Friday, October 22, 2010

Powder Room Make-over

Ever had one of those projects that spiraled out of control before you could even get started?

Our half bath was stuck in 1995.  It's a tiny space with a high ceiling.  Emerald green walls and sunflowers galore.  The previous owners were nice enough to leave the silk sunflowers behind when they moved.  Gee, I wonder why.

So I tried to make it a little less Americana and a little more Provence until a better option presented itself. Um, yeah...

Then I found this great print of a vintage map of Paris at The Curious Sofa

But it wasn't a standard size.  Of course.  So I had a mat cut for it, thinking that the mat would get me to a standard sized frame.  Wrong again, of course.

So now, I'm looking to custom frame a print that originally cost me about $10.  Fan-tastic.  I've blown the budget on the ENTIRE project without even walking into the room.

I'm at a custom frame store because they are running a special on poster frames.  Basic, bland, boring stock, and my enthusiasm is deflating quickly.  Then, the cunning shop clerk reaches past the sale frames and pulls this little number from the wall:

It's not on sale.  It's EXPENSIVE.  It's on back order.

It's perfect.

Since I'd have to wait 6 weeks for delivery, I have time to think about how I'm going to pull off this project and spend as little additional money as possible.

The basic decor stuff was easy.  We use our credit card's reward points for Bed Bath and Beyond gift cards.  So, I replaced the tiny wooden craft shelf with a contemporary floating shelf.  And I picked up a tissue holder in a dark bamboo stain as well as a new hand towel and use the 20% off coupons that come in the mail.  Out of pocket cost: $0.

The matted print of the Louvre hanging on the wall is a night-time photo that I took when we were in Paris three years ago.  I ran it through one of the art filters in Photoshop Elements so it looked like a watercolor.  I bought the frame with mat on clearance.

I had found the vintage post card of Sacre Couer at Good JuJu and used a frame and a scrapbook paper background I already had on hand.  I think I paid 50 cents for the postcard and it's the real deal, not a replica.  :-)

Thrift stores always have shelves overflowing with brass and silverplate vases and trays, but they are usually long past their prime. 

Since they are soooo cheap, I'm not afraid of spray painting them back to life.  A little oil rubbed bronze spray paint does wonders.  I figure I can change out the floral display for the seasons. 

While the spray paint is out, I paint the white wall register with ORB too.  I'm doing pretty good so far, but I haven't tackled what was supposed to be the most expensive part of this make-over: the LIGHT FIXTURE and all it's shiny brass glory.


I look at Home Depot.  I look at Lowes.  I make multiple trips, hoping for a clearance sale.  I look at Habitat ReStore and Craigs List, but I'm a little iffy on buying second hand electrical fixtures, so I'm always hoping to find something new.  No luck.

I'm almost resigned to shelling out over $100 to buy a new light fixture.  Then I have an idea.

Take the old fixture down, spray paint it with ORB and replace the light shades!

I found the shades at Home Depot for $15 each, so I have a "new" light fixture for only $30 instead of $120.  Whoo hoo!

Finally, I glued 1 inch wooden half-spheres I found at Hobby Lobby around the old oak frame and gave it a generous coat of ORB spray paint.

Goodbye Emerald City!

I'm linking up...

The Lettered Cottage


  1. Fantastique! LOL - you are inspiration this morning....I have that exact brass nightmare in my 2nd I shall sally forth and rip 'er out for a paint job. I can do it!

  2. very nice. I like that mirror too.

  3. I love the new look. I have some light fixtures I would like to re-do as well, I have the same fortune to have lovely brass lights!

    Any tips on spray painting them??

  4. OH MY!!! Fabulous!!! Would never know it is the same room....Nice idea on the mirror...
    We built in the 90's... SOooo guess what? all that Brass.. you inspire, think I will go get some spray paint.
    (stopping by from B/A)

  5. Kablam! That is one great makeover. Saving so much money is just a BONUS!

  6. Great job on the mirror... an easy way to spice up bland frames!

  7. Painting the light fixture was pretty easy. Use LOTS of thin coats of spay paint to avoid runs. I probably I made about six trips to the garage to coat it. I used blue painters tape to mask off the white part where the light bulb is screwed in and the electric wiring. I also left the screws that hold the shades on the fixture so they could be painted too.

  8. Great makeover. Love the color and the revamped fixture. Thanks for joining the party.


Will blog for comments! Talk to me.