Palette Cleanser

Is it just me or are things looking really overdecorated lately? This might come across as a little ironic since I recently swathed a powder room in crazy marble wallpaper, but I can’t help it. My eyes are tired. It seems like every room has to have trim and contrasting pattern and 75 colors and fully accessorized vignettes and statement furniture everywhere. I’m not judging, for I am most definitely guilty of all infractions. And don’t get me wrong, I will always have a flair for the dramatic and a soft spot for this:

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That is super weird. I love it, and I will always love wallpaper. But like I said, my eyes are bleeding from all the stuff in every picture everywhere and I feel an overwhelming urge to clean up the visual clutter.

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AHHHHHH isn’t that nice? Does anyone actually live here? Who cares?! It’s all about organizing the room around one statement moment and then editing everything else out. Like a fine ocular sorbet.

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White paint makes that easy. If you have great light and good architecture, white paint works. Personally I don’t think I can ever live with white white whiiiite paint, because we have a lot of sheetrock and not a lot of windows. I might be feeling anti ornamental at the moment, but if you live in a sheetrock shack you’re going to have to do some decorating.

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Even dirty off white is more forgiving. This is a nice amount of ornamentalism for me. There is a lot going on here, but keeping things neutral and monochromatic lets the eye rest.

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For those of us with yucky architecture and light, color may be a necessity. I don’t think cleaning house necessarily means painting everything in neutrals and going gently into that good night. Robert Couturier is my homeboy because he knows how to let even a fancy room breathe. Bold color on the walls and wee pattern on the sofas dictates neutral art, no pillows (!!!), very little clutter, and curtains that don’t pop. Matching sofas reduces the number of design elements in a large room. This is a space that could be translated to a real person’s house for sure.

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Or how about a mostly tonal room with zero pattern? So doable. The focus is all on the delicious yet judicious use of color. It might even be nutritious.

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Same idea, but as a kitchen. Sexy, moody, interesting, and clean as a whistle.

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I have to admit it is hard not to love a good white room, though. The architecture and textural elements here are layered enough to keep things lively, and that lamp is everything.

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At the opposite end of the spectrum, a bright white Vistosi chandelier in an otherwise dark room has impact without punching you in the face. The paint color and furnishings are unique, but everything else is kinda blendy and nothing is upstaging the diva.

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Blendy blendy, but not blandy. It’s all about the floors and that bizarrely awesome chandelier.

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This is like the good twin to my evil twin powder room. I really wanted everything to feel like it was chiseled from the same material. It might have helped if I had 10K to spend on marble, but I think I did ok with $300 spent on wallpaper.

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And then there is this room. There are quite a few design elements going on, but the balance is good. I spy plenty of breathing room. It’s clean and fresh and interesting. I want to live here. That rug!

Isn’t it nice be simple sometimes?

One Room Challenge: Week Six — Reveal!

Hi everyone, welcome back for the final week of the One Room Challenge! For the past six weeks a host of bloggers have worked tirelessly to take one room from a zero to a hero. [Catch up on past weeks HERE.] Let me tell you something: this challenge ain’t for wimps or wussies. Six weeks ago my husband loved me, my children recognized me, and I weighed five pounds less. Apparently the threat of utter public humiliation makes me hungry. Was it worth it? I don’t know, donuts are pretty delicious.

Imagine this bathroom is a giant frosted donut. Nom nom.

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I really hope you like it, because I kind of love it. It’s magic mushroom mystery submarine crazy. I so very much wish you could come visit in person because this is the hardest room in the universe to photograph EVER. And unlike most photoshoots where I am piling laundry into corners out of the camera’s view, I think this space looks so much better in person.

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Also it is tiny so there are really only two angles, but somehow I managed to take 300 pictures. I hope you like to look at pictures of my bathroom on the internet. Let’s hit the rundown.

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You may recall that I scored this handsome Altman’s faucet on ebay. Some days I wake up filled with worry… will the brass trend die a horrible chevronesque death due to ubiquity and overuse? It might. But if you like it, do it. I think someone famous said that once.

