This is the bathroom in our newly acquired holiday apartment. (By the time this picture was taken I had already painted the mirror). Not completely hideous ...
Upgrade a Bathroom, Seaside Style
This beach apartment bathroom actually needs an overhaul but I had neither the time nor the energy to do it. What was the best fix under the circumstances?
But not exactly wonderful either. Not only was the basin missing a soap dish and storage...
...but it also bulges in two different directions so can’t be boxed to hide the trap and missing tiles. And the husband hates girly skirts with ruffles and pleats. This was not going to be an easy fix and it took me a couple of days sipping G&T’s to come up with a skirt design that would tick the numerous boxes. I finally got inspiration from a classic seaside design.
Just measuring the thing was a mission. I took a piece of velcro and wrapped it around the basin. This required an extra pair of hands because of the uneven shape. This gave me an easy piece to work with without having to measure every time. Using velcro means that the skirt can be removed and washed.
I also marked a height from the ground up. Where exactly this skirt was to sit was another question, too low and there wouldn’t be a regular surface, too high and it would get wet. There wasn’t really a perfect solution.
However, a controllable part of the solution was to use weather resistant canvas that you associate with deck chairs. I chose a thin, nylon one with beachy stripes. The canvas is quite stiff, so no pleats; water resistant so no mould but still washable.
Hemming it without sewing was another story. Most people advised using contact adhesive but this left brown lines. Hot glue didn’t seem to stick. I ended up using Simple Sew but this took forever to dry (as in 2 hours - for each hem). And it had to be weighted down almost everywhere. Sewing would have been much easier but I managed anyhow. I made normal double fold hems as you would if you were working with fabric.
I constructed two skirt panels, the first reaching past the mid point of the basin and the 2nd just to mid point. This means that the panels overlap. I only made my final height adjustments after hanging the 1st panel from the completed velcro strip on the basin. In other words, I waited until everything was completed and all the velcro bits stuck into their final positions before I did the final skirt height adjustments.
To stick the velcro I used hot glue and worked section by section, otherwise the glue dries too quickly. The soft part of the strip comes on the top of the reverse side of the panels. By the way, the soft part does have to be cut in two at some stage and you will need an extra bit of both sides to account for the overlapping section.
The spiky part of the strip was stuck to the basin by following the series of mark I had measured earlier. The glue gun worked okay but I think a combination of hot glue and silicone would work even better. Once again you need to work in sections and it is easier to have someone to help.
The moment of truth came when I hung the panels. The overlapping section still needed an extra piece of velcro stuck to the front facing part of the back panel and the bottom hem still needed to be done.
To make the soap dish I used some wine barrel offcuts. The three oddly-shaped pieces were probably cut from the cork holes. I used them
because I liked their shape but you could use regular blocks of wood, anything that would lift the soap from the base and allow the water to run off.
I found 3 similarly sized shapes, sanded them down a bit and stuck them to an oak base with the glue gun. As time goes by the wine-stained wood does stain the soap a bit so I suppose I should have sealed the wood. The base was stuck to the steel fixture using a glue gun and silicone.
The mirror had been a standard orange pine affair...
... which I masked off with tape and newspaper and gave a coat or two of spray paint.
All things considered I think it turned out to be a sweet solution. Now at least we have somewhere to hide the laundry basket.
- Nylon canvas
- Simple sew
- Wood off-cuts