Our Kids Bath is under construction, and I am so excited to share all of the details and the design plan with you! What I truly love about design is taking something not so great and making it beautiful, unique, and functional. My desire in sharing spaces with you is to put you inside of my brain and take you along as I formulate a space.
But where to even begin? This is such a contorted story...I guess I will start from the very, very beginning.
Here is what the Kids Bathroom looked like when we moved in (MLS photo). Yes, in its original 1921 state. Now we knew it needed some attention when we bought this house (ALL of the bathrooms did), but we were hoping to save some of it because it is neat and old. I mean, check out all of those showerheads! Were they ahead of their time or what?!
We figured this project would be waaaaaaay down the line. But boy, were we wrong! Since our kids were so young when we moved into this house, we never used the shower. Our kids only took baths. But about two months into living here, a friend of ours came to stay with us for a few days, and he used the shower. (the kids bathroom = the guest bathroom) A couple of weeks later, we discovered the shower coming through the living room downstairs and found out we had a major issue.
Thus began the first, major, thought-we-had-more-time makeover in this house.
I tried to keep as much original as I could - layout, tile height (halfway up wall), cast iron tub, tub faucet, etc., but as you can imagine, it was a mess, and most of it had to go.
We replaced the pink and blue tiles with gray subway tile but kept the shower a fresh beveled white subway brick. It still had the feel of the original with a modern touch. Keep in mind this bathroom was pretty small, around 40 sf. I could touch the walls with my arms outstretched, and while we knew it was fine for then having four really little kids, we realized it would be a tight squeeze for four bigger kids. (this is also the bathroom we shared while we were saving our money to redo our shut-down Master Bath - six people in here was...full)
So the plan was to expand it someday in the far future using a funny little hallway and a couple of odd closets nearby, while keeping the work we had already done. On we went about three years when we began to we notice something a bit disconcerting...
As you can see from the Master Bathroom Inspiration Board I created above, the tub was a front-and-center element for me. I love baths, and it was important for the tub to be comfortable and beautiful. I'm a tall girl, so the tub needed to be long, and I wanted it to be deep. Oh, and I also wanted to stick with the original tub's material, cast iron. It holds heat longer, and I wanted to keep with the time period of my home. My husband was iffy in this - cast iron is so heavy, and he worried about getting it up the stairs. I will tell you, it was no small feat, it took eight burly men!!
I originally wanted the silver matte looking finish shown in the above picture. Through a little research, I learned this is TRULY silver leaf, and guess what, it tarnishes. The lady I spoke with told me this was the type of tub you put in a bathroom "you don't use much". Uhhhhhh this is the Master Bath, and who has a bathroom they don't use much?! So that was out as I do not plan on polishing my tub every time I use it...was there a way to mix Beauty and Practicality?
Why yes, there is.
Years ago, I fell in love with the Sara Chandelier from Canopy Designs.
That beautiful blue color has stuck in my mind for years; in fact, one of my clients has this chandelier in her house, and it looks amazing. Although I explored other options, and even DIY-ing a fixture, we ended up leaving room in our budget for a pair of the Sara pendants since I believed they would add so much to the room. Even with my discount, they were pricey, and after waiting what felt like forever (these are handblown in the US), two boxes showed up on my doorstep from New York.
There was one small problem though...that "beautiful blue color" looked more blue-green than I had imagined.
Hello Friends, pardon my absence the last couple of weeks while we wrapped up school (which was way busier than I imagined - whoosh!) and dealt with our porte cochere ceiling collapsing on our car (more on that later), not to mention my continued recovery (I'm feeling much better by the way, and am very close to being released by my doctors!).
This past Saturday, I finally sat down to tackle a task I had been needing to work on for quite some time - cleaning the hardware on the campaign built-in for our Master Bathroom.
This is a "before" picture, and this vintage campaign piece turned bathroom built-in, purchased at Scout Design Studio in Dallas, has had a major face lift since the photo below was taken.
[caption id="attachment_7807" align="aligncenter" width="306"] scout design studio[/caption]
As you can see, there is A LOT of hardware to be cleaned here. Over 50 pieces...But I was undeterred at the beginning. After all, this is not my first go-round at cleaning campaign hardware. I've done it millions of times.
I promptly pulled out my Brasso and started scrubbing. At first, I did not remove the campaign hardware from the main piece, simply because those brass T's and L-shaped pieces are a beating to get off without bending them. (I often recommend not removing campaign hardware for this very reason) However, after scrubbing and scrubbing with Brasso, I quickly realized this was not going to be an easy job. Therefore, all of the hardware was removed from the furniture piece very, very carefully. Once I had all of the brass hardware on a flat surface, I switched to Bar Keepers Friend and started scrubbing. I was surprised, yet again, to see my cleaner was not denting this grime at all.
So that's when I decided to pull out all the stops. If you have beyond dirty brass hardware, these are the steps you need to take to ensure the quickest, most efficient way of bringing these brass beauties back to life.