Here at Apartment Therapy we believe that any space can be made more beautiful, organized, and healthy with a little effort, without spending a ton of money — even an office space! We (Kayla) work in an old Brookline brownstone that has been converted to a commercial office building and with that comes amazing architectural details not everyone is lucky enough to have in their workplace: large operable windows, hardwood floors, ornate woodwork and a residential-style bathroom. That latter bit was the only part of the building in need of some serious TLC. So, with a lot of initiative and a little money, we got proactive and petitioned the building’s owner for a much-needed bathroom facelift...
My coworkers know we do this job on the side, so critiquing the state of our lackluster bathroom was a natural studio conversation. It started with, “Ugh, isn’t there something we could do?” to which I replied, “Of course, and it wouldn’t take much!” But unfortunately for Apartment Therapy, once we got the renovation ball rolling it happened so quickly that I couldn’t take “before” pictures! Basically these were the problems with our bathroom which we share with another office in the building:
Touchy Toilet Paper and Paper Towel Holders
No one wants to touch too much in a public bathroom and we were stuck with a very residential push-in style TP holder and a wobbly paper towel dowel stand perched in the “dirty” zone on the back of the toilet. We wanted a no-touch TP holder and a vertical, wall-mounted towel holder in the “clean” zone between the sink and door. Cost: $7.99 for IKEA’s Lillholmen TP holder; $19.99 for Umbra’s Tug Wall Mount Paper Towel Holder
We have a small supply of extra TP and Paper Towels in the bathroom at all times but the only place to put them was in a plastic basket on the floor in front of the toilet! We wanted an open shelf above the toilet where fresh supplies could be kept clean and out of the way. Cost: $17.99 for IKEA’s Lillholmen Glass Shelf
We were only going to suggest painting the walls above the woodwork a fresh color but our building’s manger, once we got the ball rolling, suggested going all out and painting the woodwork (which was very dark and in need of thorough cleaning) a crisp white, too. To complement the new white base and our silver/brushed metal purchases we chose Benjamin Moore’s Silver Sage for the walls. There was also a yucky 8.5x11 piece of paper taped above the toilet with a message from our management company which we removed, (and because we’re graphic designers) typeset in a nice serif, reprinted and put in a simple frame which now sits on the new shelf. Cost: $7.99 for IKEA’s Ribba Frame
We purchased everything for $53 except the paint which our management company bought and applied. Now we have an adorable office bathroom that feels fresh and clean and it’s for all to enjoy! What does your office bathroom look like? Is there any way to be proactive in making it a more enjoyable space? If you make something happen be sure to let us know!