While Napoleon Bonaparte is not known for being a warm and fuzzy kind of guy, one quote attributed to him has always been a personal favorite. He said, “the extent of your consciousness is limited only by our ability to love and to embrace with your love the space around you and all it contains.” This is so true. When I find myself moving into a new apartment, it never fails that there is some part of that space that just doesn’t feel right. Sometimes it is the kitchen, sometimes the living room or a bedroom, but this time, it has been my bathroom. While the rest of the house upon moving in felt cohesive and invoked a sense of peace, the bathroom was an area of discord.
The walls were pea soup green, with the exception of the one above the blue bathtub. That particular wall was a mosaic of blue and cream colored tiles. The pedestal porcelain sink and toilet were dingy and dull. The floor was what appeared to be grey tile, but upon further inspection was off white but coated with what I estimate to be a decade of dirt. No, this was not a place to relax with candles and bubble bath; instead, this was a place that actually raised my anxiety level. Something had to be done. I asked the landlord about painting and perhaps it was my promise of a dozen cupcakes or my dazzling personality, but somehow I convinced him to let me paint it a neutral color. I selected Designer White from Benjamin Moore. The white is bright with a very soft hint of blue that actually worked to perk the color of the tile backsplash blues back up. Some vinegar and baking soda scrub down on the tiles, the tub/shower, the sink and toilet brought the colors back to life. A quick coat of turtle wax brought a new tile glisten back to the room. The floor, too, eventually became a clean, off-white palette. At this point the room was ready to be given a sense of style, a personality. It was a close to a blank palette as I would be able to obtain.
So there I stood in a bright white bathroom that no longer seemed dirty or seedy, but instead seemed hopeful. It was up to me to figure out what to do to make this a space I could embrace. I started looking for unique or unusual ideas to decorate with. I knew I wanted interesting color, but really did not want the standard cutesy shower curtains or towel sets. I wanted something unique; something much more abstract. I began searching major retailers and then started looking at online stores to find a place where I could purchase all the components I wanted. I wanted curtains, shower curtain, area rugs, and towel sets. I wanted bright colors, nothing too young or silly, nothing to serious. I wanted abstract patterns. And then, while I was searching I found it! With a sense of careful anticipation I began reading the customer reviews concerning Vision Bedding. The site was exactly what I had been looking for. The site was a complete home décor store in one stop! I immediately started looking through the shower curtains and found the perfect curtain. It was called color paint splashes on a gradient background. And even better, I can customize my towels and floor rugs to perfectly match the pattern. I ordered them immediately, and when I received them the result was just as I pictured; bright, cheery and happy.
With a simple online store purchase my least favorite room is now my favorite room. As I sit here waiting for my bubble bath to fill up, I think about the room before and now and realize that yes, I do have the ability to love the home I have and the people and things contained inside. Napoleon had it all right when he realized that space does impact way a person feels.
Lisa Salazar is a university professor and mother/grandmother of one. Currently my free time is spent reading up on upcoming life steps like toilet training, cookie baking, and designing a fairyland of play ideas for when Ivy is a few years older. I write for numerous parenting themed websites including Natural Parenting.