Work with what you have. This is our number one rule when it comes to renovations and decorating. Working with what you have is usually more cost-effective and almost always offers an exciting design challenge. “How DO you make generic, big box purchases look interesting?” This bathroom was a challenge for the reason we worked with what we had.
The bathroom is an excellent size and has a great layout. There is a nice amount of counter space and there is ample storage so overall the “bones” are there. However, what it was missing was a bit of life; a bit of character. So, for possibly the first time ever at The Empire, a unilateral decision was made and it was to go with a beach theme. I won’t tell you who made that decision but it wasn’t C!
To work with what we had we decided we were keeping the flooring and all fixtures (tub surround, sink and toilet) exactly where they were as moving plumbing is very expensive. For the beach-themed bathroom we (when C finally got on board) didn’t want traditional whites and seafoam greens so we went with a beautiful Island-sand-like colour as paint for the walls. To ensure the flooring looked like a deliberate design choice, we went with Behr’s “Artifact” as it brings out similar hues in the floor. It also brought the space together a bit more to make it feel cozier. It really is a large bathroom!
Black lacquer was the colour choice for accessories. The garbage can is old “slop bucket” spray painted just the right black. Similarly, the chair with the folded white towels is also spray painted black. The shower curtain hooks are small stones, in keeping with the theme, individually painted with clear nailpolish for just the right shine. Along with these hooks the toothbrush holder, cup, soap pump and shower curtain were purchased at Home Outfitters. The mirror is from Winners. However, the more interesting accessories like the candle holders and starfish are from Cottage Industry and the shadow boxes and starfish towel hooks from Moving Designz. The cabinet hardware are in the shape of sea horses, star fish and conchs and purchased at House of Excellence. We went with hooks for the towels as a hanging towel is more casual (like at the beach!). Rather than a curtain, we decided to frost the window as the frosting makes it look like sea-glass. The light fixture is off the shelf from Home Depot and made of sand dollars.
Now, the toilet seat. That God damned toilet seat. The “vision” for the beach-themed bathroom was decided on weeks before it was complete. I knew I wanted a black lacquer toilet seat with chrome detail however, I could not find it anywhere in the city so I went online. Toilet seats can be very expensive so it took a while to find one that was reasonably priced and appropriate. I purchased the seat online on a Sunday evening after one of the first weekends we moved into this house. It was hot, dirty and I was discouraged. I needed something shiny and pretty to feed my soul and this toilet seat was it. I found it online for $35 – PERFECT! Bought it, placed in cart, address added, confirm address, cost of shipping. WAIT! COST OF SHIPPING? It was going to cost $60 to ship the $35 toilet seat. OMG. WHAT do I do? Well, I said “f%$^ it” hit “confirm” and BAM, I paid $95 for a toilet seat. A toilet seat. I immediately transferred the money from my bank account to the credit card and denied to myself that it ever happened. This, ladies and gentlemen, is called “decision fatigue” (or insanity). What we are not fatigued about, however, is our lovely and large beach-themed bathroom.
To toilet seats!