Tuesday, October 18, 2005

my bathroom needs your help

I can't remember if I've ever posted about the bathrooms in my little colonial money suck, but they are abysmal. I cannot say that they are the bane of my existence, because that would actually be my seafoam green hideously ugly kitchen, but they do cause me quite a bit of unhappiness.

We have one full and one half-bath, and the problem is really the tile. The downstairs half-bath has peach tile from the floor to halfway up the room, with a finishing row of black tiles at the top. The peach is incredibly difficult to match, and to add insult to injury, the previous owners found some linoleum tiles that are tan with yellow and gray flowers and laid it over the traditional black and white ceramic tiles that most 1930's homes have. They must have loved those yellow and gray flowers, because they also tiled upstairs in the same non-matching linoleum tiles.

The full-bath upstairs is slightly less offensive, with pale yellow tiles running more than halfway up the wall in the toilet/sink section and most of the way up the wall in the shower. OH, and on the ceiling too.

Think I'm joking?

Can you imagine what cleaning this bathroom is like? My neck hurts thinking about it.

I mainly find it less offensive because yellow is one of my favorite colors. But this yellow is very pale and very hard to match. For the past year, I have been steadily purchasing and returning shower curtains, rugs and bathroom accessories in my quest to find one that works. We had a yellow striped one, but it was too gold of a yellow. We had a green with yellow stripes, but it didn't look good with the black stripe. We had a plain white, but it was too boring. We had yellow, green and lavender butterflies, but it just looked weird.

Recently I found the current shower curtain, white with little embroidered bees on it, and I think it works. I figure that with a yellow and black bathroom, it is rather fitting to have little bees on the shower curtain. But now my little Eiffel Tower shower curtain rings don't fit anymore, which causes me great sadness, and I've been unable to find any rugs or accessories that match the bathroom. And this is where you come in.

I went to Tarjay this weekend and picked up some different colors of rugs, but I can't decide between the two front runners. I need suggestions, or I need you to tell me to go back to square one because they are all awful.

Here is the current state of affairs. Old green rug that used to match a previous bathroom, but now is old and ratty and is missing a patch of thread from being washed too many times.

Option one:

Hmmm, now that I look at it in this picture, it doesn't quite look like the right yellow, although it looked okay in person.

Option two:

I still need to find shower curtain rings, plus garbage can, plus soap dispenser, etc., but finding a rug will help me narrow my search.


And just so you have a clear vision of what this tile is like, here is a picture of the spot just near the shower. It looks more yellow than it really is here, less bright in person.

What we will do with this in the future is unclear, especially because it is cracking in the shower area. No mildew or rotting because the tiles are set into concrete, but it is unattractive all the same.

No commenting on the dirt, please. Cleaning is Josh's responsibility, and his school duties have taken him far far far away from his responsibilities. If I told you it had been 3 months since the house was cleaned, it would NOT be an exaggeration.


Honey Bunny said...

i like the black rug instead of the yellow. but then again, i love black...period!

we got beautiful plum colored towels for our wedding, but our bathroom is bred black and white. so i think i'm going to trash the red bathmats and get some black ones so the plum doesn't look so silly in there.

someday we hope to have a house. that probably won't ever happen, but we can dream, right?

Honey Bunny said...

that's red, black, and white...not BREAD black and white ;)

Girl said...

I'm with you on the black, honey bunny. I think it is a much cleaner look and you can still keep the E Tower shower curtain rings. Not so sure about the bees though...what about something like this...the stripe makes it less boring than plain white, and it would match the stripe in the wall and the black of the rug...or there is this one that would tie in the French theme and the black as well...

liz said...

I like the black bathmat and suggest that you buy white towels and go to Joanne or some other fabric store and pick up some little bumblebee patches to sew on.

For toothbrush holder, I suggest checking out a kitchen store for a honey jar, take the lid off and you have a toothbrush holder.

And definitely remove that yucky linoleum.

I also like girl's idea.

For the downstairs, try crisp white towels with peach stripes on them. I saw some at JC Penney.

KibitzingShiksa said...

Look, bumblebee curtain rings!!!


Ninotchka said...

I suck at this but how about white for the rug? If you truly dislike the floors it's best not to draw attention to them with too much color, I think. If I had to choose between the two I'd say the yellow. I do love the bumble bee theme. My bathroom is horrid too with pink/peach tiles so I bought a fun curtain and an oriental rug (not a real one) and it looks half way decent. Who knew? We work with what we've got. Until there's moolah for a renovation. Although I'm not sure I'd bother in this house. We've already put so much money in it that we'll never get back. (In the Kitchen)

Gawdessness said...

The blace does look very nice.
I'm thinking of adding you to my kitchen meme list - I know it's a bathroom but...hey why not post pictures of your kitchen. Or have you already?

halloweenlover said...

Hmmm, but do you think that black will make the bathroom look much smaller? Or am I being silly. It is small enough as it is.

Gawdessness, add me to the kitchen meme! When is it? I'll post a pic of the hideously ugly kitchen. Blech.

Songbird said...

I think the black is cute. All bathrooms in older homes are small, so there's no way you're going to make it look like one of those gigantic contemporary bathrooms, anyway.

KathyR said...

The black. Totally.

Yankee T said...

Gotta be the black. And And I would try Bed, Bath and Paycheck for the rings and toothbrush holder, although I love the idea of a honey jar-so clever!

