eDesign Reveal: Retro Fun-ky Bathroom

You guys. That accent wall. That is all I can say.

My friend Autumn gave me a ring and told me she desperately needed some help with her hall/guest bath. I had given her some advice on her kitchen before so I knew her style - MCM/funkadelic. I know Autumn from college, but haven't seen her in years. I've never been to her home in Michigan, but was up to the  task since eDesign is something I offer regularly. She sent me the photos of  her bathroom and walked me through it. 

While not the most horrible bathroom I've ever seen, it definitely was not looking like Autumn's style. Autumn is a fun, mid-century modern, retro loving girl. We decided since this bathroom was the guest bath, we could go a little more funky in here than what she had done in her kitchen. She did give me some parameters to work with, though. 

1. She couldn't afford to gut and remove everything. This wasn't a total redo, just a makeover. So we were stuck with the flooring and retro-old school shower tile. To be honest, I would've removed the shower tile if I were renovating this house for a flip. It's just not the sort of thing most people would be down for. HOWEVER, I was totally digging that we "had" to work with this gold tile. That shower tile is one of those things that I (and she) thought was pretty cool, but know it's not for everyone. Doesn't matter. This bathroom isn't for everyone, it's for her and her family.

2. We could replace the counter and backsplash tile.

3. We had to keep the sink and vanity base. Luckily, Autumn had a carpenter dude that could help us out with fixing up the vanity. The rest had to go. 

Everything else was fair game. So, I went to work on designing. Often when I'm designing I hit this sort of wall where I'm like you know this is just not fun enough....might as well be builder grade. Maybe you call it "writer's block". Nothing inspiring or special is coming out of my brain. Then I poke through to outside the box and find something that makes me think, "Hmmm, I wonder if they'll go for this." At this point I have to stop. Everything comes to a halt. If I'm about to make this super awesome decision and base everything else around it, then there is no reason to move forward without the client's consent. I hate wasting time just to start all the way over.  That moment came when I found this super funky wallpaper from Coloray Decor. I shit you not, I did not choose it for its name: Autumn Flowers.

I dread that call where I have to say, "I have a crazy AF idea and I don't know if you'll go for it." Ok, dread is a strong word. It's more of a "this person is going to think either think this is brilliant or that I'm a crazy person. No in between" Last thing you want is for your client to think you're way off base so yeah these phone calls are a little nerve racking. 

Well, she went for it! The floral wallpaper was the perfect accent wall funkiness to add to this retro-esque bathroom.  With the wallpaper decided, the rest of the design came together. 

A few things ended up getting tweaked but most of the design remained. Every design I deliver has a design board with details to the side along with a spreadsheet for each item needed to pull of the design, links to buy, quantities and total material budget. Some have an accompanying room layout. Some have a sketch to describe further detail.

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The rest of the elements worked around the wallpaper and existing features that had to remain. She had a door on the other side of the room that was a natural wood (seen below) she didn't really want to paint so I wanted to bring in another wood element somewhere.

The butcher block was an easy choice. Not only is butcher block inexpensive, it is easy to cut and install.

The next element I had to deal with was the mirror and lighting situation. The vanity was super long at 76". I didn't want to be all boring and have a super large, expensive AF mirror. Nothing fun in that. Since this is the hall bath, it is conceivable that there may be a couple of people getting ready in here at once, so one mirror wouldn't do not to mention such a large vanity with just one small mirror would look unbalanced. So, we went with 3 smaller mirrors with a single sconce above each.

Also in this area was the vanity base. The doors and hinges were not looking too good so Autumn's carpenter outfitted it with new flat front doors. Such an easy way to update a huge vanity like this. Replacing it completely would've cost mucho dollars.

What you can't see in those other photos was the toilet "nook". My original design included a green accent wall instead of the wallpaper. We didn't want to lose that green so we opted to put it behind the toilet. You can see it when you look in the mirrors which is a nice touch. The vintage telephone stand makes a great TP holder and complements the vintage - retro vibe. I have one of these stands in my own bathroom and it makes for an excellent TP stand. You can put one roll on the top and it will hold 3-5 rolls below. You could obviously put magazines and other things in there if you plan on camping out for a while. :)

And the moment we all love, the BEFORE AND AFTER Photos!!!

