...because home doesn't happen overnight.

Handy Hubby was busy laboring over the Labor Day weekend.  Busy gutting this bathroom over at the Underdog…

The black mold we discovered behind the original 50’s shower tile surround prompted the tear out.

{kitchen side of the bathroom wall}

While we got rid of the mold’s appearance by treating it with chlorine, we soon discovered {thanks to some very smart readers and good ol’ research} that the mold wasn’t really gone.

Even though we couldn’t see any mold with our naked eyes anymore, the spores were still there. Since we’ve already found a knowledgable and reliable plumber who has been working to update our Underdog’s plumbing AND since one wall of the bathroom was already opened up from behind because of the kitchen renovation, we bit the bullet and decided to go ahead and tackle the bathroom renovation before moving in.

HH talked to our plumber and he said he could work on the bathroom’s plumbing but we really need to choose fixtures soon to get the process going.  Picture me wide-eyed.  I’d been holding off on dreaming up a bathroom makeover since I figured it wouldn’t happen for a while.  Plus, I tend to get a little scatter-brained if I’m thinking about too much at once.  You know…kitchen, living room, mudroom/dining room, etc.  Well, bring on the scatter-braininess.

To focus, I set to work coming up with a general feel for the bathroom.  This particular bathroom {one of two full baths in the Underdog…no, we haven’t even investigated the other one yet} will function as our kids’ and guests’ bathroom.  It’s located right off the hallway to the bedrooms, near the great room.

As I revealed last week, I’m leaning towards a more masculine feel for this house.  That’s not to say I want it to look like a bachelor pad, but I’m really drawn to light-dark contrast, neutrals, and textural accents versus colorful ones.  Taking that into consideration, I put together a very elementary mood board.  Elementary as in I’m not sure that each item I’ve shown is available or within our budget but I like the overall feel.  Creating a mood board always helps me nail down a mood and feel that I can tweak as I go.

Primarily, this bathroom will function as our kids’ bathroom.  When we have guests, they will use this bathroom too.  I absolutely don’t want a kid theme going on.  I want it to be relevant now and in 10 years when our boys are teenagers.

Kid/Guest Bathroom

1 – I’d love to add an industrial, rustic touch with a barn light like this one.

2 – Ever since Victoria painted her bedroom in Benjamin Moore’s gravel gray, I’ve been itching to try it somewhere.  Maybe on the outside of a claw foot tub or above white subway tile for contrast in the bathroom?

3 – I’d love to DIY a white subway tile floor-to-ceiling shower/tub surround and then continue the subway tile halfway up the walls in the rest of the bathroom.  It’d really keep the small bathroom feeling light and airy.

4 – For the floor, I want to keep it light but add some texture and pattern with smaller tiles…possibly marble hexagons?

5 – A long, textured shower curtain encloses the tub.  Nothing too frilly for the kids.

6 – A hand towel decked in broad gray and white stripes goes along well with the masculine feel.

7 – A simple round mirror above the vanity softens all the hard lines and surfaces of the utilitarian room.

8 – I’ve got a thing for vanities that are open below the sink.  I think it gives them more of a furniture {versus cabinet} feel and takes up less visual space.  I like the fact that this one has a drawer at the bottom for storage.  I found this vanity in stock at our local Home Depot a few weeks ago.

9 – Back in the spring I visited a reclaimed housewares outlet in Cincy and so began my claw foot tub obsession.  If at all possible, I want to squeeze a claw foot tub into the bathroom.  I had one as a little kid and remember it fondly.  It felt like I was in a big boat.  For practicality, I’d add a shower fixture/sprayer attachment so guests and our grown kiddos {later…not now} could take showers if they wanted.  And as I suggested above, the tub could provide a strong contrast to all that white if I painted the exterior in BM gravel gray.  HINT: We’re off to check out a craigslisted claw foot tub tonight!

