Our Kids Bathroom (also the Guest bathroom) is under renovation (you can read the background story here), and today I am excited to share the design plan with you! I want to tell you how and why I chose the tile I did, and how I tied in other elements of the space.
Choosing a tile scheme for a bathroom can be difficult because there are so many choices – I mean, so so many. It is easy to get overwhelmed, and it can be a lot of pressure. Tile is not easily changed like a rug or a lampshade, so you know you need to love it for at least the next ten years. As a designer, I am well aware of all of the amazing options I could choose, but I happen to love looking at tile and imagining all sorts of scenarios. Truth be told though, it is still always a hard choice.
I think the best advice I can give regarding tile choice is this…
Our Kids Bath is under construction, and I am so excited to share all of the details and the design plan with you! What I truly love about design is taking something not so great and making it beautiful, unique, and functional. My desire in sharing spaces with you is to put you inside of my brain and take you along as I formulate a space.
But where to even begin? This is such a contorted story…I guess I will start from the very, very beginning.
Here is what the Kids Bathroom looked like when we moved in (MLS photo). Yes, in its original 1921 state. Now we knew it needed some attention when we bought this house (ALL of the bathrooms did), but we were hoping to save some of it because it is neat and old. I mean, check out all of those showerheads! Were they ahead of their time or what?!
We figured this project would be waaaaaaay down the line. But boy, were we wrong! Since our kids were so young when we moved into this house, we never used the shower. Our kids only took baths. But about two months into living here, a friend of ours came to stay with us for a few days, and he used the shower. (the kids bathroom = the guest bathroom) A couple of weeks later, we discovered the shower coming through the living room downstairs and found out we had a major issue.
Thus began the first, major, thought-we-had-more-time makeover in this house.
I tried to keep as much original as I could – layout, tile height (halfway up wall), cast iron tub, tub faucet, etc., but as you can imagine, it was a mess, and most of it had to go.
We replaced the pink and blue tiles with gray subway tile but kept the shower a fresh beveled white subway brick. It still had the feel of the original with a modern touch. Keep in mind this bathroom was pretty small, around 40 sf. I could touch the walls with my arms outstretched, and while we knew it was fine for then having four really little kids, we realized it would be a tight squeeze for four bigger kids. (this is also the bathroom we shared while we were saving our money to redo our shut-down Master Bath – six people in here was…full)
So the plan was to expand it someday in the far future using a funny little hallway and a couple of odd closets nearby, while keeping the work we had already done. On we went about three years when we began to we notice something a bit disconcerting…
One of the best additions to our Garden Makeover were these string lights from Ballard Designs. The lights cast a beautiful ambiance at night and make the space useable after dark – a BIG plus for a weary Mommy & Daddy that want to sit and talk after the kids are down. We purchased this type of lighting from a different company at a previous home of ours, and we were not impressed with the quality at all. I ordered these from Ballard (after several friends recommended them), and when I received them, I was very happy with the product. They seem much more heavy duty than our old ones, and apt to withstand the cold and rain.
In all honesty, I was a little intimidated about hanging the lights, so I thought I would offer some tips we learned along the way to help those of you who may share the same sentiment.
Without a doubt, one of my most popular projects has been my DIY Acrylic Curtain Rods. (some people say lucite, some say acrylic – potatuh, potatah) So imagine my feelings one night when I am searching for hardware for our Master Bath renovation, and I come upon an image of this.
brass pipe clip
Do you see what I see? I instantly thought “I CAN MAKE SOMETHING WITH THIS!” Originally, I was thinking I could put brass rods through these to make some killer hardware, but then I pondered acrylic. It would definitely be cheaper, and since the pipe clips are a little more bulky and industrial looking, perhaps that would be the perfect combination of mechanical and sophisticated.
This is a rather convoluted story, but follow me on the struggle for an idea to come to fruition…
So the next day, I called up my local plumbing supply searching for brass pipe clips. They did not have them, never heard of them. I called several others…nothing. No one seemed to have ever heard of pipe clips; rather, pipe clips that were brass (aka pretty). Finally, I got my answer after calling yet another plumbing supply store (and after he laughed at me when I told him I was looking for brass pipe clips). After sending him the picture, he said, “Oh, these are probably European. In the UK and countries over there, they care about stuff like this. You will never find these here.” (WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU AMERICA?! : ) )
Therefore, I did what I always do when I cannot find something in the States, I go to Ebay UK. My first set of clips I ordered from this seller. They were very nice and easy to work with. Sadly, in the midst of all of our home renovations, the pipe clips got lost. By the time I went back to order, my Ebay UK seller was out of the ones I needed. I had to find another source. Then I found Supreme Plumb. On their site, they tell you they will not ship internationally, but they will. Just email them.
Note: When I am shipping items internationally, I always request Expedited Shipping. It is worth the extra few dollars, and trust me, Standard Shipping from other countries these past couple of years has been a nightmare. I bought some art for a client last year, and it was stuck in customs for MONTHS.
Just FYI, if you prefer a silver look rather than a gold, pipe clips come in chrome, too.
chrome pipe clip
The new pipe clips arrived, and I was ready to get started.