When I bought my first home back in July, it was a very emotional time. After decades of renting, circumstances became such that my choices were to either bite the bullet and consider buying a home or crawl into a deep, dark hole of fear and shame. Yes, that sounds very, very dramatic — but it was truly a huge emotional issue for me. I grew up in the projects and my single mom never had the luxury of owning a home. I was 48 years old and had become comfortable citing my years in NYC as a certificate that made it okay to be a lifelong renter while everyone in my small town over the age of 30 mowed the lawns of the homes they actually owned.
Honestly, I never thought I would be able to buy a home despite the fact I’ve always made a comfortable living. It just wasn’t something I had a model for. The idea of someone scrutinizing my finances threw me right back to childhood and I’d re-experience my mom’s shame and pain for not having all the things (like a house) that my classmates did. I was on the free lunch program and was one of the kids given a free ride at the Catholic school I attended. Facing what, in fact, I could do, could afford and should do was way out of my comfort zone.
But I did it. I’ve spent that last four months joyfully tearing down a lot of brown paneling, ripping up beige carpet, and now I’m ready to embark on my first “renovation” in my home. AND I AM NOT AFRAID! I am so ready to embrace the things I thought I didn’t deserve, build a home I love and even embrace some things I’m afraid of — which brings to me to the color peach. Call it what you will, to me, peach is peach. And it’s not always pretty. Have you read my essay on the imperfectness of the peach bathroom door in my last rental (shown above)? My troubled relationship with the color peach is a real thing.
Sure, peach can easily lean into the “it” color of the moment, blush. And it can definitely saunter into nude, apricot or light sherbet, but to me, peach will always have a past. It was the color of the teenage bedrooms of the popular girls in high school. It was the shade of fancy models’ lip-gloss when I grew up. Peach was also the color that serial redecorators chose again and again for their kitchen wallpaper borders. Casting all of these associations (and more) aside, I’m coming for you peach, but I’m doing it my way!
I’m replacing the glittery golds that matched oh so nicely with the peach of my past and with angular, modern chrome. I’m keeping my Bisque shower tile as an homage to the basic tiles I grew up with, but I’m giving it some new companions – with a little help from Kohler’s inspiration hub IDEAS, I went for a killer “Mohair Grey” vanity, and more sleek chrome accoutrements in the form of towel racks and robe hooks disguised as futuristic knobs.
I’m taking my cue from the art and palette of artist Emily Jeffords (shown below). The palette below is my ideal mix of colors that slay the standard “peach” and transform it into something ME, something memorable and most importantly, something I haven’t seen before. It’s like a new memory for me. I couldn’t think of a more intriguing mix to inspire my first renovation.
I’m anxiously awaiting the arrival of the actual vanity in all its grey glory to make final decisions on paint color and wallpaper for the toilet nook. The vanity is the 36″ Jute® style and although it’s technically a wall-mount unit, I thought I’d give the hairpin legs a go to further lend a whole different air to my transformative peach mission. I must admit I have a penchant for almost-cringe-worthy looks, but I’m pretty confident this will all come together beautifully. And I will have a space that is 200% me, without a subway tile in sight!
This post brought to you by Kohler. Click here to get inspired!
The shower fixtures you see above are from the Kohler Purist® line and I’ll be using the same style on the full-sized Ceramic Impressions porcelain sink in white from Kohler. (You can see the Purist® sink faucet in the first collage.) Can you tell I’m just a little excited?
I’ll be doing a full Before & After post so you can see the current state of the bathroom as-is, but in the meantime, I’ll tell you that the toilet is tucked into a little nook next to the shower. You can see the nook in the upper left of the collage above. Thankfully, the tall post-and-beam ceilings and a wall separating the shower from the toilet area make it feel less claustrophobic for such a small space. Because of this, I’m contemplating papering that area and possibly adding a small light fixture.
The highlight of this nook will be the new, amazing water saving toilet from Kohler’s Highline collection. Clean water and water savings are at the top of my list of social causes I support, so replacing the aging monster tank toilet I have now is very important to me. The current toilet is also extra high to accomodate the seniors that owned the home before me, so I’ll be donating that to our local Habitat for Humanity Restore since the have it on their “Most Wanted” donations list.
By switching over to the water-saving Highline toilet & Purist showerhead I’m able to save both water and energy, which is super important to me and the type of improvement/investment I’ll gladly make to my home. The new 1.0 gallon toilet can save more than 4,500 gallons of water each year and the showerhead uses 40% less water than my current one. If you live in an area where there are water regulations, like California, consider these as an investment in not only your home and property, but in the planet too.
So now that you have had a peek into my first home renovation project (phase one) and my psyche for that matter, I hope you’ll chime in down below in the comments section to let me know your experience with water saving products and which paint and wallpaper you think would work best in my new set-up.