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Cb2 Torked it out of the park with this mirror. It really goes everywhere, and it especially works when you have a lot of things happening in a small space. Pare. It. Down. It’s awesome, except after we (Ben) hung it I decided it was about two inches too high and now there is a big hole in the wallpaper, but don’t worry you can’t see it because I am a wizard with concealer.

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My pare it down principle somehow does not extend to lighting, because when faced with electrified shiny things I can’t seem not to take it to the maxxx. I am in sweet love with this Mazzega chandelier I picked up off ebay for pennies on the dollar. I swear this thing is 20x more impressive in real life. It’s spun from Charlotte’s webs and angel tears.

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After we (Ben) hung it, I decided it was two inches too high so I made him lengthen the chain, which required disassembling and reassembling with held breath and eyes wide shut. The fear of possible breakage will continue to give me ptsd for weeks.

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Ike was sooooo excited about this soap dish – this glass soap dish that I didn’t want him to use. He actually started crying when I tried to take it out of HIS bathroom. Because he thinks the bathroom belongs to him. Don’t say I never spoil you, kid. You can have the soap dish too.

When it came time to hang last week’s proposed lucite towel ring, I balked. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me until I scrolled through my ginormous collection of bathrooms on pinterest and realized that none of my favorites had a towel ring. Zero. A few had petite towel bars, which at least keep things nice and flat instead of scrunched up and germy. I decided I didn’t want anything hanging on that wall… it just felt cluttered. Then I decided I hate regular hand towels so I “made” these from a vintage linen tablecloth with metallic embroidery, and by made I mean “tore artfully.”

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All is not lost, lucite lovers. I did end up using the paper holder with fancy BLACK toilet paper, courtesy of my sweet friend Rebecca who knows my heart’s desires so well.

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How have I lived so long without black toilet paper that my children aren’t allowed to use? It’s amazing. Thank you, Rebecca! When I opened the box I almost wept with delight and maybe a little bit of first world self loathing. The fact that it’s a gift makes it ok. SCORE.

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Speaking of great friends, let’s talk about my amazing art courtesy of Gillian Bryce Fine Art. I have 800 million paintings but this wallpaper is wack. Nothing I had worked and I was slightly EXTREMELY panicked, but I stalked the 214 Modern Vintage booth at High Point via facebook like it’s my job (it is) and then I spied this beauty. Gillian overnighted it to me… I’m kind of speechless in love with her and the art. That is service, y’all. I highly recommend checking out her giant art collection. It’s excellent.

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Did you notice the spray painted blinds? Thanks to all my instagram buds who encouraged me to paint my fingers and toes black. I’m happy to report that it worked pretty well (on the blinds). We’ll see how they hold up to a baby who likes to eat the wooden bobs. Please don’t call CPS. I know the heimlich.

So I think that’s it for my sources. Want to see a little freestyle action? These are the moments (cue teary montage):

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And what would a makeover challenge be without a proper before and after? Put on your sunglasses, because the before pictures might blind the old and infirm. That’s not you, right?

BEFORE:

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AFTER:

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And that, my friends, brings us to the end of our soap operatic journey through shame and into redemption. It’s been a long, dusty, expensive road, and I think I’ve earned a bottle of something cheap and strong to celebrate.

Thank you ever so much to Linda of Calling it Home for organizing and hosting such a lovely and talented group of designers and bloggers! This challenge gets better every round, and I’m honored to have been included. If you haven’t already, please do go visit the other participants to see their epic finales.

I myself plan to bust out a donut, drink some ripple, and try not to make Ben hang anything two inches away from perfection for at least the rest of the day. Until next time!

