Monday, June 17, 2013

That 70s Bathroom: Phase 3

I'd stopped looking for a toilet paper holder for this bathroom.  Not because I developed a fondness for the shiny, brass, free-standing model the house came with, but because I was busy with other things and needed a break.  Then, I found myself on Ebay looking for fabric and decided to look again.  POW!  A model that is just-right for the 70s decor* at a good price popped up on page two of my search results.

Seeing this makes me feel three things: 1) really good about all the progress towards making this house ours, 2) like I really want to get something on that wall over the toilet, and 3) that I the lack of window treatments is going to start bugging me.

It's a really boring toilet paper holder and it's a bit underwhelming that my hours of searching online and in stores and my many minutes of griping have yielded this particular piece of hardware which will result in mostly a lack of noticing the toilet paper holder in that bathroom.  Still, it feels good to have checked it off the list without compromising my thriftiness goals ($7 + $5.50 shipping).  And the shape and color is not unlike the towel bars, even though the texture is different.  I will probably keep the stand model for its heavily weighted base which could come in handy for a Halloween prop. It seems silly, but the room actually looks more spacious with out the old stand parked right in the middle of it.

This this is actually of pretty high quality!  Sure it's old and dated, but it's also solid cast brass.  Even the springy bit that you put the roll is real brass. Of course, I forgot to pick up brass screws when I was out and of course, I had some that worked just fine.  I'd have preferred them not to be Phillips-head for a more finished look, but I'm happy to use something I had laying around.

Another thing we haven't developed a fondness for is the vanity cabinet. The morning after I ordered the TP holder, I couldn't bear to stop there with the progress on this room, so I decided to refinish it.  Let me say that there's nothing good about this cabinet, aesthetically or functionally, other than it holds the sink (also not a winner) up and hides some of our stuff.  That top drawer there?  It's at our knees.  That's LOW.   This is not one of those good-bones-just-needs-updating-refinishing projects. But we're stuck with it for awhile, so I thought I'd at least make it look a little less worn or at least make it less eye-catching.

I am convinced that the bathroom cabinets, counters and sinks were meant for a manufactured home; a 1970s manufactured home when they didn't have regulations about quality and they were working really hard to make them as light weight as possible.

I have a few colors of an acrylic "stain" and sealer combo in my stash of decorative painting supplies (Stain & Seal by Faux Effects, if you're interested) and chose ebony to give it a quick n' clean make over.  Three coats, "hand-rubbed" and done.  While the hardware was off I gave it a good scrub and realized that it's no less ugly, but now I know crappy quality, too.  The hinges are keepers and I already had knobs for the drawers from a 10-pack I picked up, one of which I used on the medicine cabinet.  A few different stops at a few different hardware stores and home centers and POW, new pulls for the doors (2 @ $1.18 each).  Of course antique brass isn't prevalent at the home centers even though it's back in the design magazines, so my options were limited.  I'm not excited about them, but I'm pleased to have something that is not quite so gaudy as the originals and is the right finish.  Of course I'll keep the originals, again for Halloween purposes; they just shriek "Transylvania" to me.

cabinet_makeover vanity_makeover cabinet_refinish
Full-frontal vanity. My grandpa made the smiley face stool for me when I was just small.  I'd like to tighten up the joins (just nails and screws) and maybe repaint it. I kind of dig the orange and the wear on it, though.  The smile cut into the top makes it so it can't really be sat or stood on, even by little kids, so I might try to figure a way to make it functional, too.  Someday.

In this shot you can see how the new cabinet finish is slightly translucent with some of the wood tones showing through the "stain."  This ties in with the distressed finish on the black-painted medicine cabinet and makes the vanity less dark in general.

Finally, to replace the old drawer liners and stick with the use-what-we-moved-here-across-3-state-lines theme, I used some gold glitter vinyl from my fabric stash.  It is not only a hoot, but it matches the gold glitter in the counter top and sink.

Yes glitter vinyl, gold glitter vinyl.  This makes me smile and giggle when I open the drawers.  I also cut a piece for the under the sink.

What's left?  Window coverings (I have the hardware) and framing up more of the toothpaste collection.  Oh, yeah and probably some organizers for the cabinet to make it a little more useful.  I think I've given up on the light fixtures.

*If you missed the reason we decided to go retro 1970s-inspired with our decor, see this. And other tedious, yet fascinating details about this bathroom redecoration can be found here & here.


  1. WOW! Yes you're right TP holders are not THAT fascinating when it comes to home decor but that looks soo much better. That cabinet make-over makes it look almost new and I LOVE the playfullness of the gold glitter liner. It's something super unexpected for your snoopy guests. Come on, you know your guests snoop ;)

  2. Thanks! And yes, even if guests are only snooping for a fresh roll of TP, I like that they could be surprised by what I think is a funny shelf liner. :)


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