Chatty Cricket said...

My Dearest, I come bearing good news on the shower ring front. Did you know that Napoleon used the bee on his crest, as the bee symbolically represents immortality and resurrection? So feel free to use the Eiffel Towers with your bees, as both are very French indeed!

I also like the black bathmat.

I'll have to put further thought into the rest, but rest assured that your bees and Eiffels do go together, in an indirect (or not so?) way. I also recommend hanging a "Salle de Bain" sign on the door to complete the French effect.

Phantom Scribbler said...

I say black, and I say that my bathroom is waaaaaaaaay uglier than yours. Three shades of pink, none of which match, and a cabinet under the sink that looks like it was constructed and painted by the previous, not-so-talented owners. With a little stencil thing that has since fallen off and left glue stains behind. It is Really. Hideous. I can't even post pictures, because, well, one it's too dirty, and two, you'd all feel so sorry for me that you'd start taking up a collection to hire me an interior designer and a contractor.

Hmmmm. Maybe that's not such a bad idea...

halloweenlover said...

Ok, PS wins, but before we can really vote, I say we need pictures. But I bet I win on the kitchen front because OH MY GOODNESS, that is ugly.

Momtothelady! I love it! Hurray! I just decided that I am doing the downstairs bathroom in a french theme, since I think pink (peach) and black just scream FRENCH POODLE! But I may just keep my Eiffel Towers upstairs and kill Josh with the frenchness of it all.

blackbird said...

(rubbing hands together)
I practically do this for a living!
Go with the black.
And, btw, I don't have a problem with the rings and the bees -- bees are very french.


Suzanne said...

I have a similar tile pattern in my bathroom, although the floor is also yellow. PLUS Mickey Mouse wallpaper that we inherited from the previous owners. And a rusty sink. It is just an abominable bathroom.

Oh, but this is not about me, is it? I think the black rug would be very cool. It will hide dirt really well!

Running2Ks said...

We grew up in a post-war house with the pink tile bordered by black. My parents did nothing about it.

Some friends tried painting the tile in their house with mixed success.

Sometimes you just have to embrace it and go with it, and find accessories to tie in with it.

Other times you have to just pretend it doesn't exist and decorate around it.

I actually find the ceiling interesting.

lostinthemiddle said...

Oh definately the black. And the French ideas . . . tres nice.

For the peach bath, which you weren't really asking about, but I want to throw my 2cents in on anyway . . . . Maybe throw caution to the wind and do purposefully clash-y colors in the same tone as the peach (that is, the same "brightness/paleness"). Turquois or charteuse would look quite hip with the peach, so long as they are not so bright as to overpower the peach.

OR . . . the white with peach stripe is also nice. It's a pretty easy task to even get some wide ribbon to "dress up" plain white towels. And, if you want to do a white carpet, shapes can change a look. In a not-as-used-as-much bathroom or a powder room, a perfect circe is quite nice.

PS Can we see the kitchen?

Piece of Work said...

Yes, the black, definitely. And I love the bees, and the honey jar for toothbrush holder. So clever!

amygeekgrl said...

my vote is for the black rug too. i think it works much better than the yellow.
we rented a house once with mint green tile in the bathroom. ugh. that was nasty. reminded me of my middle school days when peach and mint green were "in." *hurl*

Pink Cupcake said...

I like the black too, but I had a black rug once and it showed up fluff and cotton wool really badly. It'd be fine if you're much tidier than me, but if you don't clean the rug enough, it might end up looking not so good.

I LOVE the Eiffel Tower curtain rings and the bee theme. You should look into Liz's idea for the honey pot.

ccw said...

I really like the tile on the walls. I love yellow bathrooms.

I think the black rug looks better. The yellow is too yellow for the walls, but the black accentuates the black tile nicely.

And Phantom, our house also has the pink tiles in the bathroom. I loathe pink, but the tile is in such excellent condition that I cannot justify destroying it (yet) when so many other things need work.

Kristin said...

I adore the yellow and black tiles! I only wish we had something so cute. Then we wouldn't have to be risking life and limb tearing ours out. ;)

I like the black rug and the bees/French theme.

Chris said...

I vote black.

And I bet I could win ugliest bathroom, ugliest kitchen, and ugliest whatever room you should think up. And I am not kidding LOL

Jill said...

Definitely the black. And maybe you could hang black and white photos/prints of Paris in black frames on the wall opposite the sink and toilet. Or you could stencil something in French in black letters around the top of the walls.

Marlee said...

Definitely Go Black!
Where did you get the eiffel tower curtain rings?? I need them!

WORKING IT said...

I have the very same tiles in my bathroom. Instead of remodeling, we redecorated. We went with and old 50's theme. We have 'Hot' and 'cold' curtain hooks and faucet. For the curtain, towels and rug we got from the HOTEL COLLECTION, white with 3 black lines. Added a white with chrome soap dispenser and matching trash can. We added some black and white vintage photos. We worked it and IT WORKS.

Anonymous said...

I have the same peach tiles, though I have matching tile caps, not the black. We painted a sage color on the walls, put up a cream shower curtain with palm trees, switch out between a cram with palm or a rug with cream, sage, and peach stripes. Added some palm/safari-ish pictures, and painted the wood trim white. We also used sandstone tiles on the floor and I love it. It toned down the pinkness of the tile, made it appear light peachy only.