Abby M. Interiors

Because it’s Awesome

Bijou & Boheme

Calling It Home

Chez V

Chinoiserie Chic

Copy Cat Chic

The Decorista

Design Crisis

Design Indulgence

Design Manifest

The English Room

The Glam Pad

Little Black Door

Mimosa Lane

My Notting Hill

The Pink Pagoda

Simple Details

My Sweet Savannah

Verandah House

One Room Challenge: Week Five — Things Fall Apart

Hello and welcome back for the penultimate week of the One Room Challenge, the race to make a finished space happen in six short weeks. [Catch up on previous weeks HERE.] When we left off last week I was feeling a little dumpy about my wallpaper conundrum, so dumpy that I forgot to show you my new counter and faucet power couple, which is basically like forgetting to tell you I won the lottery. Let’s talk about this sparkle magic, shall we?

In the continued interest of test driving potential materials for the future maybe possibly never kitchen remodel, I decided to go with marble counters after pricing out several options. I wanted to use the broken marble table from the last ORC debacle. That would have been epic and so very poetic, but fabricators didn’t want to touch my giant cracked, glued and screwed table with a 10 foot pole. I also considered silestone, but… meh. Somehow a tiny slab of white silestone felt limp when what I wanted was jazz hands.

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The counter is small so I held my breath and splurged on carrara, or not so much splurged as spent $35 more on marble than quartz. Right after it was installed I set about to wiping and worrying, but not 24 hours later I found Luke sitting in the sink with the faucet running and a hot wheels clutched in each hand. I guess the cars needed a wash.

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So far there has been toothpaste, plaster, water, and god only knows what else all over those counters… and I don’t see a thing except for the reflection of yon Altmans faucet, shining like handsome Narcissus in the golden afterglow of his beauty. Even better I scored that dude off Ebay for $250 including shipping and every part necessary for install. I mean, did I want to spend $250 on a faucet? No… more like $25. But $250 is better than $1000.

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Room shot of the install shows that I got the baseboards all a-painted and yikes, there is still an ugly wire thing playing with my emotions. What the what am I going to put there?

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You know how I got my faucet from ebay? I get pretty much everything from ebay, including all this here lighting that I bought in a bingefest rivaling the great Round Top buyathon of 2013 when I went temporarily insane and spent half a month’s salary in one day. Don’t worry, I’m not rich so half of a month is like $10. I digress. Look at all the lighting I bought! A super weird heavy blown glass flushmout, a petite Tronchi chandelier with smoked glass tubes, an insane Mazzega chandelier, and a teeny tiny lucite ribbon chandelier.

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I should probably put a mirror up, too. UGHHHHH. My faucet is handsome, meanwhile I prefer to pretend I am just a walking manifestation of being, that I have no face, or at least no face that is slowly but surely melting from years of parenting. So this is just a small sampling of my wares. A thrifted vintage La Barge mirror with gold leaf shells, a CB2 Tork mirror, and a gold bamboo octagonal mirror for all your feng shui toilety needs.

Also, you may have noticed that there is skim coat on my walls. That’s because if you follow me on instagram then you know that this happened:

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My favoritest wallpaper man in the world. He’s so good that I have a secret crush on him. I hope he never reads this because the next time I see him it will be super awkward. For all you nerds out there, notice he is pasting and booking a non woven paper which is supposed to be a paste the wall product. Directions? What directions?

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I’m sure you thought I might attempt to hang that crazy wallpaper myself, because how hard can it be right? Well I have hung my fair share of paper and let me tell you that textured walls + metallic wallpaper = professional installation. I’m not a DIY wimp but I draw the line at skim coating and sanding all the walls, then lining said skim coated walls with blankstock liner, then hanging some very fussy shiny paper behind toilets and around lots of corners. Had I done the job, there is no way this would have been the result:

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Hooray! But what am I going to use for blinds? Can I do bamboo?

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Also I am freaking out about drilling into my fancy expensive wallpaper, but I gots to have a towel ring and toilet paper holder… don’t I? I happen to have a vintage lucite set, but I am wondering if it’s a leeetle too much. Or maybe even way too much. I mean, do I just go Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds here? Or should I dial it down to Let it Be?

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I totally want some black toilet paper.

