a little tour of our Salt Water Taffy Striped Bathroom
Upon moving into our new home, naturally our plan was to re-do every single room. The first hold up was what everybody's hold up is...LIFE. See, there are these things called "responsibilities"...and unfortunately they prevent us folks from being 24/7 home renovating decorators...(bummer right?). Ok, so we'd have to do one room at a time, spread out over a long stretch of time. But then something even bigger than the all caps LIFE got in the way...a Hurricane named Sandy (total jerk...trust me). So then the normal everyday redecorating of our new home took a backseat to the storm damage repairs. Floors had to be ripped up, entire rooms gutted, electric rewired, crawl space re-insulated, oh, you get the picture...a whole bunch o' stuff that set us wayyyy back.
Ok, so here we are, it's many months later, and slowly but surely we're tackling one room at a time. Luckily we have two bathrooms. The other one is 100% gutted. The floor had caved in, the walls were buckling...so we cut our losses and let my brother Walt take a sledge hammer to it. When we get the time we'll deal with that bathroom.
So for now, lets about this bathroom...our dreamy Jersey Shore bathroom. We bet you can easily guess who the star of the show is. Think about it...the contents of the room fit into two small boxes...the curtains and the towels are basic white...but get a load of those hand painted stripes in varying tones of Salt Water Taffy! It's amazing what paint can do!
Doing this bathroom was a bit like unearthing a time capsule. For years now we've had everything you see in these pics packed away in boxes. In essence we have recreated our bathroom from two homes ago! It's pretty funny actually. This theme didn't work in our previous apartment, so the boxes remained all taped up and stored away for a future home...and the future is NOW!
We were very lucky that the storm damage in this room was minimal. So, this Periwinkle-y paint was peeling like crazy, and it was peeling right down to the sheetrock...many years and layers of color were exposed.
Ok, first things first. Prior to painting our stripes we had to first stabilize our walls. We got a paint scraper and attacked any loose paint. When you start scraping your first thought will be "oh gosh, what did I get myself into?"...because you'll scrape a tiny patch of peeling paint and it will just expand and expand. But lucky for us, the patches didn't expand all that far. We scraped for quite a while...it's very important to get rid of ANY and ALL loose paint.
Since some of the areas that we scraped went several layers deep, sanding alone wouldn't do the trick to get smooth walls again. So to the deeper, very uneven patches we applied some of this super lightweight spackle. This has been a favorite product of ours for like 18 years or so. My dad introduced us to it when we were doing antique furniture restoration in his cabinet shop. The stuff goes on super smooth, spreads like a dream, dries super fast, and sands so easily.
We applied the spackle at around lunchtime and then we were able to sand all of the patches smooth later that night when it was completely dry. After lots of dusting and cleaning up, we then gave our walls and ceiling a wipe down with a damp rag to make sure they were clean and free of dust. Then we painted both the walls and celing this perfect creamy tone...we used eggshell finish.
We used a yardstick and pencil to measure and draw the guidelines for our stripes. They're six inches wide.
Selecting our colors was super easy being that we had a photo of our old bathroom to use as reference. We just eyed it up since we didn't have those paint colors actually on file or anything...in fact, we mixed those old colors ourselves...they were made from our artist acrylics and then we sealed the walls with a satin clear coat! ha! yes, we are nuts...or were nuts. This time we did the sane thing and just got 4 quarts of good ol' house paint. I could stare at this color combo all day.
We used a two inch brush to paint the stripes. We do one color at a time of course to minimize brush washing. So you go around the entire room with the green, then the blue, then the yellow, etc... It's actually kinda fun seeing the theme gradually come together. We did the pink stripes last and it was remarkable how much they changed the appearance on the whole.
Opening our boxes to rediscover all of this stuff was a thrill. Our vintage vacation souvenir plates are very close to the top of my list of fave collectibles. All of these are New Jersey plates of course.
The peg rack was painted years and years ago...for our old bathroom. I had distressed it and gave it a "dirt" wash to give it an old beach cottage feel.
This print now has a home! Oh we love it so so much! When we ordered it we knew it would be a while before it would be hung in it's place of honor. It fits so perfectly!
I am crazy for these kitschy shell souvenirs. Boardwalks are loaded with beachy souvenir shops and nearly every one of 'em sells these shell chandeliers? or mobiles?...whatever you would call them. Usually they are all one color, and often the colors are almost a fluorescent neon. I was so excited to find one that's multi toned, and in my exact pastel color theme! We got it wayyy down in Wildwood when we were vacationing at my fave place to stay...the Caribbean Motel...it's a little vintage theme place and I think our bathroom would fit in perfectly.
The tiny chair is all alone but just for now. I think an old postcard might join it.
We've owned this old metal top table forever. It's on wheels and those side panels fold up to increase the tabletop space. We couldn't believe how perfectly it fit in this niche.
I adore this glass...we found it on ebay years ago. First off - New Jersey...second off - pink!
We found this soap dispenser at Target. It also came in a sea glass shade of green and clear as well. Any of the color options would have worked in the room, but we decided to go with pink.
I've had this shell for nearly 20 years! :)
It's such a tiny little space, and it was hard to get this pic. Here you can see the floor a bit more. We'll be regrouting soon, to freshen it up. We found our shower curtain and bath mat at Target.
The new shower head is by no means fancy or $pensive at 39.00...but totally a quick little upgrade. It's diameter is pretty wide and when you've got it on the biggest setting it hits you from shoulder to shoulder.
One of my favorite little pottery vases...its one of the first vintage pieces Aaron and I bought together for our first apartment...a loooong time ago! And my lady head vase that I love so so much! She's been with us for a very long time as well.
This box was made by a local artist...I wish I knew who. We bought it at a now closed gallery in Asbury Park about 10 years ago. And we painted some shells years ago to brighten them up.
Here's another. You can see that we just added a little wash of color.
This tiny suitcase is actually a little manicure set. How cute?!
Some favorite shells and a shell art bottle.
This is a plaque we made years ago. It's made from an enlarged vintage Point Pleasant Beach postcard.
Oh gosh, it feels so good to have another room pretty much done. There are some small details to take care of, but there are always small details to take care of.
And I took a couple Instagrams. Out of every room in the house this one gets the least sunlight. It was soooo hard to take semi decent pics.
After a looong day it felt great to light some candles and get in the tub in our newly redone bathroom. I Instagrammed my view.
I guess the room re-do took three days total. And really, when I said that doing the bathroom was like opening a time capsule...I meant it on many levels. Seriously, this was exactly what our bathroom looked like two homes ago...and just seeing the stripes and the decor kinda mentally transports us back a decade. I'm not sure if our life was simpler or more complicated ten years ago...but the flashback feeling is a positive one. I guess we can mostly recall all of the hunting for the perfect elements and mixing the paint colors for the first time...I don't think there are ever really any bad memories attached to decorating, right?
Thanks for taking the little tour and reading along with the recap of our latest home project. Can't wait to tackle another room!
xo, Jenny & Aaron