10 – Obviously, this bullrush basket is way outta my league.  $375!!!  I think I should be able to find something similar {and cheaper!} in texture to act as a catchall for kids’ dirty clothes and towels.

I’m diggin’ the overall look and feel of the mood board.  Here’s hoping we can tweak it a bit and bring it to life!

images:  1-3) Dana Miller for House*Tweaking  4) Polyvore collage by Dana Miller…images linked to above

61 Comments

07.September.2011

Love it!!! Inspires me to do the same in my ‘manly’ household. ;-)

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07.September.2011

We recently redid a vintage 1940s pink bathroom in our house (gutted also because of rot and mold). We used white subways up to the ceiling in the tub enclosure and halfway up all around the rest of the small (7×9 or so) bathroom; I used a light gray grout, which shows off the shape of the tile and, I hope, won’t get grungy looking (this bathroom is used by my two teenagers!). I painted the area above the tile a darkish gray (BM Storm) and, my favorite part, replaced the old Band-Aid pink hex tile floor with matte black 1.5-inch hex tiles with charcoal grout. I loved the idea of marble but couldn’t face the idea of that beautiful tile etched with my 15-year-old’s drips of nail polish remover and goodness knows what else!

I was inspired by the downstairs bathroom on doorsixteen.com, which has a black penny tile floor with black grout and white subways. Her upstairs bathroom, with marble hex floors and some amazing wallpaper (and a clawfoot tub), is to die for too.

I’m loving watching the transformation of the Underdog. Can’t wait to see the end results in the bathroom.

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07.September.2011

The bathroom idea looks so great but as an everyday user of a claw foot tub I would caution that they are kind of a pain. Be really careful choosing one that has been refinshed well – mine looked fine for about two years and once it started peeling there’s no stopping it. You have to get two shower curtains to go all the way around and if you do a real shower, the kits that are really sturdy are kind of expensive. For a guest bathroom the look is pretty but for the kids to use everyday . . . just saying, it ain’t as cool as it appears (: I can’t wait to get a “real” tub!

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I love this inspiration board and the subtle nautical theme. The basket and light fixture complement each other well, I think!

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07.September.2011

You know, I looked around, and probably missed it, but I’m curious: how many sqft is the underdog?

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replied on September 7th, 2011

James – The Underdog is just shy of 1,700 sq ft. 1,677 to be exact. There is no unfinished basement – just a concrete slab. We don’t have any plans to expand the footprint of the house, so 1,700 sq ft it is!

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07.September.2011

I can’t believe you came up with that mood board out of nowhere like that. That would have taken me days. Great aesthetic!

FYI: My most recent apartment rental had a cast iron tub which made for the best baths EVER, but the shower curtains were always an issue. It had a handheld shower attachment. To keep water from splashing out mid-shower, my mother and I ended up buying 3 fabric shower curtain liners to overlap all the way around. We also ended up shortening them all by about 16″ so they wouldn’t drag on the floor of the tub and puff inward while the water ran. And even shortened, the enclosed space and overlap meant they got moldy fast.

Just a heads-up! You are clearly a much better housekeeper than I so it may not bother you at all to wash the curtain liners every week or so, but it bothered me :).

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replied on September 7th, 2011

Jen – I don’t use curtain liners. I’ve never liked them. I just use fabric shower curtains {washable, of course} and throw them in with the bath towels weekly. Good to know about the big perimeter of the tub! I may have to sew several fabric curtains together to make one continuous loop around the tub. Luckily, our boys still just take baths so I can fiddle with the whole curtain idea for a while to get it right for us. Thanks!

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07.September.2011

Beautiful mood board! It reminds me of the bathroom reno here – http://wildinkpress.com/blog/2010/05/17/guest-bathroom-reveal/ I’ve had it bookmarked for a long time in my inspiration file for our next house!

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replied on September 7th, 2011

Liz – Totally cute bathroom! Thanks for the link.

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07.September.2011

Totally digging it. And the basket for various things that usually end up on the floor is genius.

