The Pitch:I recently purchased a 1 bedroom 1 bath condo in a renovated 1924 apartment building near downtown Portland, Oregon. Most of the credit for my rockin’ bathroom goes to the condo developer (KSL) who renovated this 8-unit building and is now my neighbor across the hall from me.
KSL’s renovation plans placed a priority on retaining the original feel of this vintage apartment building but allowed me to have some input into the renovation of the entire unit.
As the ‘bones’ of my new home are very traditional and my ‘aesthetic soul’ runs towards the minimalist/modern/contemporary, the challenge has been to blend the two tastes. Bright, warm, and cheerful could characterize my approach to this challenge throughout the apartment. And honestly, it all started in the bathroom.
Taking a look at the basic layout (NOT drawn to scale), the original bathroom was gutted and KSL incorporated a ventilation shaft to increase the size of the bathroom. KSL preserved the arch that was originally in the bath and repeated the arch in expansion area.
The expansion allowed a stacked washer/dryer to be added. Other elements of KSL’s renovation plans included beadboard wainscoting with hex-tile flooring, and subway tiles to line the tub/shower which was reglazed.
KSL gave me the opportunity to choose light fixtures from School House Electric (a local Portland OR owned/operated business). I did not alter KSL’s selection of the remaining bathroom hardware that, I believe, was purchased from Rejuvenation Hardware (another Portland OR owned/operated business). KSL takes credit for the general lighting design which incorporates dimmers for all fixtures. This allows me to create the Darth Bathroom mood.
However, I can take credit for the Carribean or South Beach color scheme. Since I was moving to Portland and had heard of its rainy reputation, the aqua and orange color scheme was selected to create a crisp contrast to the white beadboard and to elicit the feel of a tropical clime. (Abstract Aqua and Orangeade from Miller Paints another Oregon business).
The medicine cabinet was custom-made and has some great detailing. An electrical outlet was installed inside the cabinet for my rechargeable shaver – if I should ever need to take up shaving. The cabinet by the sink was purchased from Pottery Barn to hide and hold larger items like laundry detergent and toilet paper.
I love my bathroom in so many ways.
First, the bathroom is the only room in my apartment where odds-and-ends from my previous apartment do not dominate. From the day I moved in, the bathroom was complete unto itself and yet completely personal.
That fact, along with the cheerfully bright color scheme makes me enjoy being in the bathroom. Soaking in a hot bath with a good book is one of my favorite ways to spend a night at home.
I also have no problem finding matching accessories for the bath as bright colors seem to dominate the mass-market bathroom décor sector at this point in time. I considered extending the beach theme to cabana striped towels but decided that it would be a little “too theme-y” and I thought the modern blocks of color on the IKEA’s really-big-towels suited the space in a contemporary way.
With the washer/dryer in the bathroom, the need for a hamper is virtually eliminated. Having lived in apartments without a washer/dryer (or in group houses where the washer/dryer is in a creepy basement), this set-up has transformed my former hate-hate relationship with laundry into a mere minor hassle.
The only future plans I have for the bathroom is to add a double-towel bar, a small glass shelf to the left of the sink, decorate with some ocean or beach-themed photos, and find the perfect cabinet to place opposite the tub for additional storage space. Jennifer