Good Morning Sunshine: Yellow wakes up a boring bathroom

When it comes to decorating, small things can have a huge impact. Case in point--one of the smallest details of my bathroom are these strong man hooks. Inspired by 1930s Art Deco sculpture, they were a perfect fit for the tiny 1930s era bathroom in our home and are my favorite part of the entire room. I finally finished the mini-makeover of our bathroom and have pics to share.

Completion of the project has been delayed by this little fellow who showed up on my porch with no id and no microchip (here). We haven't found the owner, and we're fostering him until we can find him a good home---but let me tell you, even though he's a great puppy--he's still a puppy, and I had forgotten how much work they are! The bathroom is tiny (6x8) and is the only one in the house. During renovations after Katrina, we removed the small tub/shower and replaced it with a large walk-in shower with double heads. I would have preferred to have surrounded it with glass walls, but budget reared its ugly head, and we ended up tiling the shower enclosure with 4x4 white tiles and black bullnose tile to match the existing wall tiles. We also replaced the vinyl flooring with white octagonal tile with black inserts to replicate the look of a typical 30s bathroom. I also selected lighting and a tilting mirror that had a vintage feel.---then I painted the bathroom white to just get finished.

But I did have a couple of paint issues from the beginning. One problem was that I couldn't exactly match the existing tile, and I couldn't even find enough of one 4x4 to complete the project, so the installers used a mix of smooth and dimpled tile sprinkled throughout. It really wasn't obvious, but I decided to paint the trim black, thinking the contrast with the white walls and tile would distract--it does, but I never really liked the result. So, this summer, I finally decided to paint the bath. Color selection turned out to be difficult---I had to pick a color that I could face first thing in the morning, one that would harmonize with the orange paint in the hallway, and that Thomas and I could agree on. I leaned heavily toward a dramatic black, but my major concern would be that it would be too dark. I don't have a problem with dark colors and rooms per se, but when the bathroom door is open, it provides most of the natural light that comes into the upper stair hall, and I was afraid that black paint would absorb too much light. Another problem is that since this our only bathroom, female guests have to use it to do hair and makeup and I thought that a dark room would be a problem. Blue green was another strong contender, but as much as I love the color, I just wasn't sold on the idea. And then I remembered one of my favorite kitchens I have had---it had white cabinets and lots of natural light, and I painted it a beautiful vibrant yellow/orange. I remembered how that yellow perked me up every morning when I staggered into the kitchen to make some coffee.
The bathroom is off of the stair hall, where I have a gallery wall. I looked at it closely and realized that I had several yellow accents that worked well with the terracotta paint.
I couldn't find the exact color I wanted, so I mixed my own, starting with Sherwin Williams's Anju Pear and adding pure yellow and white until I got the color I wanted. I love the way it works with the black and white.

I replaced the black and white printed curtains with a roman shade I made from off white burlap. It provides privacy and light diffusion, hides an ugly view, and the cream provides a transition from the warm wall color to the white tile.

The bathroom didn't have a logical place for a towel bar, so I used these decorative hooks mounted on the window frame for towels.

The warm walls provided a great backdrop for a poster and photos collected from our travels.

So now, after 2 years, I'm finally happy with the bathroom. Every morning, the yellow puts a smile on my face, and the sunlight that filters through the burlap fills the stair hall. Yellow isn't a color for everybody, but it was perfect for me.
I think our house guest likes it too:


Visual Vamp said...

Love it! You're a genius with color!
xo xo

George Regnery said...

We have a house that isn't close to others, surrounded by trees, and we painted the whole house in good morning sunshine. It's the brightest house I've ever seen!