After: The humid bathroom with eucalyptus and Quick-dri towels.
When you find a very reasonably priced studio apartment in Manhattan, two things come to mind: it's either rent-controlled and you've struck gold or there's something wrong with it. While this small studio had nothing glaringly wrong with it, the tiny bathroom did suffer from a lack of ventilation to let the morning steamy shower vent anywhere. Since this was not a gut renovation job, I had to think of Plan B in dealing with this ventilation issue. As JCPenney's Green Living Partner, I work with them on our designation program called "Simply Green" that helps our customers find eco-friendly products for sale in stores and online at jcp.com. At our new NYC store inside the Manhattan Mall, you'll find one Simply Green item that I absolutely love and is perfect for this ventless situation: Our Linden Street Quick-Dri towels and bath rugs.
The Quick-Dri products feature a special weave that helps them drive about 33% faster. In a more humid bathroom, that means the towels and mats can air-dry faster, making them less prone to mold and mildew. Stacks of Quick-Dri towels are a quick decorating fix.
In this 30-minute makeover, I stocked the shelves with rolled up towels and laid down a Quick-dri mat. I took away the boring Kleenex tissue box to expose the neatly stacked facial tissues and use a simple binder clip ring on top where they are pulled one by one. At the very top, I filled an American Living vase with a $3 arrangement of corner deli eucalyptus — when the steamy air fills the bathroom, it activates the essential oil in the leaves, giving the whole room a fresh, aromatic scent.
The old-fashioned, water-wasting showerhead was replaced with this Kohler Forte showerhead, which is incredibly water-efficient and uses just 1.75 gallons per minute. Behind it, I hung a sprig of eucalyptus to help bring that natural aromatherapy into the shower. Finally, instead of two shower curtains (including a PVC liner that off-gassed in the small space), this PVC-free, nylon shower curtain works without a liner, just like the ones in hotel rooms. It's also machine washable, which makes it very easy to keep clean.
With the 30 minutes up, I now had 1 hour to makeover the biggest challenge yet — the bedroom.
(Images: Danny Seo)
Danny Seo is a leading lifestyle expert on all things green and eco-friendly. His blog, Daily Danny includes inspiring how-to projects, ideas, tips and contests for living "Simply Green."