Thursday, March 24, 2011

Bathroom Makeover

Cork bathmat & new shower curtain

One of the things we have done in the past couple of weeks is a little bathroom makeover. We made a new bathmat from old wine corks, and put in a new shower curtain.

Though this is a small and inexpensive change, I am really loving the difference.

Shower curtain

The previous shower curtain was so dark and opaque that it was hard to see while shaving, and the green really didn't go so well with the other colors in the room. Neither did the old red bathmat. Now, we have a pretty cork one instead!

Cork bathmat & new shower curtain

Scott has been collecting corks from every bottle of wine or mead that has been drunk in this house since 2003. This makes the cork bathmat really special, because it is a visual memory of seven years of dinner parties and days at the Renaissance Festival. Now, this reminder is a part of everyday life.

To make the new bathmat, we basically followed this tutorial. I copied the old bathmat for size, and got going with a sharp knife and a pile of corks, as she instructs. Cutting the corks by hand was slow and frustrating, so I enlisted Scott's help, and he decided to set things up on the bandsaw.

Wine cork bath mat in progress

He clamped two pieces of scrap wood on either side to form a jig or channel just wide enough for the corks to slide through.

Wine cork bath mat in progress

He used a small dowel to push the corks through and prevent them from getting snagged in the opening on the bottom of the table. This method went really quickly, and within a half hour or so we had all of the corks cut up.

Wine cork bath mat in progress

We then arranged the corks so that they were nicely distributed and neatly laid out. Some did require the occasional trim at the corkscrew hole site, but in general they packed in neatly. The last step was to hot glue the corks into their final spots. I really wish I had put down wax paper or parchment under the mat before laying the corks out, so that I wouldn't have had to shimmy paper underneath while trying to disturb as few corks as possible. Still, I am loving the final result.

Cork bathmat & new shower curtain

Back to that new shower curtain: I am really liking having a shower curtain that is not plasticized. The liner is tightly woven fabric with some polyester content, so it works well at keeping the water in, but it can be easily laundered. Plus, there is no off-gassing. The waffle weave, hotel-style outer curtain can be easily laundered as well, and it is surprisingly luxe looking for being one of the cheaper options at Target.

Shower curtain hangar detail

I am also loving the shower curtain hangars I bought. I think the metal beads help them move more smoothly along the rod, and whenever I want to wash them, they will be easy to remove.

Well, there's the current house progress!

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