I love how everything looks fresher. The floral wall obviously is very vibrant, but the counter just feels more natural, one of the reasons I love using real materials like butcher block.

I'm now working on a closet design for Autumn and can't wait to see how it turns out. She's an awesome friend/client who is not only not afraid to be bold, but she also gets things done fast. Right up my alley for someone who loves to get her some photos! Stay tuned for the closet!


Sources

Butcher Block Counter - Lowes

Mirrors - West Elm

Sconce Lights - Etsy

Shelves - World Market

Sink + Faucet: IKEA

Toilet Paper/Telephone Stand  - Etsy

Wallpaper - Etsy

Camper Update: This Ceiling Is Bananas

Guys I can't wait to show you how the ceiling in my camper has turned out!!!

I partnered with Milton & King on this project which was awesome because from the start I knew I wanted to wallpaper the ceiling of this camper. They have so many great options and I wanted this place to be a bit wild. The biggest surface area to do it on is the ceiling. Liz Kamarul's RV was an initial source of inspiration. 

It wasn't my intention to do tropical like she did. At first I was thinking about something a little more geometric and subtle like the one on the left. Then one day on the way to school, my 4 year old daughter says, "Mommy, I think we should do palm trees on the ceiling in the camper." I don't even know if she knew I was doing something on the ceiling. I'm don't know where that came from, but I did have the Jungle Palm wallpaper on the right in the back of my mind and asked, "How about banana trees?" She screamed, "BANANAS!" which I took to mean "Hell yes." and so the decision was made. The wild factor in this camper multiplied by 100 thanks to my design assistant.

Then the doubt set in. I'm about to install banana wallpaper on a ceiling. In a camper. I've never installed real wallpaper, only peel and stick. And did I mention in a CAMPER. Also did I mention that I am alone in this renovation? I've been determined to do most of this camper reno myself bc honestly I need a long LONG break from contractors. But, anyway, I realized that I cannot in fact install wallpaper on a ceiling by myself. So, I enlisted the help of my husband. My husband geeks out as a system's engineer and programmer wallpapering is not in his list of repertoires. This should be interesting. At the time I wanted the wallpaper go up, he was preparing for a very important upcoming conference. I had to wait. I wanted the wallpaper to go up first thing after painting in case any goop dropped down from the ceiling or something of that nature. Why go and put new floors, cushions and kitchen stuff in if the ceiling was going to rain goop? You see how this is becoming dramatic?

Let me paint a picture for you about how this was to go down. The camper is parked at a storage lot. No water. No electricity. No one to install wallpaper for you. My daughter and her friend were also with us. Let me remind you they are 4. So, when the day came I was at anxiety threat level: MIDNIGHT.

Luckily, inside the camper we had two very long benches to prep everything on and I didn't quite care if I scored right through the paper to the bench. It would be covered with paint and a cushion eventually. Here are the materials we used including this glue from Home Depot. Believe it or not it is not that easy to find wallpaper materials these days even though wallpaper is all the rage.

So, we finally got started after weeks and weeks of self imposed stress. Would it be falling down everywhere? Would we be able to match up the seems? Would we kill each other? So many questions. And guess what....

IT WAS EASY.

The most difficult part about this process was thinking about it.

I mean why WHY did I let this get so built up in my head? All we did was paint the glue on the ceiling with a paint brush. Then we lifted up a sheet together and got it lined up. We didn't fight! I mean we aren't really fighters but you know when frustration is high, barking ensues. But, no need for that because this was EASY.

We worked in small sections so we didn't have to hold up a really long piece and try to work around too many obstacles at once. In the camper there are a ton of obstacles like curved walls, cabinetry, more cabinetry, appliances and doors all within a foot or inches of each other. So, small pieces it was.

