How We Used Paint to Make Our Bathroom Less Boring



We did a major bathroom reno quite a few years ago.  

We replaced the lino floor with basketweave tile.  We replaced the plexiglas shower insert with marble tile.  (Ok, it wasn't real marble.  But it really looks like it).  We got a new tub, toilet and sink.  The only thing that stayed was the wainscoting, which we painted.  

We did the whole thing in different shades of grey and white.  I knew I'd get bored with the color palate soon, but just wanted to live with a clean slate for awhile.  

The first color we added was a dark blue to the wainscoting.  Then a dark green/teal.  The upper walls stayed a light grey both times.  

And they also stayed BORING.


What I really wanted was wallpaper.  Preferably with art hung on top of it.  


But our bathroom has terrible ventilation and lots of people are taking showers lots of the time.  

So I nixed that idea. 


Then I tried doing my own abstract "art" on the walls.  


Then we considered a mural. 

Double meh. 


Finally, I basically forced our older son to work on the project with me.  Covid was in full swing and he was bored out of his mind.  I gave him almost 50% say in whatever we were going to do.  


We landed on the idea of a sort of fence pattern that reminded me of wrought iron  details you'd see on gates and things.  The pattern would go up and down across the main wall.  It turned into something a bit more abstract and modern.  And we debated over the colors forever.  Many (many) samples of paint later, here's what we've come up with.  


I'm pretty happy with it!  


Here are a coupla photos: "before" and "in process." 


One of my favorite things to do whenever I repaint a bathroom is to refresh my towels, shower curtain and bath mat.  (It's a great excuse to buy new stuff, isn't it)?  But I'm also trying to be more conscientious of my buying habits from an environmental standpoint, as well as my habits around getting rid of things.  So as I slowly replace old, faded or worn out products, I'm looking for things that are the best quality I can afford so that they last longer, as well as products that use a production process that's the least damaging way to make my home look and feel great. 


So far, I've done some of the basics, such as buying bamboo toilet paper from a cool company called Who Gives A Crap.  (I'm not kidding.  That's the name).  I'm telling you, they've made toilet paper fun. The wrapper on each roll is in a colorful pattern and who doesn't get a kick out of seeing "who gives a crap" on their toilet paper as it sits, waiting to be used?  Plus, they donate a whopping 50% of proceeds to help build toilets in areas that haven't had access to running water.  

I've also switched to only using paints with no VOC (volatile organic compounds), which means I don't get headaches anymore when I'm repainting!  Most paint companies offer this option now and I've been used Clare, Valspar, Benjamin Moore and Behr. 

I've replaced my ratty white sheets with gorgeous linen ones from Saphyr Linen.  I'm telling you, linen sheets are soooo worth the money.  A good night's sleep truly does wonders for your overall health and since you spend so much time sleeping in bed (and sweating in bed if you're 50+ like me) and you deserve this luxury!  

And now, with this bathroom redo, I'm so happy to have found Boll & Branch for my towels.  They pay attention to their entire supply chain, both environmentally and socially, which gives me all kinds of good feels.  These towels you see in the photos are in the Eucalyptus color, which I thought would look really nice against that dark green/teal wainscoting.  Just like the bed linens, they're pricier than what you'd find at typical stores, but so far, they aren't fading (which my other ones did almost immediately) and they are still super fluffy.  Worth it! 


 Naturally, I also wanted to replace our dingy shower curtain.  Unfortunately, Boll & Branch doesn't sell those.  I looked online at many different sources and just couldn't find something I liked.  So this time, I settled for good old Target.  Not at all environmentally friendly so while this one does the job, I'll be looking at greener options for the future.  Anyway, I knew I wanted something in that yellow color I'm using on the walls.  And I wanted something with a small scale pattern to balance out the very large scale of the pattern on the walls.   Here's what I've settled on:


There's still some work to do.  

  • Paint the ceiling
  • Paint above the shower
  • Touch up paint mistakes throughout
  • Clean and/or replace the fan

But overall, I'm really loving our now not-at-all-boaring bathroom re-do!  

(I'm sure I'll get tired of it in a year or two.  But what fun would life be if I didn't???)



Who Gives A Crap

Clare Paint (you can easily find the others I've mentioned)

Saphyr Linen

Boll & Branch


* Full disclosure: Over the years, I've been gifted something from each of these companies (except the toilet paper :-) but my opinions and recommendations are genuine and honest.  Please support these companies (or others like them) when you're ready to replace and upgrade your items.  I think we're all getting to the point where we want to limit our personal exposure to unnecessary chemicals and try to repair some of the damage we've done to our natural resources.  No guilt trips here... I don't think any of us is hurting the planet on purpose!  We've just not been aware of our impact.  And now that I am, I want to do my part to make things a little better (without sacrificing style or comfort).  If you have your own best practices when it comes to being more aware of our environmental footprint, please share!  And if you have favorite companies, I'd love to hear about them, too!  

xoxo Zandra




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