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…

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After:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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 I found the vessel sink on Overstock.com.  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.

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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.

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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.

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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.*

Floor and Decor.

This is a sponsored post written by myself.

Please excuse the radio silence for the past week.
We went on vacation and 2 of my little men picked up a crappy virus.
We’ve been laying low and having lots of cuddle time waiting it out.
Suffice it to say I’ve been going a little stir crazy.

I did get a small break and got to slip away to visit the Disneyland of flooring stores (aka Floor & Decor in Draper, UT).

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This store popped up in the parking lot of Cowabunga Bay in Draper recently and I had the opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes tour before the grand opening this Wednesday, 7/30.
Holy Schmoly this place is huge!

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75,000 square feet of tile, wood flooring, and other decor. They pride themselves in having the largest selection and being the lowest price leaders in the hard flooring industry with great customer service.

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If you’ve ever shopped for tile, you normally go in to a show room, pick what you want from the display on the wall then place your order.  At that point they will normally tell you your order will take 2-4 weeks to arrive. Not here. They keep everything that’s on display in stock. They claim to have over 1 million square feet of flooring in the store.  See what you want, take it home today.  Much different than my experience with trying to buy flooring.

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On a side note, how gorgeous is this honed granite?

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Hello future mud room of my dreams.  That white veining…somebody pinch me.

They also have rows and rows of faux wood in a tile which is hugely popular.  I was hard pressed to determine if a lot of it was actually wood or tile.  And if you’re the DIY sort of person, they teach weekly workshops on how to lay tile yourself.

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In addition to the ceramic, porcelain and natural stone tiles they also carry a gigantic selection of hardwoods from engineered to bamboo, pre-finished to unfinished.

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If I could turn back the clock I wish I would have gone with this Montpelier Wide Plank Oak in my own home.

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While I was there I was able to corner a tile expert and get some advice regarding the marble tile situation in my master bathroom.  He gave me some valuable insight which I can’t wait to investigate.  Stay tuned.

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So here’s the exciting news…Wednesday night from 5-8 they are holding a networking event for Contractors and Pros.  This will be a great night for pros to get to know the store. Vendors will be there, the evening will be catered and get this…they will be giving away a brand new Dodge Ram Truck to one lucky pro!

Saturday, (8/1) they will holding a Super Saturday event.  Kind of like a huge block party.  There will be food trucks, members of the Salt Lake Real Monarch team, a BMX bike show set up in the parking lot and more.  You thought the Ram Truck thing was cool? They will be giving 200 people a chance to roll some dice to spell “FLOORS”.  If someone can do it they will win $1,000,000.

Floor & Decor is located at 12101 S. State Street although they do have stores all over the country.  Don’t have a store in your area? No worries, you can buy online.

Hope to see you there!

New art for my living room from Artfully Walls.

*This is a sponsored post written by myself.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.  I received product to review but in no way influenced my opinion about my experience.*

Finding the right piece of art can be tricky.  Most of the time picking a beautiful piece is first determined by your budget.  Hey, I’d love an original Van Gogh but…
And I’ll be honest, “I’d better be better damn sure I like for EVER if I’m gonna pay that much…” has gone through my mind a time or two.
So then you go looking for something you can 1)- first afford, 2)- something that speaks to you.
Let’s face it, art can be a pressure-filled experience but it shouldn’t be.

I recently came across ArtfullyWalls which is an online art store with thousands of pieces ranging from all styles and all prices.  I’ve shopped art and know how outrageously expensive it can be.  I was delightfully surprised at how affordable most of the pieces were.

I’ve been wanting a large piece of art to fill the blank wall above my fireplace mantel for some time.  Something modern but not just some personality-less colors blended together like so many modern pieces and be.  I came across this piece and found it fascinating.

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It’s called Yellow Zebra by Kristi Kohut.

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It’s a print of several cut up pieces of lined paper taped together by yellow washi tape repeated in a pattern.

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It’s totally different than anything I’ve seen.  Everyone who sees it walks up to study it.  I realize art is subjective…not everyone likes the same things but that’s the beauty of art…
it’s a way to express oneself.

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And it fills up my mantel space just how I wanted it to.  The great thing about ArtfullyWalls is that you can purchase just the print or have is custom framed in one of their many frame selections (which is what we did).  So convenient.

I also couldn’t pass up this 6×6 little bird on canvas (Bird on a Black Background):

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When I saw it I was reminded of a mom and dad bird who laid some eggs in a next in our front yard tree.  The bird hatched and fell out of the nest.  Then the neighborhood cat (nicknamed el gato) got to the bird.  The little men and I rescued it the bird and put it in a bird house.  The mamma bird kept watch until the baby was strong enough to fly away.  Wherever el gato went, the mamma bird stayed right above it chirping a warning to alert the baby bird.  Admittedly a mushy story to justify an art selection.

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It’s the perfect little addition to the bookshelves in the living room.

If you’re looking for art you should check out ArtfullyWalls.  They have thousands of selections in all styles that can be framed (or not).

You can also follow them on Social Media platforms Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.