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Bathrooms gone bad. September 28, 2013

Posted by ourfriendben in homesteading, wit and wisdom.
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Silence Dogood here. Yesterday, I read an article about an “amazing” bathroom transformation that had taken the owner a weekend and just $200. She claimed that it had transformed her small, boring bathroom into a beachfront paradise.

All I can say is, I hope she’s not planning to stay there. If she actually uses this bathroom to wash up, take showers, stash the cat’s litterbox, etc., she’ll quickly discover exactly what she’s done to herself.

What she did was paint over the bathroom tiles, then glue a foot-high layer of sand on the wall, then glue a whole bunch of seashells onto that, then hang netting from the ceiling with tons more shells and etc. in it. And those are just the most egregious “decorator” ideas, there were plenty of others, with clutter galore.

I have a friend who calls all these little bits and pieces “dustables,” i.e., unnecessary work. But in a bathroom, especially a small bathroom, we’re not just talking about dust. We’re talking about moisture and humidity. We’re talking about mold.

The reason tiles are popular in bathrooms is that they resist moisture and are easy to clean. Not so paint, in a moisture- and mold-ridden situation. Not to mention that it’s highly unlikely that paint would even adhere to tile in such circumstances. And how on earth would you clean sand?!! Then there’s the dust, settling on all these textured surfaces and on the unreachable, uncleanable ceiling netting with its load of shells and other dustables.

And last but by no means least, to take a small space and fill it to the brim with a motley array of junk is hardly the way to make it seem larger and more restful. Especially when you paint the formerly white walls a blinding aqua. Good grief! Talk about an invitation to claustrophobia.

This was borne in on me when my friend Delilah, who’s a decorating genius, transformed a small bathroom by putting in a modest but beautiful aquarium. It took up little space, but made the bathroom a welcoming and wonderful place. You could do the same with a plant or a piece of art.

There are other inexpensive ways to make a bathroom welcoming, however small and plain. Candles, incense, scent diffusers, luxurious soaps and lotions: All transform a bathroom into a spa experience. And of course you can up the ante with a plate of fresh fruit and/or a glass of wine and your favorite relaxing music. (No need to install a sound system when you can bring in a boombox, laptop, smartphone, or tablet.)

In my opinion, there’s only one thing a bathroom, however small, genuinely needs, and that’s natural light: a window or skylight. If you have one, then anything’s possible in terms of transformation. But please, don’t use sand.

‘Til next time,




1. Daphne - September 28, 2013

I have an underwater scene in my downstairs half bath (ie no shower or bath included so no humidity). But it doesn’t have things on the wall, just a painted bathroom. There are chotchkies on the vanity like shells (the vanity itself has granite that looks like sand but is very much smooth). which I have to say are a pain when I’m cleaning but there aren’t too many. I was going to paint a shark under the toilet but I was talked out of it by a friend. He told me he couldn’t use it then. I was figuring if one friend was willing to tell me there were a bunch that might have trouble. Useability is always best.

Ha, that’s priceless, Daphne! I sort of like the idea of painting a baby alligator (or is the urban legend about crocodiles?) climbing up into the toilet bowl from inside. But I guess your squeamish friend wouldn’t like that, either. As for your shells, I have them (and rocks and fossils and even horned-toad fetishes) all over my living room, so I know firsthand what a pain they are to dust (and wash periodically). You were smart to keep yours to a chosen few!

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