We were even able to match up the pattern pretty well considering the non-straightness of....um everything. We layered up the paper in spots so that it matched and honestly you can see the layered areas but you can't. I mean who will be inspecting the ceiling except us at this very moment?

It easily could've taken us 3-4 hours to complete but we instead stopped after 2 hours because 4 year olds. We came back the next day and finished up within an hour or so. I think Dusty was probably getting sick of me saying "OMG OMG OMG I FREAKING LOVE THIS!" and "DUSTY, I'M SO HAPPY WE DID THIS AND WE DIDN'T WANT TO KILL EACH OTHER."

It really was so easy. I encourage anyone to give it a try. If you know how to work a paint brush and a have a buddy to help out, you'll golden. Check out Milton & King's full inventory of wallpaper! They have so many options!

 

 

 

 

 

Camper Throwdown: Vintage Vs. Vanity

A Camper Throwdown of Epic Proportions

Vintage vs. Vanity. Mid-century modern vs. Glam. @FlippinWendy vs. @SonoranDesertLiving. It's on.

You may have seen us spouting off about our camper renovations over on Instagram and we've shared a bit in our stories. But, if you missed that here is a place where you can soak up all of the old before photos. 

Guys, I've been looking for a camper for YEARS. Seriously. I bought one a few years ago and thought oh it just needs some paint and it will be cool. Like an idiot instead of just patching and painting the water damaged areas I started pulling the interior skin off. Guess what. STUPID AF IDEA. The skin panels are installed behind the "furniture" in the camper so once you start taking one out, the furniture comes out and there really is no stopping point. So, I ended up gutting the whole thing and result was a box on wheels. I felt pretty defeated and decided to give up on that camper and sold it for a third of what I paid for it. I didn't have the energy for it anymore. Then we moved to Phoenix. So, camper purchasing was put on hold for a bit.

I started looking again on and off with nothing really striking my fancy. Too expensive, too beat up, not the right time to tackle a project like this, small beds, no toilet....reason after reason kept popping up to not commit. I wanted something that had a bed big enough to be comfortable and fit my husband and 4 year old daughter. I also wanted a kitchen and toilet. Getting up in the middle of the night to go outside to the toilet sounded pretty lame, especially with a kid. Anyway, sooner or later this camper showed up and it was like AHHHHHH! The skies parted and it revealed itself to me.

Funny thing was that Rachel of Sonoran Desert Living was looking for a camper as well. She also found the perfect one for her and on the same day even! The Camper Throwdown was on! Dual camper renovations commenced!

So, let me introduce you to my camper (which has no name as of yet)! I've got a 1971 Reddale Camper. It is 19' long and in decent condition. It definitely needs some cosmetic updating but all in all not bad. And I'm definitely not pulling out any skin panels this time! Big win. Here's the exterior. Not cute. But, it has potential.

The exterior has some peeling and worn paint but that'll all come off when I strip it down to the metal. I'll need to address the door knob and the front awning. It's all wonky and broken in one corner. 

Front of 1971 Red dale Camper

Ok enough of that, let's get to the good stuff. The inside! Here she is! So much wood.

To get your bearings, see the entry door to the left behind the dinette. Behind me is the front where that awning lives. This camper is quite spacious without being obnoxiously long to pull behind our truck. The ceiling is around 7' high so it's very comfortable for me to walk around in. The door with the mirror on it is a closet. A closet! How can that even fit? The door directly center in the photo is the bathroom, but we'll get that in a minute. To the right you can see the kitchen with a working gas fridge, the furnace below it and everything that kitchens have. IT ALL WORKS. I saw it with my own eyes.

Guys this shit is almost pristine. Seriously. It's too bad it's so ugly that I have to change it. 

The stove top and oven front panel, as well as the range hood, are already off to the powder coater's where they await total transformation. The rest of the kitchen will get a coat of white paint. Counters and backsplash are still being decided on. 

Let's look at the other side of the camper.

