The Powder Room Project:  the little things

I love the big things about our bathroom.. the paneling, the wallpaper, the floors… But I think I love some of the “little things” about the bathroom just as much.


We found this toilet paper holder at the local salvage store. I love it so much . I’m pretty sure I could have looked for hours and spent 10x more money and still not found one that I liked any better.  I paid $15 for this one.  It is in fantastic shape!


Next we turned our eyes towards the door hardware.  It is almost 100% covered in paint throughout the house.  What was underneath was pretty much a mystery.

IMG_3843I had been so excited to try stripping the hardware in the 1980’s crockpot I picked up for just this task.


And it worked like a charm.  I just used water and turned it to high for a few hours.  This is what the hardware looked like when it came out.


And this is what happened when we scrubbed it ever so slightly with steel wool.  I had NO IDEA we had copper finished hardware.  I can’t believe that someone painted this!


HELLO!?!?!  Why would you ever paint this?????


It amazes me that even our Victorian (which, is not super fancy) had such beauful, detailed hinges on the doors.  These details make me think of Louisa Delong, the original lady of the house.  I am certain she was the one in charge of picking the hardware, and I just love that it has flowers.  

Next up!  A light!  Originally, there was a (non original) light fixture above the door that led to the powder room.  We decided we’d prefer a light in the ceiling, and so we pulled that fixture out and patched the wall.  And then we were SO HAPPY because it meant we HAD to make a trip to the local salvage shop.  This is SO MUCH better and exciting that a trip to the local Big Box Store.


So many options, but in the end, we chose the porcelain fixture and shaek on the right.


Isn’t it lovely?

The next detail to mention is the picture rail.  Our house had a lot of picture rail when it was built- there is a tell-tale grey smudgy line around many of the rooms.  Someday soon, we are going to add it back to the library and living room.  We had a little of some rail that was salvaged from our (you guessed it) local salvage shop, and we used it in this room.  It was quite bowed, and Lance swears that he won’t go through that again… we will probably have the rail for  future use freshly milled.


I think the brown softens up the charcoal very nicely.  And it was crucial for hiding our flawed wall-paper hanging 🙂


And it ties the antique mirror in very well.  And check out that coppery door hinge.  

And that’s a wrap!  At least until I hang some pictures and find just the right piece to hold toilet paper and hand towels in the corner.

We stood back and admired our work, more than I may care to admit… but then we quickly moved on to an equally exciting project , next door in the butler’s pantry.



The Powder Room Project: The Sink, Towel Bar and Mirror

Oh, I just looove a vintage sink.  Beautiful, imperfect, and so much cheaper than a new one.  We found the sink we used for the powder room over a year ago.


When we bought it, it was missing faucet handles and eusctcheons.


The guy we bought it from (for $40) told us it would be no problem to find those missing pieces.  He was wrong.  Handles, no probelm.  Eusctcheons?  It turned out they are one and a million and finding the exact one to fit our sink was just about impossible.  Trust us.  We looked for them here:


Bauer Brother Salvage in Minneapolis.  If we were going to find our eusctcheons, it would have been here.

So, instead of spending $200+ on an entirely new faucet, we decided to find an entirely new vintage sink!  You have to be patient with things like this, but eventually,  you find just what you need:  Another vintage sink for cheap!


Now we had two- turns out they were long lost twins!


This picture was taken after we switched out the faucets.  We thought the old sink was in slightly better condition, so we just moved the handles and euscteons from the new to the old.  Easy!

Once they switcheroo had taken place, I had to clean up the bottom of the sink:


Before cleaning


After a good scrubbing and sanding


It’s nice to know when your sink’s birthday is.  This one is almost exactly 1 year older than my dad.

Next was painting the bottom with Ben Moore’s Advance paint in black.

Then we hung it on the wall!


There she is, in all of her beautiful imperfection.


Now for something for the towels to hang on.  By some miracle, what I believe to be the original towel bar was hanging by the refrigerator in our kitchen (tucked right in by the wall, where it was basically unusable and hidden).  We pried it off and stripped it!IMG_3816


This is so exciting!


Isn’t it BEAUTIFUL!  It is so simple and so perfect.

Next up was a mirror for above the sink.  It turns out my friend/neighbor was cleaning out his attic last fall and found this mirror.  “Do you want it?” he asked?  “It’s free.”  Ummmm…. Yes.


That will do.

After all that, all that was left was to find some $3 hand towels and TJ Maxx and call it done.