Sunday, July 10, 2011

Art to pee by

Here are some close-ups of our bathroom art:

I purchase those two paintings at St. Vincent's thrift store last month and paid $50 - more than I'd ever paid for art from a thrift store before. I just had to though. I fell in love. The detail is amazing and the egg imagry goes so well with a bird theme we have going around our house. The trees reminded me of the view in our backyard in Bedington, WV too. The colors in these paintings soon became my inspiration for the bathroom.

 This screen-print on fabric is from Ikea. It was hanging in our downstairs hall and while I was shopping around the house for more bathroom art, I realized it would be perfect.

This is a painting Sage made when he was 5. It's a snail. I love it.

I got this tile in San Antonio when I was 8 months pregnant with Sage and it's been in hte bathroom of every house we've lived in ever since.

This is a collage I got at All Aboard! in Atwater Village. The top got damage in our move so I added the sunshine at the top to cover it up.


Thank you for visiting the VanHorn family gallery bathroom. Don't forget to flush!

Monday, July 04, 2011

Bathroom Redo - Down with Brown, Up with Glitter!

Happy 4th of July! This time last year I was still in Los Angeles. I even braved the traffic and took the kids to Hansen Dam to see the fireworks. Erik had been living in Seattle since June 1st and we talked to him on the phone while he watched fireworks explode over Lake Washington. I'm happy to be together for the 4th of July this year.

A little over a year ago was also when we found the house we live in now. I would research houses via the interwebs and send Erik out to check them out after work, then he'd upload the pics and call me to describe the tours. We both fell in love with he house we finally got, but spent all last summer fighting banks and lenders for it. I'm so excited that this summer will have none of that drama. This summer, we're happy to have projects to work on that don't involve uprooting everything. Compared to moving, a little bathroom renovation seems easy.

I love this house, but I've never loved the front bathroom. Here are some pictures Erik took when we first got the house inspected:

It's like a step back in the seventies. Brown town. Welcome to wood grain. The pictures don't do it justice because in some parts it was peeling too. Erik didn't seem too bothered by it but I was. I said, "Mark my words, within a year this will be looking much different."

Peeling wallpaper just begs Rip me down!, so I did. As I ripped, I kept thinking of Charlotte Perkins Gilman's short story, The Yellow Wallpaper, feeling like a crazy lady obsessed with picking at the walls...

... It is stripped off -- the paper -- in great patches all around the head of my bed, about as far as I can reach, and in a great place on the other side of the room low down. I never saw a worse paper in my life. /One of those sprawling flamboyant patterns committing every artistic sin.../The color is repellent, almost revolting; a smouldering unclean yellow, strangely faded by the slow-turning sunlight./ It is a dull yet lurid orange in some places, a sickly sulphur tint in others.... Then I peeled off all the paper I could reach standing on the floor. It sticks horribly and the pattern just enjoys it! All those strangled heads and bulbous eyes and waddling fungus growths just shriek with derision!

I even took my clothes steamer to it, which helped with the stickier pieces. Charlotte Perkins Gilman didn't think of that one! It took a few months and resulted in a pathetic looking bathroom that I was embarrassed to let people see. So last Saturday I set out to paint it.

Sage helped... for 5 minutes. The rest was all me. Erik was busy building a staircase in our backyard and the kids, well, they had to entertain themselves for a few days. Thankfully, they're at an age where they can do that.

It must be all the HGTV remodeling shows I've seen that inspired me to try a racing stripe. Here's the tape I used to make it.

And here's the paint, "Navajo Clay" textured with sand...

and glitter!

Here's how it looks on the wall...

The glitter is very subtle. Compared to the semi-gloss "Golden Mushroom", this paint is rough. Erik says it reminds him of an emery board. That stripe didn't come out nearly as perfect as it appears there, I had to spend a day carefully touching it up with a tiny paint brush. One week after I started, I was finished. A room's not done until the art is hung though, so I shopped around the house for art that I thought would work in the room.

I even painted the cabinets, inside and out. I hope I never have to paint another cabinet for as long as I live.
I also organized the heck out of the drawers. Never mind that the rest of the house was being torn apart by my tornado children, all the dental flossers and ponytail holders and band aids are neatly in place.

This is my favorite spot...

It's in the corner by the door and such a cheery way to leave the crapper.

Even George (the frog) and Jelly (the beta fish) like their newly remodeled room. They don't like each other much though.

Whew! It's done! I keep going in there and staring at it, admiring my nice straight racing stripe and remembering how I was up on the top step of the ladder painting the skylight. Occasionally the kids wonder where I am and find me in there and ask, "Why are you just sitting there staring at it?" I guess it's time to obsess over another spot of the house now.


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