When Andrew and I walked through is old colonial for the first time three years ago we immediately fell in love with the upstairs bathroom. So many of the original features in this small space were still intact, like the antique hexagon and subway tiles on the walls and floors, the porcelain tub and sink, and the tiny old medicine chest above the sink with its beveled glass. It was painted a dark chocolate brown and closed off with shades at the time, but nothing that three coats of paint and new drapes couldn’t fix! And although I loved this room straight away, I did note it’s storage situation, or lack there of. Storage is always a bit wonky in old homes. You find closets in strange places and the rooms come is weird sizes. It is what it is. But the trade off is charm and squeaks and so much beauty that I think makes up for any odd bits that the makers of these homes saw fit ages ago.
This the only bathroom on our second floor, making it both the master bath and the kiddo bathroom. It’s really not an issue right now since our babes are small, but a tight squeeze if we all need to get ready at the same time, like Sunday mornings before church. We’ve always wished there was a little closet or storage space in here to hold all of our getting ready things and towels, so since moving in I have been keeping an eye out for a piece skinny enough, but spacious enough, to fit right here. Thank you Craigslist! She’s a beaut.
Let’s move onto paint! When we moved in we went through the process of painting over all lead based paint and layers of wallpaper before painting each room a soft shade of white. We love the way white instantly calms a room and makes it feel light and airy. It’s also a lovely way to show off old features in a home when they have a blank canvas to shine against. One place we didn’t paint was inside of our small closets. We have five of them on the second floor: two in our room, one in each of the kid’s rooms, and a linen closet in the hallway. The first week of unpacking I hung a shoe organizer on the inside of the linen closet to hold our extra toiletries and as another way to utilize every space. I only recently removed it when I brought home our new medicine cabinet because eep, new storage! When I took off the shoe organizer I saw, for the first time really, what was painted on the inside of the door. It was a light greenish bluish gray color, a muddy neutral that I could tell was not stark white, but also not belonging to a specific color family. It was perfectly subtle, and as far as I can tell, original to this home. I carved a piece of crumbly plaster wall out of the back of the closet and took it to the boy’s room to see what it looked like in the natural light against the white trim. It was beautiful and soft, just what I have been searching for to give our home a bit of a colonial refresh this summer without having to paint the walls something other than white, a look I will forever love.
Later that afternoon I took that crumbly piece to Home Depot and had it matched and then made into a gallon of paint. When I got home I opened it up and decided that our new (to us) medicine cabinet would be the perfect tester for this paint to see if it was really one we wanted to use throughout the house. I ended up getting a semi-gloss to echo the existing glossy features throughout this old home, as you can see on the door up there that is in need of touching up. That’s going to be a big job, indeed! And I know matte paint is all the rage right now, but if you live in an old home glossy paint just works. Before painting, I sanded, scraped, and peeled off the old ivory and bright yellow paint on both the outside and inside of this cabinet and then painted it two coats of what I am calling, “Colonial White”. I quite happy with how the color turned out and am really excited about all of our extra space in this bathroom of ours! Here is a VERY similar paint color if you are looking for a lovely neutral that is not white, but darn close to it:
So that’s my rather long paint and small bathroom story! I am going to do the trim in the upstairs rooms fairly soon and will show y’all how that turns out too. Do you have any painting plans this summer? We also need to give our white fence another coat, and touch up the cream cabinets in the kitchen. They are originals too, and when I get that matched I’ll be sure to let ya know because they are such a dreamy ivory hue. Painting takes forever but it really does make all the difference, especially if you pick colors that make you happy!