Tuesday, May 1, 2007

A May Day Bath B&AA

All a woman needs is a good bath.
- Hedy Lamarr

( ... But this sure isn't it!) Happy May Day, my dear ones, and welcome to this first edition of Bath B&AA... that is, Bath Before and Almost After. Glad you're here!

Ah, this Freeman House. She's a monster, she is. I'm still looking for those before pictures of the backyard... the ones where it closely resembles something out of a C.S. Lewis book. But in the meantime I did find some other old Freeman House photos. The one above is a downstairs bathroom -the only one I've tackled thus far- circa 2004. It's something, right? I remember the first time I pushed open that heavily painted door and ventured in. It took all I had to make myself stand in there. Just look at it... and then imagine all the stuff the camera didn't capture: the smell, the filth, the spiders and bugs. Yeah. Wow. Sometimes I'm still amazed my 25-year-old, single self ever bought this place. Sheesh. Kids. So idealistic. Can't tell 'em anything. (wink)

But that's all history now because she's starting to look like a real bathroom! Woo-hoo! The room had to be gutted and then re-floored, re-sheetrocked, re-wired and re-plumbed. Then I had to drive to Lowe's and stuff a new toilet and pedestal sink in my Jeep and drive them home. The claw foot tub is original... the same as in the before picture. My Dad and I restored and refinished it, and I must say, we did top-notch work. I can't say quite the same for the tile job, however. I did it myself and have some grout residue in places that won't mop up.

I'm really into the whole non-built-in look. I'm not sure why, except that I appreciate a LOT of flexibility in a room arrangement. Even in the bath. Therefore there are NO cabinets. I think I have a commitment issue with standard cabinetry. I do, however, have this storage unit ... which I love. The glass-enclosed top holds all towels and paper, and the two deep drawers below hold my staggering stash of beauty products. Few of which I actually use.

(By the way, that adorable ornament hanging from the knob is my ultimate May Day, spring celebrating, crowning glory. It's a Cari Kraft. It has a photo of a little girl and reads, "As a young girl I thought the Spring was magical." It's made with vintage ricrac and flowers and it's one of my favorite Etsy purchases ever. Cari has an amazing shop.)

Anyway, for storage I also have this three-tiered cart (from Target... $12) that I use to keep things within reach of the tub. This stuff I actually use. The glass bottles are filled with organic peppermint body scrub and conditioner. The bottles were in Freeman House when I bought her and I'm trying to incorporate them in everyday use. Life's too short to store them, you know?)

Life's also too short to take lots of showers. This tub is like a cocoon. A fluttering, shabby chic, curtained cocoon. I love to light candles, fill the tub with bubbles, and slide in with a good book. I spend several sudsy hours a week enveloped in these curtains.

And at this sink. I've so loved having a pedestal sink. I've loved having this bathroom, despite the work that still needs to be done. I plan to finish up a few loose ends this weekend. The crown molding has to be installed, as does the ceiling medallion and chandelier. (That's why these pictures are so dark and grainy. Little lighting in here.) Yep, I'm putting a small chandelier on a dimmer switch. I figure the task lighting above the sink is the primary workhorse, so the chandelier can simply add overhead ambiance lighting. Can't wait!

And of course, the bathroom still needs some decorative touches. I try to keep it stuffed with flowers and candles in the meantime. The hydrangeas and rose are from my garden. I mean, I don't care how new or old your bathroom is... flowers always make it sing.

I wish we lived close. If we did I could sneak a hydrangea, rose, or daisy... something... to your door, ring the bell, and scamper off. Or I could just knock, say hello, and offer you a flower for your own bathroom. What could be more appropriate for May Day?

It's gently raining here today, and I must be off before the hours get away from me. I hope you enjoyed the Before and Almost After tour. And I truly hope you're having a beautiful spring.

Happy May Day! -Brin


Anonymous said...

oh it is just gorgeous! congrats on a job well done.Keep the photos coming-very inspiring ;)
happy may day to you too

Little Penpen said...

I just love your almost redone bathroom! I dream of having a house like yours one day, but I want someone like you to already have it redone for me. I have lots of dreams on "how" to do one, but definitely don't have the "energy" to make it happen!

It's a Mom Thing said...

WOAH! That's all I have to say about that bathroom! It's amazing.

Anonymous said...

Your bathroom is breathtaking. I love the serenity, it looks like a calm refuge from the world.

Kristy said...

Your bathroom is great! It looks like it's coming along wonderfully. :)

Lacy said...

wow...you've inspired me to re-do our guest bathroom in all white!!!...funny...I was just trying to think what I should do with it!!!...I love the wire cart, too...thanks for the inspiration...also...I'm really enjoying your blog!!!...I check in everyday.....Lacy

Anonymous said...

Ahhh! The roll top bath, the heavy curtain surrounding it, that wonderful sink. Just a lovely bathroom. A room to spend hours and hours in.

Cherry xx

Unknown said...

Happy May Day Brin!! I love what you've done with the bathroom and so enjoyed the tour, just how big and old is the house? You've done a wonderful job in there, and even though I"m not a fan of white, I like it!! Your amazing!

Betty said...

Brin, What a wonderful, refreshing, beautiful, relaxing, and I could go on and on. The white bath just lights my fire and the timeless look.....
I wish you were my next door neighbor or either I was yours....White hydrangeas are gorgeous.
I'm so glad I came by for a visit...

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Brin! you've done an amazing job in that bath! Wow, girl...it's awesome. I'm so happy to see some shots of your Freeman House. And, how great that you took this on as a single gal. Keep up the good work...it's inspiring!

Can I adopt you as a niece...I only have one niece, you can be another?!

Southern Hospitality

Anonymous said...

Oh Brin, that is the prettiest bathroom remodel job I have ever seen!!!! Better than any of the magazines have ever shown! How exciting, I would want to hang out in there all the time!!!! I'd be prunie from soaking all day in that tub! Thanks for the honor of hanging my ornament in your dreammy bathroom, it looks great! Don't light any candles next to the shredded paper or I'll feel sooo bad!!!!

Anonymous said...

I've said this before, but you need your own HGTV show, girl! And, I can relate to the tiling experience...we (actually Richard) are tiling our entire downstairs (entryway, formal living, formal dining, kitchen, breakfast room, hallway, guest bath and family room)! I cannot imagine re-doing an entire house like you are doing....that's amazing!

PAT said...

Great redo, Brin! You are doing a wonderful job, with Freeman House!!

Back Porch Musings

Beemoosie said...

You are doing a great job!! It looks just wonderful!

Mrs. Jones said...

The bathroom is gorgeous, and I love the bathtub! Wish I had one of those.

FrenchGardenHouse said...


okay, it is just so relaxing and gorgeous!! I am amazed at your transformed bathroom...from the before pictures to the Now pictures, you've worked miracles!

It's always such a treat to visit Freeman House! It reminds me a lot of my favorite B&B in Cambria, CA called J Patrick House. I love it there. Your home has the same "feeling" wonderfully old~fashioned and peaceful.
Lidy Frenchgardenhouse

Anonymous said...

Wow, a very pretty and soothing bathroom! Very classic look. You really are doing quite an amazing job with your home. I love it!