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07.September.2011

have you ever looked for baskets at Home Emporium? it’s a fantastic shop with lots of basket options and much more here in Cincy.

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07.September.2011

I’m a “fan” of Building Value on Facebook. Yesterday they posted photos of stuff they have in stock. As of then, they had three clawfoot tubs available.

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07.September.2011

The last time I was in the States I picked up some of those West Elm towels! Love them! Your light fixture is awesome too. Reading about this reno is a a blast. Enjoyed your kid’s artwork yesterday!

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07.September.2011

lowes has a light just like that one for $25. I just put it up on my porch and love it!

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07.September.2011

They have similar but slightly smaller baskets at Target for a lot less than 375. I’ve been eyeing them for weeks now.

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07.September.2011

Hey – looks great! I like the hexagonal marble tile, but as soon as I saw this mood board, two other tiling options immediately popped in my head: penny tile (so, so cheap, but classic and fun for a kids bathroom) and marble laid in a chevron or herringbone pattern. I think the chevron or herringbone would look the bathroom look bigger, because you would be using larger tiles, so less grout lines! Also, Pottery Barn has an exact knock-off of this basket (it’s on my Christmas list, and yes, it’s only Sept but I flag things all year): http://www.potterybarn.com/products/beachcomber-baskets/?pkey=e%7Cbasket%7C37%7Cbest%7C0%7C1%7C24%7C%7C4&cm_src=PRODUCTSEARCH||NoFacet-_-NoFacet-_-NoMerchRules-_-

P.S. Apparently Lowe’s sells marble window sashes which are pretty reasonable; someone used them as a backsplash herringbone pattern – think I saw it on Pinterest

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replied on September 8th, 2011

Candice – The penny tile and herringbone patterns are other great alternatives!

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07.September.2011

For the basket, Wisteria has an almost identical one for I think $59. Love their baskets!

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07.September.2011

I love the look! Not too different from the design I have for our guest/kids bath that we’re in the middle of remodeling. A few things thoughts though…

I would never put marble in a kid’s bath. It’s beautiful but it stains, etches, is soft, and chips. Anything acidic, oily, or dark colored can stain or etch it. This includes hair products, shampoo, conditioner, urine (for the misses), puke (for the sick people who miss), makeup (yes I know you have boys but it’s for guests too), and most importantly shaving cream which is extremely acidic. Heck even contact solution and water can etch marble. To help keep it looking nice you also need to seal marble every 6 months or so. Yes some sealers say you can go longer but that is with no wear and as a main bathroom this will get plenty of wear.

I found some good porcelain alternatives though. Both American Olean and Daltile make a marble look a like. You can see both sided by side when I was doing research for my bathroom here:
http://threeacres.wordpress.com/2011/03/04/tile-tile-more-tile/

I also think you’ll want more storage than one drawer for two kids. Do you have a linen closet in the space? Maybe change the mirror to a medicine cabinet?

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replied on September 8th, 2011

Robin – Thanks for all the helpful info! There is a linen closet just outside the bathroom that can house some things and I plan on hanging some sort of organizer on the back of the bathroom door too.

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07.September.2011

like your blog. am becoming quite a regular it seems. good luck with the new house. just a quick note: i just saw a ‘copy cat chic’ version of the bullrush basket at this store the other day, thought you might like a heads up: http://www.worldmarket.com/product/index.jsp?productId=11632548
not quite the same but at least it’s not $375. :)

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08.September.2011

I don’t think you can ever go wrong with subway tile, classic! Target has a similar basket for $40 in the section where the Smith and Hawken items are, usually near the candles. I have the square version and it’s HUGE, perfect for throw blankets we use in the living room. A link to the round one: http://www.target.com/p/Round-Seagrass-Basket/-/A-12319330

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08.September.2011

This is exactly the color scheme I have planned for our master bath reno and almost exactly the same style. It helps to see your mood board to help me picture it better. I have been wondering about what tile to put on the floor and your marble hex idea looks perfect! The only decision left for me to make, then, is what color to paint the outside of the tub…?

