House Update: One Month In

8 Jan

50s-pink-vintage-bathroom
Full disclosure: I penned this in early August but only JUST had the mind to go back and add photos so this is a very belated post detailing where my mind was in late summer. Bear with me… I’m catching up.

Weeeee! July of this past year passed in a blur of hasty decisions, impulse paint sample purchases and sweaty hours out in the yard putting in a garden. And white wine. July has been a blur of white wine.

My main focus probably should have been on unpacking but once we had the bare essentials done, I wanted decor in place and I wanted it NOW. I’ve always been more of a decorator than anything else. It’s tough though, because I still don’t have a fully blown out idea of what direction I want our decor to go in.

home-decor-palletteAn overall home decor guide/color palette I put together years ago

My “Inside” Pinterest board is all over the place. Not to mention, we’re lacking a lot of the foundation pieces you typically require in a new space — like lamps, bookcases, end tables and other storage pieces.  I want to slowly shop for the right pieces and not just buy whatever. So it’s a slow-go. I have to keep reminding myself that this is the fun part of owning a home and that the vision will come together the more I poke around. Kind of a Field of Dreams, “If you poke around in enough antique/thrift/flea markets, the pieces will come” type of deal.

nate-berkus-for-elle-decor-2008Nate Berkus’ Chicago apartment, slideshow here

To that point, I recently re-read a great tip in a beloved old copy of Elle Decor from my favorite style guru, Nate Berkus. He said that when you’re struggling to define your style at home, just make one choice. That will inform the next choice and then the next. It’s brilliant. Thanks Nate! And check out his killer Chicago apartment which I grabbed my favorite picture of, above. But… I digress.

It’s obvious that my wheels are spinning, style-wise, when you look at the really subtle, cool paint color we chose for our living room — Benjamin Moore’s Edgecomb Gray, (which I’m in love with). It doesn’t quite “flow” with the color we chose to paint out front door: Benjamin Moore’s Spectre Blue. It’s obvious I’m very much all over the place still trying to nail down our style and our home priorities.

Case in point: About a week after moving in, I became obsessed with our bathroom. Our 1950’s ranch features one, gloriously teeny tiny bathroom that is original to the house.

in-defence-of-pink-bathroomssource: HGTV

It’s pink. It was midway down my list of projects to tackle in the first few years actually after our home inspector explained that the shower tile was mud-set which basically renders a bathroom remodel A LOT harder. But since the bathroom is so tiny and lacks any storage space whatsoever, it quickly became my mission to figure out how to keep it tidy, streamlined and liveable. Every time I’d walk by, I’d tinker with the towels or the bathmat or whether leaving the white shower curtain open or closed would improve the feel of the space.  I was maniacal about the door remaining as flush to the wall as possible so the space felt less claustrophobic and even purposely styled our greenish or black toiletries and candles to adorn the clear shelving to compliment the peachy/pink and black accent tile. This trick actually gave a very chic, hipster vibe I’m kind of into actually but I don’t think my husband appreciates that I keep moving his body wash and shaving mirror because their colors clash with my scheme.

Eventually I started to research “learning to love your vintage pink bathroom” and became obsessed with fully embracing ours. I stumbled across article after article imploring those with original pink bathrooms like ours to “Save the Pink Bathroom!” There’s even a Facebook group and a pledge page to preserve these rare vintage bathrooms.

It’s a thing and it’s kind of sweet. Here are 10 facts about pink bathrooms if your interest is piqued. It definitely worked for me. I owe a huge debt of gratitude to Pam Kuber of Retro Renovation for championing this cause. I also LOVE a challenge and making our teeny pink bathroom work has proven to be one of my favorite projects of our home so far.

skylands-bathoom-martha-stewart

One of the best tips I came across was that downplaying the pink actually makes a pink bathroom stand out even more — you have to lean into it. Layer on the pink.  It’s a tactic that Martha Stewart employed to beautiful result in her pink bathroom at Skylands, her sprawling estate in Maine. The picture above isn’t great, but it’s the only one I was able to find. Are you dying over those light sconces? And that gorgeous, leggy vanity? (Sidenote: I’d give just about ANYTHING to visit Skylands but I’ve read that Martha only auctions off tours for charity. Womp womp.)

pink-bathroom

Our bathroom actually features an almost peachy-pink tile with a black subway tile accent and a penny tile type of floor, again, with the black accent (and an almost exact layout to the above). So for me, I almost treat both as neutrals and have fun introducing whatever colors I want. For a while, I was CONVINCED that this Albert Hadley “Fireworks” wallpaper was what needed to happen in our bathroom after seeing countless examples that had me drooling:

albert-hadley-fireworks-in-a-pink-bathroom
I changed my mind though and decided wall papering in our steamy, poorly ventilated bathroom wasn’t a good idea, but not after I doggedly tracked the nearly impossible to find wallpaper down. Fun fact — it’s discontinued. Naturally. But you bet I found it thanks to a local paint supply store and my usual willful determination.

buddha-let-that-shit-go-art

I toyed with the idea of doing a few other large and small scale wallpapers but ultimately decided to just focus on accessories and art. I’m dying to DIY a version of this Buddha art above! And I have to say, our bathroom has become a favorite space in our home. I’m thinking of possible introducing some wood tones in the form or a bamboo shade and some shelves and a lidded trash bin, but so far, a lidded trash bit seems to be an elusive bathroom item. I might have to use a small lidded hamper maybe.

Anyways, here is my Pinterest board of Pink Bathroom Inspiration if you’re interested in any of the other ideas I’ve culled together or you’d like some sources for any of the above photos featured.

I’m slowly catching up on a backlog of “House Update” posts and will have fall and winter update posts to share very soon so please stay tuned.

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