Confessions of a dork: I went to New York and brought back a shower curtain. Not even by accident. I had it planned on my list of things to buy in NYC after seeing the huge range of shower curtains on US websites. I've been trying to make do with our less than perfect bathroom and knew a vibrant shower curtain would add the little something required.
Here in Australia, we are lucky to have more than five shower curtains to choose from in any one shop. They don't seem to be objects of desire here and I'm not sure if that's just a preference/fashion thing or because we have more space for separate showers (not over a bath) that don't require curtains or because all homes here seem to be modernising to minimilist bathrooms without a curtain in sight. Whatever the reason, the floor to ceiling walls of shower curtains at Bed, Bath & Beyond on 6th Avenue made my jaw drop. I'd already found and fallen for the classic Marimekko Kivet design at Crate&Barrel and snapped it up on sale with a curtain liner and set of roller rings. Even on sale, it was over $60 for the three items but totally worth it as I've never found one I like better at home.
So, what was the bathroom like before the arrival of the cute, spotty curtain? First, let me say while our bathroom is very uninspiring and I'd love a new one, I know there are far worse bathrooms around and I'm thankful that at least this one is functional. It just needs a little sparkle while I save my pennies and consider whether it is worth the investment to renovate. But let's rewind to how it was when we bought the house in January 2010.
First to go was the small mirror.
With both of us trying to make ourselves decent at the same time on weekday mornings, it was a necessity to get a
bicycle mirror built for two.
We lived quite happily for awhile until the purple tile strip just had to go and get the Dulux Domino treatment that had already worked a treat in the kitchen and dining area (see post on that here). A light sand, a few strips of tape, two coats of paint et voila.
The plastic, cream taps have always hurt my eyes and the Mister successfully changed the bath and shower ones over to a simple silver type when he installed a new shower head. Unfortunately the taps at the basin proved tricker to remove. We need to get a plumber in but we haven't got there, mostly because we are not sure if it is worth it unless we were going to get a new vanity and if we do that it opens a can of worms in terms of where we start and finish. Seems a waste if we might get a new bathroom in the next two years. So for now we make do with a cream vanity with ugly cream taps against white tile (cream on white, ahhh!).
An easier fix on a vanity is door knobs so I hit up Provincial Home Living as I've done whenever I needed knobs around the house (for the kitchen dresser, the hall stand, the lamp table in the living room).
As for the terracotta tile, there's no easy fix but as a distraction I've used an Ikea Sveje rug in here (we put a bath mat on top when we shower).
This brings us to where we were a few weeks ago. At this point we had a clear shower curtain with a white damask print from Freedom.
You may just be able to make out the huge brown bottle on the bath. That's an old apothecary bottle I picked up in a junk shop near Eildon after a camping trip in January. Think it was only around 10 bucks - score!
After almost 24 hours in transit from New York, we stumbled wearily into our home sweet home and within a day I had the new shower curtain ironed and hung.
Is that dotty or what?!?!
It provides a little more privacy than the old one too.
Like the rest of the house, it's a work in progress with a few ideas yet to be actioned. I keep thinking of the tip in Deborah Needleman's Perfectly Imperfect Home to consider the bathroom as a room rather than an afterthought. Love that idea.
And while my bathroom is never going to win any awards, I'm enjoying it much more. Best of all, my 4 year old nephew Hugo appreciated the changes. He walked out of the bathroom on his recent visit from Brisbane and said "Aunty Ellise, I see you have new curtains in your bathroom". If a little boy has noticed, I think it can surely be claimed as a win!