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Working with your Home's Flaws

Updated: Nov 22, 2020

If you're a normal person with a normal house, chances are pretty good there are some things about it you don't like. Whether your tastes have changed since you last renovated, or you inherited some style choices you dislike, there are some spots that just gets the stink-eye every time you pass them.

One of those spots for me is my master bath. When we bought our house two years ago the previous owners had recently redone all the baths and the kitchen. While it was nice to have renovated spaces, the majority of the style choices were...well...less than ideal to me.

As you can see, in my master bath that translated to a travertine tile floor, spotty granite countertops cabinetry in a dark espresso finish, and beige walls. This is a look that was very popular a decade or more ago but feels dated today. It's just all so....BROWN.

To add insult to injury, in the water closet there's a free-standing toilet paper holder that leans, and no towel ring. I'm not sure what the previous owners had against proper bathroom hardware, but we've been living with a folded hand towel sitting on the countertop for two whole years. It usually ends up getting tossed into a wet mound when we're in a rush, or worse, falling to the floor in a heap.

Not. Great.

Wait a second, you're're a Designer.

Why haven't you changed things?

Well, for one thing I just can't stomach the idea of doing a gut renovation on a space that someone laid down big bucks for a handful of years ago. It works perfectly fine, even if I do dislike how it looks. And the truth is it's not THAT bad. It just isn't me.

The second reason is, although I frequently help other people work with what they can't change about their homes, I got a mental block when I needed to do it for myself. Any fantasies I had about fixing the bathroom situation always included major renovations. I had to get past the emotional weight of the things I can't change, and start focusing on the things I can! This bathroom and I had a dysfunctional relationship. I hated it, but I would only change it if I could wipe the slate completely clean. See? Designers are human too! And we sometimes let our emotions get in the way when it comes to our own homes.

So there my bathroom sat getting the stink-eye from me on the regular. That is...until now!

Behold, the plan!

I'm starting with the biggest pain point for me.

The Water Closet.

So maybe I can't change the tile and the countertop, but there's plenty in this space I can the color of that vanity! A taupey white paint with just enough grey will neutralize some of the coppery tones of the stone. Lucky for me the existing color of the window and door casings is exactly what I need! That means no repainting the trim. Yay!

Creamy white paint color with taupe undertones.
Benjamin Moore Collector's Item AF-45

Next, I needed to draw the eye away from that granite so I chose a bright green grasscloth wallpaper, and statement fabric and art to accomplish this.

An all glass mirror (that I happen to have already) feels much lighter than the heavy, framed one there now, and a larger light fixture will feel more balanced.

I'm switching out the faucet for this matte black one so it doesn't draw attention like the shiny chrome.

And hallelujah, I'm getting a towel ring and new toilet paper holder!! (It's the little things.) The shapes of the cabinet hardware were chosen to coordinate with the faucet and towel ring.

Now as you can see, that travertine tile floor becomes a nice neutral backdrop and the countertop is not the first thing you notice.

I'm still waiting on some samples to finalize the design, but I can't wait to get started and dump the negative relationship I've had with this space for so long! I'll definitely keep you posted on the progress of this project and I can't wait to see it all come together.

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