Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Bathroom Miracle Numero Uno

When a hardworking person is stressed out, they begin to daydream of lighting some candles and taking a long, bubbly bath, painting their nails or getting ready to go out on a night on the town. Unfortunately, my bath tub is far from providing a luxurious, relaxing bath, let alone a nice shower. These stress relievers all center around one room in the home. What room you say? Hopefully your bathroom! (Unless you are a lucky kitchen tub New Yorker.)

Seeing as my bathroom is much too small to hang out in, I settled for redecorating and organizing it during my Spring Break last week for a bit of therapy. When I say small, I don’t mean small. I mean the door scrapes the toilet and there is like 5 square feet of standing space. Oh, the joy of living in New York.

My major complaints: 
  • No Towel Bar: The towels would have to dry hanging on the shower bar, and would get gross smelling too quickly. 
  • No toilet paper holder: The toilet paper lived in a plastic bag on the floor or on the sink. 
  • Off-white, yellowing walls
  • Lack of storage
Here are some before images. 

Before: Rusty off-white pipes and walls, awkward mysterious wire, and yellowing grout.

Literally the storage situation on a daily exaggeration.

The two towels and two bathrobes.
Medicine cabinet storage
Waking up every morning and stepping into this hot mess was no laughing matter! From the gross rusty pipe running behind the toilet, to the half-broken toilet paper holder. From the leaky bathtub to the broken toilet seat. AND the infamous bathroom light on the ceiling.

There it is....staring right at me.

There was a ringing voice in the back of my head saying, “Paula, how are you going to pay for all of this?” Okay, so this voice was probably my mom. (Love you) But I had a plan. I wanted to re-do all of the bathroom for under $50. Granted, this is a rental, so it’s not like I can replace the bathtub and the toilet. This will come later down the road once I approach the super. What I can do is paint, decorate, and make things organized. And voila!



So first thing is first. Paint. I had been secretly thinking about painting this bathroom since the day we moved in. But paying for a full priced can of paint was not in my budget. I stalked the Home Depot "Oops Paint" shelf about every other day for two weeks until the perfect shade of dark grey popped up. $6 for a gallon! The bathroom is so tiny that I only used about 1/3 of the gallon. I am planning on using the rest mixed with a white base to create a light creamy grey for another area of the apartment.

Painting took about 3 hours all together. After waiting for the paint to dry, I rehung the shelf in its new location and added in the new toilet paper holder and towel bar! I bought these at Home Depot. It was an Oak Bath Accessories 4-piece Kit for $10. Since it's a rental, I didn't want to spend the extra money on fancy accessories. I would ideally like bamboo or stainless steel.

The doors are particle board so, unfortunately I could not add hooks for the robes.

This is our shower curtain, but sadly not our claw-foot tub. I couldn't get a good picture of it.

After installing all the accessories, I wanted to add some hooks above the toilet! My plan was to hang the brushes off the hooks. I bought some cheap hooks at Home Depot for about $5. The framed print above the hooks is NOT actually a print! It's a recycled tote bag that I found while unpacking our "hoarding room." I cut the tote to fit into a repurposed frame. Clever, no? Here's a better view.

The only thing left to tackle in this one-day venture was the medicine cabinet.You couldn't really tell through pictures, but the wood behind the contact paper had like crusted toothpaste or something mysterious in the corners. Yeah....I didn't want to see that. At least the toilet was right next to it. I was SO tempted to sand and revarnish the wood, but a rental is a rental and it's money that I did not want to spend. Who knows...maybe I'll change my mind down the road. I decided to sort through the contents of the cabinet and take out what we did not use on a daily or weekly basis. I found some great contact paper at Saiffee Hardware store down the street for only $3! Simple and temporary solution. I removed the shelving and cut a piece to cover the back. I'll have a separate post on all this cabinet organization stuff later on.

Yes, the nose is a glasses holder. The Q-tips are also in a repurposed glass bean container from Trader Joe's.

Let's conclude, shall we? Here is a rough estimate of the budget. Keep in mind, there is left over paint and contact paper for other projects!

Paint: $6
Paint Supplies: $15
Hooks: $5
Contact Paper: $3
Oak Bath Accesories: $10
Total (so far): $39!

For renters or home decorating junkies, work with what you own first, then branch out and purchase what you need. The items on top of the medicine cabinet were grabbed from the living room and the frame and tote made a great decorative piece. The same goes for the candles on top of the toilet and the storage boxes on the shelf.

I still plan on replacing the light to something more appropriate and organizing the under-sink storage.

That's all for now folks! It's the end of a very lengthy first post! Stay tuned for the under the sink storage post and a little something on my hallway make-over!

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