My Bathroom Rocks! #5: Enrique’s Bathroom with No View

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Name: Enrique
Location: Los Angeles
Amount Spent: $10,000-$15,000

The Blogcast Interview:


The Pitch:
I guess it’s put up or shut up time…

First off, this bathroom rightfully belongs in the big bucks renovation category since I purchased this condo shortly after it was completely gutted and reno’d.

Full disclosure–the tilework, plumbing, new tub, new sink, new toilet, recessed light fixture, hanging pendant lights and re-plating of the two ceiling exhaust fans were all the work of the previous owners.

(They purchased the place 5 months prior to listing it, specifically to renovate and flip. My guess is that the renovation was probably in the $10-15,000 range.)

By Los Angeles apartment standards, this is a slightly smaller bathroom. The big downside is that there are no windows–so, no natural light or ventilation. The previous owners addressed the lack of natural light issue by keeping the color palette light–white tile, white paint, white marble, white cabinets, creamy beige travertine floors, and painting one side of the bathroom a soft, buttery yellow as an accent.

I can tell you that the cabinetry and light fixtures are IKEA, the toilet is Toto, the shower plumbing fixtures are Kohler, the sink fixtures are Franz Viegener, the sink is Ferrum. (The previous owners saved all the paperwork for me.)

I wanted to visually expand the space and spread the throw of the pendant lights, so I replaced a small round wall mirror behind the sink with ceiling-height mirror, custom-fitted to the width of the cabinet and hung an oversized mirror on the opposite wall.

But the placement of the mirrors was staggered to avoid a funhouse/hall-of-mirrors effect. With the mirrors reflecting the light, I was able to lower the wattage of the halogen bulbs (by 15 watts each) in the pendant fixtures, but still have more light than before.

Initially, I had only the large mirror, the stool and the bathroom toiletry items pictured in the space. But after living with it for 2-3 months, the space felt a little spartan and void of character. It didn’t really feel like MY bathroom. That’s when I decided to hang the photos (which were just sitting in my closet).

The paintings were purchased shortly after that. For me, the art added the much-needed visual interest to the windowless room. And the teak bowl and rug were really more afterthoughts, but I really like the visual balance and weight they add to the space.

One note on the art, I do shower with the door open and both ceiling exhaust fans running. So far, no humidity mishaps.

I already owned the 3 framed photographs and found the 3 small tree paintings ($225 total) at a café shortly after moving in. For texture, I placed a rectangular Thai teak bowl ($90, L.A. import store Jaipur) in front of the large wall mirror ($99, IKEA) and next to the Starck La Boheme stool (which I already owned from my previous place), and threw down an inexpensive faux Persian rug ($24, purchased from a discount rug store on S. La Brea Blvd.).

The custom mirror was $170 installed. The total cost of the accessories–mostly Jonathan Adler Happy Home–was probably around $200 (purchased mostly at Bed Bath and Beyond on a 20% off coupon). The shower curtains are actually 2 fabric shower curtain liners–I couldn’t fine any curtain designs I liked better than the simple liners.

The ceramic pot was hand thrown by potter John Scott and is one of my favorite pieces–something I’ve owned for 4-5 years. The “red coral” hook was $24 (Anthropologie). The metal alarm clock was bought on sale ($9, Garden District), as was the elephant sandstone votive holder (99-cents, Cost Plus World Market). So, my total budget spent was around $850–excluding the previous owner’s renovation costs and pieces I already owned.

I really love my bathroom because it has a pleasant feel without being boring or “cookie-cutter”. I like the fact that the room doesn’t make one strong, singular design statement. It’s a bit more mixed-up.

It has a clean utilitarian feel, but doesn’t lack visual or textural interest. I’m pretty happy with the overall result. Ultimately, the space feels completely like my own, and that’s a good feeling for me… What you see is pretty much what it looks like every day. (So, please forgive the water stains on the shower plumbing fixtures. I took these photos the day before cleaning day.)