Basement Part 8: Off the Hook

We're nearing the end of this basement adventure. Matt and I compiled a punch list of the nagging little items left to do and we're hoping to knock them out on Saturday. If we're successful, my goal is to then take fancy, totally stylized and staged pictures to put up on the blog for your swooning pleasure. Or 30-second distraction from work. Whatever floats your boat.

Until then, I thought I'd share the impending design of the bathroom. For such a tiny space this room has consumed a lot of time and brainwaves trying to decide what to do with it. For starters, it's already been painted twice. I know normal people would cringe at the thought but double painting seems to be my M.O. Yes, one could theoretically do the sane thing and buy a few sample pots of paint but that's unsatisfactory for me, I guess. I need the color splashed all over the place in order to ultimately decide I don't like it. So the green-gray went up first and it failed. Then came the blue-gray.

Not bad, right? And hey! The sink is installed! The Anchor Gray is certainly more manly and it surprisingly made the room feel slightly larger. They say dark colors make walls recede; perhaps that's the truth in small spaces. Anyway, as much as I liked the color this paint does not hide flaws in the wall surface. Remember my early verdict about our drywallers being meticulous? I recant that claim now that there's paint up. Frankly, these walls are so pocked they resemble the skin of the Real Housewives now that Bravo is in HD (poor choice).
What's an anal homeowner like me to do? Wallpaper!

That glorious design element from the early 90s is experiencing a revival and I'm about to welcome it with open arms. But what kind of wallpaper? That's the hard decision and my mom and I spent 2 hours flipping through books this past weekend trying to find just the right thing. We failed. It's tough to find something traditional but fresh, funky/trendy enough to be fun but also something that isn't already in every designer magazine (I'm looking at you, "Woods" wallpaper in the bottom middle).

While the wallpaper issue was going on the bathroom fixtures were having a bit of an identity crisis. I think lighting can give such personality to a room and I was struggling to get this one right. Did we want this to be a design-safe, spa-like bathroom? Perhaps. So I tried this light from West Elm.
Pros: wood to balance out the floor, no frills lamps so it could go with a variety of styles, $50 on clearance
Cons: the light it gave off was minimal, the wood tone wasn't the right color, and overall, meh.

Then came an old standby from Ikea.

Pros: $35 price tag, halogen lights are bright, crisp, and can be adjusted to point light anywhere, modern
Cons: it didn't really do much once in place, too modern in the end

At this point I was losing hope and starting to think we'd just pick up any ol' thing at Home Depot and would try to look past the wall imperfections. But then the stars aligned! Behold, our bathroom scheme:

Matt's a fly fisherman. So friends, I give you wallpaper that sports 19th century Englishmen in top hats casting flies in the English countryside. They say food is the way to a man's heart but for my preppy husband, fly fishing wallpaper appears to do the trick. Once I snapped this up from across the pond it all came together. Leave it to the Brits!

Source list:

Sconce - Pottery Barn Kids

Sink and faucet- Ikea

Mirror - Ikea

Basket - Ikea

Wallpaper - Wallpaper Direct

Tile - American Olean at Lowes

Towels - Ikea

Toilet and shower - reused

I'll give a preview regarding the rest of the basement to help explain the bathroom selections. Last Friday, when the carpet was being installed, I was downstairs during the day for the first time in a long time. The room was deliciously sunny and bright. It practically screamed out, "Don't make me a men's den! Give me color!" So I listened and the dark plaids and paisleys are gone thanks to this conversation and a ridiculous sale at Hancock. Thankfully, in addition to liking toile-ish wallpaper, Matt also adores salmon pink. Thus the bathroom is the only thing that is now obviously for dudes. The rest of the basement? Not so much.

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