5.07.2010

The Way To A Man's Heart Is Through His Fly

Gasp! Did I just insinuate something dirty?

Why, yes, yes I did.

Let's start things off with a little story and then we'll get to the goods. May I suggest you grab a drink (iced tea would be most appropriate for this tale) because this post is sure to be a long one.
Back in the halcyon days of college, Matt and I started dating when he was a fourth year and I a lowly second year. Fourth-years, particularly those of the male variety, tend to have a lot of extra time on their hands. And so it was, with this extra time, that Matt could often be found out in the mountains of Albemarle, fishing rods in tow, little black lab trotting alongside him while the trusty ol' red jeep sat on the gravel dirt road, awaiting their sure-to-be-filthy return.

A key indicator that fishing was on the agenda? Matt's ratty old hat, acquired from his favorite fly shop, that had the cheeky message, "The way to a man's heart is through his fly." He sported this thing every day until Hootie Bootie ate it in a fit of boredom while we were at a horse race or something. Look closely below and you'll see I'm not making this stuff up.

Were I a true, proper Southern gal I may have been repulsed. But I've got coarser Yankee blood and love to throw a "that's what she said" out there whenever applicable so the hat's message caused me to roll my eyes with affection.

Fast forward four years and I decide to move back north to Chicago, dragging Matt out of the woods and into the city. Fast forward another four years and I drag Matt out of the city and into our basement, armed with the brilliant idea of gutting the place and reinstalling a perfectly functional but currently fugly bathroom. Take a quick visual inventory of what we were working with, would you?

Some of you know the middle part of the bathroom tale. Like the part where we tore up the floor and were trying to decide how to cram existing bathroom fixtures in a new space half the size of the old.

And some of you also know that I painted the basement twice, my decorating M.O., and in the case of the bathroom it still wasn't right.

Just as I thought I was losing his interest in home renovation I came across a little design element that I knew would win him over. Since this is a bit of a gentleman's bathroom, why not bring a little gentlemanly sport to it? Some posh flyfishing wallpaper from England got Matt back on the basement reno path. The hat's message was applicable again! The way to this man's heart is through his fly. So without further ado, I present our basement loo:

I know wallpaper ain't everyone's cup of tea, or bourbon, but friends, we love this little room. Like, luuuurve it. And as for all our grand plans of reusing the old stuff in order to be budget-smart, this is one case where I'm glad that idea flew the coop. This tiny slice of our city cottage reminds us both of life in the South and once we committed to the fishing wallpaper we ran with it. Let's stand in the middle of the room and take a tour:

You've seen the Ikea Ann sink and now you can see it dressed up with a $19 mirror from Hobby Lobby, whose riveted frame gives a gentle nod to the classic Federalist hostess mirror.

Atop the commode (another word no one uses anymore!) is a small metal basket plucked from TJMaxx for $8 and is the perfect container for spare toilet paper and a petite Ikea-grown succulent. While the plant leaves coordinate perfectly with the shades in the wallpaper I can't say this was a deliberate pairing. I'm not that anal!

But while we're on the topic of being, ahem, particular about house things, I'd like to move the tour to a few of the salvaged bathroom items. The first is our linen closet, which the picture plainly shows as being in use but not organized. Last weekend we had some friends visiting and they were delightfully amused when they opened our upstairs linen closet and found it to be in slight disarray. Apparently, this shattered the perfect image they had of my housekeeping skills. So ladies, this closet shot is for you. My messy towels aren't just limited to the second floor!

Moving upward you'll see the ceiling light and exhaust fan. Nothing special here other than we reused it and spray painted the baffle white to better blend in with the fresh new ceiling. $3 in spray paint goes a long way with something like this.

The new configuration of the bathroom doesn't really allow for towel racks so we've got some handy hooks instead. Both the towels and the towel hook are from Ikea.

I particularly liked this hook as it reminded me of a fishing lure. You might say I found it a-lure-ing. HA!

As we go to make our way back out the door you can get a glimpse of the wood plank-like tiles against the new carpet. All in all I'd say we're pleased with both of these selections.

But before we close the door on this project (and pack up our fishing gear) let's take a closer look at the wallpaper. Remember my earlier comment about the bathroom giving a slight, if inaccurate, nod to the Civil War? All credit for this realization goes to Angler Matt. He took one good look at the scene above the toilet and said, "The gray coats are on the wrong side of the river! They should be on the south bank! And the blue coats on the north!" Blasphemy! Then again, it's not like the Brits were fighting this battle so I guess we can't blame them for getting it wrong on the wallpaper.

With that, if you're still reading and sipping your tea, I close out this bathroom story. Enormous thanks go to my mom, who practically hung the wallpaper all by herself while I just provided additional paste and held the razor blades. She's a talented gal and we're so thankful to her on this Mother's Day weekend. Go grab your fishin' hats and have a great weekend!

1 comment:

  1. I love that wallpaper -- the room looks great!

    ReplyDelete

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