Powder room

When buying a home that has living space on three levels, it is nice to have a bathroom on each level.  This was the one on the main floor.


This room is tiny.  The wall color of choice for all of the bathrooms in the house was of course Williamsburg blue.  Don’t ask me why, it was probably on sale.  In this room it was high gloss, and heavily textured.  Below the blue walls, the wainscoting that looks like wallpaper is, unfortunately, panelling.  It looked like this:


The trim around this charming paneling  was the fakest plastic wood ever created.  The vanity cabinet was just odd (let’s not make a corner cabinet, lets take it to the next corner for all that extra storage we’ll need, who cares what it looks like?)  The light was bottom of the line hardware store stock.  I called this room the “gas station”  because it reminded me of a gas station bathroom from the 1970s.    I would leave the light off while in there  to minimize the assault on my eyeballs.


I knew that this powder room and the other bathrooms in the house would need re-doing.  So I started haunting tile stores, kitchen and bath showrooms, and home improvement stores.  I took home tile and paint samples.  I looked at Architectural Digest, and Old House Journal, and Colorado Homes  for ideas.  Online I found Bradbury and Bradbury, a company that specializes in historical wallpapers and fell in love.  I ordered a bunch of wallpaper samples from them.

Here are some of wallpaper and tile samples I collected.

samples   IMG_0688IMG_0687

Obviously I wanted something botanical, soothing, cool, and un-gas station-like.   I had lots of ideas, but knew no one that I could trust to make the transformation.  I had done some minor remodeling projects in the past, replaced light fixtures, toilets, hung wallpaper, installed new flooring, and painted many, many walls and ceilings. That was a while ago, I’m older,  and I wanted someone with specific expertise in this area.   I needed someone to keep me from going overboard, which, as a creative person, I tend to do.

On one of my trips to Broadway Tile in Denver, I  heard a customer talking with the owner about a project he was working on.  The customer  seemed aware of aesthetics, and not just the nuts and bolts of remodeling.  After eavesdropping for a few minutes,  I asked him if he was a contractor.  He turned out to Dennis Culligan, owner of Culligan Construction in Arvada, Colorado.  (I found out later that he is also an artist)

Dennis and his head project guy, Jim, came over to see the house.   They both were very chatty, and we spent about two hours looking at, and laughing at all the weird stuff that had been done to this house.  They seemed genuinely interested in working on a vintage home and not just anxious to make a lot of money.   I was still nervous about jumping into a huge remodeling project, which the upstairs project would be.  So Howard and I decided that we would have Culligan do the powder room.  If we liked how it came out,  we would talk about the upstairs.

Here is a photo of some cute Japanese inspired wallpaper, found during demolition, hiding under the blue walls.  I love it.


The cabinet door knobs came from a box of stuff from my parents house.  Not sure where they were originally, but I was happy to put them to use.


I found this doorknob in a drawer in the dining room hutch. Happily, it works as beautifully as it looks.


 Lovely lights from Justice Lighting


Mossy green penny round ceramic tile on the floor.  I love the look of these,


actually liked them so much that we included them in the vanity countertop.


Bradbury & Bradbury’s Idylwild frieze.  At 18 inches, it is too tall to be called a border.  Though the room is tiny, the ceiling is quite high.  So this frieze worked perfectly.


I originally wanted a pedestal sink, but the pipes are located on the wall below the window, and it would have been a much bigger job to move them.  So we went with a vanity cabinet.  Which we had custom made to fit the space.  Still cheaper than moving the plumbing.


So this job was finished in June 2013.  And we love it.


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