Fun things are coming your way in the coming weeks, and I’d like to start off by sharing the littlest room in our house: our powder bathroom.
It is the tiny workhorse in our home. The footprint is 4’9″x 4’9″, but it handles all our visitors and the overflow of the kids, who share a bathroom downstairs. It’s situated at the end of a hallway and around the corner from our mudroom. Because of its size and location, it was tough to photograph, but I did the best I could.
While powder rooms are a great place to get creative, I did it in more subtle ways. I love wallpaper and what it can do for a space, but design happens when ideas meet real life, right? I know my Southern friends will find it hard to believe, but we have zero subs who install wallpaper in Star Valley, and I’m married to a trim carpenter/general contractor who would rather handle wood than paper. We compromised on a wall treatment with shiplap (which I think is great too…it’s more interesting than painted drywall).
Dave did an amazing job, as always. I know I shared this tip on my Instagram page, but it’s worth repeating. You know when a good shiplap job has been done when there aren’t any corner beads covering the edges. Dave cut and lined up everything perfectly, and that’s not an easy feat.
I designed the vanity out of white oak (custom stain), and after I’d selected my plumbing fixtures in gold, our fantastic plumbers dipped the extra odds and ends to match, such as the handles on the toilet.
Our faucet and toilet paper holder are both from Kohler.
All of our door handles are from Emtek. We love the quality and versatility. You can pick the back plate, finish, and knob that goes with it in an infinite amount of combinations.
You guys, I don’t sew, but I got a wild hair one day and decided that I could make the skirt for the cabinet. I had some extra Schumacher fabric and thought the blue would play off nicely against our very cool white (SW “Rhinestone”). I don’t have a sewing machine, and my last sewing attempt was probably 19 years ago when Dave and I were first married. I thought I would patch up a his work pants–Carharts–with yarn…..but that’s a story for another time. Needless to say, it didn’t go well, so sewing the vanity skirt was totally out of my character and ability. I probably will never do that again, but it did turn out well this time.
Our mirror is from Bungalow 5 and was selected with my lights and plumbing fixtures long before framing was done. I always plan and purchase them together at the beginning of a project.
The sconce is from Hudson Valley Lighting, and I finished it with some figure paintings in ink and watercolor that added another quiet splash of color to the room.
The topic of putting nudes in your house with kids comes up every now and again. I have three kids, ranging from 10-16. They see me working on figures in my studio and now these hang in our powder bathroom. This is why I hang them:
- It’s one of the oldest ways to study and learn art, and of course, I’m more comfortable with it than others because I went through art school. It’s a practice for me of capturing line, mood, and the endless subtleties that the figure offers. Clothes pigeonhole an era, and nudes are timeless. I do choose more conservative poses, and I never have live models. I can create a nude from about any image, usually using sitting poses from fashion photography.
- The other reason I let my kids be around figure studies is because I want them to know that bodies aren’t something to be ashamed of. I grew up with a mother that couldn’t even say bra (and I love her for it), I was roommates with girls who were fighting severe eating disorders, and I along with every other American woman has had to sort through media messages of what is “acceptable” for our bodies. I like having my kids see that bums squish and bellies roll. To further support this, I’ve never dieted or talked about my body in a negative way. We talk about being strong and the mental benefits of exercise, and we eat all. the. food. In a subtle way, it’s how I debunk stigmas in my own home and heart.
- I believe there is a huge difference between figure painting and pornography. My definition of pornography is words or images that show the act of sex, and it is destructive if someone else is molding those opinions for you. I currently know of one artist who is pulling in psychologists and others to test if drawing figures can actually help sex addicts, because it flips the switch in your brain from reactive to analytical. It will be interesting to see what happens in that realm.
I understand that it’s not for everyone, and that’s cool too.
Getting the right size of paintings was tough in our powder bathroom. It’s the simplest things that are the most complicated, am I right? I wanted the biggest size the wall could handle, but the hanging hardware had to line up with the grooves of the shiplap. I can’t bring myself to nail into the face of Dave’s work. I think we struck the right line between our restraints and my ideas.
Overall, this little room ended up exactly where we wanted it. There are some fun elements mixed in with a serene feeling. If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments!
Until next time…..