There are a lot of exclamation points and question marks in the works today. I’m obviously not amped up or stressed or anything. I have 50 billion (or maybe five) big decisions to make and then I can peace out and sleep for a month or possibly even a night. Next week is the big one… the final countdown is upon us. The Final Countdooooooowwwwwwnnnnn.

I need to resolve some issues. Lucite or possibly black finishing hardware? Can I get away with bamboo blinds in here? I’ve got to nail down a lighting and mirror combo. And art. You may remember from the last ORC that I have a few extra pieces lying around… am I going old and dirty or bright and peppy?

You’ll have to tune in next week to find out. In the meantime, drop me a line and let me know your thoughts. I’m feeling weak and tired. I might listen to you. Or not. Nothing personal, I’m just a control freak with an emphasis on the control. Ok, and the freak.

Until then please do check out the progress of my talented compadres. The game is afoot!

 Abby M. Interiors

Because it’s Awesome

Bijou & Boheme

Calling It Home

Chez V

Chinoiserie Chic

Copy Cat Chic

The Decorista

Design Crisis

Design Indulgence

Design Manifest

The English Room

The Glam Pad

Little Black Door

Mimosa Lane

My Notting Hill

The Pink Pagoda

Simple Details

My Sweet Savannah

Verandah House

One Room Challenge: Week Four — Karma Police

Welcome back for week four of the One Room Challenge, aka the madcap race to completely transform a room in six short weeks. [You can catch up on previous weeks HERE.] Ok, I’m not going to mince words… week four hurts. It is rough like a cheese grater on your soft and vulnerable pinky knuckles. It is the point where fantasizing and planning meet the cold hard slap of reality. In a dystopian turn, I inevitably come to loathe every idea that previously seemed like a bright and shining beacon of awesomeness because I am my own worst client. Deep breaths. Let’s do this.

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Last week my wonder husband who still loves me but doesn’t like me anymore dropped in an overhead light so that we could see. If you are wondering why we didn’t go with sconces, it’s because the space felt too narrow and I didn’t care for the idea of sconces on opposing walls. Now I thought the gift of vision would be a major improvement, but like many things the room looked better in the dark. I see cellulite. Everywhere. Adding insult to injury, I had to match the ceiling texture to the rest of the lumpy bumpy ugliness. I also textured my hair in the process. Kinda feels like dry shampoo.

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I decided to paint out the ceiling and wood work in Black Beauty. I had this on a wall at our old house, and it’s warm and dramatic. Just like me. Sadly you can still see orange peel in the raking window light, but at least the extractor fan looks skinnier in black. And even though my paint job reminds me of putting on eyeliner with two kids grabbing at my legs (erryday), I do think the black moldings are a vast improvement. Sanders my magical amazing incredible paint guy made me try the new Benjamin Moore Grand Entrance enamel paint and I LOVE IT – goes on like pudding and hides pesky brush marks. Delicious.

So that’s the end of the good stuff. The bad stuff goes a little something like this: the more time I spent in that room, the more I felt the beadboard from the original design had to get out of my life. It was too many elements for this tiny space – too many stain/paint/weird transitions. And that meant I had to make a life decision about the wallpaper I oh so optimistically purchased two years ago.

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Long ago I planned for this beatific wallpaper trifecta, for which I was sure I deserved an award. The middle paper was installed in the foyer years ago. I grew afeared of a long term relationship with the color in the wallpaper on the left. But I still loved the Little Greene wallpaper on the right and thought it would be right at home in the powder room. Except that this paper is very… absorbent. We have two little boys. It’s a very real problem that affects my design decisions. The beadboard would have repelled moisture, but without it I was at a loss.

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I decided I should get new wallpaper. Is there anything, ANYTHING more of a true Design Crisis than choosing wallpaper? It’s like holding a mirror to your very soul and looking into the blackest depths. It’s like getting married… but more expensive.

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I had a serious case of Goldilocks and the Three Bears going on. Nothing was working. Cole and Son Nuvolette would have been my top choice but the pattern didn’t resolve in such a small space.

