Friday, January 28, 2011

Reader Needs Help in the Bathroom

Dear MikChiks--
 My 50-something husband is nesting, I guess; I can't think of any other explanation for the sudden spurt of house-related energy. He's tackling our bathroom and kitchen--stripping wallpaper and buying vanities, that sort of thing. But he's asked me to do the decorating, and for that I really need your help. I've been to your house, and I know that you're really good at the visual arts. I'd love some suggestions from you...keep in mind that these are going to be cosmetic changes only--we're not remodeling, just redecorating.

Here are the 'givens' for the bathroom: It's very small, with white tile about two-thirds up the walls, a white bathtub, and white-and-navy patterned linoleum flooring. There's also a small cabinet (white) and a piece of I-don't-know-what-you-call-it furniture above the toilet (also white) that holds our towels. Kind of boring, huh? He's stripped the wallpaper and bought a very pretty pale blue paint. So really, the only things I need to figure out are 1) window treatment, 2) shower curtain and bath mat, and 3) pretty things to put on the walls or on top of the small cabinet. There's one window that looks out on the neighbor's (quite close) house, so privacy is an issue.

I'm so, so not good with this type of thing.  Help!

Jan the Inept

Dear Jan the Inept,
Thanks for letting us use your real name.  First off, you are blessed among women!  A husband who strips (walls) and paints?  A husband who does all the menial, not-fun work, and asks you only to decorate?  Let Mr. Jan nest in peace, whilst you fetch his refreshment.

So, let's get down with the bathroom this week and the kitchen next.

The Ivory Double Bloom from Etsy

When it comes to decorating a small loo, your piece de resistance should be your shower curtain.  It will be the focal point, as it usually faces the door and takes up the largest amount of space.  

To keep you from experiencing sticker shock, we'll give you a few options.  This beauty is a $70 curtain.  It's GORGEOUS and will give you a ton of flexibility with towel colors.  It's our favorite, but we'll give you other options. You can purchase it HERE

The next one is a retro beauty that combines old charm with a little geometric design--the picture doesn't do it justice.  Don't use those bauble hooks that are shown with  it, though.  You can see and purchase it HERE and HERE.  And as a bonus, it's ONLY $17.99.  This one is tempting! And our #2 Choice...
How about a Statement Piece, Miss Lover of Words?
The Top 500 SAT Words

 You can purchase it HERE for a mere $17.59--the only cheap education-related item we've ever come across.


If you want something a little more formal with that "tile" feeling, you can purchase this nifty one HERE for $24.99.


Or... For clean lines and simplicity, how about this one which you can purchase HERE, but simplicity comes with a price tag:  $55--also from Etsy. 

Then last but not least, a good design and value.  It's called, "Bellis".  It's $24.99 and can be purchased HERE.  This one would look great with eggplant-colored towels.

So take your pick, little lady.  That's step one.  Once you know which shower curtain you want, the rest will be easy-pleasy.
What are your bathrooms looking like these days?  Do you have a fav among these or others?
Maddie and Lisa


  1. I've heard horror stories about bathroom redecorating. The one that comes to mind took place on one of those room swapping shows. [I know Jan remembers this story.]

    The short version -- a moose head was mounted on the wall above the commode, and a coin slot box was installed below the moose head. Now to flush the toilet you had to feed dimes into the coin slot box. A disco ball was mounted on the ceiling. When the light switch was flipped it rotated on the ceiling making lights dance on the walls. Then next to the sink there was a combination-soap-dispenser -coffee-beverage-station. It was a convenient thing, you could shave while looking in the mirror AND whip up a latte. The main problem for the bathrooms owner -- she had her latte, but didn't have a dime.

  2. I'm in LOVE with the number #1 choice, it's absolutely beautiful!!!

  3. I'm seriously laughing out loud.

    But don't think I missed that little "dig" about you and your editor having another "private" joke between you.

  4. I like the first one ...and the words one...but for the bathroom you described, I'd love best the final one. That's such a cheery shower curtain without being gaudy. Your home decorators here have excellent taste. I was at a Cristmas party once where the homeowner had everything "giraffe" in her powder room--mats, towels, pictures and little "pieces." Everything in it was VERY expensive,and it was actually quite pretty, but I'm going to stick my neck out here and say I'm not that big on giraffes.

