bathroom shit part 2.. your questions answered.

i am not surprised by your enthusiasm for yesterday's post.

i knew when i was writing it that it would strike a chord.

know why?

because builder grade is a crime and we are like the police of bad design.

i'd like to have a badge and be the police chief.

i would say things like..."sir.. you are under arrest for the abuse of boob lights."

and "ma'am, i am sentencing you to design rehab because this tumbled travertine is a gateway tile."


if anything HGTV needs to go ahead make this show happen.

although the concept would contradict 97% of their existing programming.


brian patrick flynn and i have discussed doing something together..

maybe this is it...we'll call it Cagney and Gaycey.





a few of you had some questions yesterday that i would like to address..


q: mfamb can i mix metals in the bathroom?


a: not only CAN you mix metals in the bathroom....i encourage it!

i think it's more important to pick the right finish than anything anyway..

i.e. no oil rubbed bronze.

but antique brass looks great with polished chrome.

if you've got a chrome faucet pair it with a guilded mirror.

or brass sconces.


let's look at a few examples of mixing metals...

those appear to be silver/chrome drawer and cabinet pulls with antique brass sconces and a chrome faucet.



that's some antiqued brass mirrorness with some chrome faucetness.

which looks amazing with the glossy tiles.

those tiles look as if they floated down, ever so gently and just landed there on the wall.

or have i had too much acid?



i love lake bell's vintage bathroom.

it reminds me of my grandma's bathroom and i mean that in the best way possible.

this bathroom could be seen as TOO vintage to some...

but those wood and brass shelves add a hint of sophistication and rustic glamour.

which really just makes the space that much more interesting.

plus that yellow tone in the brass plays nicely with all the greeny gray.



polished chrome.

brass lions.



polished chrome.

brass mirror.



this is full of the mix.

even the legs on the sink are a mixed marriage.







shower door and frame and sconces.

look how your eyes are drawn to those sconces.

the overall tone in this bath is so one-note that they offer a nice break for your eyeballs.



yeah get the idea.


i approve of mixing metals.


let us now have a word about metals.


the choices are usually chrome, nickel, bronze, brass, pewter..and then there are the finishes like satin, polished, antiqued and brushed.

to me, anything 'satin' is a no go.  i just think it looks cheap.


chrome or polished chrome is usually the metal of choice.

it can go modern, traditional and everything in-between.

polished nickel works too, it just has a sort of antique silver look and doesn't work well in a more modern setting.

i mean i guess it could, i have been wrong before.


brushed means they take a brush and essentially "brush" the shine away and there are usually visible brush strokes.

satin is a matte finish without the brush strokes.


as a rule chrome tends to have blue undertones and nickel has yellow undertones.

i don't enjoy brushed chrome, usually.

brushed brass however i like, it has a more modern feel. 

polished brass can look tacky and old lady if you're not careful but looks really awesome if you use it correctly.

and antique brass is good too, again it depends how it's used.


another reason i recommend a designer.



here's some polished nickel:

see how it's a little more yellow and almost has a sterling silver look?


 here is polished chrome:


 satin nickel:


this is brushed brass:


these are the lewis dolin cabinet pulls.

i has them in my bathroom.


this is polished brass:



this is oil rubbed bronze:


i suppose it could work somewhere..

on planet tuscan pukeface.



just kidding...

i actually found a bathroom that it works in..

it is california rustic so that helps...and they are working here to offer a good contrast.

but you gotta give me real stone, natural wood, some kind of aged steel sconce thing happening, some iron and some bone inlay to make me love your oil rubbed bronze faucets, beeatch. 


otherwise just say no to them.


here's the way i like to think about it overall..

most bathrooms are small....and if you have a bunch of dark to dark-ish stone everywhere it's gonna look heavy.  and then if you add that dark bronze, well, that's just going to weigh it down even more.

white keeps things light, it's a safe bet.

polished chrome is also a good bet.


you can go modern or traditional with either.


just remember.. 

polished brass can be modern if the lines are clean.

polished brass can be utilitarian if the fixture is old school.

polished chrome is a safe bet.

nickel looks great when used in a traditional space...the yellow undertones warm up cold marble.

brushed brass looks great on modern knobs and lighting but i would pair it with a chrome faucet.

bronze works if the space is large and the materials tend to be light colored stone, warm natural woods with a good mix of a cooler antique pewter or steel.


these are not rules.

just what i like.



next topic..


q: i live in a stepford neighborhood....

everyone else has beige on the inside but i have good taste and want to deocrate to reflect my taste..

but i worry about it being so different from the other homes..should i decorate the way i want?


a: yes.

i am assuming you mean that if you put all this good taste (and dollar bills) into your stepford house will the next person come along and not appreciate it or the fact that your house is worth more than the other houses next door that look EXACTLY the same?

still...the answer is yes.

i don't think you should build your dream kitchen or put some damn marble in your bathroom unless this is your dream home and/or a home you intend to be in for at least 10-20 years.

but i strongly encourage you to be true to your self and decorate your house to make it your home and a place that you want to be in.

that is what a home should be.

so don't live with ugly.

if your kitchen is espresso or mahogany with travertine floors and vomit chunk granite counter tops-

paint the cabinets yourself to coordinate as best you can with the granite, change the backsplash, lighting and faucet and maybe sink.

here's why...the granite (gag) is a selling point to most people.

but you can downplay it with some glossy gray or green cabinets and fantastic hardware and a showstopper of a kitchen light.

all with very little damage to your wallet.


if it's a bathroom...i say rip that shit out and start over.

because as i talked about in yesterday's post there are options out there that offer good looks without a lot of money.


but still....if you are not 100% certain hire a designer (not a home depot designer) who's work you love to help you pick out finishes. 

you can still do the work yourself. 


at the end of the day this is YOUR house right now and you never know what will happen tomorrow so live for the moment and make your house pretty.