Small Victory: Renovating Our 1/2 Bath



As many of you know — especially those of you who follow me on Instagram — Clay and I have been renovating an 1898 Victorian in the heart of the Kerns neighborhood in central Portland, Oregon. We decided to tackle the smallest room in the house first: the 1/2 bath on the main floor of our house. The room is pretty small — so small, in fact, that I couldn’t manage to photograph much more than a corner at a time!

We worked with the amazing Portland based company Rejuvenation for the fixtures, the lighting and a couple of the vintage pieces. More on each of those in a moment. The wallpaper is a design I created for Hygge and West several years ago and have been hanging onto ever since (it’s no longer in stock, unfortunately). And I finished off the room with many of my own vintage collectibles.

To give you some perspective on the changes afoot in this room, let me show you some of the before photos.


The walls were painted dark green and the bathroom itself was dark and didn’t have much character. We set about to lighten it up and give it some personality.

The first step was to wallpaper. We hired a great guy to hang the gold ferns wallpaper. For the record, the wallpaper is what dictated the gold/brass theme in the room, and we couldn’t be happier with the results. You’ll also see that this bright wallpaper lightened up the room considerably. The photo below is taken at the same time of the day as the photos of the former bathroom above.


Next we added a new sink and new brass fixtures. We worked with Rejuvenation to select the Tolson Faucet in the aged brass finish. We absolutely love this faucet! Even the stopper is a thing of beauty.


We also selected the Tolson towel ring and toilet paper holder.

We didn’t want the bathroom to be too “matchy matchy,” so I added some vintage elements, including the vintage mirror and soap holder, both from Rejuvenation’s vintage stock.

Last but not least, we installed this gorgeous Plum Pendant light in aged brass with a filament bulb (plus resin antlers above the window).


After all the fixtures were in place, I set about decorating with some of my own collections. I hung this old metal shelf on the wall opposite the toilet and I placed a few of my knick knacks onto it.


I also added a few touches to the back of the toilet, including a plant and glass box filled with old photos and vintage bobby pins. I wanted the make sure the room didn’t look too precious, and so I searched my art collection for some pieces that wouldn’t compete with the wallpaper but would give the bathroom a little edge. I ended up selecting these two graphite drawings by Australian artist Sarah McNeil and a “1/2” piece (to denote the 1/2 bath) by Alexander Girard, and framed them all in gold and brass frames from the thrift store.





When I was in Hudson I went to my favorite shop there, The Red Chair. and picked up some French linens to hang in the towel hook (pictured here in yesterday’s bathroom selfie).


And voilĂ  ! The 1/2 bath is currently our favorite room in the house.

Next up: the living room! We also worked with the amazing folks at Rejuvenation for some pieces in this room and I can’t wait to share with you.

Have a great Wednesday, friends!