The Thursday Thirteen turns crafty as we discover what 13 things you will have to do if you want your bathroom to look like this one. This eye-popping space is from Decorating For Under $100 (1971), from the decor wizards over at Better Homes and Gardens. Not, you will note, Better Homes and Bathrooms.
1. Make a striped awning from a shower curtain.
2. Oh, and you’d better make a roofing structure under it. You can pretend you are in a hut on a tropical island, that just happens to have a bathtub for a floor.
3. Now paint some really long dowels yellow. They are going to be bamboo tree trunks!
4. These are special bamboo trees that bear oranges. Special, fake ones. So you will also have to make many, many fake oranges.
5. Oh, don’t worry, it is very easy! Just take lots of styrofoam balls. Then put loads of messy papier mache all over them. Leave them to dry – I guess you’ll have to hang them up somehow. And then spray-paint them orange and hang them from the fake bamboo tree by paper clips.
6. If there are trees, there must be leaves. You have to have leaves! These are made from “two layers of velvet adhesive-backed paper.” No problem, I’m sure you can just pop down to the store and get some of that.
7. Next, you will embroider leaves and flowers on the rug. That’s what Better Homes and Gardens says you have to do!
8. Oh, and also you will embroider the toilet-seat cover. Yes, you will too, if you want a trendy 1970s look (don’t answer that).
9. The guest soaps have to look like mini oranges. Please shop endlessly until you find some. The guests, of course, must never use them: (a) because they are guest soaps and (b) because it will take you many months to find orange ones.
10. “Flowers on shelf were a craft project.” Yes, I’m sure they were. Courtesy of the nearest kindergarten.
11. The tissue holder is a shoebox covered in fur that was shed by the Cookie Monster. I’m not sure how you’re going to collect it, but maybe you know someone at Channel 13 (oh look, another Thursday 13!). The Cookie Monster Tissue Box is on that yellow shelf unit at the right. It is very shaggy (the box, not the shelf).
12. You can leave the brown and beige tiles alone. Yes, you really don’t have to paint them orange. You have done enough.
13. Now, take a long hard look at what you have done. You will think that maybe – just maybe – it is time to redecorate. Again.