Heater, Mother of Lance

The powder room

One of the main reasons we bought this house other than the giant space for the office was the renovation done on all the bathrooms. Everything in every bathroom had been demolished and rebuilt, and we didn’t have to lift a finger or get divorced in the process.

Also, everything was done quite beautifully. All the tile work, the fixtures, the floors… all of it fit our taste perfectly. Do not ask me why it has taken me this long to decorate these rooms, I couldn’t tell you because we did it on the cheap. Maybe blame Marlo and the destruction she wreaks in our lives daily. Because every night when Jon and I climb into bed it’s like, dude, we survived another day with that kid. This has to be exactly what Basic Training feels like.

The first one I want to show you is one of two powder rooms on the main floor. I didn’t want to get too much into a theme, but then I got carried away and spilled theme all over myself. This is our beach bathroom:

All of the photos on the far wall are ones we took while in Mexico, and the plates have been waiting to be hung on a wall since 2006. That’s not lazy, that’s just slow. Ok, that’s lazy.

The picture of the seal above the toilet is one I took on our trip to San Diego in early 2008, the trip where Leta kept asking to go back to the hotel room to read books while Shamu did flips in the air.

I know someone is going to make a snide comment about the color of the soap, so let me go ahead and confirm that the liquid in this container did not come out of a human body. Or any animal’s body, for that matter. I like that it matches some of the colors in the sea shells (THEME!).

This is my favorite vanity in the house, probably because I’d have sex with this marble if it were physically possible.

This would have been a perfect opportunity to add some pizzazz with some wallpaper, but Jon is only going to let me wallpaper one or two walls in the entire house. I’ve got major plans for those two walls, so I didn’t want to waste it on the place where you go poop.

Ok. So. All of the tiles match. Pretty sure no one is going to die this time.

  • NatalieChandler

    2011/03/25 at 12:03 pm

    Lovely! And not over themed at all. Glad this decoration wasn’t a headache like the other one!

  • Red Stethoscope

    2011/03/25 at 12:16 pm

    That tile work is gorgeous! I was going to comment that I also wanted to have sex with it, but then that sounded weird and ménage à trois, so nevermind! 🙂 It’s some nice marble, indeed.

  • CraftyCrab

    2011/03/25 at 12:36 pm

    I would be remiss in my job if I did not point out that that is a sea lion, not a seal. Just sayin’. Beautiful powder room, for sure.

  • Norabloom

    2011/03/25 at 12:39 pm

    Very pretty. I love the marble tile and the style of the vanity. I bet a rug with some blue in it, or perhaps a sisal rug, would look lovely in front of the sink. You know, to continue that beach theme. : )

    By the way, you do realize that your toilet paper is hanging the wrong way, don’t you?

  • mk26

    2011/03/25 at 12:51 pm

    It’s a really beautiful, tasteful room. There are so many cool colors, in tone, like the tile and silver fixtures, I’d suggest paiting a warmer tone on the walls. Perhaps a really muted blue/green with some grey undertones.

    It will help your carefully choosen art to pop and tie the fixtures to the beautiful floor.

    /unsolicited advice.

  • Johi

    2011/03/25 at 1:08 pm


  • subjectivitis

    2011/03/25 at 1:27 pm

    I love that border, it almost looks like rope or something!

  • district of confusion

    2011/03/25 at 1:30 pm

    At first when you said beach themed bathrooms I was worried it would be a (ironically) tacky bathroom a la beach houses that haven’t been redecorated since the early 80s. But yours is great!

  • Pleonasticky

    2011/03/25 at 1:30 pm

    Skip the wallpaper in bathrooms! We had ours papered when I was a kid and the moisture level in both (even the half-bath/powder room/whatever you call it) made the paper peel from the bottom. Which meant that we picked and pulled at it and it drove my mother crazy. Granted, there were four of us, but I feel like Marlo can take the wallpaper-wrecking place of four children, no?

  • patrickahles

    2011/03/25 at 2:01 pm

    About the soap: you did see the Fight Club, didn’t you?

  • tallnoe

    2011/03/25 at 2:35 pm

    It’s quite lovely and soothing.

  • Mammy_P

    2011/03/25 at 2:46 pm

    GAH! What is wrong with me?! I looked at your lovely pictures and my first thought was, “Oh, Jon sits there to poo and read his iPad.”

  • slapper

    2011/03/25 at 3:06 pm

    If that color liquid is coming out of your body you probably need to see a doctor.

    Love the fishy plates!