The benches are nice and long and have an expandable table in between them. They also convert into a LARGER than king bed! What what!? That was a major deciding factor for buying this camper. It seems all smaller vintage campers have beds no larger than full size, if even that. Also notice all of the storage. There are cabinets right above that table, as well as cabinets under each bench. There are even more under the dinette benches and some above it. So many. It has so much storage that it can be completely open above the benches where I get the opportunity to install some awesome lighting. It's like a small miracle has happened.

Camper kitchen and bench in vintage 1971 Red Dale

Let's head over to that bathroom now. See it here at the back of the camper.

Let's talk about this bathroom bc OMG. It's olive green. You guys it literally took me 100 attempts to get this shot. So appreciate!

I posted about this bathroom in my stories and to my surprise, when I declared I was keeping it, there was an outpouring of agreement. AGREEMENT ON OLIVE GREEN BATHROOM. What has this world come to? And way to let me down guys. I was really hoping to be a rebel here! But seriously though, I'm glad this won't be a big to-do if olive green is in fact now in. Maybe WE (those of you who agreed with me and I) are trend setters. That's probably what it is. 

I'm not sure that I'm IN LOVE with this olive green bathroom but I don't hate it enough to rip it out. Remember, bad memories of the last camper stripping it down and not building it back up so I'm trying to salvage what I can here. Since I decided to commit to this bathroom, I'm using it as THE source of inspiration for the design. I"m going green in this here camper. There will be several greens. 

Anyway, these campers are an entire house in one small footprint so it has been tricky making sure I remember all the things. Every time I walk into the camper I see something else to add to my list. Things like the furnace grate that need to be painted or oh yeah I broke one of the stove knobs so I have to find those. It's a long list that includes renovating but also outfitting it to make us happy. We need sheets and bedding that are easy to put away. We need cushions that are comfortable to sleep on bc if they aren't WHAT IS EVEN THE POINT? This whole camper idea is so we can travel and not stay in hotels. It has to be something we want to use or else it just becomes a showpiece. I'm not about showpieces. 

So back to the Throwdown bit. Rachel and I are pretty much opposites. She likes all the new fluffy glam style stuff while I like vintage and mid century modern. She's square legs. I'm round legs. Furniture. Not real legs. In the end we'll have a side by side reveal and it will be epic AF.  I'll also try to update you as we go! I love your suggestions over on IG, btw! Have any other ideas? Feel free to comment below. Keep watching my stories for updates or subscribe to get posts emailed directly to you!

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Before & After: Client Retro @Rnchhouse

Hygge & West Justina Blakeney Wallpaper and Floating Shelves in a white kitchen

Oh. My. Gosh. This kitchen. It was right up my alley. Well, I knew it was going to be the minute I walked in their door and saw all of their mid-century modern and boho treasures. SO MUCH YES. I was so excited when Client Retro @Rnchhouse gave me the go ahead to plan away. Here was their initial request:

Describe Your Project: We just bought a 1957 fixer in Central Phoenix. The kitchen got a mini-facelift in 1986. It's been untouched since then. It's a great space but feels cramped due to a peninsula. It's a full gut and will require reconfiguring.

Wish List: Clean lines mixed with boho touches (wood, color, textiles). An industrial-style range. Some open shelving without sacrificing too much storage. I really want a kitchen that reflects my personality while complimenting the character of the home. I'm not afraid to take risks with design but I don't want it to be dated quickly.

Here's what we were working with. I mean it sure was retro but not in a cool way. Also, does anyone else think this feels like a cabinet jail cell?

Before Kitchen Retro
Retro Peninsula

 My client wanted just what I wanted. It was a match made in heaven. A couple after my own heart! They wanted a nice clean, bright kitchen with fun and funky boho, retro and mid-century modern accents. We got right to it. First with the floor plan.

Obviously we were going to remove the cabinets hanging down over the peninsula. That alone would make this kitchen so much more open. We also expanded the footprint of the cabinetry a bit. Below the window (where the arrow is pointing), there was nothing but a few feet of empty space. The walkway to the exterior door was here but it didn't need to be that wide. 

