‘House of the Year’ Bathroom Makeover

I’ve been in a lot of bathrooms in my life, sure. Powdering my pale little nose and trying to look ‘put together’ but not ‘whore-ish’. But I’ve only designed a few bathrooms and I find them tough. They just need to be so functional and they are often so small so where is my chance for style? You gotta try to find it, certainly, and it’s all about the lighting, mirrors, and just splurging on the bigger ‘moments.’


We wanted it to be a modern country bathroom — warm and casual, but fresh and still feeling very 2013. Jami and Isabella had Deary construction build this pretty console sink out of reclaimed wood, which I think turned out beautiful.


But the real stunner is that awesome Granada Tile. I’ve been a fan of that tile for a long time and can’t wait to use it in my own home. It has the perfect combination of organic and modern; it’s handmade so it has texture and the quality of feeling custom, BUT the pattern and colors are vibrant and so fresh and modern. Plus they are a small family run company in Los Angeles. That color in that pattern is instant happiness.

The shower is awesome, although we did try to get bathtub in there because Lord I do love a bathtub. Logistics with construction and availability with the sponsors kinda inhibited that, but the shower is great, too, don’t get me wrong.

modern country bathroom

We kept the farmhouse/country-vibe with the wall mount faucets from Moen, and then added a bit of industrial chic-ness with those Schoolhouse Electric sconces. The mirror was tricky and I went back and forth about it. Is it weird good or weird bad? We weren’t going to get rid of the window because we obviously loved the light, but we also kinda needed a mirror above the sink. So instead of trying to use a mirror that was roughly the same size and shape of the window, and therefore competing with it, we decided on something drastically different to just make it an obvious statement.

I love that sink very much. It’s simple and modern but not too mod. It gives a nod to a farmhouse style sink but it’s totally updated.

Resources: Schoolhouse Electric sconces  ($159) and ceiling fixture ($359). Tiles: $7.76 each; 8″ square; Granada Tiles. Sink $960; Lacava.com. Wood ($12 per board foot) The Hudson Company. Shower fixture $1232, shower arms  and sinks all from Moen.com.  Basket, Canvas.com. Stools; vintage. 

  1. LOVE this bathroom. So good for a country home.
    That tile is amazing. This bathroom seems like such a happy place.
    xo Quinn

    Quinn Cooper Style

    • Emily

      Ah, thanks Quinn! And thanks per usual for commenting. xxx

  2. DeeAnn

    Just watched your night stand How To…… Loved it… You make me smile

  3. Kelly

    I can’t even take how fantastic this is. I’m using that Granada Tile in my next bathroom. LOVE your style- wish you could do my whole house.

  4. The tile here and in the kitchen are so awesome! The custom vanity and the (good) mirror are pretty special, too! Beautiful!

  5. Ginger Searle

    Gorgeous! That tile is to die for. At first glance it seems to modern and yet the more I look at it, it looks like a quilt. It could work for anyone.

    • Emily

      I know. It could totally work in a spanish house, in a moroccan inspired house and in a midcentury house. I love it. xx

  6. Love this. Bookmarked it, etc.

    Any chance there are some not-quite-blog-worthy shots that are more pulled back? Would love to get a better feel for the whole room!

    • Emily

      I wish. This is kinda the bummer of magazines is that we choose the best shot that often doesn’t have all the information we want. I’m trying to do that less on my blog – and show pulled back shots even if there is too much going on and the angle is weird, etc,but for mags they really try to make every shot perfect which often means cropping in. :)

      • Noted. I love it even if I have to use my imagination a bit. Thanks for responding!

  7. Mirror is weird GOOD, what a creative idea to just put it across the window. Who would ever think of that? Nice one Emily!

    • Emily

      Ah, thank you!!

  8. Olivia K

    That tiling ahhh it’s love, just wonderful.

  9. Oh ! That tile –it makes me happy , and so does your blog!

  10. Catherine

    LOVE this bathroom! I like what you did with the window/mirror. One question- where does the ladder lead? Or is it just decorative?

  11. Alexis

    Seriously….you are so awesome! I’m amazed how well you pulled all this off…I mean country isn’t really your thing yet you rocked it better than the best ;) I wish I could have that bathroom! And I love the mirror.

    • Emily

      Thank you! I think thats why i loved the challenge. But i suppose I was raised in Oregon and Footloose is one of my favorite movies so i’ve got a country girl inside of me FOR SURE. xx

  12. Just love the tile!!! And the sink! I’m totally using that beautiful tile in my next project! Thanks Emily for all your awesome posts!

    • Emily

      Oh good. Use it. Its awesome. And thanks for all your kind words! xx

  13. amy h

    I think that is the same aqua toilet I have. I hope someone sold that on Craigslist or something! We have been working around the color of our 1950s toilet and sink for years, but I kind of love it that way.

  14. Tracy

    So far I’m loving this house — so breezy and beachy! One question about the bathroom though — is there space for “stuff”? I realize that the pics are generally more for art than function, however, at the end of the day, everything actually needs to be workable as a living space too. I think that one of the great challenges of a small room is creating clever storage. Where do you keep the blowdryer, brushes, combs, makeup, lotion, TP, etc…? Also I love the mirror placement — very modern and “out of the box” thinking there ;-)

  15. Ariana

    So far this my favorite room in the house of the year posts! Your work is beautiful and always looks effortless. Thanks for sharing your inspiring work. You are the next Martha for sure!