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Then I started to get really picky about print quality… I’m just not loving the vast majority of digitally printed papers. Honestly, as a photographer I was surprised at the resolution on some of these. I realized I pretty much only go for screened or gravure printed papers because apparently I like to look at my wallpaper with a microscope.

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Then I was tripping on the pattern repeats. A lot of patterns look good on a little square but have obvious weird repeats when you see them installed on unbroken walls. I tend to gravitate towards large carefully hidden repeats or small textural papers, probably because I used to count the flower people and creepy alligator men in the wallpaper of my childhood bedroom. We’ll discuss that some other time.

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Finally, the expense factor got super scary. I am obsessed with some of these papers, but wow. When wallpaper is priced by the square foot, I get spooked and file it away for my brave and well heeled clients. At one point I was calculating literally thousands of dollars in paper alone for that one tiny toilet room, and I just had to step back.

Let’s not forget that the whole reason I started searching for new wallpaper was this:

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This guy had been sitting in the cat’s food-filled water bowl, then he ran with his catfood stew pajamas across the house and all over my wallpaper samples.

The criteria became clearer. Durable, inexpensive, awesome. I decided to go with a non woven for the durability factor. And then I decided to go with this for the awesome and inexpensive factor:

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Designer’s Guild’s Bain de Minuit in zinc. Ike approved.

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I was the decider! I felt good! I was pumped! I ordered four rolls and steeled myself for the award I thought I deserved a few years ago but definitely deserved now.

And then I saw that Holly from The English Room had chosen the same paper for her design. And then I freaked out.

Basically I had looked into my soul and found… someone else’s soul. Even worse, someone might think I was trying to steal their soul.

I felt terribly guilty and ashamed – about what I am not sure, but it doesn’t really matter because I am the guiltiest person in the world. I should immediately start wearing hairshirts and flagellate myself with glass studded whips just for fun. I was sure Holly would think I was a jerk, but she didn’t even bat an eyelash because she has better things to do than to worry about what other people are doing.

Meanwhile I feel like I am constantly worrying about what other people are doing – worrying like it’s my job. And partly it is. I am supposed to be up on design trends – what’s coming in the future, and most certainly what’s been done. People pay me for this. And yet it really is a vicious cycle, made even more cruel by the speed of the internet. One trend must die in order to sell sell sell a new one. We are all scurrying to get ahead of the curve, and for me that often means zagging where others are zigging. It’s juvenile and contrarian, frankly. And I’m not sure it does me any lasting favors, but it is turning me into a crazy(er) person.

I like this wallpaper. It’s awesome and soon it will probably be in every house in the world, much like the infamous Woods wallpaper. But that’s ok. I had that wallpaper too, and I loved it. So friends, the afterschool special lesson of the day is: if you like it, do it. And do not apologize for your choices. Unless you are me, and then you should apologize for everything.

Sorry about that!

There have got to be some people making good progress this week. Go find them! Check back next week to see if I actually hung this paper. Or that paper. Or some other paper.

Abby M. Interiors

Because it’s Awesome

Bijou & Boheme

Calling It Home

Chez V

Chinoiserie Chic

Copy Cat Chic

The Decorista

Design Crisis

Design Indulgence

Design Manifest

The English Room

The Glam Pad

Little Black Door

Mimosa Lane

My Notting Hill

The Pink Pagoda

Simple Details

My Sweet Savannah

Verandah House

 

One Room Challenge: Week Three — Fables of the Reconstruction

Hello friends! Welcome back to the One Room Challenge, the crazy internet wide scramble to completely redecorate one room in six weeks. [Catch up on previous posts HERE.] I am struggling to wrap my head around the fact that we’re now halfway through and I don’t even have a mirror or lighting picked out… I’m feeling a bit like Aesop’s hare here. We made super headway super fast, but now I’m super tired. At any moment I might lie down and twiddle some buckwheat whilst taunting tortoises with better project management skills than mine, but first we need to congratulate me on my hotdogging DIY skillz. At least the hare is flashy, right?