Expand the Peninsula

Expanding toward the door allowed us to move the dishwasher to the right side of the sink to accommodate a lazy susan and cabinet on the left side. We could also add an overhang for seating at the peninsula. Another tweak was rearranging the other appliances to make more sense. I like the tall things to all be together if possible, so we stole a little bit of extra space from the hall to accommodate a new counter depth fridge and pantry cabinet. Removing the pantry and fridge from the current wall allowed us to have a longer more symmetrical cabinet layout that could highlight a range and chimney hood.

REtro kitchen with appliances in all the wrong places

Here's the new floor plan:

Even with removing the cabinets hanging over the peninsula and on the window wall, there is still way more storage in this kitchen than before. Client Retro @Rnchhouse still have empty cabinets they have't filled yet. Goes to show how making an efficiently laid out kitchen is so important.

And of course the new design: 

*Links to these items at the bottom. Some may include affiliate links

I wanted the one empty wall by the exterior door to be an accent wall. My client was obsessed with Justina Blakeney's Cosmic Desert wallpaper from Hygge & West. So that was easy. Done. We balanced the awesomeness of the wallpaper with a more classic style kitchen. Having a more traditional cabinet and simple subway backsplash helped to not compete with the wallpaper, as well as tick that box of having a kitchen that wouldn't date itself too quickly. It would be simple and bright in this kitchen with punches of fun in the wallpaper, lighting and my client's awesome and ever changing collection of vintage items. We allowed for one area to be open shelving for her to place these special pieces.

Floating Shelves, White shaker kitchen with marble and Hygge & West Justina Blakeney Cosmic Desert Wallpaper.jpg
Retro White Shaker Kitchen with Black and Stainless Appliances, floating shelves, mid century modern lighting and long subway tile backsplash

Some things did change during the process, though. In the original design we had the same tile but in gray. This is one of those things that can wait toward the end to really commit to since it's one of the last thing to be installed. In the end we opted for the white version. The tile has a little wonkiness to its edges so that helped in making it a little less formal and a little more boho. I like how it maintains the nice bright atmosphere, but adds a little texture to the walls.

The appliance color also changed. The white Kitchenaid appliances looked super cool and we loved the idea of them, but with no floor samples to look at and Kitchenaid not offering any sample chips, we decided to be safe and get the stainless versions. We weren't sure if the white appliances would clash with the other whites in the room. Unfortunately, the white hood did a little. It came in damaged so when replacing it my client swapped it out for the black version. This really helped tie in the wallpaper on the opposite side of the room.

As you can see by the decor, my @rnchhouse client has great taste and had a lot of input in this design from the get go. My role was to help them decide which items would work and which ones to let go (cement tile). With some very fun picks like the lighting and wallpaper, we needed to make sure we let those things stand out while keeping a more neutral backdrop. This is very common that a big portion of my job is centered around the decision making. My clients often have many ideas great ideas flowing that they need help sorting through them all and be able to visualize the end result. 

Sometimes my role is to "give permission" to use certain things...like marble countertops. We're all told that it wears over time and that it will stain. "We don't recommend it" THEY say. HOGWASH. So long as you know what you're in for, then go for it. I've never met an old stained marble I didn't like. So, I am unafraid to use it in a kitchen. If stains will bother you, then you know what to do. Don't use it. Simple as that. They went for marble. I secretly fist pumped. YESSSSSS.

And here are the all to popular before and after shots. My fave! The now much more open, way less cabinet jail feeling kitchen.

And a punch wallpapered accent wall to turn it up a notch.

And a much more symmetrical cooking area more pleasing to the eye and the chef.  

I had so much fun with this one and I know Client Retro @Rnchhouse is loving their new kitchen. Check out the rest of their house projects on Instagram!

Check out all of the finishes we used (and didn't use) in this kitchen listed below.


Colors:

Door: Dunn Edwards Barrier Reef

Door: Dunn Edwards Barrier Reef

Walls: Behr Ultra Pure White

Walls: Behr Ultra Pure White


Shop This Kitchen: