when new becomes old

Way back (like over 5 years ago) the first big renovation in our house was the upstairs bathroom. Since this all happened before hello sunshine, let me rewind and fill you in…

The bathroom, although charming with an original clawfoot tub, was pretty grimy. Plus, the clawfoot was hidden and its condition matched its age. It was (and still is) our only full bathroom (there is an itty bitty powder room downstairs) and with a baby in the house, we felt it needed a facelift. David was about seven-months-old and now looking back, I see this renovation as major foreshadowing to the renovation we endured a few short years later.* You see, here’s the thing, as it was our only bathroom with a shower/tub and we survived several weeks without. I lugged baby David to my parent’s apartment for daily washing and Mike boycotted showing altogether during the duration of the renovation as solidarity to his project (he sponged bathed in the sink).

We worked with our friend and designer Erica on the design and made the most of our small space. Mike and his dad did everything on their own and although tiling was a bit of a learning curve, I think it turned out well! before1 before2 before3


during1 During2 during3 During4

I loved my little bathroom and still love it but as David has grown into an independent messy boy, I feel like a refresh is in order. The walls and trim need painting plus, when we replaced the window, the mess around the frame was never fixed. I like the colour but I think it’s too magazine.

Note: Magazine is when it looks good in a photo but in reality, it shows the filth of everyday life. after1 after2 after3

So with all the being said, I have some ideas. Before Mike freaks out, the good news is it is almost all cosmetic. I am keeping the sink, toilet, tub, cabinet and tile but just want to update the decor.

My first thought was wallpaper! I am itching to hang wallpaper somewhere in the house and this one has been on my radar for years: pottokprints

However, I am saving it for the powder room. It will be mine.

I also love these: wallpaper

But with a shower, I think paint is the smarter choice and I’ve been wanting a kelly green room for awhile. There’s something about kelly green and navy that just screams bathroom.

Then I saw this: katespade

Again, wallpaper but isn’t it amazing. It’s Scalamandre Zebra in Kate Spade’s bathroom so of course it’s amazing.

So back to Kelly. I can still use the shower curtain above and update my linen. Then the only other thing I would like is a new shower head. I regret not getting the rain shower / handheld combo and am trying to convince Mike it’d be a good investment. Bathroom

While I work on convincing Mike to move forward on this … we are also finishing David’s room. An old house (or at least my house) is never done!

A. Marimekko Pieni Unikko (Red) / B. Hygge and West Peonies (Mint) by Rifle Paper Co. / C. Hygge and West Daydream (Blue) by Julia Rothman / D. Waves of Chic removable wallpaper / E. Whitby Wallpaper – Washed Denim / F. Flamingos wallpaper by Albany / G. Anchors Aweigh removable wallpaper

H. Zoe Atlantis Rain Shower Head  / I. Ikea Godmorgon Mirror Cabinet (our wall cabinet already installed is Godmorgon) / J. Anthropologie Monarch Mercury Jar / K. Threshold Color Block Shower Curtain from Target / L. Casa White Tissue House from CB2 / M. Anthropologie Medora Bathmat / N. Stripped Dobby Waffleweave Towels from Pottery Barn / O. Kelly Green by Benjamin Moore

*The renovation that followed this left us seven months without a kitchen!

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come and knock on our door

My friend moved into her house a year ago (in Toronto) and is ready to tackle a mini-makeover on the front facade.

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“The outside of our house is butt ugly – previous owners covered the red brick with a concrete brick pattern façade (WHO DOES THAT??) and chose the most delightful shade of dusty salmon red for the siding. Puke. This summer I plan on painting as much of it as I can reach – but I can’t afford to cover up the red siding on the second floor this year. This means I need the paint the front “brick” and trim/ deck something that matches Dusty Salmon until I can paint it (which may not happen for a long time or ever if I can find something that doesn’t look awful). All the houses on the block are really drab shades of white/yellow and we’re really open to bold colours or accents (or vintage Mad Men shades that go with the era of the house). Light grey with white trim was my first instinct but it kind of looks like concrete again… I would love your two cents on a good colour pallet for the front. Any ideas would be soooo welcome!

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So here are a few things I took from her message:
  1. I love that I get asked for house design advice… it is so fun!
  2. Dusty Salmon – Throw back to my condo in Montreal… I lived with it for way too long! My friend said it was the token Montreal colour. Perhaps it is the token central Canadian colour?
  3. I’d paint over the Salmon before tackling a makeover on the “brick”. Painting siding is doable and not too difficult or expensive.
  4. Easy fixes to make the exterior a bit more modern – house numbers, mail box and nice planters.
  5. You could whitewash the “brick” – here is a good how-to link. An allover whitewash would make the dusty salmon less offensive (see below).

She sent me a pic and I played around in Photoshop to see what she’d look like in a different colour.

Here is the now: front-1

Here is what I tweaked: front-1b

And here are some options. The landscaping and door are long-term add-ons.

A. Dark. Too dark? front-2

B. Chocolate brown.front-3

 C. Teal front-4

D. Green front-6

E. Blue front-7F. Greyfront-8G. Dusty bluefront-9H, Dusty tealfront-10I. Medium greenfront-11J. Creamy purplefront-12K. Whitewashfront-13

haha I know I am not a Photoshop whizkid – no need to tell me!

BTW, the owners of this house did some awesome interior renos this year – maybe she’ll share a sneak peak.

psst. If you like what you’re reading, please subscribe and share. xomeg