Thursday, April 16, 2009

Design Dilemma: A Bath with Bling

Betcha thought I was bailing out on this week's DD, again?! ;) Just runnin' a little late on the post...

I have to state right off the bat, I kind of cheated on this Design Dilemma. You see, I wasn't really asked to do a DD on this bathroom. My sister and I went on a pseudo-stealth mission to work a little MLHP magic for this much-deserving client.

I heard my Aunt Betty was planning a bathroom remodel, and yes, had to insert my nosy little self into her design plans! My sister teamed up by snagging these "before" pics with her iphone...
I'd call the overall look traditional-cottage.

Before I show you my ideas for the update, you need to know a little bit about my Aunt. First, we share birthdays, so that makes her extra-special to me. Second, my Granny used to call my aunt, "Sparkles" because of her devotion to all things being or resembling diamonds - a true Leo all the way! Coincidentally, Aunt Betty is also trying to teach Avery to say, "Daddy, diamonds!" Yeah, Ben is just lovin' that! (One woman in the house loving diamonds is enough for Casa his eyes!)
So, you can see how I can't imagine a design that didn't feature some sort of bling. I don't think a big-budget makeover is planned, but the fact that this is the restroom guests use makes me want to jazz it up a bit - make it a mini-showplace!

When I first saw the pic of this rosy and warm bathroom, I immediately thought of Aunt Betty's redo. The room is similarly arranged, in that it's a galley shape, ending in the bathtub, with a longish vanity area. I love the extra girlie touches: Molding around the mirror, Victorian gooseneck faucet, and crystal lamps. In fact, I love the idea of lamps on the vanity - it makes it more like a "dressing area" than a bathroom countertop, ya know?
But then I spied this bathroom and all its iridescent glass tile mosaic. Look at all that shimma, Shimma!!
I wonder if we could marry those two concepts: Warm, rosy (read: flattering) tones with a touch of that iridescence....Maybe something like these!
I would keep my Aunt's shoulder-height wainscoting, but replace the wallpaper with this amazing blush series of glass tile. These are made by Hakatai, and are about 50% recycled glass - cool, huh? The tile isn't cheap, and apparently, is best left installed by someone well versed in glass tile know-how, but how unbelievably mesmerizing would it be? I think you would feel surrounded by pearls, and that would NOT be a bad thing for my aunt!

The vanity counter is in good condition - no need to waste money replacing it, and the cabinetry might do just fine with a fresh coat of glossy, white paint. Hardware, however, is another place you can have fun - and get a good amount of bang for the buck.
I'd switch out her hardware to these...
Restoration Hardware's Rosette knob and pull in polished nickel.
There's only one window in the bathroom, and it's in the bath/shower enclosure To maximize the amount of light, thus getting the most effect of the pearlescent tile, I'd replace the fuschia shower curtain with this simple, white waffle weave one from Target. It comes in an extra-long length, to allow you to hang the rod near the ceiling. You've all heard me say it before - with curtains of all type - GO HIGH - it extends the eye, and makes the ceiling appear taller.
You might be thinking that hanging the curtain high would be counterintuitive to my note about allowing in more natural light vis-a-vis the shower window....
...But not when we replace the standard light fixture in the toilet area with this divine mini -chandelier!

The white curtain will provide a perfect "canvas" to which this fancy little sparkler will stand out - making a fun, "blingy" statement very befitting of Aunt "Sparkles!", I tried to work some of the images to give you a visual (Polyvore was showing me NO LOVE with these files!) This is what happens when you try to apply Photoshop ideas without the benefit of the software...or the skills... Will Work for Photoshop Skills!
Whatever... it took me forever to paste all those pics of the tiles, so please do me a favor: close your eyes, and visualize how truly lovely it would look (as opposed to this terribly rudimentary image!)

As I said, my Aunt didn't exactly contract with me, so any update or "after" pics I might get most likely won't be representative of this DD. I'm sure her new bath will be a fresh change; I can't wait to see it!


Anonymous said...

She has to start it first. I want to say she's going with a shower curtain that's red with golden tones in it. I'll let you know when I find out more. Next time I go home I'll have to ask and take pics of anything she has bought.

jenny said...

i think its lovely!! i will say that the shimmery tiles MIGHT become dated before you want them to. just my opinion. i am a scardey cat when it comes to bold design. i love to look at it but am afraid to take that plunge in such a permanent way. ironically i do improv comedy in front of hundreds people every weekend. you can't really get much bolder than that!
i DO love the lamps in the bathroom idea.

Anonymous said...

I love the console/buffet table turned bathroom cabinet! And the lamps give it great mood lighting. The chandelier was darling too. Where did you find it?

corine said...

Oh I totally see it. Irridescent and pink in the bathroom I say YES. One warning though; those mini tiles are very hard to put on so you better hire someone good. Mine (they are turquoise blue) came out all crooked. Good thing I'm not a perfectionist.

TitansFan said...

I like the double wide sinks! My idea of bath bling is this Steam Shower. I just need to put lifestyles of the rich on that piece! Lol!