The lakehouse bath reno is done. D.O.N.E. Seriously – done. Okay, maybe there are one or two tiny details missing, but it’s done enough! After all of our setbacks, do you want to know what held us up the most? The shower curtain! Of all things. In the end, though, all of the shower curtain fussing led to a really cool DIY
shower curtain situation that I think is just gorgeous – and it
functions beautifully – so it was worth the extra time and effort.
Behold: our floor to ceiling, DIY aqua shower curtain (with separate, washable liner) and our super luxe ceiling mounted shower curtain rod:
Take a closer look:
It’s perfect! Here’s a run down of the hilariously drawn out process – plus why we love our ceiling mounted shower curtain rod and fabric + liner shower curtain combo so much.
Plan #1 – Tension Shower Curtain Rod:
At first the plan was to slap up a tension rod and hang a pretty linen
shower curtain. I wanted to try a fabric curtain + liner because
it seemed like just the right amount of fancy for our new bathroom – something different than the polyester Marimekko Tuuli shower curtain we had in the townhouse bathroom (here’s a similar birch tree shower curtain).
The first tension rod we ordered was broken and we tried to fix it, but it still came crashing down one night. I had ordered it online but for the second attempt, we searched high and low in our city, hoping we could examine it carefully for any defects. We finally found one, but it didn’t have enough of a surface area to grip our textured tile, so it came crashing down even more quickly. We decided we’d have to get a curtain rod that was affixed more firmly but, having realized how much work it is to drill into tile, neither of us wanted to tackle that – or tempt fate. More importantly, by this point I realized that I really didn’t love the look of a shower curtain rod inside the shower nook because the height made the room seem stumpy. It was time to think outside the box.
Plan #2 – Ceiling Mounted Shower Curtain Rod:
My Mom brought over one of the brushed nickel West Elm curtain rods from her bedroom and we played with some options: mounted right above the shower? Maybe placed a little higher, near the ceiling? It was the craziest option of all of them – ceiling mounted – that had Hubby, Mom and I oooo’ing and ahhhh’ing. A ceiling mounted rod made such a statement! The floor to ceiling height felt grand. Was it weird, though? I immediately took to Pinterest and found some inspiration in my Bathroom Design Inspiration board. This bathroom had a gorgeous ceiling mounted rod and it sealed the deal for me – but this one and this one made me realize it’s really not that unusual. I was sold on the idea!
But we couldn’t steal Mom’s curtain rod (which West Elm discontinued), so we needed to find a simple, modern rod with small, ceiling mounted brackets and a brushed nickel finish. That is not an easy thing to track down! I looked online for weeks to no avail and drove to all of the home reno and curtain shops in town – finally tracking down the perfect rod (since finding one, I did spot a somewhat similar rod online, if you’re looking for one). Mine was a custom order from Budget Blinds (which, at $200 for a curtain rod, wasn’t as budget-friendly as I had hoped!). It took a couple of weeks to arrive, and then we still had to cut the rod to length ourselves and install it. The whole process took three weeks – you could see a sneak peek of the new curtain rod in my last bathroom update.
It was worth the wait because the rod is excellent quality. Plus it matches the Kohler fixtures exactly, which is important because brushed nickel finishes can really vary and some of them look very, very cheap. This, however, is perfect!
Plan #2A – Gathered Shower Curtain:
I had decided against curtain rings, for some bizarre reason, hoping to create a similar curtain ring-less look as my DIY back tab curtains. I hatched a plan to add a channel to a store-bought shower curtain and my plan went horribly, horribly wrong. It looked so 80s! How did it end up so ruffly? Another week, and lots of thread, wasted.
Plan #2B – Curtain Rings:
Oops! Live and learn! Back into town to the curtain shop to order rings, but the owner is the only one who can order things and she was busy so a week went by and I texted every day but she still didn’t/couldn’t get around to it. I gave up and was actually at Fabricland, buying curtain rings, when she called to say that the order had been placed. Curtain rings ultimately added a couple of weeks to my timeline.
I have to admit, they do slide nicely and they look really sharp. Definitely worth the wait!
Plan #2C – Fancy Metallic Linen Fabric:
In the meantime, I realized my linen shower curtain, although it was supposed to be long enough, wasn’t actually going to reach the floor everywhere. It hovered in a couple of spots because the hem wasn’t even. So Mom and I headed to Fabricland for fabric ideas but I also ordered some samples of a metallic linen. Those samples, lost by Canada Post I guess, took three weeks to get here!
Oy with the poodles already.
Plan #2D – Clearance Fabric Score:
The wait was good (bad for the fabric company, good for me) because I came to my senses and decided that it would cost way too much for this shower curtain (now it’s $25-30 USD per yard, but when I was first looking is was around $45 and I would have needed six yards!). I just thought it would look so chic and upscale but, at the end of the day, this is a shower curtain and that fabric isn’t even washable! In hindsight, the dark grey might have really made the bathroom feel dark and dreary anyway – even though it was shot with shimmering metallic threads. At Fabricland I found a clearance fabric that was double the regular width (it’s meant for draperies). I bought all of the yardage I needed for around $30. Score! The light grey and pale aqua brighten up the room which, although blindingly sunny in the summer, is quite a bit darker in the summer thanks to heavy tree coverage behind our house (you can see the trees on this side of our house actually peeking over the roof in my DIY fire pit post). The best part about this fabric choice: I tossed it in the washer and dryer with no problems.
It turned out to be the perfect fabric! It’s the exact color as the sinks, just a lot lighter (in the photos it reads a bit differently). It ties together all of the aqua and grey accents and is similar to the tweeds in the bedroom and office – so I love that consistency. Plus, this room is all about natural textures – no patterns or prints – so this fabric pairs beautifully with the other design elements.
After my fabric finding victory, my Mom and I still need to sew the darn thing! We decided to add a soft, very minimal pleat so the curtain would drape evenly when closed. We used drapery hooks to easily affix the curtain to the rings, but they remove in snap for laundering. My biggest concern was that I wanted the shower curtain to wrap around and cover the shower opening at the edges, so you can’t see a sliver of it walking by the bathroom. Success:
But here’s where the real genius is:
I wanted a separate curtain liner so I ordered the Hotel Fabric Shower Curtain Liner from Bed Bath & Beyond. It’s excellent quality, with grommets and bonus little suction cups on either side to hold it in place (so clever). I wanted it hidden, though, so we sewed the shower curtain with two more rings than the shower curtain has, so it starts one ring in on both ends, ensuring that it stays hidden when the shower curtain is closed. To affix it to the shower curtain, I used ball chain ordered from Amazon. I ordered 25 feet with connectors and just cut my own chain curtain rings. The ball chain links hold the shower liner to the curtain, but are easily removed for laundering the liner.
It took me a week to order the ball chain and another two weeks to finally cut it to length and get up on a step ladder to add the liner. By this point, I had grown a little weary of the whole shower curtain business because, frankly, I prefer a soothing bath these days anyway.
BUT it turned out so beautifully, and it’s so, so practical, so it was worth the fussing and fiddling and re-working our plans. Whew – hard to believe this shower curtain took longer to choose than anything else in the bathroom! I’m sharing the full reveal later this week so stay tuned.
Now tell me: what’s the weirdest home decor/renovation delay you’ve experienced?