Thursday, May 22, 2014


I'm slowly dipping my toes back into the world of Interior Design Consulting. My last project was a pro bono project for my husband's school. . . another bathroom. Who better to help me get my feet really wet than a dear friend with fabulous taste and a near-blank slate home?

My friend, Shivani, is an Ayurvedic consultant and mom of two. Hailing from Mexico City, and now settled here in Austin, Shivani is how I would describe the perfect client. Fabulous taste, fearless love of color and total faith in my vision for her.

Shivani and her husband Adam have owned their home for two years and, like most new parents, have focused all of their energy on their young children. Currently their 2 1/2 year old son, Tarek's room is the only room that has been painted since the previous owner.  The arrival of baby girl, Sage, in December has made home improvements even harder.

My early conversations with Shivani revealed that she wants her home to finally reflect her personality and style. Not only because the current setup is a melange of hand me downs, gifted items and too many square simple pieces, but because expressing herself through her home is especially important in the demanding and isolating time of caring for young children--a sentiment I relate to completely. And like most normal people getting by on one income in those early parenting years, the budget is tight.

The first project: The Bathroom

It was pretty bad. Fake stucco walls, too big mirror, builder grade oak cabinets, zero natural light and the previous owners did the worst paint texture job you can imagine--brown over cream. Kind of like if you changed a really messy diaper and wiped your hand on the walls.  We decided to keep the shower curtain for now. 

This is a space that gets used a lot, but not big and important enough to use a big part of the budget, and we have a lot of rooms to do. Because of its small size, its also an excellent room to have fun and really get creative. 

I consulted my higher power, Pinterest, and we put together a serious board of inspiration images. Over and over I saw color, texture, curves, and bohemian elegance in her images. A far cry from where the room was. Some examples: 

We kept going back to this image below for our color inspiration. And decided to do a purple on purple scheme. 

First we removed all of the random gobbldy-gook...hooks and awkward hardware and filled the holes. We did the walls in Behr's Sultana. . . a deep orchid purple. I deliberately broke a paint rule and did a flat paint in the bathroom to help with that insane texture on the walls and it looks so much better. (maybe even like actual stucco??)

Lakshmi, Hindu goddess of abundance keeping watch over the lav. 

We decided to paint the vanity cabinet in Behr Marquee Dramatist: A deep, electric, blue-toned purple in high gloss. This image doesn't do its slick glamour justice. 

We also drilled and added decorative mosaic hardware.

I highly recommend this if you are fixing up a tiny bathroom. If the vanity isn't broken consider paint rather than replacing. It will save you a lot of money for the pretty stuff. Like this mirror from a local decor store.

I hung some mercury glass votives from inexpensive hardware-store chain, and ceiling hooks to bring in a glamorous accessory, that is also kid-safe. Other accessories came from shuffling pieces from other rooms. The foliage is from her backyard.

Let'see that again.

Paint, mirror, hardware, votives, painting supplies 
TOTAL: $130 plus elbow grease. **All paint colors were converted to Glidden a mid-level brand at Home Depot. 

I know. Awesome. 

All images of the bathroom by me.. all others sourced here

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