At minimum, we love the downstairs bathroom because the door to it no longer opens directly into our dining room.
When we renovated our wee farmhouse, we took the opportunity to relocate the doorway to the end of the hallway and adjacent to the new french doors, thereby bringing to a quiet end* decades of awkward moments and inconveniently located line-ups.
Of course, some things will always be the same.
Like, the moment the door closes, someone else decides they’re in a dreadful hurry — and what the heck are you doing in there, anyway?
These kinds of social interactions are made slightly more complicated for modern sensibilities due to our decision to maintain as much of the old farmhouse as we could in the renovation process. For instance, we preserved and re-used all the old doors and hardware.
Meaning that until we find the key that got misplaced somewhere in the garage during the renovation, there are no locking interior doors.
However, there are wonderful old-fashioned keyholes to peer through and a resurrection of the time-honored tradition of “knock-before-entering.”
To further the movement, we’ve retrofitted a privacy guardian-angel door knocker.
Keeping the door closed is actually less of a challenge than keeping it open when the facilities are not in use. For this, we employ a hefty metallic Mr. Rooster.
(Believe it or not, until I got down to eye level to take this photo, I hadn’t even noticed that there is also a Mrs. Rooster. Note to self: take photos of all the stuff in our house to see what’s really there.)
In many ways, it’s just a normal Idaho bathroom. Sink, industrial-strength hand moisturizer, toilet, shower…
Normal, except for the exquisite craftsmanship of, for instance, the Ecuadorian tile master who happened to be in Teton Valley that month subcontracting for Cole Kunz, our miracle working general contractor.
We bless Cole and the tile maestro every time we take a shower.
But as amazing as their work is, it’s the small details that others probably wouldn’t even notice that make this such a sweet space in our home.
There’s the mirror I sort of accidentally bought on eBay a few years ago, draped with the faux grape vine that reminds us of the warmth and romance of Sonoma County, and the dried roses from 09-09-09 in the window.
The watercolor by Peter Chope mainlines memories of autumn…
… while this sweet painting by Rick to the right of the sink always slows me down in a renewed amazement of how paint works in the hands of someone confident enough to let loose happen.
There are other works of art on which to reflect in light of what was, what is… and what will be.
Is it inappropriate in a post about our downstairs bathroom to say how much I love the dust of Rick’s ponies…
… and that the co-creation of this room, this home, and our life brings me great joy?
Kathy Schmidt Jamison
*The author of this post wishes to apologize for all the potty-humor embedded in the word choices made throughout the piece. She hopes everyone will just chalk it up to youthful exuberance. Thank you in advance.