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As you may recall I started out with a nuclear orange vanity of indeterminate but undeniably bad design. Well, I upgraded those sleazy doors for some fresh and clean oak shaker numbers from Barker Cabinets. I’ll admit that I spent more than a few hours caressing them, getting to know every inch of virgin woodgrain. It was hard to slap on that first coat of stain. But after sanding them smooth with 150 grit paper, I screwed up my nerves and brushed on the Speedball india ink.

Yep. Speedball. India. Ink.

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Black as night, this stuff is. It makes regular “black” stain look like weak coffee, but if you try this for yourself please learn from my trials and four letter word filled tribulations: do not buy the acrylic ink (on left). The one on the right is what you want (PS, thanks for making the labels look so easy to differentiate, Speedball). It is waterproof and contains shellac, which is a sanding sealer so it doesn’t raise the grain like the acrylic stuff. Also it flows ever so much more nicely and doesn’t build up in tacky layers.

Can you tell that I spent a zillion hours reading woodworking lumber jock forums before I started this project because I am a giant nerd?

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Now I’m a dirty nerd in need of a manicure.

After permanently dyeing my skin black in the process of brushing on two coats of ink, I finished with Osmo polyx oil.

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I kind of refused to hermetically seal my hard earned woodgrain with polyurethane, so I spent another brazillion hours researching finishing options before settling on a hybrid hard wax. This stuff is totally food safe and eco friendly, plus is it easy to apply — wax on and wax off Ralph Macchio style. Repeat 8 hours later — crane kick optional but not required. Voila! Delicious juicy woodgrain with a touchable oiled finish.

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All that stripping, sanding, and staining, sublimated into one grace note of beauty. I hear angels singing and rainbows weeping with envy.

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Rather than painting the cabinets black, I used this process as a test for our future kitchen remodel that will probably maybe never happen someday. I don’t mind the idea of painted cabinets, but I do worry about chipping and the difficulty of touch ups — especially with Wrecker and Bruiser around to hasten the demise of any fragile finish. This can be touched up and repaired with relative ease, plus I really like the ebonized look.

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Now whether this stuff will stand up to dribbled toothpaste and marathon boat parties hosted by our as of yet uninstalled sink, I do not know. This guy wants to remind me not to get too high and mighty on my champion DIY skills.

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He would also like to know if yogurt from the trash tastes as good as yogurt from the fridge.

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Because I said no I am not allowed to bask in the glory of my success.

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Unless I leave to forage for fresh yogurt, in which case I should come back. Now.

It’s a wonder that anything gets done around here. But you may have noticed we managed to drop in an overhead light, positioned above the sink.

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Hilariously/not hilariously it is located exactly where an overhead light used to exist before the previous owners installed that hideous vanity light. We pretty much went back to the future. Or… something. Time travel confuses me.

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Light is helpful when you have to spackle and sand at pitch dark o’clock, which also happens to be renovation celebration o’clock. I like ice with my whine. Don’t judge.

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To top off my winning streak, counters have been ordered and will be installed shortly. Ike picked them out — or so he thinks. He also picked out the gargantuan face bandage which is covering precisely nothing. That’s gonna hurt when it comes off, kid.

To summarize: I am basically king of the world, a super-ish parent with the very best that trash cans and stone yards have to offer, possibly the most talented DIY’er ever, and definitely a designer in charge of her own destiny.

Except that I had a hyperventilating panic attack and ordered totally DIFFERENT WALLPAPER. Bad hare, baaaad hare. From winning the race to cowering under a rock with my face in the dirt. Self saboteur in the extreme.

Goodbye beadboard, hello new wipeable wallpaper. We will discuss this ad infinitum next week. For now, just know how the mighty have fallen. I am in trouble.

Until then, please do see how my fellow participants are faring in their own race against time. Only three more weeks left to go!

