Solutions for Renters: Bathrooms

April 25th, 2013

Hello hello, how are you? I thought I’d continue the Solutions for Renters series today and chat about the bathroom – a space that poses challenges equal to kitchens in rentals since most everything is fixed. The cabinets, the fixtures, the tile. Yep, you’re stuck with it. So how do you make the space feel more like you? I thought about all the ways to tackle the job and came up with ten solutions.

1. Curtains with Style.  Add a happy shower curtain in a bold floral or a mod geometric and suddenly the space has more color and personality.

bathroom shower curtain bhg[2]

Better Homes & Gardens

botanical shower curtain tenjune

Ten June

floral shower curtain bhg

Better Homes & Gardens

 

2. Hide the floor. A stylish floor mat helps to disguise flooring and also brings comfort underfoot. There are plenty of retail options or you can get creative with a DIY project. As an alternative, ask if the landlord will allow you to adhere peel and stick linoleum tiles.

bath mats

west elm / garnet hill / east coast creative

 

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A Favorite Perennial

April 24th, 2013

I’ve always believed that the simplest things can bring the most joy in life. People have said it over the years in various clever ways because you can’t escape its truth. For me, the presence of a simple botanical that costs me nothing and is within reach just a few steps from the back door brings much happiness.

I love our hydrangeas and roses and grapevines too, but if you asked me what my favorite blooming perennial is, I wouldn’t hesitate to answer “Viburnum!”  (Although ask me again next spring after the new lilac bush I planted has blossomed and I may have changed my story.) There are over 100 varieties of viburnum and the one growing in our yard is ‘Chinese Snowball’ which blooms in small white puffs that resemble mini hydrangeas.

viburnum in blue glass vases

It grows tall and wild on woody stems each season, but unlike the hungry citrus or temperamental grapevines, it tolerates my frequent neglect and still gives me the most beautiful white blossoms every April.

viburnum bush

They first bloom in a vivid lime green color (pruned and placed in a vase, seen here) and then quickly turn to white puffballs in the spring sunshine. They only bloom for a few weeks but when they do, I hurry to gather many arrangements and fill up vases around the house.

viburnum in vase on nightstand

viburnum blooms

 

In early fall the viburnum gifts me once more with gorgeous stems of leaves that have turned all shades of amber and gold (see them on last year’s autumn mantel). Wherever I live, I know I’ll always have a viburnum planted somewhere in the yard.

What is your favorite perennial that blooms each season?

 

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