Following a pre-Birthday dinner celebration featuring my favorite widow, La Veuve Clicquot, chez Anna and Novis we all went to Bistro La Minette in Philadelphia. The fois gras was delicious and that small wine glass in the picture was a special indulgence of Sauterne – not easy to find outside of France, probably because Americans don’t seem to have developed a taste for this very expensive dessert wine. They don’t know what they are missing. My husband and I love it and order it whenever we can find it.
As I said, a girl can never have enough perfume. (Did I say Hermès?) I added the new Twilly scent to my collection, a gift from my husband. Lunch with Earline and Linda brought more beautiful gifts.
Home Renovation Manual – Lesson 1: “Don’t Try This at Home”
Our basement bathroom is a full bath with shower. This was not to be a big renovation (no to shower, toilet and sink) just a small renovation (yes to paint, new medicine cabinet and light fixture). Sound simple? Ha!!
“Are you sure you want to do this yourself?” I asked.
“Yeah, no problem. Just a new coat of paint, medicine cabinet, light fixture and we’re good. How hard can that be?”
How hard indeed…….
Back and forth he went wearing a path between home and Home Depot. Finally fully equipped, it was time to tackle the job. From that moment on, everything that could go wrong did, starting with the paint color.
Since it was basically his bathroom, I told him he could paint it any color he wanted. Big mistake!! He chose white – not off-white, oyster, ecru, eggshell, pearl or ivory – no -- WHITE WHITE! With the new, BRIGHT LED exhaust fan light installed after the first three didn’t fit, you could use that bathroom to guide in small planes.
Finally, we came to the last step -- after waiting two weeks, the cabinet to go over the toilet arrived and Dan installed it “according to the directions.” And then I opened the door. All 25 lbs. of wooden cabinet fell on top of me, hit the toilet completely shattering the tank and flooding the entire area. It was as if the toilet exploded. There were shards of porcelain everywhere. The water was still streaming in. Dan ran in and shut off the water valve since I couldn’t budge it.
As we surveyed the damage, we realized there were three silver linings.
Silver Lining No. 1: I survived with only a slightly wrenched back.
Silver Lining No .2: Dan had not yet thrown out a week’s worth of Wall Street Journal newspapers and newspapers are terrific at sopping up water.
Silver Lining No. 3: This didn’t happen while we were away.
Two days later in New York we went to Basso56 for dinner and I did something I never do. When the waitress asked if I wanted to start with a cocktail I realized that my usual Kir Royal was just not gonna cut it this time.
So, I ordered a Raspberry Martini. “Isn’t that all alcohol?” Dan asked. “It better be,” I responded. It was, and it was just what the little girl down the rabbit hole needed. What rabbit hole?
Naturally, we had to have a new toilet installed which, naturally, stopped working the second day. The plumber came back with an augur and couldn’t figure out what was wrong with it. After he left, I said, “Dan, do we still have that old plunger?” Two little plunges et voilà! It’s worked fine ever since.
So now that I’d climbed out of the rabbit hole, it was time to figure out how to give some character and warmth to this WHITE, WHITE bathroom.
I remembered this painting I had “temporarily” stored in the attic sixteen years ago until I could find the perfect place to hang it. I finally found it.
I ordered this red 2 CV bath mat on line from a great place called Redbubble. This is Dan’s favorite French car, so it was not only quirky and appropriate but added a great pop of color.
I put the smaller one in front of the pedestal sink.
We decided not to risk any more cabinet disasters and exploding toilets, so we just reinstalled the old metal étagère over the toilet. I added some red accessories and this lovely April in Paris print I ordered from Art.com.
It’s amazing what a little color can do to cozy up a WHITE, WHITE bathroom. Dan and I both love his new bathroom.
Oh, and now that I think of it, there was actually a fourth silver lining.
Silver Lining No. 4: Handy Dan has hung up his power tools for good. (Phew!!)