On meeting lifelong friends in bars and a budget bathroom update - kids edition

A friend and I were recently talking about how hard it was to meet guys in a bar when we were single. A conversation that is totally irrelevant these days but still – it was. When writing this post tonight, it dawned on me that's how I met her. It was probably our second week in the suburbs and Mike, Henry and I biked to the local brewery (our first of many trips). When we sat down we noticed a couple with a little girl about Henry's age. My heart leapt! She's a mom, I'm a mom. She likes beer, I like beer. She seems normal, I am mostly normal. An hour or so later we were exchanging numbers. Our wingmen (husbands) giving air fives (head nods). It was just like how I thought I'd meet someone at a bar but way better. This could be the start of a friendship and that was just what I needed. 

This friend (though she may not know, er, she will now) is one big reasons that I stepped out this year to start doing what I love. Mike gave me the real push I needed but I also think it helped to have someone else (that didn't have to love me unconditionally) to validate that I was pretty ok at my passion (there has got to be a better word for that). I am really thankful for this friend. She and her hubby are always game for a casual Saturday hang and have helped us in already countless situations. They are good, fun people and we are lucky to know them....and this WAS their bathroom.

Now what was going on in the 80's? I wish I could get in a time machine and ask some questions. This, the era of neon and mesh shirts. Was this really the best we could do? Apparently so because it's everywhere. Anyhow, my challenge was to transform it into a bright and cheery kids bathroom in a budget-friendly way. Gender neutral for their daughter and baby boy on the way. They had already updated the countertops with a nice granite and installed an undermount sink...easily a giant improvement. With this gray flecked counter in mind I got to work designing – I'll share sources at the end. 

We knew the only way to brighten the space would be to change the color of the cabinets. I chose Baltic Gray by Benjamin Moore and a nice light greish for the walls - Balboa Mist. With the gigantor mirror down I picked a pretty big round mirror for it's place – lights on either side. I gave a few tile options and did a little happy dance when they chose the octagon. I thought it would pair well with the pink tile in the shower that they weren't planning to remove anytime soon. Oil rubbed bronze fixtures and hardware because I have a real crush on it and I like the contrast.  

For decor, I started with that killer rug. The room needed some color and those tones didn't lean too far boy or girl. I was loving the Pillowfort stuff from Target and those oars were too darned cute. All of the sudden we sort of had an outdoorsy theme so I went with the owl and fox prints. As for the shower curtain, I chose a fun but not too kiddo geometric print. The bathroom will be for guests, too so I didn't want to pick Ninja Turtles...not that I would. Ever. Sorry, Henry. 

There was some consideration around refacing the cabinets but in the end painting them seemed like a perfectly good solution. My jaw dropped when I saw them for the first time. The entire room was lighter. The paint I chose for the walls ended up looking too close to the cabinet color so we quickly picked a different shade of white - Cloud Cover by Benjamin Moore. 

The tile turned out awesome (my Birkenstock tan line, not so much) it's so fresh and pretty and the light gray grout just gives it a little more definition. 

They chose to place the lights over the mirror rather than one on each side. I love how it turned out.

The shower and eh hem, commode, are separate from the powder room. Considering it only has artificial light, the space feels tons brighter. I love the playfulness of the prints and the shower curtain and that pink on gray reminds me of my 10-speed when I was twelve in all the right ways. Pink and gray are back as far as I'm concerned.  

So there you have it – a bathroom update done on the moderately cheap. It helps when you have a handy husband for sure but still wouldn't have been crazy hiring it all out. It went from a boring 80's bathroom to a fun and cheery kids bathroom for roughly $2700. Baby boy is here (tiny and sweet) and I can already see shoving matches in front of the sink with big sister. That's love.

In closing, say hi to strangers. I mean don't be weird but be open. You never know what could come from it. You might just meet a really good friend and your next design project ;)

Sources: Tile / Faucet / Mirror / Lighting / Cabinet Paint / Wall Paint / Knobs / Shower Curtain / Prints / Oars / Rug