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08.September.2011

I just started thinking about our kids’ bathroom this week, although I’m not planning to make any changes anytime soon. It’s fun to see your preliminary mood board. It’s very classy yet functional.

Pier 1 has some great water hyacinth baskets that are very affordable. http://www.pier1.com/catalog/browse/0506.baskets

And Ten Thousand Villages (a fair trade retailer with a store near you, I think) always has lots of beautiful baskets. Here are some of them: http://www.tenthousandvillages.com/storage-and-organizing-baskets

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08.September.2011

Great ideas for a bathroom!
Just a hint- Lowes has the exact same barn light in their “outdoor” light section that would be a great option. It runs right at $25 so it may be great for the wallet also!
Here is the link:
http://www.lowes.com/pd_190827-76219-AAW1691STEEL_4294857032+4294867539+4294965576_4294937087_?productId=1054411&Ns=p_product_prd_lis_ord_nbr|0||p_product_qty_sales_dollar|1&pl=1&currentURL=%2Fpl_Portfolio_4294857032%2B4294867539%2B4294965576_4294937087_%3FNs%3Dp_product_prd_lis_ord_nbr%7C0%7C%7Cp_product_qty_sales_dollar%7C1&facetInfo=Portfolio|Wall%20Fixtures

We painte ours black and used them as outdoor lights on our farmhouse:)

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replied on September 8th, 2011

Brittany – Thanks so much for the link to a cheaper alternative!!!

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08.September.2011

Sorry to hear about the mold but love the bathroom mood board! Can’t wait to see it start to come together!

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08.September.2011

Very nice! We are thinking about buying our rental we are in, and I am eager to redo the girls/guest bathroom. Three girls have to share it. Love the colors.

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08.September.2011

I am so grateful I found your blog. We are in a similar situation. My husband and I are eager to find inspiration here. Thank you! I also want to add that when shopping for my sister’s apartment about a month ago, we found those baskets like the one on your board at Hobby Lobby. I think she spent about $30 on hers, can’t remember the range of prices on all of them though. =)

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08.September.2011

Love it! Can’t wait to see if you wind up with the tub you want. Gorgeous mood board.

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08.September.2011

Delicious! I love the soothing colors and the rustic feeling coming from the light fixture, basket and sink. I purchased a huge basket like that at Homegoods for $39.99. I keep it in our family room and it holds 4 blankets and a pillow. When we watch movies the kids head to the basket and grab a blanket to snuggle with.
Your inspiration board makes me want to start doing some tweaking of my own. :-)

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Marble hexagon and white subway tile… I love it! That’s exactly what I want to do with our toothpaste green 1940s bathroom when we remodel it. The hubs doesn’t know about that project yet, but it’s coming.

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Love the bathroom plan – it sounds like it’ll be great!

I’m not sure if anyone mentioned this, but Crate and Barrel has almost an identical basket (the Basay Basket) available for a MUCH cheaper price. Definitely worth checking out!!

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08.September.2011

Love your blog and love the bathroom plan. I don’t know how you do it all. Do you get more hours per day in that part of the country :)
First time commenting but had to second the Crate and Barrel basket idea. I have two and love them. They are large and have great texture.
Keep doing what you’re doing because you do a great job!

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replied on September 8th, 2011

Jwaysh – “Do you get more hours per day in that part of the country?” ….IF ONLY!!!! As much as we love working on, thinking about and planning out the Underdog, it will be so nice to have it livable soon. That should free up a bunch of time for oh, I don’t know, decorating?

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08.September.2011

Love your ideas for the bathroom! Just a FYI- I bought a bullrush-esque basket at Home Goods a few weeks ago. I absolutely love it and its price- $12 (i think)! Happy Hunting…

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08.September.2011

Hi Dana, love what you have so far. On the bullrush basket that is out of your league….
you may be able to fashion one out of rope and then dry brush stain on it so that the new rope has some patina to it. The Nate Show just had one on yesterday (Seattle area). You may be able to pick up the how to’s from his website if you are interestesd.

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08.September.2011

We have a clawfoot in our bathroom now…that needs to be replaced or refinished (it’s sad). I’ve always loved the look of them, but for showering…I’m thinking no now. It’s so tall compared to a standard built in shower/tub combo, and I’m short…means for a delicate situation getting in and out of the tub for showering! My parents are getting older, and when they visit it’s VERY difficult for them to get in and out without the handrail.

Just a word of caution, since this is a kids/guest bath…They are beautiful to have, but just some things to think about!

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replied on September 8th, 2011

Bryn – Thanks for the insight into the trials and tribulations of claw foot tub showering! Mainly, the bathroom will serve as our kids’ bath. Guests will use it only while visiting…mainly just the toilet and sink. Most of our family lives in the area, so overnight {i.e. showering guests} are extremely rare. {We don’t even have a guest room anyways!} Even so, we plan on converting the tub/shower combo in the master bathroom into a walk-in shower – no tub – to meet our showering needs. I know it’s not for everyone and I understand it’s much different than bathing in a more modern tub, but I think it will serve us well.

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08.September.2011

Love the bathroom ideas! I have the same sink from home depot. It’s great, sturdy and very reasonably priced! Can’t wait to see the final product! Good luck with your reno!

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08.September.2011

Love your plan! We recently had to gut our guest bath due to black mold. This is the direction we’re headed in with ours.

Also, I think World Market has a basket similar to the one you pictured. I think PB (or maybe it was West Elm?) has one, too.

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08.September.2011

Please, please install storage!! I’m living without ANY built-in storage in both our bathrooms (we rent). Cabinets are not just for medicine! Eventually your young sons will likely want deodorant, razors, shaving cream…and even now you may want a place that is invisible to your guests for the nail clipper, toothbrushes, hair combs and extra shampoo.

And speaking of claw-foot tubs – plan now for a place to leave the products that are currently in use: bars of soap, bottles of liquid soap, shampoo and conditioner etc. etc. – that is easily and safely reached from the bathtub.

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replied on September 8th, 2011

Fairfax Avenue – Luckily, there is a decent linen closet just outside the kid/guest bathroom. I plan on storing rarely used toiletries in it. Regularly required toiletries will stay within the bathroom…either in the drawer of the vanity, in the open space below the sink {basket?}, under a hollow kids’ stool, or hanging in a fabric organizer {I’d love to make one/buy a handmade one in a fun print} on the back of the bathroom door. We are pretty good about limiting unnecessary items {including toiletries} in our home so that should help to keep it clutter free.

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09.September.2011

Could you install a good sized (or as big as will fit) medicine cabinet in-between the studs for those necessary toiletries?

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09.September.2011

I have recently fallen in love the the industrial look, especially when it is soften/glammed up by marble. Loving this moodboard! Can’t wait to see the results.

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09.September.2011

In 2009 I bought a house that has a bathroom with a hexagon tile pattern (probably not marble?) and we LOVE it! Easy to clean, looks amazing with little care needed and so far very durable. Good luck!

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replied on September 10th, 2011

Jessica – Yeah, I’m still thinking smaller tiles of some sort {i.e. small hexagons} are the way to go. I know they will require more grout but they’ll be good for traction on a slippery bathroom floor with kiddos running around. In our {master} bathroom, we may venture to something a little larger. Glad to hear you love your hexagon tile!

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09.September.2011

I know you have already been sent a lot of other alternative/cheaper baskets, but Crate & Barrel has one for $69.96, the Basay Basket, that looks identical (item #FY329). Hope this helps!

