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Farmhouse Guest Bathroom Update (And How I Feel About The Tonal Grout Choice)

The upstairs guest bath is coming along, not there yet, but coming along. I LOVE the tile, the polished nickel finishes, and the sweet little window. This is a new bathroom that you guys convinced us to put in upstairs on the bedroom floor (and we are happy we did). So many of you suggested that we’d want this specifically when the kids are older so they can each have their own bathroom. They already shower at the same time, one in here and one in the kids’ bath, which cuts down on “bathtime” by 20 minutes. I swear from “time to take a shower” to downstairs in PJs is a solid 45 minutes for whatever reason – and not because they are taking long showers. Distractions! So many distractions. I’m going to start guiding them blindfolded to do their tasks because my goodness they get so distracted by the dogs, the sewing machine (“Is now the time to make a pillow for Sue Sue, Charlie?”, A piece of paper that could be an airplane, a pokemon card that HAS to be set out to bring to school tomorrow, and again the dogs”… “but mama they are soooooo cutttttte”)… Anyway, yes, they use both twice a week and I’m glad this is an option. So let’s revisit where we are in the house:

The Guest Bedroom

We are upstairs (ignore all the sunroom, kitchen, and TV room stuff–that is all on the first floor). You walk upstairs and there is a large landing which we love, three bedrooms, a hallway shared bath (which I showed you in this post), a guest room (Permanent-function TBD), and this new small attached full bath. We were spoiled (and spoiled our guests) with ensuite bathrooms at the mountain house, but we weren’t going to put an extra bath up here originally (“Guests can share with the kids!” We said) but it is so nice for guests (and since Brian writes in the guest room this has become his personal spot. Ahem).

The vision for this guest bath was similar to the other rooms – have one high-impact color that we’ll never get sick of, but keep it simple and very high quality. We’d bring in more style and risk with the less permanent finishes and fixtures, but stay more classic with tile and plumbing. I’m still sorting through what level of regret I have in this bathroom – some days none, other days I feel like I know what I would have done differently to, you know, jazz it up a bit.

For this bathroom, we fell in LOVE with this deep mauve/rose-colored pink tile from Pratt + Larson and paired it with polished nickel finishes. The combination is so beautiful, but the room doesn’t feel complete yet (likely because it’s not done). Here’s where we are at today:

Tile | Vanity

There is a lot of backstory that affected some decisions until those elements changed, but the decisions didn’t – let me explain. This bathroom was stolen from one of the original large bedrooms, and therefore it has a massive bedroom-sized window in it that would have landed between the sink and the toilet. It was relatively close to the ground (about 20″ off the ground) which meant that it would be below any normal vanity and not allow for a normal backsplash. For that reason, we knew that we needed a pedestal or console-style vanity, i.e a sculptural base that could be in front of a window, and ordered this one from Rejuvenation. It’s a quirky solution to an older home remodel and one that was actually really cute (before we changed it). We’d have an oversized window in here, with a pedestal sink in front of it and an accordion mirror coming out the side. For this reason, we also needed a pedestal sink with an integrated backsplash since it would be in front of the window. If you are confused, here is where it was before:

This is the bedroom off of the guest bathroom before we created the bathroom. Are you following? So what we did was steal from the nook in the bedroom and the hall closet to create this 5’x7′ (ish) new bathroom. As you can see from the original photo the window that was going to be incorporated was big (and beautiful).

So as you can see, with the larger original window the vanity couldn’t be a typical storage piece – it needed to have an open base and be freestanding with an integrated backsplash (i.e. again, pedestal or console). We found the perfect one via Rejuvenation and called it a day. Great.

But then, a few months later we realized that the house on the exterior seemed to be missing a window. We didn’t really realize it originally because the whole house had funny awkward windows (and that’s ok for an older home!).

Once everything was demoed and cleared out and the new back-covered porch was going to be such a pretty view, we realized that we need that 4th window.

We did some window configuration and realized we could take another one of the unused original windows from downstairs (one of the smaller ones in the entry) and put it up in the bathroom, which would be a better scale for that bathroom. It wouldn’t be operable, but that’s ok (there is a fan). But it was smaller and since we had to reframe it anyway (HOT TIP: do this before re-siding) this felt like a smart swap. We’d put the original large bedroom-now-bathroom window back into the bedroom (matching perfectly) on the much-needed west exterior wall and then add this smaller leftover window in the newly created guest bath on the east wall. It was window musical chairs and it hurt my brain for a while, but so glad we did it.

