Botticelli Birth of Venus wallpaper muralIf your soul cries out for the wild ocean waves, here’s a different way to express it in your decor — not sailboats or beach scenes, but a luxurious private retreat that takes its inspiration from Boticelli’s enduring masterpiece, The Birth of Venus.

Ah, the mystery and myth of Venus! The Roman version of Aphrodite, queen of love, her feminine power has stirred and fascinated artists for centuries… Born of the sea and the sky, she is said to have floated in to Cyprus on a giant conch or scallop shell — which makes it clear why shellfish is widely believed to have aphrodisiac properties in many cultures!

And where better to do the Venus theme than in your bathroom?

Venus Shower Curtain - Coastal Decor ShopYes, a representational wallpaper mural of Botticelli’s Venus would be a terrific centrepiece to execute the theme — but another way is to hint at the Venus theme a bit less broadly, with gentle colors in an antique mood, touches of gold, mother-of-pearl, and the fascinating shapes of shells… A clear vinyl shower curtain with a pattern of golden shells might be the focus — I’d look for a wallpaper in marble pattern, or do a little faux finishing (marble is one of the easiest paint effects to learn and DIY effectively).

A pedestal sink will suggest the columns of an ancient temple — but who’s got the budget to replace a plumbing fixture on a whim? Instead, make your own pedestal to hold flowers, candles, a stunning blown-glass shell-shaped bowl, or delicate scented soaps.

How to Make a
Faux-Marble Pedestal:
Shop a hardware store for a piece of Sono tube (the cardboard tube used in pouring cement for deck post supports). Glue narrow strips of wood molding (also from your local hardware store) vertically around the outside of the tube, if you like, for extra 3-D effect.

Paint it in a faux finish to replicate a marble column — tiny feather-weight veins of gold (craft paint) will add a nice touch. Or, if you don’t use the wood strips, you can easily wrap the smooth tube in marble-patterned vinyl wallpaper.

Another piece of wood, cut to size, painted, and glued in place, will give your pedestal a top so you can use it as a small table. Coat the whole thing with a couple of coats of a clear waterproof sealer, and there you go!

glass conch shell bowl - Museum Shop of the Art Institute of ChicagoAdd piles of thick soft off-white towels, bath accessories in gold tones or clear lucite, and an oversized mirror — as large as your bathroom dimensions will allow! — with an ornate antique-style frame.

And where is Venus, in this gorgeously indulgent golden shell of a bathing spot?

You, yourself, are the love goddess, of course. Bring on the bubbles!

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