Renting often equals living with white walls or super ugly wall colors that your property manager/landlord is unwilling to let you paint over. OR, if you can paint sometimes it’s just not worth it depending on room size, amount of time you’ll live there, etc. Although, as they say, the easiest way to spruce up a room is some fresh paint on the walls. Hands down.

When we moved in, our bathroom was baby yellow with black and white checkered floors. The previous tenant left a brand new black and white shower curtain. The yellow just wasn’t cuttin’ it and it made the bathroom look constantly dingy. I wanted something crisp so we set to it.  I’m one of the lucky ones whose landlord will allow them to paint.

We used Martha Stewart Living Cumulus Cloud paint. I took the paint sample home and sat with it for a couple of days. I decided to just go ahead and do it. At first, while I was painting it seemed like the color was too purple. Weird, right? I didn’t think it looked purple at all in the store. Then, I started regretting it. My fella talked me into sitting with it for a bit longer and honestly I didn’t really have the money to waste on paint, so I stuck with it. I’m so glad I did.

We also decided to paint the trim in the bathroom pure white because the previous painted did a seriously shit-tay job when they painted the yellow. Yuck. Also, I decided to paint the chair rail the gray at first. I didn’t like it and decided that the bathroom needed the detail, so I went back and painted it white also. Again, I’m glad I did.

I decided the room needed a sink skirt for pattern and a new rug. Okay, on Monday I shared my grievances about IKEA furniture, but as I said, we love each other (IKEA and I). I love their housewares and all things awesome. So, after I searched at my local vintage shops for fabric and I wasn’t able to find any I went to IKEA. I purchased the white/light grey/orange Majken fabric and my bathroom rug in a dark grey (which I cannot find on the site now).

I made the sink skirt by measuring the base of the sink and the height from the floor. Then I cut the material accordingly and added a pleat. I didn’t want it ruffled, just straight. I think I accomplished that. Then, I just added Velcro and attached to the underside of the sink.

At the last moment we decided to spray paint the towel hooks with some leftover bright orange spray paint. It matched perfectly.

Overall, I’m pretty happy with the space. Sure, I’d like to paint the ceiling the back of the door and change out some accessories but that’ll all have to wait. Decorating is a process and I’m okay with that.


  • Paint: $30
  • Supplies: $30 (Since we just moved I had to restock)
  • Fabric: $8
  • Rug: $3ish (I think)
  • Total: $71

What quick fixes have you done recently?

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Poketo! DIY Shower Curtain

What?! A DIY shower curtain! Awesome. You could totally do this with a permanent marker and just a regular plastic curtain.

Poketo! DIY Shower Curtain.

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Owning a house is awesome and comes with all sorts of interesting problems. After we took possession of the house, we lost hot water three times. Once, when electricity had been off because we were rewiring some rooms, once when electricity was off because we had to fix another appliance situation, and once at random in March. The first time, a new bottom element did the trick. The second time, a new top element + some wiggling of wires worked. And the third time, begging the manufacturer for a new one was the only solution.

It appeared to be a problem with the top element, again, but it also confirmed our earlier suspicion that the problem with the top element before had been a wiring problem. It had taken us two elements and a tinkering with the ground wire to get it to work on the second loss of hot water. After calling the maintenance they recommended under their warranty and learning we would have to go from Thursday – Tuesday without hot water, Kyle convinced the manufacturer that a new hot water heater would be the only solution.

Getting the new hot water heater required returning the old hot water heater which required draining the old hot water heater. So we tried it, but the hot water heater, which was usually very slow to drain, would not drain beyond a slow trickle. Kyle went to Orscheln to get new channel locks so we could take it apart and told me to try anything that I found on the Internet that seemed like a reasonable solution.

We were pretty sure the reason it was draining slow was because too much sediment had settled at the bottom of the tank. I eventually came across a suggestion to leave the cold water on and open the drain so that water was forced out of the drain. I turned the cold water on to the tank and stepped to the side to watch. Soon, water came out a little slower and then a little faster, and then sprayed miniature fire-hose style across my basement!

Good thing we have a wet basement and both I and my laptop were just to the right of its range. As you can see from the photo, it’s range managed to splatter all over the wall across from the hot water heater. That wall is probably about 7 or so feet from where the hot water heater sits.

For some reason (missing plug cap perhaps?) we couldn’t get the hose to work to drain water to the sump pump so Kyle and I had to take turns dumping buckets out in the yard. Luckily, we got the tank out, exchanged it at Lowe’s, and still had time for a celebratory Friday night dinner date with the new hot water heater strapped into the back of the truck.

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So Eclectic is a blog dedicated to great ideas for home design. Austin, Texas-based writer Mary Marcum and Savannah, Missouri-based writer Jess Rezac feature affordable decor, decorating solutions, and inspiration. At So Eclectic, we experiment with design together. So Eclectic posts new content every weekday.

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