Here is what it looks like on the outside with the four windows:

So much better and since this back porch and view have become such a feature of the home I’m SO GRATEFUL that we did it. Thank you, Jamie and ARCIFORM. If you want to watch a full video tour of this bathroom & where we want to take it, then here she is (just wait for the ad to play!):

Sconce | Faucet | Faucet Supply Lines | Outlet Cover | Toilet Lever

So now that that was done, no one realized (including me) that at this point we could have swapped for a different vanity with more storage, or something more custom. Now, to be honest, I’m totally fine with this because this is such a cute pedestal sink, was affordable, vintage-y, and because it was a “one and done” piece it did save us some money by not tiling or fabricating stone for a backsplash. And listen, in order to get a window in there it was always going to be awkward so we decided to do the least awkward thing and center it between the shower and the wall – thus not right above the vanity, but leaving enough room for an articulating mirror. Remember this is the guest bath and maybe a future kids’ bath. But not ours:)

Towel Bar | Shower Set | Shower Head

So here’s where we are. Everything is good and fine and great, but when I walked into this bathroom after renovating for so long I felt this slight pang of disappointment and I didn’t know why. After much thought and a few private tears, I figured it out:

1. The grout color that I loved so much (“matches perfectly” she said) made it so the wall of incredible tile felt flat. I think this move of matching the grout with the tile could absolutely work (and does) in a room with a lot of natural light that reflects off the tile, showing the texture and color variation. We did this in our main bathroom on the floor and it’s PERFECTION. But up here? Without a lot of light (the photos make it much brighter) the tile feature wall just looks dark. Can I change the grout? I mean, you can do anything but it’s a thing. I know that over time grout lightens with soap, hard water, and just general wear/tear so I feel ok about letting it just do that naturally. You could dremel out the top layer of grout (on each individual grout line) and then grout over it, but I’m not there yet. I don’t hate it, I just wish it were lighter so the grout lines would create more of a pattern (literally what I didn’t want to do at the beginning because I didn’t want it to look/feel busy). That’s all to say – if you have a ton of natural light, going tonal with the grout and tile is a great move, but if you have no natural light, contrast the grout so that the tile pops more, adding interest and pattern. End of hard lesson:) But that’s not it…
2. I was super clear at the beginning about having this monochrome tile look – the same color on walls and floors, but different shapes/orientations. But y’all it just doesn’t pop. I wish I had done a white and rose hex combo on the floor – still incorporating the pink tile but with another accent or neutral to shake it up. Or maybe even a powder blue. Dunno.

But then I remembered that wallpaper exists and that I can shake it up through (minor) accessorizing. Hope reemerged and I got to work. So let’s show you what is happening:

The Articulating Mirror

I found this vintage polished nickel at Portland Architectural Salvage and snagged it pretty quickly. I LOVE the polished nickel fixtures in here (from Rejuvenation) and was happy to find a mirror that works with it and can swing in front of the window.

Of course, this is not the bathroom nor mirror to get ready from prom in, if you know what I mean. It’s a real gift I have of finding extremely distorted antique mirrors that barely reflect your face. As you can see she is old and the paint on the back (the mercury that created the mirror effect) is chipping off. I haven’t hung it yet because we have yet to wallpaper, so I still have my eye out for another solution that might give Suz less frustration when she is putting on her lipliner. At the same time, I could also just put another mirror on the wall by the door. I’m not concerned about it AT ALL (likely because it’s not my bathroom) and I feel like not every room gets to be this super dialed 2023 luxury.

