oh please re-do the vanity and mirror now! Love, love , love the grey and white- can’t stand the vanity 😉
I would have to agree. Its not MY thing. It IS better than sponging, which as decorative painter…I HATE the look of. But, since this is your blog and your own house and your time, heck, do what you want and like!
Not to be super negative but the faux finish is not working.
Connie Grimes says
Love the wall color (it’s what we used in our Master BR) and the dramatic vanity color looks great with the cool walls.
LOVE the updated wall color and the sconces. The red vanity looks great with the new grey walls. I gotta say though, I’m not digging the “texture” behind the vanity. It’s sort of reading like sponge paint and is a bit of a throw back to all the texture that was going on in there before. I think painting it a crisp white would be the way to go! POP!
I love it! Can’t wait to see what you do next. Random question: any favorite holiday movies? we are looking to check some out for our son who is 3 and for us for our movie night this weekend!
Too busy…plain would be better in mho.
Im not even sure the paint matches vanity colors….i think grasscloth might work in here.
Wow, I love this! I could look at before and after pictures all day. Thanks for sharing! I would totally hire you to put together a mood board for my hall bathroom!
simple green moms says
Love it! Thanks for sharing your updates with us =) Perfection is a tough one to give up for sure!
Swing…..and a miss.
I have a math degree so the numbers side of projects never bothers me – it is when you want me to get creative and start freehanding that I get scared! The texture behind the vanity looks AWESOME! Clearly you have no issues freehanding 🙂
I don’t think Lindsay was trying to be rude. I didn’t get that from her comment at all.
We bought one of those compilation DVDs for the car (I think we got it for $5 at Walmart) and Will loves Frosty The Snowman and Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer the best.
xo – kb
For now we are gonna leave it red…it looks more toned down in real life 🙂
xo – kb
Kristin Corbin says
Love the gray against that red vanity and the dark wood! Definitely lightens up the room immensely yet it keeps those rich colors incorporated too! =)
Ah Katie, you crack me up no matter what you’re chatting about… toilets included. Thank you for being such a smart, honest, sweet, kind, loving, and inspiring woman/mom/blogger/wife/daughter/etc. And thanks for letting us have a little peek into your life. Hugs and love!
Liz S says
I love the textured wall!! The whole bathroom looks great! 🙂
I read this post as soon as it came up and tried so very hard to refrain from sharing my opinion. This is Katie’s house and Katie’s blog, but man that technique is horrible, IMO. I hate it.
Sandra T says
That is CRAZY!! Any idea how all the plumbing problems ended up happening so close together? And they don’t sound like they were even related? whattheheck?? Our house is older (think 70’s) and one of the first things the inspection told us was that the previous owners had not been getting the septic tank pumped (yep, it’s a maintenance thing, and yep, we all have to do it, no matter how gross we think it is!), and there were some minor problems to contend with right off the bat…but now we have it pumped yearly and things proceed as normal (knock on wood!). Do you guys pump, too? Also, the tank has to be rated for the number of bathrooms/number of people living in the house. E.G. 3 bathrooms = smaller tank than 5 bathrooms. Big family (big house) = more pumping. Some neighbors think we are nuts, pumping once a year, but I’m telling you, if you ignore the little problems, they will turn into BIG problems. UGH, I am so done with this topic, I’m outa here! I am sorry that this “stuff” happened to you guys, and hope that you found some preventative measures to keep the problems down! Srsly, no pun intended! 😀
What a lovely makeover! There is nothing better than getting a new toilet. 😉
John @ Our Home from Scratch says
KB, you knocked this out of the park. Love the vanity and the wall effect.
Rachel @ casamarcelli says
This is fantastic. I love it. Also, I LOVE your baseboards. I have dreams of installing broad white baseboards in all the rooms in my house…..
erika m says
Seems like you guys are a little insensitive….its easier to say something behind a computer isn’t it? Of course its her blog and she opens her house and choices to the world, but seriously, if my mom says “what do you think of my new bathroom, Im excited and I tried this new thing” …I wouldnt say “I hate it, its not my thing” or “this looks awful but hey its your house”, NO I would point out what I do like….and I love my mom and tell her everything.. if you don’t have something nice…
I know everyone has already debated the painting lol and you would have a blog that allowed comments if you didnt want some feedback…
1) I am IN LOVE with your home.
2) I LOVE the Grey color in the bathroom, the red vanity pops a little, but I love the smooth solid color.
3) I am not a fan of the texture 🙁 it looks too much like all of the other sponges and rag painting and everything that was in there before you started painting. I am honestly waiting for an April Fools posts hahaha.
with that being said (and without someone jumping on me for being honest haha) I am excited to see what you come up with next 🙂
I agree. I love the color of the walls and I appreciate an accent wall as much as the next guy but this looks sloppy and unfinished and just plain out of place. Painting the entire wall a solid color and then maybe stenciling a white design over it (or maybe even silver…oooo!) would have really hit the mark.
But hey..it’s your house and if this is what you visioned and you enjoy the outcome then I guess it’s a hit for you and really that’s all that matters.
Love the wall color – looks like it plays relatively nicely with the flooring, no?
I am also in the camp of not loving that pattern at all, but I think that by having it there it shows you that some sort of interesting background is the way to go – the right concept for sure.
Everyone is entitled to their opinion. The original poster wasn’t being rude at all to Katie. Also – Katie is a BLOGGER. She’s putting this out there for the world to see, it’s not your Mom and not everyone “loves” her. I’m sure Katie is a big girl and can handle someone saying they don’t love it.
