Beach Bathroom, Round #3

by Liz Dowling

I wrote about our old cottage on Block Island last week (see here) in a general sense.  But, this week, I want to focus on a specific room.

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We have two bathrooms in our little house.  The upstairs bathroom is shared by all four of us and there is a hall/guest bathroom downstairs (shown above it its original state).  Despite my concern about how they both looked, not as many people see the upstairs bathroom.  The one on the first floor is on full display, and is the one I wanted to GUT.

New breadboard ceiling in

New beadboard ceiling

There was an old claw foot tub in the bathroom that we kept because, frankly, it was too heavy to move.  The wallpaper, curtains, and floor (linoleum) all had to go…  The plaster ceiling was falling down, so we attacked that first and added a new overhead light in the room.


We took down the old wallpaper.  It came off in 1″ x 1″ pieces because it was permanently laminated to the horsehair plaster walls!  I painted the walls a deep red, and added a new white tile floor.  The old sink and pull-chain sconces stayed for the time being.


Fabric inspiration for the bathroom window treatment

Fabric inspiration for the bathroom color scheme

Round #1 of the downstairs bathroom redesign complete!

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A few years later, I got around to adding new wall sconces and a new sink.  As an ode to our old house, I installed pull-chain sconces again, but more contemporary.  I also added a big 20″ D x 24″ W Kohler sink.

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A colorful striped rug from Crate and Barrel and monogramed yellow towels, completed round #2.


This April, I drove to Block Island to assess the state of the house after the unusually cold winter.  How many candles did the mice eat?  How many cracks in the wall paint?  How many appliances don’t work anymore?  …the usual.


The downstairs bathroom had a lot of peeling paint and mold on the ceiling, so I decided to give it a complete face lift.

Stroheim fabric and Dash & Albert rug that HAD to be in the bathroom!

Stroheim fabric and Dash & Albert rug that I wanted in the bathroom

Inspired by a Stroheim fabric in the window at the D&D in New York, paired with a tangerine/white Dash & Albert rug, I had my color palette.

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Down came the pictures (handsome husband at the helm) and down went the newspaper.


Love this Benjamin Moore cherry red on the walls for my spring DIY project!

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Ceiling got a new coat of anti-mold white paint and so did the inside of this old cabinet mounted on the wall.

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A new French Poster was added to the room and an old lighthouse painting left behind in the house, got propped up on my beadboard cabinet.

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My Stroheim window treatment around a sailboat tieback and blue towels from Garnet Hill to match the fabric.


Getting close to being done…



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I love my new bathroom.  A little elbow grease and a few new additions made it feel like new!


the wry home

Using, the two winners of The Wry Home Red, White and Blue Giveaway are:

Frances: “My favorite Fourth of July tradition is going out with my family on our Parker boat, parking in Diamond Cove and enjoying a little wine, cheese and crackers before watching the fireworks from Casco Bay!”

– and –

Mary: “Love the pictures. It all looks so idyllic. On the 4th of July I enjoy being with immediate and extended family at our house at Seabrook Island, SC , watching fireworks on the golf course and of course the parade.”

Please e-mail me directly at [email protected] so I can get the address where you would like me to send the pillow.

Thank you!



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Melinda Sweet July 19, 2014 - 1:12 pm

Having just seen (and used) this bathroom, I say : “GREAT.” I want the fabric on the window somewhere in my house in CT.
Mom Sweet

Amy harden July 31, 2014 - 5:25 am

Another great job! Love the fabric and am a big fan of dash and Albert rugs

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