ORC- Hall Bathroom Week 3



One Room Challenge week 3! We have made so much progress.  Tile and rough electrical are DONE. The vanity is in, the faucets are in. We have working plumbing. Such a beautiful sight! This clean slate is going to be so fun to style.

So, you may notice that there drywall isn’t textured or mudded. Thats because I have to carve out the time to do this..eek! But we really needed the second toilet in. Over the last week we had several instances where three people needed to go, 2 of them being kids unable to hold it. There may or may not have been some peeing in the bushes in the backyard….So yeah, we will either cover the toilet well or remove the tank part to get around it. Thats the plan.

Whats left is really all up to us. Here’s what we still need to do: mud and texture over the new drywall, paint the walls and baseboard, hang the mirror, decorate and style! The electrician will come back to add the finishing pieces, but not till we get the walls all done. The kids are super excited about the bathroom. All in all its been a fairly smooth experience for our family of five sharing one bathroom. Definitely helps that our kids are young enough to not mind too much, and our toddler isn’t potty trained, but oh that’s planned to start when this bathroom is done.

Here’s some crappy iphone photos to enjoy!


About the sconce placement (that sconce on the counter is an old one, new ones showing up soon), the pics only make it look uneven, its level in real life. But I am a little worried about the height. Last minute I changed the height to be a couple inches lower, wanting the flexibility to lower the mirror and also knowing that the sconce attached lower than the bulb. But, I may have made the wrong choice, so we may go in and raise it….if it drives me crazy. And yes, our door hardware is pretty bad, something on the list to update, along with the actual doors. This house was made with hardwood floors that were covered with carpet for years, so all the doors are cut to accomodate carpet, which we don’t have any more.


Guys, this toilet is awesome. Its a TOTO, its skirted, so cleaning is easier, and it works with the unifit so it allows for 3 different rough in distances.

So there you have it, lots done, still lots to do. Check out what others are doing here.


ORC- Hall Bathroom Week 2


We’re back! Week 2 of the One Room Challenge. In Week 1 I laid out the basic plan, and it’s really happening guys, the demo is DONE. All the old blue tile is gone, and get this, all the NEW tile is in! The rough plumbing is mostly done, we decided to change the shower valve. We had a 3 handle set up, which is an older or more traditional style. Because most shower/tub faucets are one handle, we weren’t finding any in our price range in matte black. It was an easy fix for our contractor. We choose to hire out for the demo, tiling, and plumbing. We are going to do a few DIY things, like paint, and texture the walls. We decided to hire for the small elecrtical changes.


Demo was messy! Fortunately our guys covered the house pretty well.


But look at where we are now? (please excuse the crappy iphone photos, I wont break out the real camera till we are done styling)


So much of the big stuff is done! I LOVE the grid layout. There is nothing wrong with staggered subway tile, used it for several other spaces. But grid, whether horizontal or vertical, is more modern and clean looking.

Oh, and I have never had a niche, and we finally do! I think the kids are going to enjoy using the new landscape for playing with their toys. We went with a white metal schluter around the subway tile, and I am so happy we did. initially we were going to use matte black to match the faucet. It would have been ok, and I’ve seen some bathrooms that it looked great in, but for this space, the white was the right choice. And lets just give a quick praise to schluter for letting us have simple modern tiling without beveled edges! Sometimes you don’t want a bevel.

Also this week, picked out my lights (will be sharing them soon), and I’m playing around with some decor. Looking pretty!



Still to do; complete plumbing, electrical, new drywall, patch and texture, paint, install toilet, install faucets, install lights, hang mirror, decorate/style! Whew, that’s quite a bit.

Well that’s all for this week, hopefully we continue with this momentum, and if you get a chance, pop in and check out what others are doign for their One Room Challenge.

ORC – Hall Bathroom Week 1


Here we go! Its my first time participating in the One Room Challenge, but I’ve been following and enjoying this challenge for a while. Some of my favorite designs and transformations were featured on ORC. I mean, look at this Master Bedroom, or this Office, or this Bathroom.  Here’s some more info on the ORC. Basically you will get to watch me make a space in 6 weeks! Yes, only 6 weeks. Obviously I’ve been mentally remodeling the space for much longer than that, but the work and finishing touches are happening fast.  The ORC is great because it allows you to see the full process designers use to create a space, planing, mood boards, selecting finishes, budgeting, etc.

