Functional bathroom zen

by jenny on 24 March 2012 - 11:55pm

Yay! From the encouraging facebook comments and comments left on my updated entryway post, it looks like I should at least try the blogging thing for a while. If nothing else, I’m excited to have some kind of record of my progress. I have a bad habit of focusing on all the things yet undone and forget how far I’ve already come!

One thing I noticed from my first post is that my image quality could be considerably improved… I thought my little Canon PowerShot was doing the trick, but I tried out Lih’s fancy-pants Nikon DX for the shots below and (wow) what a difference. So I’ll try to use that from now on… though I have lotsandlots of project photos using the old camera that I plan to put up over time, so you’ll probably be able to tell ahead of time which projects are new. :)

Just to throw you a curve-ball, I’m now going to share an old project using the new camera… haha!

So how many times have you seen a soothing zen display and thought “That’s just a couple of rocks! Any five-year-old could have thrown that together!” But given a blank slate and some rocks, you feel like a dork trying to create that same effect at home. Or is that just me? I tend to gravitate toward the pre-conceived zen displays that come with all parts included and a picture on the box of how it goes together, like this centerpiece from Bed Bath & Beyond that lives on my dining room table.


Left to my own devices, I tend to think too much… should I arrange the rocks into a shape? Stack them or scatter them? Group them? And with too much fussing, end up with something that doesn’t look zen at all. So it surprised me when this little bathroom display happened completely by accident.


I was trying to throw something together for a house party a couple of years ago — I tried several arrangements with everything placed just-so and didn’t like any of them. Then I got distracted and unceremoniously dumped my handful of rocks on the tray intending to try again later… and when I came back into the room, it looked right. Just like that.


The best part is I don’t have to worry about “messing it up” to clean it. I just grab all the rocks, wipe the soapstone down with oil, and dump them back in place. No thought at all. I think zen is about learning to let go… wait, that sounds cliché, but I mean it!

And the candle gets used frequently. Quite frequently. The fact is, I had a naked pillar candle sitting right about there long before the zen display for… well… other reasons. I was trying to make our hard-working, functional bathroom candle a little more aesthetically pleasing and a little less obvious. And I think it worked.


By the way, this is the second or third pillar candle to be featured in this display. The others, like I said, were hard-working.

Sure looks nicer than some other options I’ve seen…


P.S. At some point I’ll definitely go through my old camera images and post more details about the entryway transformation.