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More Brass for the Third Floor Bathroom

There’s more to be done in the bathroom you saw yesterday! It hasn’t been a huge priority for several reasons. First, it’s really not too bad as it is. Second, it’s the third of three bathrooms, and the least used one. Third, our money has been going to other house expenses, and toward saving for work to be done in the kitchen. But? When I was up there swapping out the shower curtain and hanging the new towels, I thought I could do a lot to update the bathroom without it being too difficult or expensive. A new faucet and lights would go a long way in there! Paint would be a big change too, but I like the all white everywhere that’s in there right now.

The cheap brass sconces and the faucet we have now are in fine shape, but the style and finish (respectively) don’t work for me. So what will work? Oh, funny you should ask! I have many thoughts on the matter. I think too much about this stuff sometimes.

I usually prefer cross handles, and I definitely prefer widespread installations. This is a simple bathroom update though — I’m not replacing the sink, and the holes are drilled for a 4″ centerset faucet. There is such a thing as a mini widespread faucet (it’s usually one that gives you the option of installing at 4″ or 8″ apart), but the escutcheons are hard to clean around when they’re that close together. They’re also more expensive, and it just ends up looking like you squished everything in toward the center on accident anyway. Centerset it is. And with centerset faucets, levers look better than cross handles.

The choice of sconces will drive the finish of the faucet. Polished will go with polished, antiqued will go with antiqued. I’ve read that you can strip the chrome finish off of a brass faucet, so that’s an option too. (Good idea? Bad? Who knows!) I can try it with the one I have now and we’ll see how it fares. If it’s awful, I’ll order one of the ones below.

  1. Kingston Brass Templeton Two Handle Centerset Faucet, eFaucets, $120
    Cute little teapot shape.

  2. Kingston Brass Heritage Double Handle Centerset Faucet, Wayfair, $97
    Taller spout, plus a touch of porcelain.

Faucets and Sconces for the Third Floor Bathroom

The only light source in this bathroom, aside from the window, is the pair of sconces. The ceiling is low, low, low, and I’m not interested in moving the junction box and trying to repair or replace the beadboard. So we’re working with the cards we’ve been dealt here (which really are not bad, they’re just considerations to keep in mind). Too big, and the bathroom will be all HI, HAVE YOU SEEN THESE LIGHTS? We need good general illumination, so no metal shades that only focus light downward. Nobody is doing their makeup up here — the light can be softened with a glass shade (more flattering) or the bulb can be exposed (more harsh, but looks cool). They make convincing looking LED Edison bulbs now, so if the bulb is visible, it will be one of those.

These are the options I’ve been considering, along with my thoughts on each. I’ve already ruled a bunch out, but I haven’t make my final choice for the winning lights yet.

  1. Thurman Wall Sconce, Rejuvenation, $130
    Simple and classic, but still cute. The Otis Sconce from Schoolhouse Electric is another version for about the same price.

  2. Sage Sconce, Schoolhouse Electric, $155
    Black or white porcelain base, tons of shade options. I used these sconces in the bathroom we added to the basement of our first house (white porcelain base, white glass shade with two thin black stripes). Their Emory Sconce is a nice option if we want a similar look without the porcelain.

  3. Austin and Allen 1-Light Sconce, Home Depot, $98
    I like the style, but a round base would be better in the room. Plus it has that metal shade I’m trying to avoid.

  4. Orbit Sconce, Schoolhouse Electric, $189
    So cool, and I really want to use it. Somewhere. That doesn’t mean it’s the best choice here.

  5. Steichen 1-Light Outdoor Polished Brass Wall Lantern, Home Depot, $15
    Honestly, the most appealing thing about this one is the price. Other than that, kind of boring. Ho hum. Missed opportunity.

  6. Stanley 1-Light Wall Sconce, Wayfair, $549
    The most expensive of the bunch (I tried to stay on the mid to lower end of prices for the other choices), and too big for my tiny bathroom. Nice looking though, eh?

  7. Lander Brass Sconce, Crate & Barrel, $149
    That glass shade is great, but the reviews say the brass finish is darker than it appears in photos.

  8. Mist Single Sconce, Rejuvenation, $225
    The mix of brass and porcelain is just right, but I wish there was an option for a globe shade without an opening at the bottom. There’s an arched version too.

  9. Stratford 11″ High Wall Sconce, Lamps Plus, $386
    I like the lines and proportions of this one a lot, but it’s too formal for the space

  10. Hannah Sconce, Rejuvenation, $165
    The same as the first fixture, but in porcelain (white or black).

All right. Thoughts on the lights? And have any of you ever tried removing the chrome plating off of a brass fixture? I know people will spray paint a metal finish, but that’s not something I’m interested in for a faucet. I’ve searched and found a few methods (mechanical abrasion, aka sanding, dipping the faucet in chemicals, or taking it to a shop to have the electromagnetic plating attraction reversed), but I’m not sure which is best. As with so many things in life, the answers may lie in a Steampunk forum?

