We’ve been talking a lot about bathrooms on the blog lately. Sage shared her gorgeous bathroom makeover and affordable art, and I also asked her for some advice about how to update my own bathroom without spending a ton of money.
You might think we are sick of talking about bathrooms. But no! Today, I’m going to go back in time a little bit because, believe it or not, the thing that flummoxed us most in our big home renovation was the bathroom ceiling.
High stakes, I know.
You can sort of see in the above photo from the early days what we were dealing with. But let’s set aside the grayish color and varied sheens of paint – both of which are par for the course! – and focus on what’s really important here and in life: the placement of the fan/light combo.
It’s a little hard to tell from the photo, but that fixture is not centered to ANYTHING. Not even the wall segment that juts out near it. Not even the negative space. Nothing.
And it was only making the asymmetrical ceiling situation worse, if you can believe it. The ceiling itself is a really odd shape: the width near the door is NOT THE SAME SIZE as the width over the toilet.
This might help you see it a little better (not quite to scale):
It’s the kind of thing that you can’t un-see. It drove me crazy anytime that I thought about the bathroom – let alone anytime I walked near it. Don’t even get me started on going in there.
Now, if you’re still reading and haven’t decided to leave the crazy yells-about-her-bathroom-ceiling-lady’s blog forever, you are probably as insane as I am and are finding this tale of lopsidedness emotionally difficult. Let me pause here to assure you that the story has a happy ending. It does.
We knew that we wanted to replace the light. In addition to its distressing placement, it was really dim. The light bulb was covered in a scratched opaque plastic piece that hardly let any light though. Also, our contractor informed us that the fan was much too weak to provide adequate ventilation of moisture in our bathroom. (He advised that we get one that is 100 cfm plus, and ours was probably more like 50.)
He was pushing a new fan-light combo hard. However, the duct for the fan ran to just that spot, so unless we wanted to spend a couple hundred dollars to run new ducts we would have needed to install it right where the original one sat, keeping the asymmetrical layout. Even if we could live with that, I wasn’t thrilled with the look or the prospect of having a single flush-mount light source. But even if we added a better light, what could we line it up with?
Not going to lie, I stewed on this for a long time. But then I came up with a solution – hold onto your seats: what if we could have the fan basically just blend into the ceiling right where it was, but add in a pair of awesome lights that could be lined up with each other?
OK, maybe it is not that exciting, but it was to us at the time. Actually, I don’t remember Brad being that excited either. Essentially I came up with a solution to a crisis that was all in my head and it was awesome.
Here is the new plan:
We went with an exhaust fan kind of like these, but with 190 cfm so we would be well over the recommended amount of ventilation. Yay for no mold! We had a lot of fun picking out new lights, and agreed on the Franklin with Cage light from Schoolhouse Electric in a matte bronze finish (shown below in nickel finish).
I love that the lights bring in a bit of an industrial edge. I really like the industrial look when it is done well, but can’t do too much of in this house since it is bland and boxy to begin with.
Steve the contractor installed the fan and lights, and then Brad and I painted the ceiling a bright white: Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace in eggshell. (I love using an eggshell finish on low ceilings because it helps bounce the light around and make them look a little higher.)
You can also see the benefit of my big door upgrade, which I posted about last week.
See how much better?!
We can all breathe easier now. You’re welcome, world.