Thursday, May 15, 2008

Design Dilemma: Help Me Find a Yellow Shower Curtain

Photo -- which is NOT of Joanna's bathroom -- by Jenn Hsu

More Ways to Waste Time reader Joanna writes, "My bathroom has turned out to be the greatest design challenge in my condo. The color -- a 1970s neon yellow -- is very strong. I've tried to compliment the yellow with aquas and apple greens, but it doesn't work. I'm looking for a lemon-yellow and white shower curtain that isn't vinyl with ducks on it, but I'm gun-shy after failing with the last six shower curtains I've tried (yes, six). Can you or your readers suggest anything?"

First of all, Joanna, can I just say that I'm actually a little jealous of your lemon yellow bathroom? Yellow's such a cheerful color, and though it's been a challenge to match, at least you're not stuck with an impossible pink-and-maroon bathroom like mine.

Anyway, my initial thought is to simply use a white shower curtain. It's fresh and clean and might help offset all that yellow a bit. I especially love the frilly, feminine White Devil Shower Curtain from India Rose, above, $96 at Burke Decor. Or you could just get a plain white shower curtain and jazz it up by sewing a band of yellow fabric across the bottom, or by simply glue-gunning on a length of yellow ribbon or rick-rack as contrasting trim.

But if you're set on a yellow-and-white patterned shower curtain, I scoured around a bit and found a few options for you:

Pottery Barn Tile Print Shower Curtain (center), $59

Anthropologie Languid Leaf Shower Curtain, left, and Sundew Shower Curtain, right, both $88. I like these because they have just a dash of sunny yellow on a mostly white field.

Marimekko Unikko Shower Curtain in Lime/Yellow (left), $49

Restoration Hardware Butter Collection Shower Curtains, $79 each

IKEA Saxan Shower Curtain, $4

When I started thinking about it, though, I realized that you shouldn't limit yourself to just shower curtains. Pretty much any kind of curtains could be pressed into service in a bathroom -- you'd simply need to use a waterproof liner so they don't get splashed and retrofit them with grommet holes or hang them on a pressure-mounted rod if your regular shower rod isn't detachable. (I like Anthropologie's Spiral Vine and Climbing Dahlia curtains, above, $98 and $88 for one 50-by-84-inch panel.)

You could also just pick out some fabric you like and have your local seamstress or drycleaner seam and hem it for you -- and voila, a totally custom shower curtain. Here, some yellow-and-white fabrics that caught my eye:

Marimekko Skulptur Yellow Fabric, $70 per 59-by-36-inch section, and Stilla Yellow Fabric, $30 per 54-by-36-inch section

IKEA Katrin Fabric, $6 per 59-by-36-inch section

And here, again, is that great OD Zig Zag Fabric, $14 per 54-by-36-inch section at Hancock Fabrics

Readers, any other yellow-shower-curtain suggestions for Joanna -- or ideas on other hues that might work with the neon yellow in her bathroom? (She mentioned that apple green and aqua didn't jibe with her particular shade of yellow, but perhaps a graphic black and white, a dark chocolate brown, or a soothing, sophisticated gray would pair nicely with the bright yellow.)

If you have more ideas for Joanna, please post a comment and share them!

P.S. Click here for lots more yellow decor.

P.P.S. Have a design dilemma of your own? Send it in, along with a photo or two, and I'll put it up here for a communal brainstorming session.


Barb McMahon said...

I once had a pink and maroon and MINT GREEN bathroom....

A cotton curtain or sheet works fine on its own without a plastic liner. It will get wet, but the water won't splash onto the floor.

It's much more environmentally-friendly than a plastic curtain.

Barb McMahon said...

...And welcome back!

Now go lie down.

Leslie (Reclaiming Miss Havisham) said...

I'm the make your own shower curtain EXPERT. Stay away from metal grommets. It's harder than it looks and always ends up with someone getting their thumb smashed with a hammer

Anonymous said...

I have this one and it's got SOME lemon yellow in it...but lots of other bright colors that you could pick up with towels, rugs, etc. Makes for a fun bathroom! (as such a room SHOULD be!)

Make sure to choose CLOTHESLINE design when you open the link


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