Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Justifiable homicide: Bathroom Edition

Okay, maybe not full-on homicide. Maybe more like "Justifiable Punch in the Head". Because seriously....SERIOUSLY. Here's the thing: When you're a younger person and you're living in apartments and dorms and other starter-type abodes, you don't really think about things like home design. Well, at least I didn't. And if I did it wasn't in a serious manner. More like thinking, "I wanna live in a house that has a huge kick-ass library like the Beast gave Belle." But somewhere around age thirty, I think, the majority of ladies are all about the following: the three Cs of space: counter, closet and cabinet; how easy are typically hard to clean aspects (like floors) to actually clean; bathrooms.

Bathrooms. Oh, bathrooms. I started life in a very typical 70s ranch house. Brick, 3BR, 2BA, LR, DR, Den. When #3 of our sibling set arrived, my parents upsized to another typical 70s offering, the split foyer (seriously, the two neighborhoods I lived in my entire life until college were 90% one of three floor plans: split-level, split foyer, ranch). In retrospect, my mom swears that the only reason the sellers were able to sell the house was that it was completely empty, because it's floor plan--things like wall space and placement of doors and windows--makes it virtually impossible to decorate. It also, for reasons known only to God and the idiot architect, had four HUGE bedrooms and only two tiny full baths. Now, when I was living there full time, my sister was too young and my brother was too...boy, for me to realize that bathroom design especially with regards to storage was an integral aspect of a home--mainly because the "kid" bathroom in our house was pretty much exclusively my domain--I had all of the STUFF. And while the storage in these bathrooms wasn't great, there was at least things like counters, drawers and cabinets.

Cut to the present...there's a part of me that says that I shouldn't complain. I work in a job where I live in the house where I work. I've transitioned from a full-time nanny to more of a full-time organizer, errand-runner, dog companion, whatever needs done person. Sort of like a combination house manager and personal assistant. And that means I don't pay rent or if there's some sort of problem--like a stopped up sink--I don't have to worry about eating ramen for a week because it's the end of the month and I have to pay a plumber to come fix the clog. So again, I feel like I shouldn't complain. But really...this bathroom is kinda awful. First of all, there's a pedestal sink which is fantastic for a half-bath/powder room, because space, but is infuriating in a full bath that is used as someone's primary "getting ready" bath because or storage issues, but more than that, where, pray tell, is one supposed to put curling/straightening irons, hair dryers, makeup bags, brushes. These things generally end up in a pile in the sink and if I get something on my hands I have to go out to the sink at the wet bar to wash them. What's worse it that one side of the sink is too close to the wall to put a little table or cabinet and the other is in the line of fire of the shower door which opens out into the bathroom. Ugh. When I first arrived the bathroom was papered in a violently 80s pattern in teal and white. It was already starting to peel in the corners (and get little mold spots. ew) and I finally made the executive decision that I was gonna just strip it and paint it. Which I did, but I foolishly listened to the guy at Home Depot's suggestion and the walls are (and have been for several years now) this weird shiny, dark gray. It's one of those things that would work if you had one of those bathrooms you could perform gymnastics routines in--it doesn't work in an asymmetric, pentagonal shape with about 4 square feet of open floor space. The fixtures are the goldiest of gold...which I hate. There were originally THREE towel bars (because apparently that's how many you need in a tiny, tiny bathroom, but none of them were conveniently located. There's horribly dated lighting--seriously it's one of those bars with the round bulbs. There's a small white laminate cabinet above the toilet, which is in a little offset, but it's MAYBE deep enough to store washcloths, definitely not towels. There's a medicine cabinet, but it's old, old, old and the silvering is starting to come off the mirror so it looks pretty gross.

So over the years, I've tried SO many different ideas for storing things and arranging things and fixing the no counter problem, and nothing has worked. So I spent pretty much all day on Friday working on the logistics of how to fix this. Then, I went to Target to get lightbulbs, but when I got in that section, learned that they now have a whole paint and wallpaper to go thing happening. So I got that there, because it was cheap and if it goes horribly wrong, I won't feel like I wasted a fortune. I researched medicine cabinet replacement. I pretty much know for certain how I'm gonna arrange things. Most importantly, and by far the biggest project, I want to take out the inadequate laminate cabinet and replace it with floating shelves that go all the way across the alcove where the toilet is. And if I survive all of that, I want to replace the fixtures in the sink--because gold. Just...NO.

In the meantime, please enjoy these pictures of my fly 80s era bathroom.

Note the exciting tile that no matter how I try to bleach, remains distressingly grayed in the grout area. The shower door that opens outward (it's behind the curtain on account of being ugly), but only halfway because it hits the storage tower. The toilet that is not even centered in it's little potty alcove. The de-silvering of the mirror which even the Vineyard Vines whale sticker can't make cute. Sad, sad little bathroom. You will be conquered.

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