Monday, April 7, 2014

How to Live With Almond Bathroom Fixtures (And Maybe Even Like It)

Okay, the title is a bit of a misnomer: I'm not actually living with almond fixtures yet. Right now, I'm doing research, gathering ideas, and making plans for our new guest bathroom. It's a challenging room, because it has an almond tub and toilet. "Almond" is a plumbing fixture color that's best described as yellow crossed with beige crossed with despair. I HATE it. But I love a design challenge, so I'm trying to make it work. I put this room concept together over the weekend, and now I'm itching to get the keys and start making this house our home. What do you think?

Pretty As a Picture Bathroom Design

Here's what I've learned so far about making a bathroom with almond fixtures work:

Step one: Accept the problem.
Are your plumbing fixtures are in good condition? Do you hate the idea of sending perfectly good things to the landfill? Can you afford to reglaze? If you answered yes, yes, and no, then accept that you're going to live with a yellowish bathtub that looks like it's been peed on a lot. But hey, that's a first world problem. Let's move on.

Step two: Don't use white paint.
Some designers recommend using white paint in a room with almond fixtures for a "white on white" look. NO. Almond is not white. When you mix white and almond, you get the "white on a baby pool full of pee" look. And you deserve so much better than that. Really.

Step three: Choose a color. Preferably a darker color than the fixtures.
Since you can't use white, pick any paint color that doesn't look awful with almond. Warm tones tend to work well. Grays and blues tend to work poorly against the yellowy almond color. And keep this in mind: If your paint color is lighter than the tub, the tub will look dark (and possibly more dirty). A darker paint color, on the other hand, will make the tub look lighter and brighter. Choose accordingly.


Step four: Look, over there! A distraction!
If you don't want to notice your ugly fixtures, give yourself something else to look at. Since you don't spend a lot of time in the powder room (I hope),  I think it's fun to make crazy decorating choices in there. Bright colors? Large scale prints? Crazy wallpaper? Bring it on! I was so excited when I found this wallpaper by Sanderson. It's from their new Voyage of Discovery line, and I'm head over heels for it. I love the hand-drawn, Natural History textbook look. Every time I look at it, I see something new.


But let's go back to reality for a moment: This is what we're starting with. Doesn't the tub look greenish against that pink wallpaper? I want to strip the wallpaper, put the Sanderson wallpaper on the wall with the towel bar, move the towel bar to another wall, paint the other walls beige, put a brightly colored Ikat runner on the floor, and put a big round mirror with a gold frame over the sink. There is room for an accent table by the tub, and I'm keeping my eyes peeled for something gold with a bamboo motif. Oh my gosh, I can't wait!

But what do you think? I have questions:
a) Eventually, I might like to replace the vanity with something similar to the one in the picture, with legs and sleek doors. But for now, I'll just paint the existing vanity brown. Or maybe midnight blue. Would dark blue be a weird color for a vanity? I'd like to do something crazy and unexpected.
b) I might dye some oldish white towels midnight blue, too. They're fluffy but no longer pretty, and I'm hoping that dye might revive them. Have you tried dyeing towels? Does it work?

1 comment:

  1. I actually was told by my mom's contractor that bright white fixtures were becoming dated...that most people did "biscuit" which is like a step below almond. That's promising.

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