It’s dark, it’s scary, and it’s an eye sore. It’s in your home, and you hate dealing with it: it’s . . . your basement bathroom! I know the feeling. When I moved into our home in 2000, the basement bathroom was all of the above. My husband and I fixed it up when we were able to work the project into our limited budget. It went from being a scary, outdated eye sore to a pleasant, new gem of a room – and we did it all ourselves! We chose a garden theme for our basement bathroom. I will explain how we did it and where we found the décor to turn our outdated basement bathroom into a new country garden themed space so that you can do it, too!
First, we had to remove the old deteriorating wall paper. While the bathroom was small and did not even have a sink, (it still doesn’t) removing the wall paper was quite a challenge! We peeled away and used sponges soaked in hot sudsy water to loosen decades old stubborn paper pieces. We scraped the walls down and cleaned them again — and again.
After the walls dried completely, we installed white Marlite, from The Home Depot, instead of using wall paper. (We deliberately chose white to maximize the light in this dark space and highlight the beauty of the artwork that we chose to use.) We replaced the old ceiling light with more energy efficient bulbs and a new cover. My husband and I tore up the flooring that was falling apart and added tiles that we found on sale. (The new tiles appear white and have a faint greenish tinge that we really like.) My husband replaced the tiny cracked window with one that could open. He installed a small window shelve, too. (All of these items were purchased from The Home Depot.)
Once the construction was completed, the fun part came next: decorating! I chose a country garden theme because of our love of flower gardens. I also knew finding accents for this theme would be easy to do on limited funds. I knew, too, that some of them I could make myself from repurposed items.
I hung a short country green curtain on the window and put floral sun catchers on the glass. I draped synthetic ivy around the curtains and attached small birdhouses that were supported by paper clips bent to create “s hooks” attached to the curtain rod. On the shelve, I placed a sleeping cat and angel knick knacks circling the cat.
I framed photographs of my husband’s flower pictures and hung them on the walls. I draped synthetic ivy from a large water color painting of daisies that was a gift and made it the focal point of the small space.
We were fortunate enough to spot a white vintage night table that had been discarded; so, I used it to smooth out a corner. I placed an antique floral themed vase that I filled with moss and ivy on the table. I added a green apple scented candle, and a small floral dish from Japan. (The dish and vase were heirlooms from my grandmother, Rose.)
Using a square dark brown wicker basket as a magazine holder, I filled it with gardening and bird magazines. I also draped the small antique mirrored medicine cabinet (it had been there before we moved) with ivy. For an unusual twist, I placed small wooden birdhouses inside of it, since we did not use it to store toiletries. (You can find these at most craft stores.) Using twisted paper clips, (as “s hooks”) I hung two black haired fairies (I bought them from a dollar store) from the ivy on the right and left sides of the cabinet. Underneath the cabinet, I hung a framed limited edition print of an Irish cottage that we found at a yard sale.
Keeping with the garden theme, I used simple clay flower pots with matching saucers to store cleaning items, a toilet brush, and a plunger. Above the commode, I lined the top of the tank with green grip liner (sometimes called: “drawer liner,” from a dollar store) and placed environmentally safe air freshening spray cans in flower pots and stored extra rolls of toilet paper in a wicker basket.
On the bathroom door, I hung a garden sign the reads: “Plant Kindness, Harvest Love”. To the bottom of this sign, I attached three old garden tools. I added a “Love Grows Here” pillowed door knocker. On the other side of the door, I hung a wooden garden angel that I bought at a flea market.
To complete the bathroom, I put garden themed towels and hand soap by the cellar sink near the area so people could easily wash their hands.
Now, when guests come to our home and use the basement bathroom, the question that usually follows is: “When can you do mine like this?”