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From the Archives: The Creative Family Bathroom

This piece, which was originally published in 2010, is one of the most accessed posts in the Studio Mothers archives. We’re dusting it off today for those of you who haven’t seen it before — and those of you who have a soft spot for before-and-afters, like we do.
 

Let’s face it. When you add up all the minutes, most of us spend quite a lot of time in the bathroom. Especially when you have young children who need help wiping and washing, the bathroom can be a busy place.

Here’s a glimpse of what our little half-bathroom looked like when we bought our house:

And this is what it looks like now:

When I stumbled across this wallpaper last year, I had to have it. And I don’t even like wallpaper. But the idea of being able to write on the walls — permanently — filled me with excitement. One wall of paper would do it. (I trash-picked the mirror hanging above the sink, so that added a few dollars to the budget.) Bright paint would go on the other walls. The only “rule” for writing on this wall is not to create anything obscene. (I have teenagers, so a rule like this is actually necessary.) Other than that, anything goes. I’ve added a few collage pieces, and I look forward to creating a few mini paintings. The wall has become something of a guest book, too. We encourage guests to add something to the wall as a remembrance of their visit. And of course, all ages are welcome to contribute. (Yesterday I overhead one of my 14-year-old daughter’s friends exclaim: “You mean you can just come in here and write on the walls any old time you feel like it??” And my daughter’s response — slightly smug — “Yup!”)

You’ll see that this little room features two of my recent acquisitions from Aimee Myers Dolich of Artsyville. I love her work — and I especially love how the “doodles” and black frames (inexpensive frames from Target) echo the intention and inspiration of our create-it-yourself wallpaper, as well as the color of the painted walls. (And per the doodle, there ARE stacks of books in this room too — well, a shelf full, anyway!) A beautiful fit.

Future owners of our house will either love the wall and embrace it for themselves, or rip it all off (and God forbid, return it to the original, boring off-white). I imagine that wherever I live, I’ll always want to have a wall like this somewhere in my house.

So there you have it — the creative family bathroom. Any of you who ever come for a visit are eagerly encouraged to add your creative signature to our bathroom wall!

25 Comments Post a comment
  1. Love this!!!!

    April 3, 2013
  2. Love it. Thanks for re-posting.

    April 3, 2013
  3. That is too cool! I want this!

    April 3, 2013
    • Not that expensive when you’re only doing a small space! 🙂

      April 3, 2013
  4. Wow I have never seen wallpaper like this-how fun

    April 3, 2013
    • It really is fun, 52 — especially when guests who insist they aren’t “artists” finally get up the nerve to draw a little remembrance 🙂

      April 7, 2013
  5. THANK YOU for reposting this! I am in the middle of a creative brainstorm on how to decorate my powder room from the builders white to something that reflects us. Right now we have a shelf with some of our sand we have collected from around the world. This is what I will do with one of the walls now. LOVE IT!

    April 3, 2013
    • Awesome, dbubble12!! Please come back and share a link to your before-and-afters! 😀

      April 3, 2013
  6. Reblogged this on bubblemomentpages and commented:
    LOVE IT! Where do I get this paper?! So much fun and it’s a fantastic way to honor guests. Maybe this will help introvert teenagers want to communicate more.

    April 3, 2013
    • Click on the link in the post, dbubble — it’s still available for order!

      April 7, 2013
  7. I love it, but will have to refrain from adopting it in our home. I already have a hard enough time prying my kids out of the bathroom before one of their little sibling has an accident in the hall!

    April 4, 2013
    • lmao….I seriously hadn’t thought of that, Becca! Fortunately, this is NOT our only bathroom — otherwise we might have created a serious problem!!

      April 7, 2013
  8. What a wonderful idea and a beautiful and seriously cool bathroom!! I would never think of the bathroom as a creative room, but you’ve changed my mind and challenged my expectations! Love your blog! Thank you for the inspiration!

    April 4, 2013
    • Awesome, runningintolife! Thanks for commenting! 😀

      April 7, 2013
  9. Hi Miranda,

    I found your blog a couple of months ago and see you’re on a similar mission. I run http://www.dreamingaloud.net

    I am just finishing up my third book The Rainbow Way: Cultivating Creativity in the Midst of Motherhood which features the voices of over 50 creative mothers. I am currently requesting testimonials, and was wondering whether you would consider taking a look at it. (There is an excerpt on my blog today).

    Apologies for leaving this here, I couldn’t find an email address for you -and sorry if this appears 3 times, I had real problems posting it!

    Many thanks,

    Lucy

    April 4, 2013
    • Hi Lucy! Your document has actually been open on my laptop since you sent it to me on Facebook! I’m so sorry for not responding. A minute’s perusal told me that your manuscript is indeed something of merit that I would like to read and endorse. I just haven’t had time to do so yet — but I’m much looking forward to it. Can you give me a deadline? (I’m kind of in hair-on-fire mode right now, so deadlines are a necessity.) Thank you so much for following up.

      xo

      Miranda

      April 4, 2013
      • Thanks so much Miranda, delighted you received it OK (I thought it might have gone into the dreaded “Others” folder!) and you are willing to endorse – it has truly been a labor of love! It is heading off to the publishers on 30th April for proofing and layout, so I am asking for all endorsements to be with me if possible by 25th April to give me a chance to put them in!

        Thanks again, I look forward to hearing your thoughts on it!

        April 4, 2013
  10. What a fantastic idea! So much fun!

    April 5, 2013
    • Even though we’ve had this paper for a couple of years now, it still feels subversively delicious to write on the walls… 😀

      April 7, 2013
  11. I totally love hanging out in your bathroom!! xo

    April 5, 2013
    • It’s been a couple of years, and we aren’t bored of you yet, Aimee! 😀

      April 7, 2013
  12. Nothing beats creativity spicing up your everyday life!

    April 5, 2013

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