I love almonds.
I love them raw, toasted and spiced, ground up in cake, made into marzipan (or hell, the paste straight up by itself) smashed into butters, and I prefer almond milk to the other dairy alternates.
In no way, however, do I like almond as a color.
Nor beiges and sands and driftwoods and the darker ivories and all that is considered “neutral”* but really isn’t because you have to work with something pale yellow/brown/grey that isn’t really any of those, but is all of those in an ugly drab grouchy tone.
When we first toured our house, I was assuming that one of my first projects would be to rip out the almond bath because I assumed it had to be at least 30 years old and the toilet was one that wasted multiple gallons of delicious fresh water. But once we moved in, I discovered to my horror, that the toilet is a recent-ish low-flow good one.
I also hate vinyl flooring, especially with a pattern, and most of all patterned beige vinyl floors.
And I hate “wood”** in bathrooms – most of all wooden toilet seats, but a “wood” vanity is still high on the list.
But the environmentalist (and cheapskate) in me hated to re-do a bathroom that was just re-done in 2009. But the floor was stained, the cabinet looked sorry, the triptych medicine cabinet was just plan asinine not to mention rusty, and the vinyl or acrylic or whatever-the-hell-it- is tub and surround were scratched up, so we had to do something. (And a cheery rug and shower curtain in the meantime didn’t really help enough.) But after spending a more-than-expected chunk of change on the house over the last year (including more of a makeover of the half-bath than we anticipated) we decided not to do a total overhaul of it just yet.
So we painted many things, and replaced a few things (except the maligned almond pieces) instead.
At first I wanted a bright, colorful, cheery room – something with challenging colors to enjoy for a limited time – something that played off the rug and shower curtain – we had some leftover aqua-green paint that seemed like it would do the trick.
Only after painting some samples, it proved it to be very wrong for the room, and the shower curtain was starting to show the end of its life anyway.
I switched directions to the grey-green of my studio and a nice not-purple, not-brown, but sometimes looks like either one, color we’ve been using on shitty hollow closet doors, and set off to the paint store.
Only something was off that day (or it was off the day I got the original cans) and I came home with mauve and grey with less green and I didn’t realize the extent of the difference until everything was painted and dried…
I really didn’t want to paint it all over again. (Color more accurate in pic below)
My fabric stash revealed a perfect complimentary print for a curtain (which was originally going to be a shutter) and we found a cheap cotton rug of almond and mauve at the first placed we looked.
So now we’ve got the bathroom of a post-menopausal woman in 1987.
But it is fine for now – in fact, I’ve come to really like it.
Eventually the sink, tub, and toilet will be a proper bright white (and the sink a pedestal instead of an ill-fitting vanity), and the floor a vintage-looking marmoleum (or possibly tile, but not likely) once we work out some technical difficulties and save up some more clams, but in the meantime I’ll fluff out my hair and do a little jazzercise as I get ready….
(I neglected to mention the details of the floor – yes, we painted the sheet vinyl – gave it a thorough cleaning, roughed it up with sandpaper, painted on BIN primer, and used two coats of Ben Moore porch paint. This color is also wrong – was supposed to be a lavenderish-brownish-decaying rose-putty color and it’s just about petal f*cking pink instead. I was going to stencil it too, but I’m lazy and don’t feel the need to impress you.)
And a side-by-side before and after:
The fabric on the left was a temporary fix after I broke the cheap vinyl blind, classy, eh? That’s when a fabric stash is truly useful – and especially because the new curtain fabric is 8 or more years old, so it’s another route to savings. We splurged on a fancier medicine cabinet though it looks just like a plain box from here, but we were very limited by size, shape, and surface-mount options. The light was a challenge to find as well due to some odd electrical placement and our desire for something vintage-looking. And yes, when you open the left door on the vanity, it bangs into the radiator.
Stupid, stupid choices, you former owners…
*Grey is now the new beige, and I’m mostly cool with that, though not all greys are great…
**In larger bathrooms or more vintage/French estate/rustic New Mexican bathrooms I’m okay with wood in the right kinds of ways, but not in a small heavily used space were splashing occurs, and never ever on a toilet…