The Wallpaper


I got pretty excited about putting wallpaper in here, but have yet to make the final decision. Brian and I agreed quickly on this House of Hackney London Rose pattern and we called it a day…until I became unsure of which kid will ultimately “get” this bed/bath when they get older (if either). If it ends up that Charlie (the oldest) moves in here then he’s already told us he does not want a pink floral wallpaper and you can balk at that if you want, but any parent of a seemingly cis male boy won’t try to make it a bigger thing and force it (because that is a weird parenting move and I want to respect who he is and give him a shot at loving this bathroom). I get it and so I’m taking a second to figure it out. Maybe neither kid “gets” this bathroom and the bedroom remains a guest room, with one of them more dominantly showering or getting ready in here when older. It seems easy to let Birdie have it (she is a HUGE FAN of that wallpaper), but she also likes to take baths more and I’m unsure if when she is a tween/teen if it makes more sense for her to “get” the kids bath with the bathtub. Again, I’m not concerned about it at all, this isn’t a real thing, I’m just working it out here in real-time and I really don’t want to replace the wallpaper in 4 years nor do I want Charlie to feel silly or embarrassed showing his friends his room. So is there a wallpaper that could offset the femininity of the pinky/rose just in case? Maybe! I’m waiting on Kelly Ventura’s new samples to get to me (which are likely to do the trick) but meanwhile, I’m going to look around a bit and see if there is something that might make more sense for more family members, long term. The feminist in me wants to make men deal through a few floral wallpapers as we have DEALT with centuries of systemic patriarchal oppression:). But the loving mom in me wants my son to feel like his room represents him as much as Birdie’s room represents her because he’s wonderful, not to blame, and has done no such oppression in his 9 years on this planet. I’m also kinda laughing to myself right now as the tone is so hard to portray in writing (is it time for a podcast?). Why oh why would I open up this conversation in a seemingly innocuous progress post? Who knows. Silly, Emily. But I guess I want you to know why I’m not immediately installing that pink floral wallpaper. Lastly, and with less gender controversy, we were going to do a shower curtain in here to save money and bring in some sweetness, but once I realized that the room needed more pattern (aka wallpaper) I knew that a curtain wouldn’t do and we’d have to put in a glass shower door. You can have a shower curtain with wallpaper, but it’s not terribly advised for overspray and general moisture reasons – especially in Oregon where it is so humid in the winter. I just finalized the glass order and it should be installed in a few weeks, and then I’ll hopefully pick a wallpaper, install the mirror (and that sweet antique polished nickel cup and toothbrush holder), and be done with this little lady. If I’m being honest no matter what wallpaper I choose this bathroom is inherently going to be relatively on the “feminine” side (pink + pedestal sink + wallpaper will do that to a space) so you might see this original wallpaper back up on the walls in a couple of months because that’s what Brian and I want. Stay tuned 🙂

Wall Tile: Pratt + Larson

Floor Tile: Pratt + Larson
Sconce: Rejuvenation
Faucet: Rejuvenation
Shower Fixtures: Rejuvenation
Pedestal Vanity: Rejuvenation
Wallpaper: House of Hackney
Wall Paint Color: Pure White by Sherwin-Williams

*Photos by Kaitlin Green


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251 thoughts on “Farmhouse Guest Bathroom Update (And How I Feel About The Tonal Grout Choice)

  1. What about a William Morris style botanical? In my Emily Henderson inspired Reno of my master bathroom last summer, I had to integrate mauve/terra cotta-looking tiles from the 1980s (too expensive to remove, and the floor was heated too, so it worked well). I painted the walls Artistic Mauve after your guest bedroom choice, Emily, replaced the mauve toilet and shiny oak vanity/mauve sink (!) with white ones from Signature Hardware, and replaced shiny gold fixtures with brushed nickel. I reused a round wood-framed mirror over the vanity and added a few other teak accessories, and then replaced the annoying tiny closet door in there with a curtain from Spoonflower:

    This looks stunning with our tiles: there’s just enough warmth in the yellowish/blush flowers to connect with the tile color. The cooler colors and white highlights would be lovely in this room, and would be less pink and flowery for your guys.

    And, I would totally put a larger mirror in there somewhere else in supplement to the one over the sink.

    The pedestal sink is lovely and this will all look sweet when you are finished.

    Thank you again for all the inspiration you have provided us out here!

    1. Spoon flower paper is disappointing. Very plastic like. And they use the computer to enlarge the patterns so it looks weird with those weird fuzzy edges on the designs. . Use Morris and co.

      1. Sounds like good advice–I haven’t used Spoonflower wallpaper, just fabric, which worked out well for this one curtain project. In last weekend’s home tour or some recent tour, I noticed another, British Arts and Crafts wallpaper site: Really fun and fanciful options!

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    2. Yes to william morris botanical… but in the living room above the paneling please pretty please!

