Tuesday, April 2, 2013

A Paint Called "Cozy Cottage"

     Who falls in love with the name of a paint color? Well, I did. I knew I wanted an off white paint for my bath re-do, and worried how I would find the perfect shade? Yes, there is more to white paint than meets the eye. In my case, the actual color was not the deciding factor, the paint name stole my heart. When it comes to decorating I am ruled by romance rather than reason.
     My handyman and I were in Home Depot to pick up my bathroom fixtures and paint for the walls. What I thought would take hours, and much teeth gnashing,  was done in a matter of minutes. It took longer to get the items on our cart, than for me to decide what I wanted.
     Our first stop was the bathroom section. Like a kid in a candy store with no adult supervision, I ogled the pedestal sinks for a moment and picked my flavor. One sink, and only one sink, stood out. It was the largest one they had. Tall, with a huge basin, and a rimmed backsplash. Very old fashioned looking, it was so large, it became my tiny bathroom's focal point. It had style and presence. The backsplash would also cover the two holes in the tile where the old oak sink cabinet my husband built, twenty-eight plus years ago, had been drilled in to the wall.
     “The toilet has to be high like the one I've got now.” I smiled at my handyman. It took a few moments longer than my sink decision to pick out a toilet. 'Chair Height' caught my eye. “Is this about the size of the one at home?” I knew I didn't want a low sitting toilet, or one with an elongated bowl, just a simple white toilet to tuck next to my glorious sink. He took the measurements and pulled a big box off the rack.
     I had my Home Depot charge and I charged forward like a maniac. I've never picked out my own bathroom fixtures. For years I've lived with the manly bathroom my husband installed when we first moved into the house. The bathroom was so small, he custom built the sink cabinet, wall shelf, and medicine cabinet to fit the space. Back in those days I liked oak, so I was happy with how the bathroom looked when it was completed. The old tan and black tile stayed, and glass shower doors were put up. It was more a man's bath, and not the cottage style I now so wanted.
     I've disliked my bathroom so much the last few years, I hated to clean it. Between the yellowing paint, dust, a bit of mildew, and Talcum powder everywhere, the bath was a mess. No matter what I did, a thin film of powder stayed on the shelf, in the old caulking around the tub, and sprinkled on the floor, turning my black rug, with its cabbage rose pattern, grey. I questioned how so much powder could go into the air, when so little went onto my body.
     The old grout around my tub/shower was also disgusting. Tiny specks had worn away and grime filled the crevices.  My old bathroom was the biggest eyesore in my house. I'd had several occasions of sheer embarrassment when someone asked to use it, but company was rare, and I rarely cleaned.
     Now it was about to transform into the girly bathroom I'd always wanted.
     While I picked out my light fixture, my handyman went to get other supplies I had no interest in.
    “I'll meet you in paints!” I waved him off and gleefully looked at chrome fixtures with milk glass shades. My final choice was in a Martha Stewart box.
     We caught up in the paint department.
    “I think that is enamel on the walls. Do we have to prime the room first?” My thoughts went back to the primer that was used throughout the house the last time paint hit the walls. It stunk up the place for hours.
While I was not the one doing the work, I wanted it done quickly, and without a lot of disruption to the household and dogs. It is hard to keep six dogs calm with all the excitement of renovation going on. I would find out later I had to move the dogs from room to room, to let my handyman in and out of the house, and into the work areas.
     We asked the guy behind the counter. The paint he recommended was BEHR Premium Plus, they mix a primer in with the tint. One coat would do the job.     
     “Look at the charts and samples on the rack.” He pointed behind us.
     I grabbed a few cards from the section with varying shades of white and turned back to my handyman.  I liked the off white, with a hint of taupe. I liked several shades, in fact. But my decision was made based on the name of a color that said it all.
      “This one!” I giggled, like a silly school girl. "Cozy Cottage. I love it!”
        We headed back home and by the end of the day my sink and toilet were installed. I had not realized how dark the oak had made the room. Now it was bright, lively. For a moment I worried all that light might show my wrinkles, but I was smiling with excitement. I tossed that thought, with the rest of the debris on the floor, into the trash and out the door.
      The antique window purchased from a friend, with its large mirror insert, would replace the medicine cabinet and add more of the old vintage style I'd hoped for. There was plenty of storage in the narrow closet next to the sink.
      My dream started to take shape. I could hardly wait for the next installment. The cottage in my mind would be a cozy cottage indeed!

Getting ready to remove the old sink and built in cabinet.

Remains of the old toilet.

Medicine cabinet...gone!

Shopping at Home Depot.

My new sink and toilet.

Antique window with mirror to replace medicine cabinet.

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