Friday, August 14, 2015

Bananas in the Bathroom!

Months ago when I was doing the master bedroom, I came across this fabric. It's a Tommy Bahama design that I absolutely fell in love with. There is just something so completely amusing about it - makes me smile every time I look at it. No, I didn't have anywhere to put it, yes, it was expensive; no, I didn't buy any.

 So, I went on with the bedroom plans, and other projects that came and went. But every time I looked for fabric online (which is a lot more often than you'd think), I would see this lovely banana covered fabric. I knew I was going to have to find a place for it in my life!

And I did!

 I had been puttering around in Hobby Lobby (an obsession of mine!!) when I came across these delightful little knobs. I really like the little world map images. An idea began to percolate! Of course I bought four to replace the knobs in the master bath. I had visions of a tropical vacation! I headed over to Home Depot, picked paint for the bathroom and zoomed home to get started on the transformation!

 I had decided that since that master bath is not a room that gets seen by very many visitors, it would be the perfect place to try some things that seemed like good ideas in my head. For example, painting the ceiling. I've wanted to paint the ceilings forever - it's really just another wall, right? So, the walls are a lovely shade of seafoam and the ceiling is aqua - I love the combination! It works really well with a buttery shade of yellow as accents.

One of the things I love about this bathroom is the two HUGE windows. The view isn't the best, a few of my backyard neighbors, but it faces South and the light is wonderful.Time to improve the view by making the curtains -- you see where this is going right? Yup, bananas!! I got four yards of bright bunches of banana fabric and whipped up the curtain panels.

 I wanted to keep as much light as possible, have a little privacy, (it is a bathroom after all!) but also get the most out of this fun fabric. I kept the curtains simple - they're 34" panels on tension rods. I like them a lot because I still get tons of light but there are plenty of bananas to keep me smiling.

...Bonus!! There was enough fabric left over to cover this little stool!

The paint and the fabric are always the easy parts for me, all those little accessories are the things I struggle with but this is coming together pretty well. I found this wall art of fish at Pier One - they look like they're swimming in the Caribbean above the tub.

I love the feeling of this painting - it's on wood and looks aged, as if it pointed wandering vactioners to tropical respite for many years before ending up in my bathroom. It feels cool, relaxed and promises fun times and beachy drinks just around the corner!

That took care of the bigger items - all I had left to find were the little things and storage. I hate a bathroom counter that's full of stuff. I realize that everyone puts on make up and brushes and shaves but I don't really want to see all that. My problem is that I have cabinet space which is great for towels and big things but - no drawers. So, small items were my problem.

As luck would have it - I found the perfect solution on one of my many forays through Hobby Lobby (I might need to buy stock with them!). I got this great little cabinet, three drawers and the top opens - perfect for all the little bits!

While I was there I also scored this delightful little mermaid dish - her job is to corral all my earrings and she's very good about it! Another great find was the towel hook - I absolutely love this little shark! They're both made from cast iron, the mermaid came in the aged white that you see, but the shark was au natural - a quick shot of spray paint and he fits right in! (Pretend that I've already painted the screw heads to match.)
Next came another cast iron piece - who doesn't want their washcloth delivered by Mr. Peanut?  He's perched on the edge of the tub waiting to assist the next bather. The wooden box is perfect for a few small items and a little fern - I love plants and this bath is the perfect room for them - lots of sunshine and natural humidity. I also have a great spider plant hanging in the corner. Eventually I'll figure out a better hanger for it - something with colorful beads maybe?

Last but not least is Mr. Chuckles -

Mr. Chuckles was a fixture in my bookstore for almost 20 years. He sat at the front counter and held candy for the customers. When I sold the store, I brought him home. Now he can have a new life relaxing in the bath. He's holding air plants and collected rocks - he looks completely happy under the banana curtains!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

The Guest Room Makeover

Furnishing a guest room is a special challenge. Of course there needs to be the typical things every bedroom needs - a place to sleep and a place to store clothing. But more than that, you need the space to convey a message; welcome, relax, enjoy. I want anyone who stays in my guest room to feel like they're on vacation. Even if it's just an overnight visit they should be relaxed, worry-free, cozy and comfortable. I wanted to fill the room with memories of past vacations, reminders of great places and times spent with friends and family: smiles.

 I love the guest room in our house. It's a really big room (14'x14'), has a good sized walk-in closet with a window, and a huge double window (72" wide), on one wall making it a wonderful, bright space.

 One of the very first things I found for the room was this amazing painting - one of those, stop-you-in-your-tracks kind of paintings. Loved the colors, the feeling of experiencing another time, days at the lake, family, vacations, endless summers - this was what I wanted in this room!

I decided that blue and yellow and lots of bright whites would be the perfect combination for this space. I didn't want the room to get crowded with a lot of bulky, dark furniture. Blue for the water - lakes, oceans, rivers, ponds and pools - places we all go to relax and have fun. Yellow for the sun, warmth, summer - happiness! White for the furniture and all the doors and trim - it keeps things light and fresh.

I already had a nice queen sized bed and nightstands for the room but needed a headboard. We have one of those unfinished furniture places here in town where I managed to score the perfect headboard,  simple, clean lines and the best part is that is was only $5.00!! It had a crack in the wood - whatever!

I filled the crack with wood filler, painted the headboard bright white and viola! Perfect headboard!

The other cool thing I found in the unfinished wood place was this nifty bench - which looks great and is a terrific place to put on your shoes. A quick coat of bright white paint and a cushion I made from a fabric remnant - whole project cost less then $25!

This little sign is one of my favorite things in the room. It's painted on wooden boards. I simply added the cup hooks along the bottom and used sea urchin shells and air plants to make little jellyfish which I hung from lengths of twine. How cute is that??

Every room needs a mirror and some hooks for hanging a towel, your purse, a robe - whatever. This piece combines the need for mirror, shelf and hooks - all with great style!

I added this little dresser to have a place to store things for guests staying more than a night. I keep travel size items in the top drawer like shampoo, toothpaste, lotion, deodorant and such in case items are forgotten. Small nightstands on either side of the bed with drawers for storage and lamps for night readers. These are the kinds of touches that I think make this room special. It's important to think of the little things that will make guests as comfortable and welcome as possible.

 Lots of vacation reminders complete the room. I know I got this one right because I want to sleep here! It feels welcoming and cheerful.

 I've even got a dog beg that I keep stored under the bed in case we have family or friends who visit with their canine companions.