  2. Bathroom looks cute. I suspect Charlie isn’t going to want this pink bathroom regardless of wall paper choice.

    1. My 13 year old son has loved pink his whole life, painted his bedroom a peachy pink this summer, and would LOVE that bathroom. 🤷‍♀️

      1. Also chiming in to say that my 9 year-old “seemingly cis” son would also like the tile. And even if he didn’t *love* it, he certainly wouldn’t use it as a basis for whether or not to use a bathroom, nor would I allow him to think that a pink bathroom is anything to feel embarrassed about using. My 6 year-old son also loves pinks and purples. If we don’t gender colors, they won’t either.

      2. I don’t doubt that there are many boys/men of all ages that would enjoy that bathroom. I just think it is probably the minority and given Emily’s description of her son’s current style, I think that is unlikely to be him. But I could end up wrong! And good for your son!

        1. My point was that her son’s “current style” shouldn’t be a basis for whether or not he uses a bathroom with pink-ish tile.
          And boys/men of all ages that appreciate anything resembling pink/purple will only remain in the minority if we continue the gendering of colors like pink and purple. Boys don’t enter the world automatically preferring “masculine” colors. Someone, usually a parent, steers them away from anything that threatens the illusion of traditional masculinity.

  3. I love the tile!! Maybe it’s just good photography but I do see the texture and variation. I totally get that it’s not the impact you intended but just know that this reader is loving it! 🙂

    I’m totally with you on being considerate about each kid’s feelings. My youngest son’s favourite colour is pink. Just like how I don’t try to convince him to prefer blue, I also don’t try to convince my other two sons to prefer pink! They are all beautiful spectacular humans with unique preferences!

    Normally I tend to think parents should be the main decision makers in home decor, but since one or both kids will be the most frequent user of the space, it is totally valid to let them each veto things they really don’t like!

    1. My 3-year-old son’s favourite colour is also pink, and I say good for him, it’s a great colour! I’m sure it’ll change over time but I hate gender stereotyping by colour. People like what they like!

  4. Something you could try with the grout if you really want to change the color is Polyblend Grout Renew. It’s a stain/ sealer that you paint on the grout lines. I used it on my shower maybe five years ago to refresh some dingy white grout and it worked like a champ. Maybe if you have some spare tile lying around, you could mock up a sample board with the existing grout, then paint over it with the Grout Renew to see if you like it?

  5. If I were in your shoes, all things considered, I’d nix the wallpaper and let a shower curtain be the pattern that I change out easily based on the resident of the bathroom.

    A closed curtain gives an opportunity to lighten things up while still having the pretty floor visible. (I think you meant it had to be glass because of having wallpaper, so it could be a curtain if there is no wall paper), but to still have a wow moment when the curtain opens. I think wallpaper with a pattern will make it feel darker.

    No to curtains in the powder room and laundry room. Yes to shower curtain in this bathroom. (And yes to considering future kids personal preferences .

    A hanging plant would be pretty pretty in the space above the mirror

    1. I wholeheartedly agree. I think a curtain would soften the tile and porcelain. Adding some warmth with a hint of wood (a frame?) and a plant would be nice. There is already a lot going on with the dramatic tile color. Toning it down with fabric and another element (e.g. wood) is what I am thinking I would do in here.

    2. My concern with using a curtain in here is lighting. If there’s not much natural light in there, and the tile already feels dark, I think a curtain will make the shower feel like a cave. Besides, there’s something about a shower curtain on a shower stall that feels cheap. And she’s already ordered the glass 🙂
      There are so many fabulous wallpapers from House of Hackney that would work in there and not be so feminine. What about something more whimsical, perhaps with animals, like Zeus, or Flights of Fancy?

  6. Hmm, not a fan of the tile – what does it remind me of? Like the inside of a fireplace.. A firebox? Maybe the wallpaper will tie it all together.

    1. It does look like brick to me too! Not a bad thing, necessarily. Curious how ‘pink’ and femme it reads in person, because from my screen the shower tile just looks like bricks!

    2. It’s reading more red than pink on my screen, which makes it a bit on the nightmarish side for me. I’m sure it’s lovely in person but it’s a lot and could definitely benefit from some elements that would tone it down–agree with the commenter who suggested bringing in some warm woods & plant life. And that paint & fabric shower curtain instead of wallpaper/glass doors would be the easiest to change depending on the future occupant of the room.

  7. This is going to be so cute!

    If you are worried about the wall paper situation why not give Birdie this room and tell her Charlie he has to let her use the other bathroom if she wants to take a bath. Just because they have their “own” bathrooms they can still share!

    Also I’m not sure if I read this correctly but please tell me how you keep your children so clean they only need to shower twice a week! