Bathroom Review, 1 year later…

I recently visited a dear friend and toured her custom home that she her husband built and have been living in for about 3 years now.  On one hand she was house proud but then revealed that she wanted to move.  As she walked me around she recounted how intimidating the building process was and she picked a lot of finishes on the fly that she was really unhappy with now.  Counters that clashed with backsplashes that clashed with curtains that clashed with paint choices.  Been there done that.  You may remember the series I did last year on taking a look back on several of the choices we made with our own home.  It’s SO frustrating to regret design choices you’ve spent a money on and agonized over.

Today I’m taking a look back on this basement bathroom we did almost 1 1/2 years ago.
Rewind actually two years ago to when this bathroom was first started…




This basement bathroom services a basement guest room and basement family room.  It’s the smallest bathroom in the house and also my favorite bathroom in the house.


I tend to favor form over function and that often gets me in to trouble.
The Mr. and I have a running joke.  When I tell him about a new piece of furniture I’m interested in he’ll say, “Is it uncomfortable? Yes?…then bring it in.”
I’ve since learned my lesson and have been much more cogniscent of making sure things are beautiful AND comfortable.
Balancing form and function is a tricky tight rope but I think I got it right with this bathroom.

First up, the vanity (if you can call it that).  We actually used a countertop from Craft-Art and did a waterfall edge but left the vanity out.


The carpenter who installed it for us had a hard time wrapping his head around my instructions.
He’d say,”I need the vanity first before installing the countertop.”
“There is not vanity…we’re just using the countertop.”
I like to think of it as the modern-minimalist take on the pedestal sink.
We gave up having under-sink closed storage but that’s just fine because it’s a basement bathroom that doesn’t get principal use.
If it really bugged me I could do some kind of curtain but then that would defeat the purpose of the modern-minimalist look.
Plus we have the built-in medicine cabinet (Restoration Hardware) that offers plenty of storage.


As for the wood counter…I was most concerned about how it would hold up.  Wood and water don’t typically go together.  I’m quick to wipe up splashes on the wood after use.  However, the basement is my boy’s hangout.  When my boy’s friends leave I’ll go down and find water everywhere.  I first have a slight panic attack while frantically wiping up the water but then I notice that it didn’t affect the wood.
Like at all.
We used Waterlox to seal the wood and that stuff is marvelous.  It’s good stuff.  The counter looks as good as it did the first day we installed it.


The faucet is one of my favorite things about the bathroom.  It’s called the Trinsic wall faucet by Delta.  It’s the perfect blend of form meets function.  I love the sleekness of it but the wall mount feature has become my favorite.   From this point on I don’t think I will ever go back to using a counter mount faucet again.  One of the things that drives me crazy is hard water deposits at the base of a counter mounter faucet.  If you don’t stay on top of wiping up water ever single time you can’t avoid the crusty grime.   There’s none of that with a wall mount.  I would use this faucet in every bathroom of my house.


 I found the vessel sink on  It was a good price, the perfect rectangular dimensions but it’s not very deep which means it allows more splashing to escape.  We could buy a deeper sink but then they counter would need to sit lower  and it’s already low as-is to accommodate the height of the sink. The other problem with the anatomy of a vessel sink is there usually isn’t an overflow hole that allows water to drain if the main drain is plugged up and the water keeps running.  That’s just what we need…a flooded basement because my boys and their friends were playing with the water and the sink.  To remedy this we drilled holes in the chrome stopper that goes in to the neck drain of the sink.  So even if the stopper is depressed, water will still drain through it.  Unfortunately we’ll never be able to fill up the sink but that’s just fine for assurance that the flood will never be in danger of flooding.  It’s not a huge deal and doesn’t bother me much because it’s a bathroom that gets occasional use.

Now for the loo.  The Corrente toilet is made by Delta and we received it to review a while ago.


In comparison to our other toilets it feels a little big and clunky.  It has a quick release seat which makes it easier for cleaning but the mechanism is still a little cumbersome.  It’s not horrible to look at but I would say it’s the least eye-appealing of all our toilets.  The oval tank is sort of rounded and sits away from the wall so you can’t really set anything on the back-top of the toilet.  There’s no way to say this discreetly but in all honesty it’s the most comfortable sit.  I’m still in love with the form of our upstairs one-piece toilet but in terms of comfort, this is the Cadillac of toilets.

On a side note…I’m really interested in trying Delta’s new FlushIQ toilet.  Have you seen this thing?

Hands-free, overflow protection! Smart Delta, smart.

I love the shower too.  I really haven’t showered in it but maybe 3 or 4 times but when I did it was great.


A few things I love about it…the tile.  We went with inexpensive subway tile from the TileShop because it’s affordable but also timeless and classic.  To give it a little visual interest I had the tile guy cut some subway tile up to create this Cheveron pattern.  The wall niche is perfect for soaps and shampoos which means no more balancing them on the ledge of the tub.  I’m also a huge fan of dark grout in a shower because discolored grout is inevitable no matter how much you clean it.

I love the shower/bath faucet the In2ition by Delta as well.  The wand is built in to the shower head so even when you need to pull the wand down for use the shower head still runs at the same time as the wand.  I don’t love the look of having a chrome tube always hanging down but at this point you can’t get around that.  The day a faucet company can make a retractable water hose will be a happy day in my bathroom book.


