I have a kiddo and a young lab , so the bathroom is not just a place to take care of business, it's also where I go to catch a breath, get myself together, and spend a narcissistic moment in front of the mirror....Being that bathrooms are also used for some not so pretty details of humanity that I don't want to be reminded of, the place should sparkle with cleanliness. Chrome, porcelain, marble, tile, perfectly scrubbed grout lines are a must, but can seem cold and uninviting. I've warmed up these spaces with some vintage pieces, old wood and some greenery. They have become just what this tired mama needs when I can't get to the spa and really need a 5 (or 60) minute breather.
In our master bath, I salvaged the old clawfoot tub from the previous home that was here before we did a massive remodel (I know Portlanders, don't start...it was not a cute little Craftsman, and we did not transplant from California! ) I refinished the base of the tub myself with some elbow-grease and a can a matte black paint and had the enamel refinished by the professionals. I added a simple tray by using a slab of scrap lumber that was left over from the deconstruction of the previous home. (We hand deconstructed the old home and reused much of the gorgeous old tight-grain fir throughout the new one.) With a few low maintenance succulents, it feels like a place I want to hang out.
Our downstairs bath serves many functions. It's the primary bathroom downstairs, the guest bathroom and I also the sink I use when I'm working in the studio...which means that I wash out a lot of muck in it. This old utility sink is one of my favorite things in the entire house. I love the character of it and it's perfect for cleaning messy kids and paint brushes. We used an industrial grade Chicago Faucet with exposed plumbing to give it a timeless, utilitarian look. The vintage mirror was found at a flea market for less than $50. I found the old vanity next to it at an estate sale for $15 and sanded the finish down to reveal a rustic patina. It's perfect for storing all the bathroom tidbits that guests don't need to see. (If you come to my home feel free to rummage through the drawers...you will be bored and perhaps grossed out...I warned you! )
Bathrooms don't have to be cold and boring. They can also be a place where you and your guests take a minute for themselves, clean-up, ground and emerge in a slightly better state of mind and body.