How to Give Your Room a Classic Pair of Grey Trousers…


Bow Tie Trouser - Gray il_fullxfull.293721499

…Or maybe a timeless piece like a grey pencil skirt. What do these articles of clothing have to do with home design? Think about the infinite number of color-pairing possibilities these wardrobe staples have to offer. Talk about options! Almost any color palette can be combined with a neutral like grey and it totally works! Anyone from the Boho flower child, to the edgy trendsetter, to the uber-chic business woman can find something in her wardrobe to go with classic pieces like these. They transcend personality, style, and budget making them a useful item for everyone.

Here is where I found the inspiration for our bathroom renovation. My husband and I have continued a tradition that we started in our first home together. Every year, we would choose one room to remodel, or to give a face lift to during the slower winter months at work. Last year, in our new home, we did our guest room. This year, we tackled the boys bathroom downstairs, which also serves as our guest bathroom. Let me just say, this bathroom was in serious–SERIOUS–need of a make-over. From floor to ceiling, it was a hot mess. Popcorn on the ceiling–gross–slaughter house/gates-of-hell red on the walls, a florescent light fixture (no joke…) and dark ceramic tiles made to look like hard wood flooring. Between the oppressive red and the awful lighting, that room honestly just filled me with angst. I can’t help it, I am literally emotionally affected by color and I needed to do something about that room.

The problem is that I love. love, love color…so how am I going to commit to a color palette? Bathrooms are not cheap to renovate and I needed to choose colors that could stand the test of time. The other issue that I had was that the bathtub is cream. In a perfect world, I would love to have a bright white ceramic tub, but we just did not have the money to replace the tub. So, cream was definitely going to have to be a part of the color palette. We did, however, have to replace the toilet (curse low-flow…) and the sink.  I really did not want to replace them with cream, so I decided that any permanent fixtures like these would be white. Now my color palette is cream and white. I have seen this done really well on design shows and in magazines, but this would definitely be a first for me.

Continuing our quest to seek out timeless pieces that would be permanent, we chose a Black Galaxy Granite counter top…definitely an investment piece, but we saved a lot by choosing a remnant. So now the color palette has grown to include black. I really wanted to add a classic touch to the floor and incorporate the black somehow, so we chose a black and white mosaic tile. Our house was built in 1996 and is in serious need of some character. These tiles remind me of an old Victorian home, adding some history and nostalgia to our mid-90’s goodness. We installed the tiles ourselves and somehow managed not to lose our minds while cleaning out 5.6 million 1/8 inch grout lines…haha! We chose polished chrome for the light fixture, faucet and toilet paper holder, but opted for matte black cabinetry hardware. Echoing that, I chose matte black towel hooks hung low enough for the boys (in theory) to be able to hang them. These hooks are installed on what I believe is the star feature of the bathroom. We installed a board and batten treatment to the walls with cheap 1×3 pine boards painted a glossy bright white. The background color is simply named “Cream” from Sherwin Williams. I love the subtle contrast and could not be happier with  how it turned out.

Now for the walls…here’s where those classic grey trousers come into play. I chose a true grey by Olympic called “Secret Passage.” Here is a little tip for choosing the perfect shade of grey that I learned from Sarah Richardson: look at the darkest shade on the color swatch and it will let you know if there is a bluish tint to the grey, or a greenish/khaki tint to that selection of grey. I wanted a true grey that did not spill over into the cool or warm side. I simply looked at the darkest shade to make sure it fit the bill, then chose the lightest shade on the color swatch for my walls. Classic. Timeless. Fabulous. 😉

So, the color palette for all the permanent features of the room now include: cream, white, black and grey…classic, yes, but where’s the color?? Here is where you can take a little more risk and go with something a little more trendy. I chose to use a few punches of yellow which really brightens the room and somehow makes a gray room look so happy! =) =) =) There is just a sprinkling of yellow in the shower curtain, bath mattes and some really yummy soaps displayed in an apothecary jar. Just like a belt, handbag, jewelry or sassy pair of shoes, you can accessorize your room however your style, taste or budget dictates.  The real beauty of it is that all of these items are easily replaced with any other color of your choosing–for not a lot of money–giving it an instant and affordable transformation!

I hope you can see how a trip to your closet can inspire some color and design choices for your home. Here are the end results for our bathroom reno, plus a few bonus options in case the mood strikes for a little change up. May you be inspired! God bless!!!! ~Shanna

Disclaimer #1: The “bonus’ color selections are a little over the top, more to prove a point than to make a design statement. In this rare case, I do believe less is more….

Disclaimer #2: I wrote an article last fall about how I used to be terrified of wearing color and had zero fashion sense. Writing this blog and posting these pictures has been such a humbling experience. I guess you could say I have  rediscovered my own wardrobe, shoes and jewelry. I was struck by the realization of how far Jesus has brought me in my journey to find my beauty and has blessed me with so many lovely things. Thank you, Jesus!

Disclaimer #3: I should never, never ever complain about ‘not having anything to wear’ ever again…I confess I probably only wear about 30% of my clothes…#still a work in progress…..


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