Safer Shower

My shower curtain started to disintegrate. Yay! How happy this made me. Not. I was not pleased. However, this gave me an opportunity to get a more eco-friendly alternative without feeling guilty for swapping my old one out.

 

One of the biggest toxins no one talks about?  Vinyl. Polyvinyl chloride, PVC, (or as it’s more commonly known: vinyl) is a type of plastic that is rather toxic. It’s toxic during the manufacturing process, leading to the release of many chemicals into the air and water streams. It’s toxic when it’s in your environment, releasing chemicals that are harmful to reproductive organs, cause breast cancer, birth defects, and endocrine disruption. As well as being toxic after we finish with these products and dump them into the landfill where they will stay for millions of years, leeching more of these chemicals into their surroundings. The main ingredient in vinyl that is so terrible is one of the plasticizers that gives plastic that flexible characteristic: phthalates. There are two kinds of phthalates, ortho-phthalates and terra-phthalates. The adverse health affects of ortho-phthalates are more known and they are, although legal, increasingly more regulated by private companies such as Home Depot. Basically, although many companies and government agencies are aware of these horrific affects of this toxin (and the many other chemicals that compose vinyl), it is sadly, still not illegal. Vinyl is heavily used throughout the toy, construction, any many other industries.  My personal theory is that vinyl will become the next asbestos. But I am not a scientist, I’m just guessing. I may be way off, but until proven otherwise, I make efforts to avoid vinyl.

 

Basically, my old shower curtain was vinyl and I wanted a much healthier replacement. The LA Times even wrote an article on the toxins associated with vinyl shower curtains. We’re talking liver cancer, nervous system damage, nausea. I wanted something that I could breathe a little easier around! I hoped for a waxed organic cotton liner, but I had difficulty sourcing one in the short time frame I accidentally caused for myself (I tossed my shower curtain liners before actually purchasing new ones… oops!).

 

My search led me to Target where I ultimately purchased two of these Threshold Shower Curtain Liners  (one for either side of the clawfoot bathtub). At $18 each, they were not the cheapest liners. But they’re made of polyester which doesn’t release the type of vicious toxins that vinyl does.  Although I still wish I could find some in cotton, these made a good alternative for now. Next time I’ll do my research before tossing the old liners!

 

Shower Curtain Liner | Land of Laurel

 

As for how the polyester fabric holds up to water compared to vinyl, I have not noticed a difference! These new liners keep all the water in just as well as the more plastic-y feeling vinyl curtains did (an important thing when you have a clawfoot bathtub/stand up shower and wood bathroom trim!). Plus they look and feel so much better!

 

Polyester Shower Curtain | Land of Laurel

 

Overall, I am so happy with this purchase! The liners look great, I feel better about their chemical make up, and they’re just a little bit wider than my old curtains keeping more water in! The bathroom is coming along now (you may notice I’ve hung some art!). I’ll have some finishing touches to share and then I can call this room done!

 

Is anyone else terrified by the adverse affects of chemicals in vinyl? Anyone know where to get a good wax-coated cotton shower curtain liner?

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A Bit More than Bathing in the Bathroom

I’m struggling to write at the moment, because I just watched the Walking Dead and now I am dead inside. One of my favorite characters died and I do not know how’ll I’ll keep watching without him. What will his wife do?And Rick (my least favorite character) isn’t in a great situation either!! The Walking Dead has never hesitated to kill off the most loved characters, which makes it a fantastic, heart breaking show. Bah! I can’t be the only one near tears, right?! Who else watches this??

Now the Walking Dead has absolutely nothing to do with today’s post. Literally nothing. Although, I do really want to go to Georgia. Wait no, that’s still sidetracking. What am I supposed to be writing about?! Oh yes… my bathroom.

So as much as I now love my roommates, their radiant personalities did not play a huge part in me choosing to live here over some of the other places I found on Craigslist. Why did I choose this place? The bathroom. Once I walked into the bathroom, I was sold on this place. It was really the bathtub. I have great memories of my Aunt Karolyn’s clawfoot bathtub at her house in Oakland near Glenview Elementary School. Her daughters– my cousins– were about the same age as my sister and I so we would go there all the time. Even as a kid, I loved houses and design, and I freakin’ loved that bathtub. My bathroom now? Clawfoot bathtub. Entire reason I signed that lease. I mean besides the fact that the house is near BART and my roommates are normal, clean people, and our home is beautiful. Whatever. That stuff does not compare to my bathtub! This is what my bathroom looked like when I first moved in.

Move in Bathroom

And the the bathroom fixtures are Kohler! I love Kohler! The bathroom is all from the Kohler’s Antique Line. It’s very much a 1930’s throwback. They’re beautiful. The chrome bits on the end after the ceramic knobs were loose on a few when I moved in. I tightened them up easily by wrapping plastic wrap around some pliers. I want some rubber nose pliers, but when I asked one of the employees at Home Depot about them he looked very confused. It’s possible I made the existence of them up. Regardless, the plastic wrap worked just fine. Once I tightened them, the have not come loose again. I just love the “hot” and “cold” labels! It’s details like this that make our house so interesting. It really is a contemporary craftsman, elegantly straddling old and new design!

Kohler Bathtub Fixture

I’m lucky that the house is really beautiful. The craftsmanship is really well done. There was a lot of care taken when it was built 10 years ago. Anything I do to the house isn’t really changing it, but rather accentuating it. For now this blog is about taking a home from 75% to 100% done. That last 25%? All the itty bitty details. This is the storage and organizing and decorating. The things that make this place functional and beautifull! This is the part that takes the most time and can even seem unnecessary, but it really does complete the space.

Now the bathroom vanity is gorgeous, but it doesn’t have any drawers. Just one huge open space within the cabinet isn’t all that functional and means a lot of my things needed to live on the counter. When I first moved in, things just landed where I needed them the most, without much thought into how it all looked.

Move in Bathroom Vanity

That means the soap went straight on the counter since I didn’t have a soap dish, necklaces went on the first rack-thing I saw at Target, and earrings stayed in the boxes I’d moved them in (in which they are tangled and impossible to find). My new Target towels looked good, but this one is dirty!

Movein Bathroom Counter

My bathroom looked pretty much like this — shower curtain-less, with things stuffed into the cabinet– for a few months before I could finally get around to tackling the first stage of the room. Some of this stage was new purchases to help with function, some of it was a matter of moving things around. I had gotten a dingy looking plant stand with a glass top from my last job. They were going to throw it away, but I liked the clean lines! A basic Target shower curtain helped helped hide the necessary plastic one behind it and pumped up the fun factor. After a few months, the room had much more personality.

DSC_0241

The plant I plopped on plant stand came from my Oma’s house, just like Fred the Fish. I repotted it in this IKEA basket. I wished I’d picked up another matching basket for toilet paper to sit on the floor beneath it! Alas, the no longer sell the baskets! Arg! I’m bummed. Instead I usually stick a watering can there that I fill up in the shower when the water is getting hot before I get in. The plant on top really brings some life to the space, it’s thriving on the humidity too! Plus I washed my hand towel. Who’s proud? Me! Such an adult.

Over on the vanity, things changed less dramatically. I still haven’t found a great solution for my jewelry, but I did get a soap dish! The little things, right? This looks one billion times better than leaving it on the counter. Plus the counter stays shiny longer this way after I clean it.

Bathroom vanity

The glass jars I bought at Cost Plus World Market. They were exactly what I hoped to find. How often does that happen?! I wanted something square with a thick, sturdy glass, and — most importantly– a rubber seal. I wanted the latter to prevent moisture and germs and what have you from getting into the jars. I don’t know how protective the rubber really is, but I wanted something that would theoretically seal the jars off.

Bathroom jars

The jars add so much functionality to the space! They store many of the big space stealers from my medicine cabinet. I use the jars for cotton pads which I use to remove eye make-up and put on toner; q-tips for the ears; and these little plastic flossers which I swear I’ll never buy again, because they add so much to the landfill and who actually flosses anyways? Just kidding I floss every monthonce a week, I mean, twice a day. Regardless, the jars fit into the previously unused corner of the wide vanity and allow me to fill the medicine cabinet with more important things, like Honest Beauty products. Ha!

Just for honesty sake, I do have to say, the kitty litter box lives in here too. It’s the only place for it in the house. I’m still brainstorming on a prettier way to hide it, but for now, it lives next to the toilet complete with the carpet sample I stole from work (spoiler: it doesn’t really work to prevent litter tracking…)

Bathroom Litter Box

The room is definitely getting there though! It’s amazing what a few tweaks will do. What else do I have on my bathroom to-do list??

  • Find the perfect glass storage jars
  • Add a piece of furniture to place a glass of water or a book on when I take a bath
  • New shower curtain
  • Necklace holder
  • Soap dish
  • Better jewelry storage, perhaps building an earring holder??
  • Add some plants in small pots on top of the toilet back
  • Paint the plant stand gold to go with the shower curtain
  • find a better way to hide the kitty litter box
  • Organize the vanity cabinet to better contain everything I hide away down there
  • Hang art
  • Even more plants?!
  • Take so many bubble baths!

It’s not quite there yet, but it’s close! For now, I’m loving this look!

Bathroom phase one

Have you been adding some functional touches to your home lately? Isn’t it great what that last little bit adds to the space? It’s like, “Wow, now that they’re not buried in the depths of the vanity cabinet, I can actually find my q-tips!” The little things in life!

P.S. If you’ve been watching the Walking Dead, tell me because I need to talk about it!!!