  • jameil1922

    2011/03/25 at 3:20 pm

    Seriously? You must be like “This can’t be life” when you have to preempt comments about the color of your soap…

  • susiefish

    2011/03/25 at 3:44 pm

    I hope you see the humor in this article. I’m laughing WITH you, not AT you.


  • jacqueline

    2011/03/25 at 5:55 pm

    May I move in with you, please? By way of rent I’ll bring the weather and beach with me from Florida. (The weather’s great, really – no tornadoes, even, but how do you feel about hurricanes?)

    Also just wanted to say I’m loving today’s Daily Style.

  • kimrowell

    2011/03/25 at 6:17 pm

    Beautiful bathroom – I love the fixtures and the tile.

    About that wallpaper limitation…you could stencil to get around it. I read a blog called “Centsational Girl” and she stenciled the wall behind her bed in her master bedroom. Looks great!

    And, selfishly, I know you would have great posts doing that project !

  • JourneyBeyondSurvival

    2011/03/25 at 6:22 pm

    Well I like your soap, and it’s color.

    But most especially your grass and marble. Mmm.

  • reymiland

    2011/03/25 at 6:42 pm

    Well at least the tiles match..somewhat.

    May I suggest blue soap and blue shells to pull down the blue from the picture on the wall..and a matching nice blue-green rug in front of the sink to pull it all together.

    Nice job but it could use something additional.

    Just sayin’.

  • DeeDeeBee

    2011/03/25 at 8:33 pm

    Dooce, I’m a big fan, and I love this room, but, uh … aren’t koi freshwater fish? As in, non-beach fish?

    Ah well, maybe your beach has a koi pond on it. Guarded by a sea lion named after Heidi Klum’s husband.

    It looks really nice!

  • JenniferAnn

    2011/03/25 at 10:06 pm

    I love your taste! I’m not a fan of the beach look in bathrooms, personally – mainly because I’ve seen one too many beach-themed bathrooms. But I do like how you pulled it all together. It’s very nicely done.

    I’ve seen how you put together other parts of the house and love it. Classy modern. Please come decorate my apartment! It’s so bachelor(ette) hand-me-down college-y look and I’m in my early 30s!

    I did take one step toward my ideal pad though – got a nice vintage 1940s wood desk. No cheap-o Ikea knockoff desks anymore.

  • Linka72

    2011/03/26 at 8:46 am

    I like it and thank you Baby Jesus that you only have ONE container of shells..The beach theme look can get “out of hand” pretty quick if you are not careful.
    And just in case you were wondering, (and I’m sure you weren’t)I’d poop in there ANY day…thankyouverymuch

  • jenwilson

    2011/03/26 at 6:19 pm

    Okay, so, I know your banner’s been up for nearly a month, but it catches me off guard every time and makes me laugh. 🙂

    Your bathroom looks beautiful. (Is that weird to say about a bathroom?) I totally get your … um, laziness? waiting? whatever … in decorating. We moved into this house nearly nine months ago and we still don’t have curtains (or any window covering) in the living room. It faces the street. We may or may not walk around naked and we’ve gotten so used to not having curtains that it just doesn’t phase us anymore. Maybe we’d better get on that.

  • They made me choose a username

    2011/03/26 at 11:36 am

    It looks like I can out-OCD you this once (not that my house’s bathrooms are anything pretty to look at) and it has nothing to do with tiles: I don’t think I could hang plates in a bathroom. No matter how decorative the plates, their original intended function was to be eaten off of, and I can’t forget that. Ew.

  • theotherlion

    2011/03/26 at 4:20 pm

    I LURV it. I really love the plate. There’s themes and then there’s barftastic. This is nice.

  • May

    2011/03/26 at 4:43 pm

    I love your bathroom! Your marble looks like our new marble kitchen table.

  • Kris Mulkey

    2011/03/27 at 12:13 pm

    Very nice. Not sure I’ve ever seen plates hanging in a bathroom before. I get that the fish on the plate goes with the beach theme, but, it seems weird. Just sayin’.

    My new favorite wallpaper: http://www.janechurchill.com/

  • cory212

    2011/03/28 at 6:26 am


    @Norabloom: the toilet paper is correct!

  • Daddy Scratches

    2011/03/28 at 7:02 am

    I’ve been through Basic Training. Given the choice between reliving Basic Training, or reliving my children’s baby/toddler years, I’d … um … I’d … uh … [mental vapor lock]

  • acm

    2011/03/28 at 8:29 am

    I like the tile border a lot — really pulls the walls together.

    don’t really understand the photos + plates, though — color me pedantic, but I find the saltwater/freshwater thing jarring (no koi on the beach!!)… undermines my apprecation of your otherwise great assymetric arrangement. sorry…

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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