It's already Week 4 of the One Room Challenge and today I'm linking back up with many of my fellow 'design addicted' web-mates over on Linda's blog Calling it Home to showcase my progress on the one room that has been a challenge for me over the last three years. I'm not going to beat around the bush today... by the end of this post, I'm going to pull back the curtain a bit and reveal my favorite part of this guest bath transformation.
But let me first lay the groundwork. The palette for my guest bath design really took shape from what would become of the counters. I knew all along the adjacent walls would be white and because we have already had a lot of success with Benjamin Moore's 'White Dove' elsewhere in the house, I decided that color would also appear here. I tested it against a brighter, truer white, painting a swatches right beside our dated bath tile and 'White Dove' won out for it's creamy undertones. Plain and simple- it actually complimented our tile quite well.
On the wall, 'White Dove' looks fresh and clean. I plan to pair it up with some of creamier tones to compliment and balance earthy colors that made their way onto our vanity. Mixed metals is my jam, so I'm mix-mastering it up with both polished and brushed brass accents and chrome fixtures.
The whole bathroom reno centers around these counters. You may have thought it was all about the paneled walls. That was a happy side outcome. What really motivated me to focus on this room for the ORC was the fact that I saw no end in sight to the 7 feet of outdated, shiny black laminate countertops. It was one of those unfortunate relics left behind from the previous owner that nagged at me day in and day out as dust and watermarks constantly blanketed the surface. A 7ft piece of stone is out of our budget for the moment, so I set to scheming, intending all along to transform this blight on my bathroom into the concrete counter of my dreams.
There are many tutorials on Ardex Feather Finish applications out there. Though it is intended to fill cracks and smooth concrete flooring in preparation for tiling and other professional finishes, I may have found my soulmate in this versatile product. I tested the waters on a smaller wet bar counter in our dining room and realized through that experience what tools I would need to make the lengthier vanity top a smoother experience. In the end, I used everything from concrete and drywall tools to my mini cake spatula to get just the application I wanted. Three coats of Ardex, sanding in between with 220 grit paper and two coats of sealer later and I had it, the concrete counter of my dreams.
For the first few days thereafter, I thought it couldn't get any better. But then, I found the paint color for the base drawers and cupboards. I thought for sure I'd go white or dark charcoal gray. I'm glad I decided to take a chance with Benjamin Moore's Aura line and a greenish-gray they call Rainstorm. I mean... I walk into the room just to stare at the richness of it all day long. In a surprise development, it's the scene stealer- not the glorious concrete countertops after all. The matte counters, flat color on the cabinets and polished brass pulls reassured me that I was moving in the right direction with this reno. That leaves just two short weeks to iron out all the little details before the big reveal.
You can read about my plan and weekly progress here:
Be sure to check out progress by all the talented bloggers linking up today over at Calling it Home.