Even I have sentimental limits.
When it came time to decide what to do with the downstairs bathroom I was all for gutting it and starting over. The bead board was covered in years of paint, revealing where the paint had chipped off and been reapplied….again, and again, and again. There was no symmetry to the room. It has a very low ceiling as it resided under the stairs to the second floor. You could barely stand in the tub without hitting your head and the sink was under the slant in the ceiling so you had to tilt your body to wash your hands.
It had the original claw foot bathtub that was not in the best shape. I vividly remembered taking baths in that very tub as a child, the rim of the tub just reaching my chin. While that was a sweet memory, I just couldn’t see us using that bathtub – after oh so many years.
My contractor really challenged me to keep the bead board and keep the existing framing of the room. “People pay extra to have this kind of look put in their bathroom”, he said. REALLY?!?
So I decided to take his advice and declare the bathroom QUIRKY and just run with it. I gave my sister the bathtub (to keep it in the family – she plans to use it as an herb garden in her yard.) We salvaged what we could of the badly damaged hardwood floors from the first floor and we barely had enough to fill this small bathroom space.
I added bling with the mirrored vanity. Found a mirror frame made of mirrors. I splurged on the lighting with Restoration Hardware sconces and painted the walls Dix Blue (Farrow & Ball) reminiscent of an original color we found hidden in the house. I adorned the wall opposite the sink with the family photos of my great grandparents who built the house and my grandmother on her wedding day, with room to add others who have lived in this house (Not So DIY, dated August 17, 2016).
Then, I put my favorite Gone with the Wind quote on the vanity to remind myself that while this bathroom is a little quirky, this Charleston home is back where I belong.
Post renovation photos by Gillian Ellis Photography.