February 26, 2018

We have focused most of our initial renovation efforts to the first floor, and so we reached a point where some parts of it were starting to look okay, but there was A CLEAR HINDRANCE that was full holding the main level back. The bathroom! Was so bad! Near the end I detested going in there to an extent that I stopped using it and walked upstairs for a bathroom. (Which, silver lining, made being bathroom-less during the renovation no adjustment at all.)

Now that our powder room is back I remember the glorious useful quaintness of a convenient half bath on the main level of your home. For guests! And yourself!


The room started with very chalky and very bad 1970’s tile, a too big vanity, wallpaper that I honestly didn’t hate but needed to strip for the sake of cleanliness and water damage.

We gutted everything, installed millwork, and laid tile which made everything feel completely fresh.

And got rid of the musty-ness! That you can probably sense what it smelled like just looking at the before photos.

The tile was the biggest and first main decision for the room. I went into full detail here about working with and installing hex tile and the many design options I considered.

An abbreviated version is that I love the black and white we settled on because it is vintage inspired while still feeling current. And I love this lesser dense pattern for the proportions of this room and because just the black grout contrasting with white tile creates a good amount of pattern all on its own.

We did the same millwork David installed in our living room which is beautiful and stately and also bring structural continuity to the house.


black hex tile | white hex tile | hand towels | metal storage bin (similar) 

A full vanity was entirely more storage than this room needed, so we got to rip it out and the space (no surprise) felt enormously bigger. I was deciding between this pedestal sink and the one we ultimately chose, so I ordered both because I knew I had to see them in the room to fully evaluate their sizing. I loved the one we picked when I saw it in person.

My people, I cannot believe this beautiful sink is so inexpensive. The lines and details are excellent.

And the faucet is another one where I’m like WAIT SERIOUSLY THIS IS ONLY $70? Actually upon writing this post I checked again and the price is down even lower to $57. Please buy this faucet if you need one; that price and how nice it is is unbelievable. In kitchens and baths, faucets make one of the most significant differences for how stylish the whole space feels (or doesn’t).


Once the basics were in, I considered adding a mod vibe for the mirror with this cb2 option. It was on the high price end of what I wanted to spend and was probably a touch too small.

I asked David to hold up this gorgeous mirror that THE PREVIOUS OWNERS OF THE HOME LEFT. It had been in our office and I’ve moved it around many places before because it looks good everywhere.

But once I held it up in here I think this will be where it permanently lives. It added some warmth the room needed. And once again, IT JUST LOOKS GOOD EVERYWHERE.


pedestal sink | polished chrome faucet | toilet | toilet paper holderornate mirror (similar) | vanilla hand soap

This room’s strength is the architectural details – millwork, hex tile, statement mirror, cool faucet. When styling it out, I kept in mind not over-decorating. Instead I want those structural elements to do the talking. Must show restraint when needed.

I considered adding some art, but when I simulated it, the room started feeling boxed in real quick. Maybe over time I will add a piece, but since I was on the fence, the free option is my default. And if I one day see something perfect I can add it on.

With removing the vanity, all of our storage would be taken care of by a bin for toilet paper storage and the nice built in medicine cabinet. I bought this bin because it has a little bit of an art deco thing I almost always am drawn to. It’s from homegoods, but I’ve linked a similar one.


towel bar (similar) | white flowers candle | face oil | magnolia bar soapswilhelmina mints | marble jar  | medicine cabinet knob

Stocking the medicine cabinet was one of the parts of this room I most looked forward to! I think it’s fun to have some special extras so guests can feel a little pampered. A nice brand of hand lotion and hand soaps. And then things like mints, floss, air freshener, feminine products, and a face mist.

For the cabinet hardware, since I only needed one I paid a little more for this tolson knob from Rejuvenation. As they always say, in design the details aren’t the details; they’re everything.

One last word, and it’s about mixed metals – they’re essential! This room has three different metals and you can totally get away with it. Not even getting away with it, like it’s GOOD. I don’t generally like rooms with only one metal. It feels heavy and dated, kind of in the way I think rooms are better with not just one wood tone.

In here we have mostly polished chrome, bronze in the big statement mirror, and black for the medicine cabinet knob (to connect to the black in the tile.) ALL together. And with this room being all neutral colors, the multiple metals (with the architecture) keep it interesting.

The powder room was a helpful first bathroom to do in our house and it has COMPLETELY inspired me to move on to the full baths upstairs. I’ve relearned how much a clean and even a little bit indulgent bathroom makes your whole home feel more relaxing.

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