Moving In: Kex

This summer, I spent some time in Iceland. I gave you all the notes for that trip on Monday, but I got to thinking about the hostel I stayed in there, and, well, it is fantasy status. Let’s review, shall we?

Right, Kex is cooler than your house.

But, like, don’t you wish it WERE your house? I do. The best part of their rehabbed-biscuit-factory-chic (tres S/S ‘/14) is that you can do this on the cheap in a few afternoons at flea markets. The look translates well across all parts of your home, but wouldn’t this be a bangin’ bathroom? I think so.

If you’re like me, you probably live in a house or apartment with a slab floor. Pull up whatever hideous formica or faux tile or (god forbid) carpet is around, and follow these instructions. Getting back to the concrete is a whole-weekend process, but it’s a snap to clean and can take a real beating, both pluses in the most abused, moistest room of your house. The good people at Kex did this for the whole place and covered it up for warmth with threadbare oriental rugs. I think this would be rad, and also let’s people know, “hey, yeah, I’ve been to Iceland, friður, okay?”

It runs you about $100 on Etsy and stands the test of time. I have like six of these.
It runs you about $100 on Etsy and stands the test of time. I have like six of these.

They also did a lot of dark-ish tiles like these, which keep the room dark and tranquil, but also easy to clean and continuous.

A simple bowl sink like this one from Sears keeps things functional. Post that up on a floating dark wood shelf. If you’re fancy and have the equipment, do like, several floating shelves below and put your towels on that.

Since Kex is a hostel, they had communal showers, which are not reallllly a hallmark of the American Way of Being, but I think this could be a cool take on that:

I found this project in a backissue of Domino-- buy salvaged windows for pennies on the dollar at your local architectural salvage.
I found this project in a back issue of Domino– buy salvaged windows for pennies on the dollar at your local architectural salvage.

The shower was seriously an extension of the concrete with drain and six shower heads. These window panes could be installed using something like this procedure and would make it more homey, less “148 young travelers looking at each other nakey.” Install a couple low flow heads (or just one) to make this your special quiet place.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: this bathroom has no storage whatsoever. You are correct, but I already thought of that. If money’s no object (or you have one of these lying around, like my mom did for some reason), an old-fashioned card catalog in one corner would look RAD.

It ROTATES. You could store every lipstick, soap, and loofa EVER in this sucker.
It ROTATES. You could store every lipstick, soap, and loofa EVER in this sucker.

Kex had a lot of these, presumably from every library in Iceland, and they used them for all kinds of things– keys, cooking supplies, maps, office needs, reservations, money, etc. If money is an object, pick up a beat up old metal cabinet (it’ll be way under $200; some people will just give them to you), and fix it up. This dude went with green, but something in a tan or dove gray would be lovely.

These are way cheaper and still look good.
These are way cheaper and still look good.

Lastly, you’re going to want a couple cute things to hang up. I recommend some antique mirrors in weathered brass, and then this:

If you can find a roll-down chart on the cheap, all the better.
If you can find a roll-down chart on the cheap, all the better.

annnnnd a couple of these, as a nod to the Nordic landscape you’re emulating:

If you've got a rack hanging around, you could dismantle it, mount it, and use that, too.
If you’ve got a rack hanging around, you could dismantle it, mount it, and use that, too.

Finish it up with a couple old china saucers for soap and you’ve got an Icelandic-inspired bathroom that will make everyone feel right at home.

What do you think? Too much fur in the bathroom? Not enough? Let me know.

 

2 Replies to “Moving In: Kex”

  1. Rotating storage?!?! I have so little any sort of storage space in my house I am obsessed with anything storage related…lol… and the salvage windows… how boho chic!

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