Abby M. Interiors

Because it’s Awesome

Bijou & Boheme

Calling It Home

Chez V

Chinoiserie Chic

Copy Cat Chic

The Decorista

Design Crisis

Design Indulgence

Design Manifest

The English Room

The Glam Pad

Little Black Door

Mimosa Lane

My Notting Hill

The Pink Pagoda

Simple Details

My Sweet Savannah

Verandah House

One Room Challenge: Week Two — The Case For Uxoricide

Hello and welcome back for the next installment in the One Room Challenge! Last week I laid the foundation for what should be a grueling but fairly straight forward renovation of our puny powder room. This week the husband and I began demolition of the truly heinous and downright criminal renovations wrought by previous owners, and I am having the distinct feeling that this endeavor might result in bodily injury. To me.

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Before you decide that Colonel Mustard did it in the bathroom with a hammer, let’s start at the beginning of the end.

The very day I accepted this challenge, I promised my loving husband that I would hire out every single job. That we would not spend weekends and evenings painting and fretting and hanging and rehanging art like last time. Then I couldn’t find a single contractor willing to come out and even look at such a small job. Then the threat of public humiliation and impending failure whipped me into a stress filled frenzy… and then Ben caved. Because I am nice, and I make a delicious pan seared halibut, and also because I birthed his two adorable babies, he really couldn’t say no to my plea for help.

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Which is not to say that he was happy about it.

When he started in on the Jasco paint stripper (a toxic gel with low floral notes reminiscent of Mad Dog 20/20) and I came in to document the process, the eye rolling commenced. With every scrape of shriveled polyurethane I felt his “enthusiasm” for the project dissipating, the influence of my trump card waning. I’m pretty sure he was scraping our love away.

erin williamson | design crisis

Oh yes. For the moment, let’s put aside the probability of divorce (or worse) and talk about why it’s even necessary to strip and stain this vanity — why not just buy a new one? Please see the diagram above for evidence of an ugly but useful sewer cleanout that runs to the kitchen and laundry room. Unfortunately keeping it meant that we couldn’t do a swanky wall mount or pedestal sink, which is ok because obviously we need concealed storage to house a phalanx of plastic toilets and pee stained training seats. Boys and their toys, you know.

erin williamson | design crisis

Toys like a long piece of piano wire, perfect for strangling the mirror off the wall. Hot tip #1: Goo Gone + sawing softened adhesive with a wire = no more nasty mirror. Hot tip #2: Don’t embarrass your husband with a camera when he is holding a weapon.

erin williamson | design crisis

This wall is oozing with the kind of misery that comes from sobbing behind an ugly builder grade mirror for over a decade. I wish I could say I see instant improvement here. Instead our powder room is looking more and more like an abattoir.

erin williamson | design crisis

The tiled in baseboards have been gutted. Perfect for fluid run off.

erin williamson | design crisis

The sink is gone, the lighting is gone, scary murder gloves are not gone.

erin williamson | design crisis

Basically it’s like a jail cell up in here.

I am hoping I didn’t use all my lady chits for nothing… it is terrifying to consider that Ben might hate me AND that I must suffer the ignominy of a hideous bathroom.

Honestly, he is an angel sent down from the heavens above to serve me. That didn’t come out quite right, but I am so very very very grateful for his help and hopefully when he reads these words he will decide not to kill me.

Also, next week I get my own hands dirty with sanding and staining and patching and painting. I stole my cabinet finishing idea from these guys and their amazing floors:

india ink floors

Perhaps Ben will at least let me stick around long enough to put this hot mess back together. And maybe to cook him a hot dinner. And other hot… things. I’m not ashamed to say that I will use every tool in my arsenal to survive.

My charms are limited. Call 911 if no one’s here next Wednesday morning.

Until then, please do visit my fellow challengers. What a lineup!

Abby M. Interiors

Because it’s Awesome

Bijou & Boheme

Calling It Home

Chez V

Chinoiserie Chic

Copy Cat Chic

The Decorista

Design Crisis

Design Indulgence

Design Manifest

The English Room

The Glam Pad

Little Black Door

Mimosa Lane

My Notting Hill

The Pink Pagoda

Simple Details

My Sweet Savannah

Verandah House

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