I had a little fun (in the bathroom) while my husband was away on a short business trip. While he was gone, I also took work off, but left the boys in daycare. This gave me some much needed uninterrupted project time. Why was this bathroom worth two days of vacation while still paying for childcare? Well, for starters it was painted in the same flat tan color as the rest of the house. And by flat I mean both boring and flat as in paint sheen. Flat paint does not hold up well in any bathroom. My young boys splashed a lot of water around the sink and towel bar. This leaves unsightly water marks on flat paint. Flat paint is not scrubbable.
It was also worth the time, because for us it is one of the first rooms we see when we enter the house. We primarily enter through the mudroom off the garage and straight ahead is this half bathroom. As the only bathroom on our main floor, it gets heavy use by us and guests. I also thought I could easily tackle this tiny room by myself.
My inspiration for this striped treatment came from my favorite pair of summer sandals. They are a cheap pair of flip flops with bold gray and white stripes…love! I wanted to create the same beachy striped effect in this small bathroom. I knew the horizontal stripes would help make the bathroom feel larger.
I initially thought I would keep it simple and do 9 stripes, each 12″ wide (perfect for our 9 foot ceilings). But I quickly realized the 12″ stripes were too wide and not providing the effect I wanted. They were a bit chunky. In the spirit of keeping things simple (unfortunately after a few embarrassing rounds with the calculator), I realized I could do 12 stripes, each 9″ apart (still a prefect fit for our 9 foot ceilings).
The first order of business was to paint the entire bathroom a nice creamy white to match the baseboards in the room. I actually matched the same color, Divine White by Sherwin Williams in a satin sheen. I allowed this coat to dry overnight. The blue paint for the stripes was Dolphin by Martha Stewart. It actually looked like a gray in the store, but turned out very blue in daylight. We actually thought it might be the main color for our whole house until we realized how blue it was. It still looks great in the half bath.
To create the stripes, I first measured and marked every 9 inches from the ceiling down on each wall. Then I used a 4 foot level to mark the stripe lines across all the walls. Sadly enough the 4 foot level was almost big enough to go from wall to wall in this tiny room. With all my lines marked I began taping. The bottom stripe included the baseboard. I kept that stripe white so the baseboard blended in as part of the stripe. I used painters tape on the outside of the lines where the blue stripes would be. For example, I taped just below the 9 inch line and just above the 18 inch line, leaving the 9 inches in between exposed and ready for blue paint.
I used a small foam roller brush to apply the blue paint. After removing the tape and doing a few touchups the striped half bath was complete. I love it more than my sandals! The stripes both widen the room and the light beachy colors make it feel light and open. We get tons of compliments from guests…about a bathroom of all things.
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