  16. Nick

    Hot Damn Dude. This bathroom is the sex.

    You’re ridiculous Emily (in a good way, of course).

  17. Heather Bateman

    LUV! LUV! LUV! the mirror over the window treatment. I will probably adopt a version of that. I have a VERY small 1930’s bathroom and the open sink base is an idea Irecently decided was the right solution for our small bath that is shared by 5 peeps.

  18. Bee

    Nice ideas for a small bathroom here. Most of us don’t have palatial bathrooms and need to make compromises. I like the mirror over the window. It contrasts with it but allows a lot of light from the window for grooming purposes. I put one of those hotel retractable mirrors in my bathroom and I use it a lot. I guess that would be another option for people who don’t want a mirror over their window.

    • monica

      bee, that is exactly what i was thinking…retractable mirrors…maybe one on each side. there was one at the hotel that I was just staying in that was lighted and had magnification. but, the mirror over the window doesn’t really bother me…:)

  19. I agrees that tile is stunning in a super cool way. Have you ever heard or seen Popham Designs? I did my blog post on them today. They are handmade cement tiles that are modern, graphic & colourful. Go check them out! {www.thepinkzipper.blogspot.ca}

  20. Sarah

    This bathroom is amazing! I love love love the sink faucet coming out of the wall. That’s a genius idea…and it adds SO much to the room!! And this tile is to die for. I love all the little details! {www.702parkproject.com}

  21. Jessica

    This bathroom is so great! I especially love that sink that you got from Moen. I think it would be perfect for my parents’ bathroom but I can’t find it anywhere online. Any information about where I could purchase this sink would be greatly appreciated! Thanks, Emily!

  22. Rae Ann

    Love everything about the entire house except for the bathroom mirror. To me, the window,mirror, and light sconces lines just compete in a way that is distracting to me. I would have reconfigured the window higher up in wall and hung mirror below. But, on a major plus side is that fabulous tile.

  23. Christina

    We have this tile in our master bathroom- love it so, so much! We are having to have it replaced though- lots of hairline cracks that really didn’t bother me, but then more/larger cracks started showing up. The tiles in the shower are fine- we think because of the shower pan/liner. Our contractors are going to put some kind of product on the foundation before retiling and hopefully that will solve our problem. Do you have any recs or experience with this tile cracking? Thanks!

  24. Elise

    Love the mirror – it’s definitely Weird Good! And the tile..the TILE!!! I already went to the website and ordered a sample of it, in the colorway you used and also in the black and white. Kitchen backsplash, here I come! Thanks, Emily, and as always – awesome job. You are sooo inspiring.

  25. hillary

    THAT TILE. Seriously deadly good. Also the mirror thing is pretty genius. I love the mix of modern sink and traditional faucets/showerhead. Doing two bathrooms in our house right now and it’s not so easy to strike that balance! Ended up going modern in one and traditional in the other but now I am wishing I mixed it up more.

  26. Amy

    The mirror is super weird good! It struck me as genius as soon as I saw it and was surprised to read you even questioned it. Love it.

  27. karen

    I think the mirror was a neat plan. I imagine the natural light would be useful for looking in the mirror. I’ve spent years in a windowless bathroom. Once I get into some natural light after the daily self-dazzling, I am sometimes (not so presently) surprised!

  28. Leslee

    I would live in this bathroom if i could. You’re such an inspiration!!! I love everything you do.

  29. OK, the mirror over the window…genius! I really love that! And that tile is sick. In the best possible way.

  30. Wendy

    love it!

  31. Amy

    Love it! Especially the tile. Can you share the paint name of the beautiful teal on the wall?

  32. Heidi

    I cannot even fully express how fantastic that tile is! Wowsers!

    • Heidi

      What color of blue is the tile?

  33. I love the tile! Inspiration for my home remodel!

  34. tess

    ha ha, “put together” not “whorish”

    good motto to “mount” on a “sticky” on my mirror

    xox, you are a funny lady

  35. laurel

    Loving the bathroom but where is the toilet? Maybe that’s where the ladder leads? Kidding….

  36. I love that tile! It is amazing! And I think the mirror is definitely weird but in like a cool-interesting-huh-i-guess-a-mirror-can-go-there type of way. I kind of love it. It’s unexpected and looked great with that vanity!

    Molly @ Mint Atelier

  37. Ann-Marie

    If there was a way to die and go to heaven and still read this blog every week, I would do it for this bathroom.

    Besides being lovely, it’s ingenious – people often break their bathroom design budgets on fancy fixtures and accents and totally ignore the possibility of creating drama and detail on the floor.

    Super work!

  38. Eric

    I’ve never seen a tile like that before and I think it looks amazing. It works really well with the baskets underneath the sink and the white aesthetic in general!

  39. Pingback: Best Makeovers of the year; a roundup | Emily Henderson

  40. Kris

    What a happy room! What kind of wall tile did you pair with the granada?

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