We may just have one of the ugliest, little bathrooms you ever did see. It's been very difficult to come up with a valid, possible, plan of attack. We've met with 3 contractors and our plumber, looked at what we can do ourselves and still aren't sure where we will end up. But, we are currently attacking it bit by bit from the edges trying to sneak up on the issue at hand and render it less potent. The biggest issue is the tile. I prefer to save anything original that can be saved. We're planning to keep the original tile in the kitchen, but the bathroom is proving hard to warm up to. The wall tile is hideous. Photographs really don't do it justice. It's an awful color with awful trim, cracked in places, with mismatched tiles in others. Being set on a solid, massively thick bed of mortar and chicken wire within a space where there isn't room to swing even a tiny sledgehammer, this stuff is not easily removed, not easily covered up and not easily ignored. The floor rivals it in its insidiousness of color, crack and bother, but it is far easier to obliterate. I like the pattern, but the color and condition aren't really workable. We can easily cover the floor with new tile, but need to finalize wall plans first. Do we do whatever it takes to make the wall tile go away or do we do everything else around it and hope it's all bearable in the end?
We were planning on not touching anything until we made the decision, but the toilet and sink both just couldn't hold out. The original toilet had been "fixed" before we moved in and it was constantly running through massive amounts of water and self-flushing repeatedly, while the sink (an inexpensive replacement pedestal not original to the house) was awkward to use, way too big for the room and rather disgusting. No amount of cleaning could spruce it up and the decaying drain was growing worse every day. Since we've just been through a removal and install for both fixtures, we're putting off dealing with the tile for now rather than go through it all again right now. For the moment, we are painting, hiding and ignoring the bad bits until we can work out a final solution.
We have a new Gerber Avalanche toilet and a narrow, sideways oriented sink from IKEA. We had actually chosen a similar sink with a really lovely stainless cabinet, but realized quickly that stainless cabinet in the bathroom with 4 children was not the best idea. After looking at many, many other options, we decided to go with the LILLANGEN slightly modified. More on the sink coming up tomorrow. We've also added a RÅSKOG Wall Cabinet in dark gray, to cover the rows of holes in the tile from a set of plastic shelves that we've removed. For the moment the cabinet is acting as a mini-museum for a portion of the ceramics projects everyone brought home this year.
For the final step in our temporary plan, we're painting the walls Benjamin Moore Dark Pewter (color to the left in the image above right), which did the most to make the tile feel more pink than bandaid/fleshy yuckus. We looked at about 40 shades of gray to find one that would pull out the pink in the tile without looking too blue, green or black. In this case, pink would be a blessing. It also pulls the brown trim to a darker shade of brown, closer to black at the bottom, which helps too. The rusty, brown radiator cover will be painted as well. If we pull the wall tile, we will probably re-plaster the lower half of the wall and will rethink the color then, but for now, we're hoping it will make a big difference. Eventually, the floor will either be a white or black penny round, a small running block pattern in white or something marble to match the marble threshold & window sill. More to come.