Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Tickity Tockity, the fury of a Timeline

Once upon a time, in a modest bungalow perched steps from the gorge of the Niagara River, on a short street with a lovely median filled with flowers and lampposts, lived a design savvy young man on a mission to complete a bathroom renovation on a budget and on a timeline; neither of them realistic ...

Yep, same story, different place. What started as a repair of necessity has become a floor to ceiling remodel that encompasses many of our wants as well as the needs. What we hoped to bring in under budget and within the timeline we set, is teetering ever so closely to the brink of going over budget, and has already jumped the rail of that timeline train weeks ago! But we're nearing ever so closely to having a finished product we can be very proud of .

Today, the electrician was here to install the sconces on either side of the still MIA mirror, move the electric outlet to a place that's less obvious, and install switches to operate the lights - on the wall, in the ceiling, and the exhaust fan. If you live in an old house, chances are you've had your fair share of dark nights and some days in rooms that have no overhead fixture. Our second floor has two overhead fixtures, one in the hall, one in the master bedroom. The rest of the rooms are lit with sconces turned on and off at the fixture. We wanted to have overhead lighting in the bathroom, a much needed exhaust fan, and sconces - all operable by switches. Now that part of that is complete, it's like walking on air! It's the simple things that give us the most joy afterall, I suppose.

So what's left? Well, MORE wainscoting for one. Because the bulk of the electrical work needed to be done on the sink wall - I had to leave it free of finished woodwork until the boxes were installed. The sink and faucet need to be installed, our light fixtures are scheduled to leave the warehouse today, and the paint color still needs to be chosen! The floor could use another good cleaning before sealing the grout, and the baseboards have to be installed. Yes, it's a ball of fun here at Casa de la Vanderdogan, and it's a darn good thing our house isn't closer to the gorge of the Niagara River ... I might have jumped days ago!

It's always the last leg of any project that costs the most and takes the longest - so although it's no surprise - I'm counting the minutes til it's complete! Til' then - please, share your top colors for bathrooms! Do you have a great color you'll never change? I want to hear about it!

Form over Function?

With the bathroom nearing completion, and my mind needing a bit of a break from the math of measuring and cutting corners for the ton of custom woodwork that we're doing - I found myself day dreaming of bathroom accessories. Not art, nor towels, nor mirrors - but the day to day things you might otherwise conceal in a closet or medicine cabinet: mouthwash, cotton balls, qtips, bath salts, sea sponges, soaps.

Where and how can they be displayed artfully? Of course there's not much that looks awful in an expensive glass apothecary like the Sarah Richardson bathroom above. And that's a great thought. Those large mouthed apothecary jars make for easy access of cotton balls and the whole set up actually looks quite lovely on the counter. If you have counter space - it's a great idea, but what if you went with a console sink like I did, or a pedestal, or a vessel on an open leg table?

Sure, you could purchase an oversized apothecary and put it on the floor under the sink, but what are the chances you'll curse bending over to access the contents within each morning? For me, very high! Now, we're actually quite lucky to have a large closet with built in shelves in our bathroom. A closet, which will be getting quite a beautiful makeover in a post coming very soon! So, I'm not thinking of needing the storage space near, by, or on the sink - but rather a way to display things in the bathroom that actually belong there in a beautiful, yet functional way.

This of course means that I'll need to find a spot to display things since the sink lacks that space, so, in comes a table at the edge of the tub. I'm doing this for two reasons; 1) to have space for things I'll constantly want to grab, and 2) to bring in the much needed woodtones the room will be crying out for once it's finished.

With all of the cold, hard, white in the room: tub, tile, sink, toilet, walls - the bathroom will miss the warmth of wood, and the soft flowing texture of its knots and lines. Having this table opens a large set of options, on unfortunately a narrow platform. The surface of the table has to be smaller than 16inches square.
With that in mind, the base of any object has to be small as well, and that got me thinking about a novel idea Brooke Gianetti of Velvet & Linen had when she was at the market one morning months ago:

Brooke found these old beakers and bought all the vendor had. Now, if you keep up with her blog at all - you might want to take the time to find these on ebay before they skyrocket in price. Brooke and her husband have a knack on picking out the next big "thing". What I love about these as bathroom utilitarian pieces is the "science experiment look" Brooke mentions. They're functional and beautiful, don't you think? Check out the glass stoppers on the mouthwash vessels - the perfect touch!

Of course, there's always ironstone bowls as shown above. Glass bowls, wooden bowls, pottery, ginger jars, temple jars - the possibilities are endless I suppose. What about you? How do you display your daily use bathroom goods? Are they sealed up tight behind closet or cabinet doors, or are they on display in beautiful and functional pieces? I'd love to hear all about it and see pictures! Leave a comment or email, and I'll see you all tomorrow.