I have lived in Los Angeles for two years now (crazy right?). In that two years I have had to stare at an ugly bathroom day in, day out. I finally convinced my husband we needed to fix this ugly problem. We have always been renters and have always been obedient tenants and never painted. We've been together twelve years and lived in eight different apartments together and never once picked up a brush. Sure, I wanted to but since we've always been on the move, never staying in one place too long (due to his job) why bother, right? No more, no more could I deal with this shit.
Before we moved in here, the landlady told us she liked design and used "decorator colors" when painting our apartment. I shivered. Those words "decorator colors" are terrifying.
The rest of our apartment is an unoffensive gray, darker in the bedroom which is fine by me. The dining room has a green accent wall which I hate. I hate the green, I hate accent walls. Either commit to a color and do the whole room or don't. The green is easily covered by the dining room curtains.
But the Bathroom, oh the Bathroom. The "decorator colors" our landlady chose were a yellow beige, dark gray and a doo-doo brown trim.
Every single splash of water showed up on it, the paint job was sloppy at best and none of the gaps in the trim were filled in, leaving an opening for the ants that love to come in when it gets too hot.
Here's the whole thing:
I didn't even bother tidying up for this picture, didn't even put out the nice white towels. I hated these colors so, so much. So over two and a half days we patched and filled and sanded and painted and painted and painted. It took about four to five coats of Behr's 'Ultra Pure Bright White' (the most racist paint name I've ever heard) in semigloss. Here's what we ended up with:
Our Landlady also told us we didn't need "Bathroom Furniture" because the bathroom already had it and it had it all right; a wall mount cabinet and a floor cabinet. Nothing terrible about either one but I can do waaay better than that. Enter Ikea PS Cabinet.
It's just about a thousand-billion times better. It's a small bathroom and the white just bounces everywhere. With the old cabinet off the wall it seems bigger as well.
The moose was in the old bathroom and he stayed. Previously somebody thought the bathroom needed not only a towel rack but a towel ring directly next to each other. Both were ugly and paint splattered (not from us) so down they went. So this moose and a hook on the door hold all our towels with room for guests.
The sconces are new as well. Scroll on back up to the before shot, see those ugly, cheap sconces? Not only are they ugly, they were put on incorrectly and moved around all the time. I blame whoever installed them and the old plaster walls for that mess. With my new found confidence in switching light fixtures I bought another set of sconces and it was an exercise in futility. The plaster on the walls just crumbled underneath the screws. It was around 2:30am and my husband convinced me to give up on them and in the morning he'd grab my first choice from Home Depot.
When I was designing the bathroom in my head I wanted the porcelain sockets first, I'm not really sure why I went with my second choice. Then the plaster walls intervened and the porcelain sockets were really my only option. They were small enough and light enough to hang. I absolutely love how they came out, especially with the half chrome bulbs and at $1.49 a piece you can't really beat that. I showed my Mom these photos and she asked if I was getting shades for them, Silly Mom.
If you've been to an ACE Hotel recently you know they are trying to make Soap-on-a-Rope cool again, although I'm not sure it was ever cool. You can get your very own ACE Hotel Soap-on-a-Rope for $6 or a chain of five for $45...or you can do what I did and find a soap-maker on Etsy (Once Upon A Time Soap). It smells amazing just hanging there and doesn't break the bank and who doesn't love handmade?
Moving on to the toilet paper. Weirdly this is one of my proudest DIY moments. I removed the wall mount because it was in the way of the new cabinet I brought in. I figured I'd just move it to another wall or get a new one. Then the idea for using the magnet hooks and leather shoelace hit me. I had both on hand and it took two seconds to set up. I love the knot I used. I have no idea what kind it is but I love it. I reinforced the magnets with some super strong ones I had in the junk drawer so some TP happy person wouldn't yank them off as they were...um...getting their supplies?
We didn't spend a whole lot, we had some paint brushes, rollers and supplies on hand. So here's the breakdown:
Paint, Behr's Ultra Pure Bright White Primer and Paint in One $28 (This paint had a lot of mixed reviews online, yes I read paint reviews, I usually buy Benjamin Moore but this was cheaper. It came out ok but I probably wouldn't get it again)
Rollers and paintbrushes $11
Paint Trays, $2
Rug, Target $13
Ikea PS Cabinet, Craigslist $40
Soap, Once Upon Time A Soap $5
Everything else you see I already owned; the jars, the shower curtain, the mirror, the print from Inkefx and the moose. So the grand total was $119 ($139 if you count the original sconces I'm returning).
If you're interested in the arrow print, you can get it here and they've kindly offered a discount for my readers. The code REARRANGED gets you 10% off on all their goods until the end of the month. Thanks to Inkefx!
So there it is, I kind of doubt our landlady will even notice, she's weird like that. Even after our first coat it looked better, so as far as I'm concerned we improved the value of our place and I feel zero guilt for not getting permission.