From Beach to Farmhouse

When I first gave our downstairs bathroom a makeover, I LOVED it. I picked a cheery color and ran some stripes along one wall. It was super cute and I was happy with it. But after sitting (literally) and staring at it for two years, I started to get the itch to change it up a bit.

I have mentioned in the previous post that I am really feeling neutrals lately and that is no lie. After painting our office a dark, dark gray and painting the entry way a nice creamy white, the bathroom really started to stick out like a sore thumb. The bathroom was also starting to take on a more beach-y feel, which is not really what I was going for. Part of the problem is my shower curtain that I fell in love with when I bought it for our first house. I still have all the feels for my octopus shower curtain and want it to stay, but I need to redirect the feel of the room. I’m going for modern farmhouse, not beach.


Months ago, we hung some reclaimed wood shelves that I made out of wood Brian found on the farm. We love them so much, but the room started to feel a little too busy. There was just too much going on with the bright color and the stripes. I also added some “farmhouse” décor and tried to take some of the “beach-y” elements out, but it still wasn’t quite right. It also made my off white shower curtain look really yellow and kind of dingy.


I almost didn’t do another accent wall, but I really wanted a background for those shelves that would allow them to ‘pop’ a little more. I used the same dark gray that I used in the office and the upstairs bath, Muted Ebony by Valspar. I just can’t get enough of it! I debated painting the whole room that color, but it’s such a long, narrow space and just one little window of natural light, I decided to go with the creamy, white that I used in the entry way which is right outside the bathroom. I like the way it all flows together.


I have to admit I was a little sad to see the stripes go…I worked really hard on those! They did not go without a fight, it took some sanding and elbow grease to get the wall back to a smooth surface. I can still see a few traces of my stripes in certain light (dang it!), but they are mostly just a memory.

I love how all the wood and white pop off that dark gray wall. I also think the octopus shower curtain feels like he goes in the room so much better. He felt a little out-of-place before, but now that gray wall really draws him out. I still plan on adding molding and painting both the closet door and the door to the bathroom black. I think they will add a really nice contrast to that cream wall. I actually CAN’T WAIT to get started on that project, but will probably have to wait until after the holidays…:(



Do These Stripes Make Me Look Fat…

Just kidding, don’t answer that!

I’m not usually one for accent walls, but lately I’ve been obsessed with them. Like Pinteresting (yep, I just made that a verb) into the wee hours sifting through some good, some bad and then some really fabulous accent walls. I think when done in the right space, they can be a really great design feature. It can be a really cheap, easy way to add interest to a room. And if you end up hating it, it’s just one wall…paint over that bad boy.

I tried to refrain from going too crazy on my first accent wall. I considered the laundry room for my first try, but let’s be honest, I’m the only one who goes in there so I’d be the only one appreciating it. (boring)  I decided the bathroom would be a good candidate. It’s long and narrow, very hallway-like, so I thought an accent wall might break it up a little and make the bathroom a little more interesting. People can enjoy it while they spend some time in there….(I’m trying really hard not to make a #2 reference here)

Moving on.

To get started,  I covered up the last of the green with white, the same white as our trim to be exact. (Sherwin-Williams Snowbound) I’m just using the wall color and trim color for my stripes so things don’t get too crazy in here. I really like the subtle contrast of the white and pale aqua.


After I got three full coats on the wall, that green was tricky to cover and I didn’t use a primer (rookie mistake). I then started to measure from the ceiling to the base board. I divided that number until I got an even number for the width of my stripes. I didn’t want to start with a 4″ stripe at the baseboard and end up with a 1″ stripe at the ceiling. My magic number was 4 1/2″ and my white stripe started at the base board and ended at the ceiling. This might not matter to most people, but I wanted it that way so that I wouldn’t have to be super careful or tape off the baseboard or ceiling while painting. I try to make things easy on myself whenever possible. I used a sharpie to make little tic marks every 4 1/2″.


Then I grabbed my trusty straight-edge and level and connected all my tic marks to get a nice straight line. Stripes are easy, but they are not very forgiving. I knew if I had a crooked stripe it would be very noticeable and drive me insane.


After all of my lines were drawn (lightly), I could get a clear visual of  the thickness and straightness of my lines. I wanted to make sure I liked them before I took the time to tape everything off. Luckily I really liked the medium size and was ready to fully commit.


I dreaded taping everything off, but honestly, it was really simple and straight forward. Once I got into a rhythm, it didn’t take long at all. I mean it’s just one wall…doing the whole room would’ve been a different story. Having the lines drawn on to follow made it very easy and helped me feel confidant that they would be nice and  straight.

Once everything was taped, I started the fun part of painting! I used two coats, then let it dry for a full day before taking the tape off. I’m not sure that was 100% necessary, but I wanted to make sure it was fully dry before I continued to the next step. After that I peeled the tape off and taped it off again the opposite way so that I could go back over the base color (white) to get an extra crisp line. At first I didn’t really think this step was necessary, but it made a huge difference in getting a nice clean, straight line.


Not going to lie, peeling  all the tape off was my favorite part. While I peeled all the tape off, I made note of any spots that needed touch-ups. There were a few, but nothing I couldn’t fix with a small paintbrush.



I added a little decor, mostly stuff from the guest bath in our last house. It’s funny how the same decor you’ve been staring at for years can look new and different in a new space. I tried to keep it simple, I don’t like clutter in my bathroom….or anywhere else for that matter.



At the last-minute, I decided to hang our old shower curtain (please excuse the wrinkles, it’s been buried in a tote for 5 months) in front of the shower. It’s purely for decoration since we have shower doors, BUT the shower is so unfortunate looking  that I felt like I should hide it until we get around to gutting it. It didn’t bother me so much before, but now that the rest of the room is done, it stuck out like a sore thumb.


And just for fun, here’s couple side by side shots…
Farm House-001

Farm House

So there you have it. I’m calling this one done…for now. That shower is still big on the to-do list. It’s definitely feeling a lot more like our style in here though.