  5. I have serious bathroom decorating problems. One example - when we first built our house and moved in, I narrowed the choices for a wallpaper border to two, and taped them to the wall of the powder room flush with the ceiling. Guests would come out of bathroom and tell me their choice. Decorating the powder room became a running joke among my friends, because the samples stayed taped to the wall for ten years, until we repainted. And it's still plain and boring.

    Don't ask me about the master bath disaster. :(

  6. Awesome! I liked your first choice best, but Ben liked the tile-pattern one, so that's what we've gone with. Since I'm so submissive, and all that.

    I'll keep my eyes out for pretty doodads for the walls and other flat surfaces. What would be a good non-blue accent color?

  7. Jan, you're such a super trooper for throwing this one out there. I had NO IDEA the Mik Chiks will give decorating advice. Sheesh, my conundrum pile just multiplied.

    My vote goes with Ben's. Very, very nice and almost Egyptian-feeling. What about a pewter or nickel color for the doodads?

  8. Outhouses! What else would you expect from a country girl like me? LOL

    Let me tell you all about it! When honeybun and I settled in our love next, the bathroom had pink swirly (is that a word?) tile topped off with a row of black tiles about 2/3 the way on all 4 walls of our powder room. The walls themselves were painted blue. Huh????? Maybe the previous owner was thinking it made it a "Family Room" for boys and girls (ie blue and pink). Who knows!

    Anyway, honeybun hired (for the price of some hugs and chicken and dumplins) a grandson to help him get all the tile off the walls. When I wasn't cooking, I was shopping for just the right "look" for our inside outhouse. Then, it dawned on me ... to bring back the mountains of KY and keep them alive for honeybun, I would decorate with outhouses. You wouldn't believe the neat things you can find to complement what has become the neatest, most unique outhouse indoor privy!

    Honeybun is happy, Red's favorite color is splashed all over the walls, and grandson #8 will never forget his plate of cornbread, mashed taters, chicken and dumplins, and green beans straight from the garden complete with fatback and chopped onions.

    Sorry, MikChicks ... betcha can't beat the one-hole indoor outhouse privy decorating project! Why, I even have a ceramic outhouse with an old lady sitting on the one-holer with her britches around her ankles. That's just so no one forgets what they're in there for!

    Love y'all....

  9. I want to see pics of Red's indoor-outhouse. Not in use, please!


  10. Red--you win the prize for indoor outhouse decorating--hands, I mean toilet seats down. And I'd like to see pictures, too!

    Diane--great call on the pewter doo-hickies. We also think Jan should think "industrial metals" with colors. Gray/gun-metal gray bath towels, with copper/brass colored hand towels on top. Orange and blue are complimentary colors, and the gray will anchor all.

    If you hate the idea of brass/copper orange, you could go with navy blue hand towels. A little more staid, but, nonetheless lovely.

    Holly, the resident color expert gave input and approves this message.

    But the big question we are wondering about is how Mr. Jan took over the decorating. Why did he get to choose the curtain? And are you sure it's too late?

  11. Greetings from Southern California :-)

    I added myself to follow your blog. You are more than welcome to visit mine and become a follower if you want to.

    God Bless You, ~Ron

  12. He got to choose because he's doing all the work. Plus, he's got some sort of hilarious mild disease for which the main symptom seems to be a crazily enlarged and swollen face. Gotta feel sorry for a guy like that.

    I like the gray/orange bit.

  13. Aw, I kinda liked the wordy one. :( So I'm weird, I'm used to it. Maybe my husband would learn to like reading. Or at least learn how to spell. BUT, this is Jan's loo, so I'll leave mine alone.

  14. The first one is beautiful, but a little girly for such a man as Mr. Jan. I can't see him bringing his friends to the bathroom for a look-see if that was hanging there.

  15. I have to ask . . . why is there a disabled sign beside the word verification box?

  16. More help, please!

    Towels don't come in colors like 'pewter', 'gun-metal gray' and 'brass'. They come in 'gray' and 'orange'. I'm feeling stupider and stupider.

  17. Do not feel stupid at all! Have you mixed up dictators in the last 24 hours? No, well then, no more of that talk.

    Gray and Orange are perfect.