Return of the Ugly Bathroom
We call in the experts to help three challengers for the title of World’s Ugliest Bathroom.
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Ugly Bathroom: 1970s Flashback
Beth Ittleson and her husband moved into their 1960s ranch-style house in Connecticut just a year ago. One of the bathrooms, used by Ittleson’s son and daughter (ages 2 and 4), has a bright orange Formica countertop and reflective metallic wallpaper patterned in orange (the ceiling is simply plain reflective metallic wallpaper). The tub, sink and toilet are all gray, as are the vanity and the tile on the walls and the floor. “I’m not sure if the wallpaper is the original 1960s paper,” Ittleson says, “but it’s pretty old.”
“That foil paper is ugly,” says Kohn, “although it could be the right paper for, say, an Arabian Nights prom.” Kohn and Adams both suggest immediately stripping the wallpaper from the floors and ceiling (which Ittleson has done) and finding something to work with the orange.
Ittleson’s daughter wants to give the bathroom a Finding Nemo theme, since the orange countertops are the same brilliant shade as the clown fish in Disney’s 2003 movie. “I think she is 100 percent right,” says Kohn, who suggests painting the walls in soft stripes of gray and several shades of blue to give the room an underwater feel. Then she’d add a clear plastic shower curtain with pockets. In the pockets she’d put laminated pictures of Nemo and friends.
On the wall, Kohn likes the idea of floating a large clear plastic box with a stuffed Nemo inside. To accessorize, Kohn would add blue-gray towels and a blue-gray shade over the window and one long rug in gray so the floor “disappears.” She’d put a large, clear fishbowl on the counter and roll up orange fingertip towels to put inside. A smaller fishbowl would hold toothbrushes.
Adams also loves the Nemo idea. Another option: Since it’s a children’s bathroom, find a brilliant color of the same hue, such as lime green. “Orange is hot right now,” Adams adds. “Everything that goes around comes around.” She suggests first searching for accessories—towels, bathmats, shower curtain—and then finding just the right paint color to coordinate with those items. “There are a million paint colors out there but only so many shower curtains,” she says. A strong color such as lime green will make the gray look more subdued and plays up the orange. “It’s back in style and perfect for a kids’ bath,” she says.
Learn how to use eco-friendly bathroom design to save energy and water, lower your utility bills and look beautiful doing it.