While the foyer probably has a lock on “Most Improved” in the Via Corona superlatives, her powder room is a serious honorable mention (and is a ringer for best personality). Recall that she started with pink and brown tile–with curtains to match–that ran all the way up the wall to be crowned by a coved ceiling in frothy white frosting.
The craftsmanship in this space was remarkable. I mean look at it–the former owner laid ALL that tile by hand. However, we quickly tired of the phone ringing and the voice on the other end telling us that 1985 was, like, oh my god, calling and wanted its loo back.
Little did we know that it was about to get much worse very quickly.
Termites and Southern California go together like peas and carrots. And let me tell you, this bathroom was serving up a hungry man’s portion. I think I told you how we were afraid to go in here for fear of falling through the floor. And yet, we couldn’t stop checking on it to confirm and reconfirm how awful it was.
Beast: meet Beauty!
As I explained in the powder room plans post, we gave up about a foot in this space for a little bit more room in the kitchen. We don’t miss it. Also, out of sight but never out of mind, we also raised the roof in here. 1985 would be totally pleased.
Going with an exposed sink was a bit of a risk, but with a room that now measures roughly five by five feet, I wanted to leave as much open space as possible. Besides, it’s a powder room. Other than a spare roll of toilet paper or two, this space has no need for storage.
We frosted the generous but poorly placed window (it’s the first thing you see when you walk into the courtyard). While there is potential for some evening shadow-puppet shenanigans, forgoing any window treatments also helped to keep the space open.
The light fixture, hook and TP holder all came from a shop called OneFortyThree. The proprietor started the company after renovating his own house (and blogging about it). OneFortyThree was a delightful find and I feel a sense of (completely unwarranted) renovation camaraderie with the owners.
Of all the baubles in this tiny space, finding the right mirror was the hardest. While incredibly fashionable, that sweet hexagonal mirror that was originally in the powder room just didn’t fit right with the new vibe. I ordered and returned three or four (and kept yet another one for a different space). This one came from CB2 and we have two other iterations of it in other parts of the house including the guest bath. (Note the photo bomber.)
In a move that some future homeowner will most likely describe in the same OMG so outdated way I described the pink and brown tile on the original, I decided to go with black fixtures. This began when I fell in love with a gamine faucet from Ikea that was nimble and elegant. Sadly, by the time I got around to ordering it, the faucet was no longer available. At that point I had my heart set on powder-coat and found this one in our price range at Home Depot.
A digression if I may. If this project were to have a catch-phrase, it would be: because that’s what we could afford. The market is rich with gorgeous finishes and fixtures–from bathrooms to kitchens to lighting–most of which weren’t even close to being in our budget. While Pinterest, Instagram, Google and the others offer a vast universe of design opportunity, they don’t account for price point. Just about every finishing material in Via Corona was inspired by one thing but executed as something like it that was in our budget. Welcome to the real world.
As you probably don’t recall, I’d originally planned encaustic cement tile for the powder. I spent weeks looking for just the right pattern (that we could afford). I put (paper) samples up on the wall in my office and asked for the opinion of anyone who entered. It became a minor obsession. But after all that searching, I couldn’t pull the trigger. I actually had the tiles in my cart, finger hovering above the order button and then I clicked away.
The design universe works in mysterious ways and the moment I gave in and admitted I didn’t have the cojones for bold tile, I chanced across this wallpaper design by Abigail Edwards. It’s a subtle nod to our (hopefully) subtle beachy vibe for Via Corona. It’s also a nod to Edward Gorey, a longtime favorite of mine. Not wanting to go so far with the sea-theme as to actually make people seasick, we stuck with the pattern on one wall only.
There she is folks, though she be small, she be mighty. And, at least in my estimation, she has a great personality! I purposely keep the door open so that I can take a glimpse every time I walk by.
And it’s true about what he said in the Entryway Reveal post: TD isn’t allowed to use the sink in here. For the record, I’m not either. The wallpaper–though perfect for the spot aesthetically–is actual untreated paper. While the occasional splash from hand washing is fine, everyday wear and tear would probably make quick work of this delicate covering. It breaks my rule of not having anything in the house too precious to be used BUT I’m pretty sure it’s the only thing that does.
And now for the montage you’ve all been waiting for.
Go here for more Via Corona: Via Corona
Powder Room Sources
Wallpaper: Abigail Edwards Seascape in Winter
Vanity Console: Duravit
Faucet: Vigo Satro
Mirror: CB2 Infinity Round Brass Wall Mirror
Vanity Lights: OneFortyThree
Towel Hook: OneFortyThree Woodblock Wall Hook
TP Hook: OneFortyThree Tissue Roll Holder