Bathroom Refresh: Creating a Sanctuary of Solitude
One of constant refrains you hear when people find out you’re going to have a kid is to accept that you are about to give up going to the bathroom alone ever again. Last week when I had a stomach bug I resorted to filling a shallow bath for my kiddo and putting every bath friendly toy I could find in the tub, so we could hang out in the bathroom together while I was sick. For the most part though I try to take my trips to the bathroom solo, even when I am home alone with him (this is the beauty of having a Yes Space for your kiddos!) I make time to take a nice long shower at least every other day. I think it’s an important part of teaching your child body autonomy and respect for consent to set up the idea that the bathroom is a space for people to have privacy, and that will extend to my son too once he’s old enough to be in there alone safely. I think everyone, young and old, can relate to the experience of closing the door of the bathroom and breathing a sigh of relief to be alone.
While we may think of bathrooms as a primarily utilitarian space, considering the above, shouldn’t we try to create a space that nourishes us in these cherished moments of solitude? The bathroom is the place we can take all of our masks off that we wear for the world, and be alone with our bodies, our thoughts, and our feelings. It’s hard allow ourselves these necessary moments of vulnerability in a space that is cluttered, cold, or somehow unwelcoming. When we first came to look at our house as potential buyers, we knew the bathroom was going to need a change. Running around after my son, moving through the demands of each week, time just kept passing and soon it had been seven months since we moved in and we still hadn’t touched the room. In the face of the exhausting and difficult realities of the outside world right now, I knew it was finally time to tackle the bathroom and give our family the sanctuary we deserved.
The design choices I made together create a lush and luxurious environment in which to decompress and reflect. We removed the large plate glass wall mirror with a smaller ornate wooden framed mirror painted gold; our reflections stare back at us framed in a warm, regal light. The mirror was hanging in a dark hallway in our house already, leftover from a project in our last house, and I am so happy for it to have found a better home where we can really appreciate it. Similarly, I rescued an attractive canvas bin from a closet we rarely use, replaced it’s contents in a regular old cardboard box, and now we use the bin for my son’s bath toys and our other bath accoutrements. The fixtures were all previously a modern but cold brushed nickel, we refinished them all in a warmer, softer hammered copper finish. By repainting instead of replacing the fixtures we saved
hundreds of dollars and a lot of material waste. The walls had been a pale purpley-beige; we replaced it with a rich, emerald green, a color that brings a living opulence to the space, recalling both jewels and deep green leaves. The tile floor needed a deep clean, and we warmed it up with some colorful rugs. We went through all our bathroom products, getting rid of mostly empty bottles, and putting more away out of sight to keep a mostly clutter free visual space. We are still looking for the perfect new shower curtain, but even with the changes we have made so far my husband and I can’t stop remarking on what a huge and wonderful change to the space this is.
Here’s a list of what we used for our bathroom project:
Krylon Hammered Copper Spray Paint- $8.73
1 qt Colorhouse No VOC Self Priming Interior Paint in Thrive- $24
Floral Runner Rug- $14.64
Rag Rug Runner- $12.99
Painter’s Tape- $7.95
Total Cost: $68.31
I have $31.69 left in my $100 project budget for the perfect shower curtain and new rings.
Here’s a few before and after shots: