Technically, this post is about the rehab of our hall bathroom. In actuality, I’m excited to delve into some of the grittier aspects of bathrooms and boys. You have been warned.
For twenty years, our four sons, aka our ManBearPigs, shared a small bathroom that measured 8 x 8. Thinking back on those days, it was quite manageable. When they were little, they loved communal bath time so much that the promise of bubbles in the tub was strong incentive for good behavior. And while I was forever straining to clean that weird spot on the base of the toilet with my stubby T-Rex arms, I don’t recall things getting rough until the middle school years.
That’s when our boys began developing five o’clock shadows by three in the afternoon. My husband was so proud of their manly abilities to grow beards, but not me. The perpetual coating of razor stubble all over both bathrooms drove me crazy. It got into everything, like coarse ground pepper, turning my fancy facial cream into an exfoliant. Plus, I knew full well that my husband couldn’t grow a beard to save his life. But me? Yup. Sadly, they inherited that gene from their Persian mother.
Anyway, after all the years of pure testosterone, we finally got a daughter. And watching my daughter-in-law share that tiny john with those ManBearPigs made me cringe. It was the impetus I needed to rehab it.
Here is what I love about the bathroom:
We installed a heated floor, which makes a huge difference. It was -20 degrees this morning. You know what I’m talking about.
I chose wood cabinetry because the rest of my home has a lot of natural wood finishes. This room needs to fit in. Plus, natural wood is coming back! Mark my words.
We raised the countertops. They’re now 35” from the floor.
I love the new Kohler fixtures. If you’re a regular reader here, you know I am loyal to Wisconsin’s hometown manufacturer and will only ever buy their plumbing fixtures because of their dedication to the preservation of outsider art.
I couldn’t find a mirror I loved. Then my friend Patrick, who is a brilliant designer, came over and said, “There’s nothing vintage in this bathroom… what is wrong with you?!” It’s great having friends who keep you in line.
So I snagged this mirror from my basement and voila! The pottery and the toothbrush holder are also vintage.
The Evelyne Prélange tissue box in black faux fur is from Past Basket. It is softer than a baby’s freshly washed bottom. I know that when the boys were young, I could never have had something so soft and tactile, as it would certainly have become a booger depository. People moan that they’re sad when the little ones get big. They are forgetting the boogers.
The soap dispenser is from Crate and Barrel. It’s kind of lousy, FYI. I’m still looking.
I found the vintage poster up in Sheboygan. Actually my friend Diana from high school found it. She’s a highly skilled hunter and when she saw it, we both gasped. Were we appalled? In love? Either way, I knew it had to be the only artwork in the room.
The construction for this bathroom was done by Brillo Home Improvements. They have done all of our projects. This one took three weeks, start to finish. And Mike and Jonathan, the two gentlemen who showed up each morning, delighted me with their conversation. I spoke with them at length about the situation in Antarctica. You know, the incident where one researcher stabbed another over spoiled book endings. Mike and Jonathan came to the conclusion that if they were locked in my little bathroom for months straight, Jonathan would be the stabber and Mike the stabbee. Only Jonathan wouldn’t have attacked Mike with a kitchen knife. He thought that was amateur. He would have tried to find a less “public” way of inflicting pain, like leaving Mike out in the cold. Smart man.
We hope to redo our master bath sometime in the next six months. I am using a Jane Austen era corset as the artwork for that bathroom. And I’m looking forward to more stimulating conversation with Jonathan and Mike.
Photos by Renn Kuhnen.