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09.September.2011

The dark paint color in the mood board (which I love!) made me think about paint colors for our possible bathroom reno. I’ve noticed in my new house – which has darker, painted walls, that it always looks like there are water streaks running down the walls. I never noticed this in the house I grew up in – that had wallpaper. We aren’t good about running the fans after a shower – is this the cause (it looked like this before we moved in though). Is this common with dark paint in the bathroom? Does it matter what sheen is used?

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replied on September 10th, 2011

Melissa – I noticed ‘streaks’ in our master bathroom at our last house only when/immediately after showering. The house was new {only 4 years old} and the bathroom was painted a light gray in an eggshell finish. We were pretty good at running the bathroom fan for at least 20 minutes after showering. After airing out with the fan running, the streaks always disappeared. Maybe just try to be more diligent about running your bathroom fan during and for at least 20 minutes after showering. I don’t think the color, material or sheen of the wall has anything to do with it although the streaks may be more noticeable on certain surfaces. Good luck!

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10.September.2011

Home goods had those baskets,i got a huge one for blankets and throw pillows for about 39.00.

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13.September.2011

Just finished installing 1 inch hex tile on my “work in progress” en suite bathroom floor. LOVE it, but it was a real pain to make sure it was spaced properly. Hubby swore we’re never installing mosaic tile ever again, but now that he’s had a few days to admire it all grouted I think he’s changing his mind. It is absolutely gorgeous, even as ceramic, marble would be my dream (maybe for the next house). Hope you still go with hex tile, it is really beautiful, rich in texture and timeless :)

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13.September.2011

Love this. Masculine without being overt. I’m actually going for a grey/creamy white stripe in my nursery for our newest addition. We didn’t find out the sex so I wanted something that was neutral… and nothing too baby because the room will serve as a guest room as well.

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14.September.2011

Love your blog! :)

I’ve got a question about that mold you found. I’ve also been researching “mold clean-up” for some mold that we have in the basement (and some general MUSTY smells around the house) that we can’t quite locate (and we’ve only been in this 1973 home for about 9 months now). Anyhow, I have read, also that BLEACH doesn’t really kill mold, just bleaches the color out. In your research, have you found any products that really do KILL the mold from porous materials?

Also, I have noticed streaks in my bathroom paint, too, but it would dry. I thought it had to do with the environmentally friendly (no VOC paint) finishes that I’ve been using. Anyone else find this to be true, too?

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replied on September 15th, 2011

Serena – Most of what we found in the way of mold abatement was what you’re describing. Which is the main reason we decided to go ahead and rip out any and all surfaces affected by the mold. The only real way to get rid of the mold is to, well, get rid of it. As in remove any wood, drywall, plaster, etc that shows signs of mold. We also read that bleaching then ‘encapsulating’ the mold with a heavy-duty primer would keep the spores from floating around in the air but we felt this wasn’t the best solution for us. In the end, we just wanted it gone to avoid any health issues.

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10.October.2011

You may already know this, but I happened to be at Lowe’s today and saw an “outdoor light” that looks exactly like these “barn lights” that are only $24.99 a piece. They are located in the outdoor lighting section. Check them out- maybe they will work for you. :)

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07.February.2013

Hey Dana – thought I’d share another source for a similar style basket to the one you included in the mood board – I actually have three of these (two larger and one smaller) in my home and I love the style with the chalkboard… Hope it helps, good luck!! :)

http://www.target.com/s?searchTerm=Basket+with+chalkboard&category=0%7CAll%7Cmatchallpartial%7Call+categories

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replied on February 8th, 2013

I love these too! I have one in Mabrey’s room for her dirty clothes.

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04.March.2014

[…] this is going to be a really awesome bathroom. For the past two years, it’s been this unfinished eyesore that I shield my eyes from every […]

13.March.2014

[…] the bathroom prepped for tile, we started thinking ahead. The original plan for the room was to use the same skinny subway tile we have in the kitchen for the shower walls and […]




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