A Post-Summer Perk Up

hr 644

Everything has kind of been up in the air, house-wise, waiting for the rewiring work to be done. There are some holes in walls waiting to be patched, and some pretty terrible patchwork waiting to be fixed up. (The electricians are fine electricians, but not so fine at plaster repair. We told them we’d handle that part after seeing how they did it.) I have all of these ideas swirling around for things I want to do in the house, but I have to wait. Gah.

Target asked if I wanted to take on a little post-summer perk up, and I was definitely on board. A quick and easy decorating project was sounding pretty good right about now! The rewiring on the top floor is done, so I gave the bathroom a good cleaning (plaster dust was everywhere) and went out in search of a new shower curtain. This city sketch print was cute, but I chose coral pink because of course I did. We may be transitioning from summer to fall, but I’m always in favor of bringing in more pink all year long.

Third Floor Bathroom with Pink

Since I was changing out the shower curtain, I picked up new brass shower curtain hooks to replace the plastic white ones that were there. It’s easy to find silvery finishes for bathrooms (chrome, nickel), and oil-rubbed bronze is all over the place too, but I was looking specifically for brass and I was glad to see a couple of options for the bathroom at Target without having to order from a more expensive source.

Old Plastic Shower Curtain Hooks, Meet New Pretty Brass (and a Pink Shower Curtain!)

Brass Shower Curtain Hooks and a Pink Shower Curtain

There’s a pink hand towel on the pirate ship hook (why not, right?), and matching bath towels. I hung a couple from the hooks on the back of the door for a picture, but they would normally be tucked away below the sink, in the bottom drawer.

(And I feel like I should point out that the mirror’s dark spots are the result of aged mirror glass. It’s clean — promise.)

Pink Towels in the Bathroom

Pink Towels, Tucked Away in Bathroom Sink Drawers

I picked up a little red accent rug too. It isn’t a bathmat but it is cotton, and I think it will work well in that spot.

Third Floor Bathroom with Pink

Red Bathroom Accent Rug

Our routines are about to shift once school starts again. Obviously the kids will be going back, but I might be going back too (depends on whether enough students sign up for the new course I’m supposed to teach). I love that I was able to knock out an update while our days are still relatively calm by just picking up a few new things in a favorite color.

Third Floor Bathroom with Pink

Slightly Off-putting Art for a Bathroom

I’ve been making a few changes to our bathroom. I feel like it needs some art on the walls, but I don’t think it should be too serious. There was a photo that used to hang in my uncle’s house that I loved, and he has said that we can have it if he can find it, so fingers crossed for that. If it doesn’t come up in his search though, I’m thinking it’s going to be something along these lines…


But not that funny. Let’s call them mildly amusing.
Bathroom Art: Funny

  • Look at those puppies!
    Champion Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, at Cruft’s Dog Show, Terence Spencer

  • Look out behind you!
    Fist Fight, Red, Dadu Shin

  • Nature calls.
    Collocation No. 14 (NATURE) Left Panel, Mickey Smith

  • Ooh, that smell. Can’t you smell that smell?
    Knuba, 2010 by Alex Kostinskyi


Because I also think the idea of a bunch of people watching you when you step out of the shower is funny.
Bathroom Art: Portraits

Slightly Off-putting

Some of these are strange in and of themselves, and others only by context. Certain imagery is just a little ‘off’ in the loo.
Bathroom Art: Slightly Offputting

  • I love the idea of a nude, but thought better of it because of the kids. I’m not worried about my kids, but more about their friends. Is that a strange concern to have? The Balch House: gateway to sin for the youth of Oak Park. Anyway, I love this one, but the eye contact is a little intense.
    Untitled (Suzie Hedge), 2006 by Brandon Herman

  • Do you really want to think about food in a bathroom?
    Chocolate Electric, Martha Rich

  • I see you.
    Mask, Jennifer Ament

  • A family of five, just like mine! Oh, wait. This family might not be “just like mine.”
    Family, T. Huybers

  • Yeah, they really want you. They really want you, and I do too. (Hey, this one can hang next to the cake! Think anyone would get it?)
    Day 260: Baby Doll Hands by Lisa Congdon

  • Again, think of the children.
    Drawings for 3 Rooms in Your Home: #1 by Steve Lambert

Funny and Slightly Off-putting People

It’s everything I love in one! (Can you tell this is my favorite category?)
Bathroom Art: Theme

  • Shhhh!
    British Children Playing Outdoor Games in London Suburbs, Terence Spencer

  • I’m not familiar with her (she’s an actor, says her Wiki), but this photo is fantastic.
    Lynn Redgrave Making a Face, Terence Spencer

  • What’s not to love about this?
    Women Holding Giant Masks, Bettmann

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