This blog is about the design and finishes of our new ½ bath. Later Dean will regale you with construction stories.
The big news: we are done with the inside of the bathroom! It took a long time to turn a closet into a ½ bath and was not heaps of fun at different points in the project. We worked on it for 8 weekends in January, February and March, and on every one of those Saturdays I would wake up and think, “I wish I could go on a hike/to brunch/to yoga today.” But it is finished and we think it is the most beautiful ½ bath on the planet. Sometimes I open the bathroom door and just stand there and admire it, like a prize pony or precious gem. This is definitely a result of building the bathroom with our own four hands. Very satisfying.
The Villeroy & Boch sink.
The paint: We splurged on Farrow & Ball’s Borrowed Light for the walls and Oval Room Blue for the ceiling. They are absolutely beautiful. In House Beautiful one designer said, “Borrowed Light feels as if you've taken the roof off the room and the sky and the clouds have mixed together.” After my fiasco in the hallway trying to match Farrow & Ball paint, I went straight for the brand name in the bathroom. We are super happy with the result. Cost: $100 for a small room.
The mirror: It is from Ikea and was hanging in the bedroom in our old apartment. The wood frame brings nature into the room, which is important. Without the touch of natural wood the room could feel more like a pharmacy and less like a spa. Cost: Nothing because we already owned it.
The hardware: I love the towel bar, toilet paper holder, and little glass shelf we bought at Home Depot. They are from the Innova Jameson line, and seriously look as nice as products from Restoration Hardware that cost 3X as much. Total Cost: $80.00.
The ceiling fan: I qualify this as more of a mechanical element than a décor feature. There is a plastic cover on the ceiling that hides the fan, so it is visual in some way. A fan is required for every bathroom per building code. We chose this charcoal ductless fan—the used-Hyundai of fans (Nutone 682NT). It is fine, necessary, whatever. Dean bought it on Amazon.com for $32.57 because I am not that interested in it.
The Trim: Dean bought the trim and crown molding at Home Depot. It is a good size for the room and covers the craggy corners. Cost: $60.
The staging: I put a candle in a cool saucer that was my Grandmother’s. Cost: Free.
Dean picked up some rocks on Baker Beach and stacked them himself to create a rock sculpture. Again, bringing nature into the bath is soothing and exudes a spa feeling. Cost: Free.
I stacked some toilet paper on the shelf. Cost: Not pertinent because it is functional.
I hung a watercolor that I painted of Dean on a hiking trip to Tamarac Lake in the Desolation Wilderness. Cost: Free because I already had the frame.
And there you have it! All of our bathroom fixtures and finishes. Total cost: $1,656.89. It is astonishing how many design choices you have to make for a room that is 15 square feet.