The Plan

Our Hall bathroom is one of the most used spaces in our home, it’s the guest bathroom and the kid’s bathroom. During our large remodel of our common space (kitchen, living/dining room) we even used this bathroom as a make shift kitchen sink, coffee station. Maybe I’m due for a post about surving while living in the remodel. Since its one of the few spaces that has remained untouched, we decided its time to tackle it. Noticing mold in the grout and an uncleanable ring around the base of toilet and tub was also a big motivator. The mirror is builder grade and heavily distorted, I mean I love looking wider and all, not, but its time to go. The Bathtub faucet is an anomaly, the edge of it is sharp and worn away from I’m guessing years of hard water build up? I don’t know, but its freaks me out every time the kids take a bath, if they hit it, they would defnietly get a cut. I know they make cute covers, but my kids just pull them off, so no point. The current tile is very much not to my liking, and the vanity is also cheaply made and due to the finish wont take a coat of paint. Its at the point where it never looks or feels clean despite deep cleaning.

Heres what we are working with…


The pictures don’t do it justice, I swear. Also, don’t ask about those randomly placed ikea hooks/knobs on the wall. We’ve lived with this for almost 5 years! Amazing that I didn’t just start breaking tiles after 1 year.

So this is a bathroom, one that is used by three children and guests, it needs to be durable, forgiving, and budget friendly. About 4 years ago we remodeled our master bath- it was rushed and low budget due to a pipe burst and some damage. I really wanted matte black faucets and hardware. Unfortunately 4 years ago, matte black was just starting to catch on, the only options were soo expensive and special order- either we didn’t have the time to wait and see if we liked them or we didn’t have the budget. I settled on brass/gold (I’ll show it on the blog soon). We like it, but I never got over matte black, so when it came time for this hall bathroom, I knew matte black was a big starting point.

I’m hoping to have a clean, modern, relaxing space, but with my usual love of high contrast. I find most of my rooms have a hint of drama and high contrast- they aren’t washed out, even with all the white and neutral elements.

So far I’m still teasing out the accessories and decor so this is the hardscape mood board, I can be very picky about art, and finishing touches. But without further ado here’s where we are going…

Untitled design-2

mirror  | vanity | shower faucet | sink faucet | hexagon tile | subway tile | toilet

We found this very budget friendly white vanity, it came with a sink and countertop. It had the option of marble or quartz. Marble is beautiful, but this is a heavy use bathroom with kids, so we went with durability. For the floors, I’m loving hexagon tiles, and so are a lot of others. This tile is affordable, easily picked up at lowes, is neutral while still being interesting. The bathtub is staying, its in ok shape, a few nicks. The tub is cast iron, its crazy heavy and its white- so it stays. The walls are going to be a classic and modern 3×12 subway tile. But instead of the typical layout, we are going horizontal grid.

Then of course, vanity hardware will be changed out to matte black pulls and knobs. Faucets, matte black. The mirror was a nice find, look at that price! Its not the highest quality mirror, but its not distorted to make everything wider, and its pretty. Its got a rustic vintage feminin vibe, which is welcomes in this otherwise modern clean lined space.

The toilet is gong to be a toto, vespen II, it allows for adjusting the distance from the wall, because it offers the toto unifit adapter which gives the perfect fit for a 10, 12, or 14” rough in. Moving plumbing isn’t alwasy an option, so unifit comes to the rescue.

Well there you have it! The hard finishes are planned and we can break ground! See you next week for week 2. If you want to see what other designers and bloggers are cooking up, head over to ORC.


My Design History

I remember being curled up under a blanket on top of the heat register in my mothers family room pouring over her old issues of architectural digests. I loved the floors plans most, and would create my own. Redecorating my room was a favorite past time, whether it was wallpaper, paint, textiles, or simply rearranging the furniture, I loved to design my space even then. We moved often and touring open homes was intriguing to me even in elementary school, it gave me ideas for my own floor plans. In middle school I was introduce to drafting in an elective, I became energized and vowed then to become an architect.

But, as often happens to young dreams, I grew and my interests expanded. Adolescence brought about a new passion, the brain. I began to delve into psychology; cognitive neuroscience, research and clinical psychology. I ultimately went on to graduate school and became a therapist. And then life changed again, I had three children and with each child became more part time in my work, until finally stepping away completely after my third was born.

Design and interiors never left my life, despite the career change. My husband and I remodeled our way (much of it DIY, and even some large scale remodeling) through two homes. And you know the saying, do the work that energizes you, the “work” that you find yourself doing for fun, to relax, or in your free time? The “work” that ultimately isn’t work because its how you “play”? Well thats where I am now, starting this Interior Design business is play. Lets have some fun!