Monday, July 20, 2015

Powder Room Update

Hi guys!

Well, I hope I'm not jinxing anything by writing this post, but I'm too giddy not to share. Construction has resumed on our powder room! Long time readers will remember me moaning well over a year ago about how we would love a bathroom on our main floor (we don't have one; long story), and may even remember the panic room post from last summer about our failed stalled construction on that project.

It hasn't been touched since that post. And it still looked exactly the same, until we got home from our vacation last week (because, seriously, who can visit a house like that and not get the bug to renovate?) We had a long talk on our car ride home about how to pull this off, and shortly after our return, my kitchen was once again hosting door frame builds. Finally!

Happily, Ryan's had a year to recover from major construction, and got to hit a few softballs on our bedroom remake, so he's ready to dive back in and pick up the power tools on this long-forgotten powder room. In fact, I'm listening to the power saw as I write this post. Sweet sweet music.

Here's why I might be jinxing it right now. We have to hire a plumber. And my husband- admiringly so- has never agreed to do that before. He has demolished a bathroom, rerouted pipes, including the main sewage line of our house, fixed our broken water heater (more than once), fixed all the toilets, and installed new faucets, totally on his own. But we've finally broken him. Adding new plumbing from scratch and making a bathroom where there wasn't one is just too scary, even for my fearless handy man.

Imagine this: You just sawed a hole in the floor next to your kitchen. As you look down into it you can see through to your basement. You see the plastic storage bins stacked just so on wire shelves, the pool table that's covered in lamps your wife used to like, and way too many cobwebs.

Now, make it so someone can pee in the hole.

{100% naturally occurring wood marks; No 2 x 4's were harmed in the making of this post}

See? Too scary. So the options came down to this: 1) Leave the room a rubble pile forever, 2) Drywall it back up and pretend it never happened (probably Ryan's first choice), or 3), Hire someone for the scary parts. We agreed he would get a quote for option 3. Note that he did not agree to DO option 3.

So, this may go nowhere. But he does seem motivated, and has been working quite diligently on it since we got home. He even went so far as to let me get him a plumber recommendation. I, of course, went straight to work revising the design plan and dreaming about wall paper.

We are modifying our original plan slightly and trying for a metal console sink base instead of a porcelain one. I wanted something that was still classic but a little more modern and a little less cottage.

What's that? I can't afford that sink even in my wildest dreams? Oh, pshh, technicalities. We ordered some parts today and I have high hopes that it will be a DIY post in the near future. Cross your fingers for us!

My plan was always to do hex tile on the floor with some sort of pattern. But because of the switch to wallpaper (see below) I'm sticking with plain marble. In order to further keep it from being too busy (and thanks to this photo by Lucy Laught), I'm going with a larger 2" scale.

And get this- after hours of searching online for sconces, I remembered we had two unopened RH sconces in the basement! (Yeah, that's bad, I know).

I had been searching for something a little more modern...maybe antique brass, maybe copper, possibly a little bit mid-century, but then I remembered I had these and thought hey, why complicate this? These are timeless and they're already in my house. Done.

I'm still loving the mirror we picked up at the Heritage Barn Sale for this project, and miraculously, in spite of a year-long stay on the panic room floor, it's still in one piece!

I'm not still loving the idea of blush pink paint (even though I of course still love the idea of blush pink paint). It's just that how can I not take this opportunity to put amazing wallpaper in my house? I have been uncontrollably pinning wallpaper.

I love the Woods wallpaper by Cole and Son. My single concern was that it is everywhere and I didn't really want to jump on any trend bandwagons. I'm hoping for a room that is purely classic and could go any which way- a little bit modern farmhouse, a little bit Parisian apartment, a little bit minimalist. But I couldn't find anything I liked better than those trees, and everything I pinned was basically me trying to find something that was those trees without being those trees. Know what I mean? So I decided to just go with them.

Then I read this by Grace Bonney:

"I went back and forth on including this wallpaper, but ultimately landed on including it for one reason: I still love it and remember it fondly. This paper got majorly overexposed during the early Domino Magazine years. It was the precursor to “Keep Calm” madness and seemed to pop up in everyone’s home. I had to stop looking at it for a while, but when I thought about wallpapers I love and still love seeing in people’s homes, this one was literally the first I thought of. Nature is timeless, so I think the strength of this design (which was actually created in 1959) is that it may go through bouts of overexposure, but the design itself is beautiful and classic."

~ Grace Bonney, "12 Wallpapers We Trust"

And I feel better. Yay!

I did seriously entertain this stunning large-scale floral print:

But in the end, it just kept coming back to the Woods. Ryan made his classic crack: "I've said this to you before, Laura, but I think you use too much color."

I like the way that the tiles and the wallpaper have a ton of pattern but still manage to feel like a serene backdrop because of the monochromatic palette. To me, it feels beautiful and classic. 

Of course today it looks like or classic....

We have a long way to go! But at least there is hope. 


  1. Just in case my vote would ever count.....I vote for the large scale floral wallpaper! I am loving those and I can live vicariously through you! Haha! Also that vanity is amazeballs! Fingers crossed everything works out this time!

    1. Ahh!! Don't do this to me, LOL! I know, that wallpaper is sooooo amazing isn't it? These decisions are too hard!

  2. Did you ever DIY the sink base? I have been lusting after this style sink as well. We are currently re-doing our powder room and I would love to figure out a low cost option for making this happen!

    1. Argh, Lauryn, I am sad to report that we have not. YET! My husband wanted to refi the house, and in order to get an appraisal we couldn't have a giant hole in the middle of the main floor. Those picky banks! We had to board up the powder room. Sad sad day! Anyway, we still have most of the parts and it was going to add up to about $500 to do it. Still better than $2K for a Resto sink but not exactly low cost. If you want, you can send me your email and I will share the part sources with you- then I can live vicariously through your powder room. :) My email is in the contact section!

  3. Great tutorial with a lot of valuable information! it absolutely was very and informative read! I’ll be again later for certain.Brian

  4. Hi Laura,
    Could you please share the information about the tiles, both the floor and the wall? They are exactly what I was looking for. Thank you.

    1. Hi! Sorry for the delayed response! Both tiles are from Home Depot- I didn't write down the exact specs but they're both in stock in the store. The floor tile is a 1" marble hexagonal tile that comes in 12"sq. sheets. The subway tile is a standard white ceramic 3" x 6"- super low cost! You'll find them both in the tile section. Good luck!

    2. Oh, I should clarify- the floor tiles in that Instagram picture are the same marble hexagon but in a 2" (at least it looks like) which aren't in the store but are at Home Depot online.

  5. LOVE your progress so far and your vision for what you want your stairs to look like–it’s going to look amazing! I can’t wait to meet you next month at Haven!


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