The room looks so much cleaner and lighter than when you first moved in- Love that fresh color for the bathroom. It would be so cool to see that awesome whitewashed brick technique from Weston’s room used for phase 2 of the nook area. Or the pallet wall technique from Will’s first room would really pop against the metropolitan wall color as well. I love how you usually bring a cool focal wall into your designs 🙂
Looks great! I know it will look different once you’ve added photos to the frames but I’ve to say I prefer the other pictures. IMHO it just worked so well with the cabinet and they were “different” in a good way.
I’m a bit late to the party but CONGRATULATIONS on the baby boy news!!
Love the updated bathroom. I wouldn’t have been brave enough to not paint the wall behind solid, yet I really like the way it looks. The texture of it is cool. The vanity red is also so pretty and I love that it’s red.
Just had to say, I never read other comments, but was wondering if you left the white stool in the bathroom all the time, and if so, is it for washing hands? However, when I read through, I have to say, I can’t believe how some comments can be so snarky.
Even if you did something that wasn’t my style, unless you asked for my opinion, I’d keep it to myself, and if I did share it, I’d make sure to not be rude.
This bathroom looks great Katie. My favorites are the wall color, trim, vanity color and sconces!
Ps. I too dream of all white trim….. As
Sheri stated about her blue trim…please Santa, come paint/replace it.
the girl said she doesn’t like it…whats wrong with that?? do bloggers not want opinions? why have a comment section. it’s really annoying seeing so many readers kissing a$$.
When I was redecorating our bedroom, I wanted three pictures in identical frames on one wall. I found the frames before I had finished creating the art work to put in them. Knowing that the hard part was all the measuring and hammering, we went ahead and hung the frames and left them in place till the art work was finished. My girl friend came over and noticed and still teases me about it. I DO have the artwork installed now.
Katie actually did a little make over in 2011 where she painted and updated a few things.
I am only saying this because I know you agree, but goodness that vanity is UGLY! The previous owners sure had special taste. 🙂 We are replacing the toilets in our house before the end of the year to take advantage of the water saving rebate, so my husband tells me the other day, “If I’m pulling out the toilet, we may as well go ahead and re-tile the half bath.” Which is fine by me, but I totally understand how toilet removal turns into much more. 🙂
The stool is in there for us moms who have little ones. I sit when I get the chance and having a three year old who is sometimes indecisive if he is actually finished is the perfect opportunity 🙂
xo – kb
I think it was just the season of poop-on-the-floor! I don’t think they were related either…just bad luck…but it is a good reminder to me that our septic needs to go on the maintenance calendar and the house needs first and foremost to be fully functional!
xo – kb
I love the wall color! I will agree with some of the other commenters that the faux finish is not great. It looks like a bit of an accident. Glad you’re loving it, though.
Hi Katie, just had to pass on a smile and nod to your comment about letting go of perfection! We’re working on our own reno (www.duckeggblue.co.nz) and 3 years into the process with two little ones added to the mix, I completely know how you feel!
Good for you getting this done while prego and busy with two boys – the bathroom looks great and I can’t wait to see more 🙂
Jessica Moroney says
Navy!! Go Navy! 😉
Hi! I have that same cute stool from IKEA and love it for the kids. My question for you is do you happen to have one in every room or just move it room to room when you photograph so it’s like a fun little Where’s Waldo? 🙂
I think the red vanity is cool. Red is a traditional color and will never go out of style. As much as I love a tone-on-tone, neutral grey wall with crisp white trim & cabinetry, the kind of thing we see on Pinterest & the blogs done a thousand times over (myself included…), I’m starting to really appreciate something DIFFERENT. I bought a big red frame at Hob Lob just this week to put an etsy print in. I was tempted to grab another yet black or white frame but my gut screamed for something interesting, something to make me smile.
It’s like red disappeared from the decorating scene in the past years but I for one wanna see it come back. I’m a huge PB fan and if you notice in their catalogs, there’s always some red & wood tone & texture… Things that are classic & look upscale. Like I said, I love me some grey/white/black, but something different here & there is refreshing!
We actually have four of them from our old kitchen and hope one day to make the basement into a kitchenette area with a bar stool zone. So for now they are all floating around 🙂
xo – kb
Aww, Katie- I usually love your style and creativity but the paint bristle accent wall just doesn’t do it for me. I do realize that this is your house, of course you can do whatever the heck you want, and you probably like how it looks- but yikes. Like others have said: “swing… and a miss”.
Mary Cole says
To me it just seems looks like what you did. Smooshed a paint brush all over the wall… I think the grey is refreshing though after that red! I would probably paint over the “texture” full on grey, I think it would look much better!
When I first started reading this post, I was thinking, “What is she doing here?” I wasn’t too impressed with the texturing. And then I saw the final picture and changed my opinion. It looks like hammered steel or something- it’s interesting. I’m not sure if the mirror matches the textured wall and light fixtures, but I know that this bathroom is a work in progress. Can’t wait to see how it ends up.
By the way- I LOVE Weston’s room. It’s amazing.
erika m says
its not about kissing a**, its about not being rude and snarky. I think we all know she’s a blogger. I don’t like everything Katie does but I don’t tell her all about it…..sheesh.
Kate S. says
Ha! Now I have that ‘lookin’ like a fool with yo pants on the ground’ song in my head but it’s ‘poop on the floor’. 😉