White Irony | Overstuffed Overstuffed

Friday, September 04, 2009

White Irony

We have rented our homes for the last 10 years. Obviously, with Joel in grad school for the first 7 years of marriage, that was a no-brainer. When he got the job in Cedar City after he graduated with his doctorate, we thought we would buy a house.

So, we looked.

But, alas. It wasn't to be. He graduated in May of 2006 and we moved to Cedar in August. Just in time for the tippy-top of the housing inflation. The twin home we ended up renting was going for 205,000 dollars when we moved in. For a 1,400 square foot, poorly-constructed duplex, I thought that was insane.

For the first year, we still looked around at homes, and our landlord actually pushed the place we were living in quite heavily. She would drop the price by a few thousand dollars every couple of months, but we knew if we were to buy, it certainly wouldn't be that house. After a little over a year of living there, we gave up on buying a home even though the prices were steadily going down. We had begun to feel our time in Cedar City was very temporary, and buying a home wouldn't be the best move.

I'm so glad we didn't. Had we bought, we would probably be renting here in Houghton, simply because we wouldn't have been able to sell our house in Cedar. And if we did, it's doubtful that we would have gotten what we paid for it.

I tell you all this, because in the ten years we have been renting, there is only one thing about it that I truly hate. Because really? Renting has its advantages. Like, when the garage door commits suicide, you don't have to pay to fix it. Or when the sprinkler system refuses to work right, it's your landlord footing both the water and the repair bills. No property taxes. And, best of all, you don't have to sell it when you move to Michigan.

But, oh, the white walls.

I hate the white walls. The one and only reason I couldn't wait to be a home owner was just so I could have a little color in my life. That's it. Otherwise, I might have been happy to rent forever. Okay, so that's not entirely true, but seriously? I really, really hate white walls.

Therefore, it is completely ironic that my very first painting job here in the new house would be to paint the girls' bathroom--you guessed it--white. Whoever lived here before painted it a light brown. Not taupe. Brown. And it was awful.

The space has no natural light, super low ceilings (Joel can't even stand up straight in there, and my head touches the ceiling in several spots), and the brown just made it look dingy and dirty and completely uninviting. I evaluated it for several days, and I knew it had to be brightened up. And with the lack of natural light and the painfully low ceilings, white was really the only color that would work.

So, ultra-bright white it was.

And I am a great big hypocrite.

Here's the finished product (sorry--I was almost finished painting when I realized I should have taken before pictures. I won't make that mistake again).
So, I based the entire bathroom on this shower curtain, which I had before and really like. I got it at Target if you want to know.

This bathroom only has a standing shower. And it's never once been used by us because my kids hate taking showers. So they come downstairs and use the awesome clawfoot tub that's in our bathroom. So, for now, this shower is just for show.
This is a view just as you walk in the door. You can't really tell that this part of the ceiling is also fairly low, but I can reach up and touch it without straightening my arm. The artwork is done by Chloe. I figured it works.

I got the cabinet thingy at Wal-Mart and put it together all by myself. (Yes, Joel cooks dinner while I paint the bathroom and put together furniture. Works for us.) The small doorway that I was lucky enough to have the cabinet fit exactly into goes into the attic. The very yucky, scary, icky attic. I was really worried that my kids (Sophia) would go in there all the time if we didn't barricade it somehow. I'm sure I'll clean it out eventually, but for now, there's a cabinet. And it holds lots of stuff like shampoo and hair pretties and washcloths and toilet paper, too. Dual purpose!

Flower hair pretties hanging from some ribbon on the wall. Above-the-toilet artwork done by Bria. In front of that partitioning wall is the shower. Behind it is the vanity, which I will show you next.

Voila! The vanity. With more towels. And even more in a basket. I got the little buckets at Target and thought they'd be fun for toothpaste and toothbrushes. Each girl has her own bucket. The pink step stool that you can't see very well because my camera lens isn't wide enough is also from Target. I am missing Target right about now. Sigh.

Kind of hard to tell, but this is all in a corner-ish type area. The hair pretty holder is on the wall that divides the vanity area from the shower.


And there it is. My once dark and dingy and depressing attic bathroom is now bright and white and happy! And I like it so much, I don't even care if it makes me a hypocrite.

So there.

35 comments :

  1. Your house seems very fun. I think old houses are awesome... but since my husband builds new houses for a living, I don't think I'll ever get to live in one.

