Thursday, January 18, 2007

Home Improvement

After spending the weekend hopscotching between my mom's lovely new house, my sister's uber-cute apartment and Christopher and Tasha's completely awesome condo, I was feeling a little bit like my own house could use some sprucing. I have a few projects in my bedroom that are kind of time intensive that I certainly intend to get to but since I had a few hours to kill on Martin Luther King Day I figured I would tackle that eyesore that is my bathroom.

We moved in about a year ago and my roommate said I could do whatever I wanted with it. Up until now that consisted of hanging exactly one framed piece of art. The problem is that it is just kind of an odd bathroom. Our landlord would prefer we not paint so we are stuck with these sort of pale pink walls and bone colored counter tops. Also, the counter goes on for what feels like an entire football field. I personally would have put in two sinks if I had been designing this particular bathroom but as it stands now, the end of the counter often becomes a gathering place for junk. Towels or hairdryers or makeup cases sit there for undisturbed for days because there is just so. much. space.

So I headed off to Target, determined to do something about my sad bathroom. I do spend quite a lot of time in there and wanted it to feel more relaxing than utilitarian. I wondered around for quite a while, trying to look at things the way my mom and sisters do. I was finally struck by inspiration in the candle aisle. I made a quick stop in housewares, and finished up with a trip to Pier 1 and Bath and Body Works to complete my idea.

I got a wee bit of advice from my mother and from Emily and then I got started. A few months ago I read on a blog I like that IKEA had some great little jars in their kitchen department that would make cute holders for cotton balls and Q-tips. In an uncharacteristic display of initiative, I actually went out and bought them. I even went out on a limb and bought a spice rack jar for the Q-tips instead that turned out to be a perfect way to display AND dispense them. I don't know why it's so fun to use an item for something other than it's originally intended purpose but it is. Then I bought a cute Method soap dispenser in the green color I've decided will clash the least with the walls that I hate. And for now our toothbrushes are in a purple goblet that happens to be the other color I'm using for now. You work with what you have in a rental!

Then I tackled the LONG counter problem with an idea I borrowed from Tasha's bathroom. I bought a little woven tray at Pier 1 and set out a bunch of lotions, body spray and shower gel. They were having a huge sale at Bath and Body Works so I stocked up. I actually hate their lotions from a moisturizing standpoint and am forever loyal to my Aveeno BUT, I do love to smell good. They make layering a scent easy and affordable. Both of which I love. When those things are in a drawer I forget about them-now that are out I am actually using them. Plus it will be nice for guests as well. Lastly, it eliminates the junk collecting spot. I actually moved it out a few inches from the wall after I took this picture but you get the idea.

My final touch was to add some color and interest on the other side of the room. I love having candles all over the place(despite Samantha from SATC's comment that "candles are the new cats for single women")so I bought a bunch in different sizes and colors. I put them on a plate originally intended to serve asparagus or something and then filled it in with little white rocks. Then I hung a new hand towel in that nice green.

It's amazing how much nicer the whole room feels now. Last night I lit the candles and turned off the fluorescent lights while I took a shower. It was so peaceful and lovely and I swear I slept better last night then I have in weeks. There is an article in this month's Domino that talks about how your home is the center of everything you do and the more you love your home, the more light and energy you have for the rest of your life. I think in the past I have foolishly done that single girl thing where you think "I'll wait to make a home until I have one of my own." But I am now committed to making my house into a real respite from the rest of my world.


Kelly said...

You did a great job. Green is my new favorite color lately.

I am a big candle fan and have been for years - even before I was settled firmly in single woman territory. Last night I had a hazelnut candle burning in our warm yellow living room with the nearby lamp on low. It was so warm and cozy.

I have a subscription to Domino, which I mostly got because of the cute tote bag I got for free, but I like the magazine too.

snapdragon said...

We are doing home improvements too! We just painted our basement room a nice celery green. It will be our new guest room. I'm excited to dress it up.

Next room (starting tomorrow): Baby's room!

pinetreesummer said...

...seems to me that you have your own style, and it's good