Powder Room: House 1.0

First floor powder room original

I know some people go bananas for toile. I am not one of those people. (I don’t care for pastoral scenes in any context.)  Luckily the fixtures were high-end and in great shape, so the re-decorate was just a matter of taste.


Farewell to toile. In addition to the wallpaper, we pulled down the shelving and the mirror to replace them with items that didn’t jut out as much into this small space. The Moulin Rouge dancers (artwork, above) I purchased from a street stall in Paris 12 years ago and had never found a place for them. Now these coquettes have a home. The curtain is actually a shower curtain that my mom retrofitted for use on this window.


I also made this piece of inexpensive art (directions below) from print blocks, which I picked up at Architectural Artifacts (4325 N. Ravenswood Ave., Chicago, 773-348-0622).



These particular blocks were used to print the labels for the infant bloomers made at the Rubens Baby Factory. (You might remember the old sign from the building on Racine and Fullerton. It closed in 2004 and and has since been razed to make way for shops, restaurants, and other things of interest to DePaul students.) Anyway,  I thought print blocked underwear was funny and a perfect fit for a bathroom. Here’s how to frame them, cheaply and easily.

1.)    Find print blocks to provide artistic inspiration. The selection at Architectural Artifacts includes letters, old labels, print plates, and more vintage ephemera. I got all three of my blocks for less than $15.

2.)   Buy a suitable background. I found a piece of flat wrapping paper at Paper Source that matched my bathroom décor for $2.50.

3.)   Get the frame. The Ribba shadowbox frame at Ikea ($9.99) worked well because it allowed plenty of room between the background and the glass for the depth of the print blocks. I removed the included matting for my project.


4.)   Use the paper to wrap the back of the frame like a present. Scotch tape worked just fine.


5.)   Wood blocks are heavy enough that they need more than tape to stay put, so I used a power drill to attach them to the back of the cork frame.



6.)   Pop the backing into the frame and done. Fifteen minutes and less than $30 for a piece of creative art that is a conversation piece for everyone that uses our bathroom.



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