Zero Budget Project: Bathroom 1


The end of this week was a doozy. Between Chris taking on some side jobs and the kids refusing to nap, publishing this project was not going to happen. To be completely honest, it’s been pull-out-the-hair maddening not to get things done.

My sister took the kids for practically the whole day on Thursday which helped me get work done, especially since I’ve not had a break earlier in the week or since. Unfortunately, I managed my time poorly and spent about 80% of it applying dots to one of the walls in the bathroom. It took FOREVER.

This room really just called for some tidying and styling. It’s not a huge reveal, but I put in a few surprises that makes this space fun.

See, not much has changed from the before (above).

First on the list was to hang art. The photograph on the left was taken in front of a store front with a sort of comic message on the door. As I snapped this photo, I just about got beat up by whomever owned this “shop”. From the looks of things at that time, I wouldn’t have been surprised if illegal things were going on. I like the photo because it reminds me of the joys of finding your surroundings art-worthy and making excuses for adventure.

The photo on the left was taken by my sister-in-law while she was in Costa Rica. The composition of this piece is really great.

Here’s a better view of what I did to the cubbies: a spot for brushes, a bud vase that hides the soap (she’s only allowed bar soap for now), a vintage jar of q-tips and an extra roll of toilet paper. Above the cubbies I feature the second of my pair of Dachshund lamps. He’s like Penelope’s little watch dog to make sure she washes her hands.

I made the white box next to the watch dog out of a vinyl banner my cousin gave to me. I used this method for sewing it up. It houses all of Penelope and Felix’s bath toys. Since it’s vinyl, I don’t have to worry about it getting wet and grubby.

I spray painted Penelope’s stool a bright orange I had on hand. I thought I had the same green that’s featured in the shower curtain, but nope. That would’ve been perfect, but the orange still looks nice. Much nicer than the dirty pink caused by Penelope and her bathroom adventures.

You can see the dots on the far wall, right? They don’t photograph as well as I would like, but they look really lovely in person. I opted to do the dots here and forgo any artwork on this wall because the door is typically open and covers up a good portion of the wall.

The shower curtain and towel hooks were already there when we moved in (Thanks Nikki!!!), so no real work needed here. And it just so happened that I had charcoal towels to match the flooring and curtain. Score.

I found it really hard to photograph the entire bathroom. What are your tips on photographing small spaces? Maybe next time I do a bathroom, I’ll do video instead.

I ended up moving the Love artwork from Merrilee from the studio to the bathroom. I think it fits here better, and ties in Felix’s red towel.

The print on the right is a litho I made in college of Chris and I super imposed onto the poem, “Le Pont Mirabeau“. I learned it in Jr. High. It was an awkward situation learning it, but I really love the poem. In it it says, “La joie venait toujours après la peine.” Which basically means joy follows pain. Oh how lonely and sad I was before I met Chris. That summer before we met was brutal and filled with awkward facebook and myspace blind dates and plenty of relationships ending in disappointment.

When I met Chris, there wasn’t an instant firework moment. I just liked being around him so much I would go to the library the same time each week in hopes that I would bump into him again. For months we were just acquaintances or just running buddies. Then we had a disastrous first date. Sparks flew. A month later we were talking love and a few short months after that we were married. Since our first date, no one else has ever mattered. I printed this piece just after we started dating, so it’s a really fun reminder of our story and love.

And now you have every right to call me a cheesy romantic.

Back to the room – It’s nicely put together and this room didn’t cost me a dime! I’m pretty thrilled with the end results. Now only 7 more spaces to go!

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    1. May says:

      I love the shower curtain and the orange stool and orange tissue holder (is that what it is?) There are two photos to the left when you describe the artwork above the toilet =) I guess it’s all relative though. The dots look really good! Are they stickers? I can see why it would have taken forever…they look really precisely applied.

    2. Melissa says:

      Thanks so much!! I got the tissue holder last year for my birthday from my mother in law. You can see it here:

      And the dots were painted. I guess I should’ve mentioned that I painted them with acrylic craft paint, so I can scrub them off as I please.

    3. sky says:

      you should try turning the lights off in the bathroom to photography the dots better… in general, you should never have household lights on when you photograph since they add a color cast and hot spots.

    4. Stacey says:

      Aw this is a lovely post! I love the effort you put into the dots and I love your shower curtain too, very cute. The added stories behind the photo’s make it very personal to you and thanks for sharing your love story, it made me go ‘aww’. If you ever do get the hang of photographing small faces please share! xx

    5. stela axinte says:

      Congratulations for great results of your work!

    6. Kristin says:

      Looks. Lovely! All my art history training screams in rebelion to putting art work in a bathroom (the moisture, quelle horreur!), but it warms up the space so well. Nothing bores me more than decorator art, its so heartless.

    7. Nikki says:

      I love the dots! It like Swiss Dot fabric. So playful.

    8. Elaine says:

      I lvoe the dots! Did you just pencil lines and paint the dots? it looks so time consuming but love the result.

    9. Emily says:

      The dots are fun! I can use tips for photographing small spaces too. :)

    10. Pamela says:

      I have loved seeing you transform your new house. Its great to see the pics first on Instagram and then the final project here. Nothing is better than having the satisfaction of personalizing your OWN home. Yay!!!

    11. […] double sinks (so Chris can actually use this bathroom, he’s currently stuck with the one down the hall). I want to tear down the wall to the “toilet closet”, who needs a 3′ x 8′ […]

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