This is a story about how the bathroom I was the MOST nervous and stressed about actually turned out to be my favorite in this whole house. In case you are thinking “another Portland bathroom?” know that if you click in you’ll get some behind the scenes that I should be embarrassed by, but because I don’t have that gene in my DNA, I’ll instead tell millions. Do you remember seeing the Insta Stories earlier this year where we were actually placing blue painters tape on the wall of our studio as the “faucet,” “vanity top,” “mirror” and literally pretending to wash our hands and look in the mirror? That’s because this bathroom originally was done wrong and we had to fix it the day that the plumber was changing the placement of everything. The original placement of the wall mounted faucets was both not centered over the sink nor the right height. The sconces were also not centered and too wide. Who’s fault was it? Doesn’t matter but ultimately I have to take responsibility because I should have managed better. Full stop.
Moving plumbing and electrical is not ideal, but at least the walls weren’t closed up so we could do that. It all worked out.
All the “mistakes” were fixed, but I suppose those weren’t what I was actually nervous about here.
I was nervous that the large-scale tile would feel too contemporary for this house. I was worried that the faucets would look dated in this French gold. I was worried that mixing three tiles and one stone would be too much together. I was worried that the tile in the shower room had too much variety and texture. I was worried that the tub top and front wouldn’t turn out as imagined. I was worried that the faucet was designed just to go with a vessel sink. A lot of worries, folks.
MY LATEST VIDEOS
But good news. Somehow, all of these risks I (VERY NERVOUSLY) took ended up coming together in the best way possible because I actually LOVE this bathroom. In fact, it might be my favorite bathroom in the whole house. Take a look:
The wall-mount faucets (Kohler’s Finial Traditional) with the undermount sink are the way to modernize a gooseneck faucet. Typically, these would have been paired with a vessel, so doing an undermount (we used Kohler’s Caxton sink) looks unexpected yet beautiful. Their placement was really tricky though. Normally, a wall-mount faucet would have been installed at the center point of the mirror and the top of the counter, but because the gooseneck here extends the faucet profile higher, it had to go lower and closer to the sink to avoid too much splash and so the neck didn’t project over the mirror. We went with a placement 4 inches above the countertop and it worked out great.
Look at this beauty. Like I said, I was SO nervous about the French gold finish (which is softer and less potent than the vibrant polished brass, and I had never used it before so there was that element of not being positive I’d love it based on experience), but pairing it with the matte black hardware by Rejuvenation modernized it and kinda took it down a notch. I now very much regret not using this finish more because oh man I love it.
The backsplash tile is handmade, from Pratt & Larson, and it’s such a simple picket shape, but larger to work with the brick in the shower room. I went with a gray grout to show off the pattern a little bit, but not to be too dark. Almost like a shadow line, less like a color.
The vanity is the very simple Jacquard by Kohler that is super transitional; it can go more modern or more traditional (which works great as that style middle ground with the modern black finishes and the classic gooseneck faucets).
As is the case with the rest of the home, the lighting is from Rejuvenation and gives off a beautiful, soft light (which is needed in a vanity area). Originally, we had a double globe sconce that projected and as cute as they were, I really just didn’t love them in the space. They felt very industrial next to the delicate gooseneck faucet, and a little too “same-same” in terms of mirroring the widespread faucet handles. As I always say, you need a little tension in a room to make it good and interesting, and it was all started to get too symmetrical and matchy in set up.
Rounded off mirrors are having a moment right now and the typical rectangle is taking a break. Here, that shape worked so well to balance the sharp corners of the vanity and the picket tile. Plus, it echoes the soft curves of the faucet.
The countertop stone (that matches the tub front/top) is from Bedrosians and my goodness it’s STUNNING. It’s called “sky white” and we actually used it in the mountain fixer powder room, as well. It’s honed and just so beautiful.
At this point, you may have noticed that there are no windows in this bathroom yet there is so much gorgeous natural light in here. How could this be? It’s the science of the skylight! We worked with Velux throughout the whole home and their product is top notch.