We used a dark gray 13×20 matte porcelain floor tile from the Tile Shop laid in a brick pattern.  I love the dark tile and would do it again.  The only thing I would have to weigh would be doing a matte tile again.  I love the look the matte tile but it is a little trickier to clean.  Because it isn’t a glossy surface the rag gets caught on the finish of the matte tile which I don’t love.  If I’m using something like a Swiffer sweeper the tile actually snags some of the lint from the mop pad and leaves a little cotton residue on the floor.  Again that question, do you prefer form or function?
All in all I have loved this bathroom.

See original post here.

*All photos by Allison Bills Photography.*

Plans for the shed.

Behold the backyard Tuff shed.


Utilitarian, personality-less, zero character, boarding on eye sore, backyard pod for storing all our junk.  I’ve been wanting to sink my design teeth in to ever since it arrived three years ago.  Tuff Shed makes a dang good shed but they are severely lacking in the eye candy department.  Well that’s all about to change.  I’ve been collecting ideas for years and have talked the Mr. off the ledge to let me tackle it (which means he’ll be doing more than his fair share of work).  With the help of ACE Hardware we’ll be rolling up our sleeves.

Here’s some of my inspiration…

First, add board and batten trim.

Next, get rid of the blue and go two-toned.

I’ll be painting everything white except for the doors.  Originally I had planned to add trim to the doors and paint them black but these gray doors are just too de-lish to not consider.

When the light is just right you can see just how much crap I’ve stuffed in that shed through the windows.
It’s not a pretty sight.
To remedy that and add some window bling I’m loving the idea of Bermuda shutters. They’ll look great plus hide my hoarding secrets.

Last, we’ll add some window boxes.  Very similar to the ones we made for our front windows.

Here’s a recap.

IMG_7422 detail

Stay tuned for progress and tutorials.

Boy Bedroom Reveal.

It’s the oldest boy’s bedroom reveal day!
Let us all sigh a breath of relief.
I had this dream that my boys would grow up best of buddies, never fight, love sharing a room (obviously I have only-child-syndrome).
Ehem, I stand corrected.
Best to give them their own rooms.
Without further adieu…


I embarrassed to show that this is what we started with.
Kind of like that junk drawer everyone has but ours was a whole room.  (Please tell me we’re not the only one who had one of these).

Mid-process looked like this:


I fell in love with the gorgeous reclaimed New York brick from Brick-It but once we put it up but it just felt like too much going on and made the room feel too dark.  See previous post here.
So one coat of Silent White by Clark + Kensington later…

Today’s view:



(Yes that is the “BANE-OF-MY-EXISTENCE-METAL-DRESSER”…well sort of.  I’m actually still working on it.  I found another one that was slightly bigger and thought…”Meh, why not really try and kill myself and tackle another one?”  That was a train wreck so I sent it off to a miracle worker named Amy of Distressed By Design who sanded it down BY HAND to reveal the beauty under the paint.  I’m just about ready to send the first one off to her next.  More about her soon).

The wall opposite had not been painted in at least 10 years.


Up went some planks, on went some paint and down came that 1970’s light.



Then there was the issue of this wall.  The room is long and narrow.  The boy wanted to whole room to be painted blue.  I tried to explain to him about being too dark and lighting so in the end we compromised on just one wall.


After the wall was painted it was definitely blue…A LOT OF BLUE (Blue Fedora by Valspar).
In attempt to break things up and add some personality I was inspired by this room and decided to try out my hand at a similar treatment.

IMG_7154 graffiti

Now I have to admit I’m no artist.  My ability is limited to stick figures and things I can draw with a ruler.  No problem.  I downloaded a ton of images from Etsy and my new favorite site for images and fonts called Creative Market (you can see the images on my Pinterest page).  Next I pulled out my trusty overhead projector , shot them on to the wall and traced them with a paint pen.






This nook was so akward.  Putting corner shelves in was the best move ever.








I’m in love with the new bedding especially the wool blanket from Faribault Woolen Mills.  My dad used to have several of these heavy wool blankets.  When he moved I urged him to sell them at our garage sale.  I now cringe that they’re gone.  Oh the follies of youth.






Bed: Vintage, painted two-tone Smoke Gray, Oil-based by Rustoleum from ACE Hardware.
Stripe sheets: West Elm.
Gray sheets: Ikea
Yellow and gray wool stripe blanket: Faribault Woolen Mills.
Pillow: Etsy.
White paint: Silent White, Clark + Kensington, ACE Hardware.
Blue wall: Blue Fedora, Valspar, ACE Hardware.
Bedside wall light: School House Electric.
Ceiling Light: School House Electric.
Brick Wall: Brick-It.
Pull down Map and Blue Stool: School auction on Public Surplus.
Radio on shelf: Dot&Bo.
Wall clock: Alice Lane.
Wall hooks: Pottery Barn.
Joshua tree art: Joss & Main.
Wall planks and shelves built and installed by Springer Builders found on HomeAdvisor.

Corner shelf tutorial here.
Plank wall post.
Brick wall post.

More on the room here:

*Some affiliate links present.  I received some items for use in this post.*