Soaking in serenity

With crystals hanging from black and white umbrellas over a pedestal tub, tiny rainbows bathe Shanna and Jeremy Crew’s one-of-a-kind bathroom in light.

Splish, splash! Someone’s taking a bath under umbrellas and rainbows.

With crystals hanging from black and white umbrellas over a pedestal tub, tiny rainbows bathe Shanna and Jeremy Crew’s one-of-a-kind bathroom in light.

When the Crews moved into their new house on South First Street, Shanna immediately began sprucing up the place, and the bathroom was her first challenge. The roughly 5-by-7-foot bathroom was a work of art that “just fell together,” Shanna said.

“I started painting the walls and it just evolved,” she said. “When I painted the blue color, it looked pretty but plain, so I added the trompe-l’oeil.”

The trompe-l’oeil, a French term that means “fooling the eye,” makes the aqua walls appear to have molding and grooves.

Shanna said her children — Devon, 13; Weston, 9; and Eva, 5 — had fun helping her paint and choosing items for the bathroom.

“I wanted my kids to feel like they are a part of it and to take pride and enjoy it,” Shanna said.

On the left side of the room rests a wooden desk with white handles, which Shanna repainted to match the blue walls. An antique iron and cream stool sits beneath.

“I change my mind a lot, depending on what cheap furniture I can find on the side of the road, and this table fit in this space perfectly,” she said.

A mirror hangs in front, and Shanna built a Gothic arch in the nook above the desk.

“I wanted to add things to make it look like 1907, to add character to make it seem a little more original,” she said.

Behind the Gothic arch hangs an umbrella curtain, which matches the white and black umbrellas hanging above the tub on the opposite side. Acrylic crystals hang from the umbrellas.

“Later on in the day, the sun will come through the windows and shine on the hanging disco ball and reflect off all the crystals,” Shanna said. “It creates twinkling rainbows all over the room. My kids really like to take bubble baths with all the rainbows everywhere. Even our cat Luna likes it and pounces on them. It’s such a fun and creative place to be.”

Shanna pointed out that while the pedestal tub, which is original to the 1907 house, is great for human use, it’s also sturdy enough for animal use.

“The tub really has been abused,” she said with a laugh. “We’ve bathed chickens in it, a goat in it. They let their ducks swim in it. Our family’s brought some crazy things in this house. Oh, if the walls could talk.”

Above the tub, against black and white stripes, hangs an ornate winged lion mold.

“This was a family joke because it was the ugliest thing we could find in a thrift store,” Shanna said. “It was gold plastic with a clock in the center and velvet and roses. It was something Elvis would probably have been proud to have in his bathroom.”

Shanna removed the clock, velvet and roses and painted it bronze to match the bronze and black painted tub.

“I think it’s cool now, and Eva loves it,” she said. “We are having a mirror cut to fit in the center because she wants to be able to look at herself while playing with bubbles.”

Near the tub, large candles sit on silver pedestals that can be lit during a bubble bath.

“Here is another tip,” Shanna said, pointing to the large flowers next to the pedestals. “To hide your ugly, half-used soap, put it in a soap dish and place fake flowers over it that match the candle. You have to experiment, but when you find the right ones, it works out very beautifully.”

Across the bathtub is a white pedestal sink and toilet, and above the toilet is a small cabinet that is used “to tuck all the bright-colored kids’ potions and lotions and toys away,” Shanna said. “That way, they are not distracting from the feel of the room.”

She turned around in the bathroom, looking at the walls.

“This is what I wanted — a restful, peaceful place in the middle of all the chaos,” she said. “I wanted it to be really special, not just because we spend so much time getting ready in here, but for our guests. I want them to feel special and realize we put some thought into how they feel when they walk into the room.”

Look for the Crews’ house in a future issue of Charm.