Now into the shower room. Since this is a hall bathroom that is shared with two bedrooms, we wanted the ability to separate the vanity and the showering area so that multiple people could use the space at once.
In the shot above, you can see the FOUR different finishes—three tiles and the bathtub/countertop stone. While this could easily have look busy, since they all share the same color palette, it looks pretty darn beautiful and custom.
The key is mixing different sizes, patterns and finishes but in a consistent color palette. For instance, I wouldn’t have done a brick or subway tile on the backsplash because it would have almost competed with the shower room brick tile. The tile in the shower room has the most color and pattern (it looks different at different times), but it still works in the neutral palette.
There is a lot of variety in the tones of the wall tile (more than we had predicted which scared me at first), but it turned out BEAUTIFUL. As you can see, some of the edges are darker than others. If you want more consistency, then talk to Pratt & Larson about it. Since these are handmade, they’ll never all look identical, but they can work with you to get what you are looking for.
If you are wondering where the shower door or curtain is, well, it’s not there. I honestly just couldn’t decide what to do because if a family with small kids moved in then they likely wouldn’t want a big glass panel blocking the faucet handle. So we left that for the new owner to decide and shot the space without a curtain to showcase the gorgeous tile.
The tile looks bluer in some photos than others, so be sure to get samples as it was hard to shoot and changed with the light.
But look how beautiful and handmade it is in person. We chose the “Portland” edge which means a bit rougher but still consistent.
The French gold on that blue is just so beautiful.
All in all, the things I was most nervous about turned out to be exactly what makes this bathroom so special. I guess that’s why they say no risk, no reward. I could have phoned it in and done something simple, basic and neutral here in the name of “guest bathroom” but I’m SO glad we pushed the envelope just enough. Nothing here is some out-of-the-box funky/edgy design element, but taking a few chances with the tile shape/scale count, the faucet with the undermount sink, swapping out the sconces after install (and moving around the junction boxes before then) resulted in a bathroom I’m incredibly happy with and love so, so much (I hope you love it as much as I do).
As we’ve been doing for anyone who wants to recreate the look themselves, we pulled together a Get the Look with all the shopping details. And stay tuned for after the New Year for more reveals of some SUPER fun spaces (secret/hidden room, anyone?).
1. Large Picket Tile by Pratt & Larson | 2. Metal Framed Mirror by Rejuvenation | 3. Finial Wall-Mount Faucet by Kohler | 4. Jacquard Vanity by Kohler | 5. Sconce by Rejuvenation | 6. Cabinet Knob by Rejuvenation | 7. Cabinet Pull by Rejuvenation | 8. Finial Towel Ring by Kohler | 9. Bath Towel | 10. Hand Towel | 11. Hand Wash by Handmade. La Conner | 12. Hand Lotion by Handmade. La Conner | 13. Tray | 14. Ridge Cup via Mantel by Little Garage Shop | 15. Vase | 16. Wood Toothbrush | 17. White Toothbrush | 18. Caxton Sink by Kohler | 19. Shower Surround Tile by Pratt & Larson | 20. Finial Toilet Tissue Holder by Kohler | 21. Memoirs Toilet by Kohler | 22. Abstract Art by MaryAnn Puls | 23. Abstract Art by MaryAnn Puls | 24. Finial Shower Set by Kohler | 25. Marble Slab by Bedrosians | 26. Finial Towel Bar by Kohler | 27. Underscore Drop-In Tub by Kohler | 28. Wax Candle | 29. Ceramic Match Striker | 30. Skylight by Velux | 31. Herringbone Floor Tile | 32. Bath Brush | 33. Bath Towel | 34. Vase via Mantel by Bobbie Specker (similar) | 35. Window & Door Casing by Metrie | 36. Baseboard by Metrie | 37. Pure White by Sherwin-Williams | 38. Shampoo & Conditioner | 39. Interior Door Lever Set by Rejuvenation | 40. Interior Door by Metrie