The Guest Bath: Getting a Little Ombred Away

Terribly cheesy title I know, but today’s post is all about one of my favorite new paint trends + a necessary home addition for a very busy toddler.

Lately Liv has turned into quite the independent lady. If it’s at all possible (and she can figure it out), she wants to do it herself. 90% of the time that’s a little tough, though we do try. 10% of the time it’s to accomplish basic tasks like washing of hands after a messy breakfast. This type of independence I love, most toddlers run from a wet washcloth honing in on yogurt smeared cheeks, but Liv still finds cleaning up a delight.

So I’ve been searching out a fun step stool for her bathroom. I was really hoping for something older with beautiful curved lines (more Jenny Lind – like Liv’s changing table – less modern and boxy) but when I came across this little birch stool from Ikea for $15 I couldn’t pass it up. It was begging for a fun coat of paint, too!

When Sherry and Katie announced their summer Pinterest challenge last week, I decided it was time to tackle this project and make it happen. (PS if you haven’t heard of this fun challenge I definitely recommend checking it out. If you are a procrastinator like myself and thrive on deadlines, this is a great opportunity to give yourself a deadline to tackle one crafty project you’ve had your eye on).

The real Pinterest inspiration for this challenge is actually this coffee mug that has hunkered down in the back of my brain image gallery for some time.

I’ve actually become quite enamored with the ombre trend as of late and have a few idea of else where in the house I might be able to spice things up with a bit of graduated paint colors…

And now for our much inspired ombre step stool:

I used two paint samples and a quart of white paint to mix my ombre layers.

Which left me with five variations of teal blue – from a beautiful deep peacock to a clear summer’s day sky blue.

My first layers of paint were pretty rough. I began at the top and slowly worked my way down the stool painting in loose stripes and not bothering too much with exact lines.

After some time in the sun, I went back with painter’s tape and measured out my layer heights so that each transition could result in a sharp contrasting line.

The top tier is the widest, slowly working down by 1/2″-1″ increments (roughly 5.5″ for tier 1, 4.5″ for tier 2, 3.75″ for tier 3, 3.25″ for tier 4, 3″ for tier 5) so that the stripes at the base were skinnier than the ones at the top.

It turned out just as I had hoped for! I really dig the colors.

Nana helped to distract Liv on the other side of the yard, but occasionally she’s wander up behind me and grab onto my neck. I ended up wearing paint for days and I’m still surprised she left the scene without a drop on her.

The stool is taller than I anticipated (it comes in a flat box from Ikea and I hadn’t paid close attention to the overall height) but it seems to work really well with Liv’s 18 month old reach.

I had chosen the colors right from the existing shades in the space and I love how the turquoise pops against the tiles in the shower, the blues in the artwork, the pale hand towels.

So far she dares to make it to the first step. It might get a little tricky after she figures out that she really can crawl to the top on her own.

But when it comes to hand washing she gets a little help.

Oh wow how she loves it! After the stool moved its way inside, it was all I could do to distract her from trying to wash her hands every 10 minutes.

I’m glad she loves it as much as I do!

Yay for projects that make you get to-do’s done.

Here’s a quick link to the previous Pinterest challenges that I’ve worked on. Still quite proud of that capiz chandelier, painter’s tape wallpaper and gold mercury glass. But don’t forget to head on over to Sherry’s post and Katie’s post (and Kate’s and Michelle’s! who are guest hosts) to find all kinds of crafty and fun ideas.

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  1. Megan says

    The stool looks great! I have the same stool but it’s still in it’s naked state. I might have to be trying this myself. I was also wondering if you could tell me where you got your chevron basket that the towels are in? Thanks!

  2. Janelle says

    This turned out so great, Morgan! I love the ombre turquoise colors – it’s beautiful, and so is your adorable Liv!!
    Inspiration from the mug is sheer genius! ;)

  3. says

    Too cute! I actually have that stool in its natural state in our kitchen. My 5 year old uses it to help me cook – so it could have a long life after the bathroom stage!

  4. says

    Hooray for entering the independent toddler phase! Liv looks adorable there on the stool – and I love how the inspiration for the paint job actually came from a mug!

  5. says

    That’s so cute and functional! Anything that gets a little one to want to wash their hands all the time must be good in my book.

  6. Mhairi says

    The stool looks wonderful. Love the blue colour. At our local Ikea (South Australia) you can get a strip to put on the bottom step to make it non-slip. If you are using this in a bathroom with a little water baby I would recommend it as wet feet tend to slip on our stool like yours, although we haven’t painted ours. You can also get a non-slip paint that works well too.
    Hope she eventually gets tired of washing her hands every time she walks past the bathroom.

    • says

      Thanks, Mhairi! I will definitely look for that since I think that will be a huge plus in this slip-prone location :).

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