    The bathroom looks awesome. :)

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  2. Nothing like a dark dingy bathroom to make you appreciate the lightness of white. It is really cute. I especially love the bucket idea! You are so creative! Love it.

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  3. Oh-I want you to come decorate my bathroom! That's totally cute---and I love the shower curtain. Nice work making it bright and fun:)

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  4. Way to go Lara! Great work!! CANT wait to see more pictures of your house as you get it done! :)

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  5. Wow Lara you are amazing! I love your style.

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  6. WOW! LOL we are so much alike in many areas! I love to paint! I have been painting my house these past few days!

    Spencer cooked while I was painting last night...it works well for us as well! I will cook if I have too but i take every opurtunitnity to not have too!

    I think it looks very pretty....Love target and the shower curtain sorry you don't have a target. Do you have a walmart?

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  7. This is so funny! I was driving past a couple of the places that my friend and I looked at, years ago, when we moved in together, last night.

    And that it one of the things I remembered. White walls. I love having an awesomely painted condo.

    The bathroom looks great!

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  8. That looks so cheery and bright ! I love the vibrant colored towels etc.

    I too lived with white walls that I detested for many years before we bought our home. Then I was so afraid of color and hanging things on the walls too. Over the years, I have made up for lost time and I now probably over decorate everything LOL !

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  9. I would have to agree that white walls are the worst! In a tiny room like that bathroom though they are a must

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  10. I like the buckets! Cute idea!

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  11. Hahaha! That is ironic!!. I love what you did with the bathroom, even if it IS white! I particularly love the pail idea for toothbrushes. I may have to steal that one!!

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  12. A-dorable bathroom.
    Seriously.

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  13. Really cute! And even though I love color, sometimes there is nothing better than white!

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  14. It looks great! I would have wanted to cover the brown too.

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  15. It's all so cute and looks so inviting for your little girls. How fun to see a tiny glimpse of your new place.

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  16. I love it! Isn't that funny...it's kind of like when we say as kids or teenagers..."I would never do (such and such) as a mother" and then we end up doing that exact thing because we figure out it really works once in a while :)

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  17. I LOVE the bucket idea. So clever!

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  18. I love it! It's very bright and cheerful and just what an attic bathroom needed. I love your taste and your choice of colors. Good Job! Can't wait to see the rest of your home.

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  19. I think your bathroom is beautiful. All of the decor is darling!

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  20. remodeling/redecorating is so much fun! i think white walls totally work when you use such colorful and fun accessories. great job!

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  21. I love it Lara! It looks clean and pretty and girly. (sorry Joey)

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  22. I have always thought it would be so fun to create in an older house. You are so creative in this area. I love the bathroom.

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  23. I love the bucket idea! And can I borrow a few of those gorgeous hair pretties for Brooklynn? She has about two of them.

    Bummer about the Target thing. There's always online ordering!

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  24. Cuteness!

    The misery of renting and walls. Ugh. I should write about our renting experience sometime. Or not. I might throw me into a PTSD moment or something.

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  25. So cute - sometimes white IS the perfect color! And I love the shower curtain, artwork, and the little buckets...
    :~D

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  26. WOW! It looks great. I can't wait to see more pictures of your new house.

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  27. What a great project for you to take on! And a funny way to reconcile your relationship with white paint. LOL

    Lovely bathroom! I too, use different containers for the kiddos to separate their toiletries!

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  28. Way cute! Bright White does work when you want clean lines and colors and you've done a great job Momma!
    Way to Be!

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  29. Lara, what a bright and beautiful bathroom! I love the buckets. I can't wait to see more of your house!

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  30. It looks wonderful! Congrats on the makeover.

    Totally hear you on the painting thing...I have lived with white walls (and often beige carpet!) all my life, and I can't wait to own a home and paint the walls. I lived vicariously through my brother and niece when I painted her an insane, 4-wall mural when she was born!

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  31. The accents are bright and happy! I love them. How far away is the nearest Wal-Mart and Target now?

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  32. You made it all look so cute! A brown bathroom? I can't think of a worse color. How old is your place? Does the market seem reasonable out there?

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  33. so fun and girly! i love the buckets!

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  34. So cute! The buckets are my favorites!

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  35. You painted it white. Funny, funny. I totally get it, though. Sometimes white is just best. And I love all of the splashes of color. Absolutely love it. Only thing I don't love, it's a bathroom that's really far away from mine.

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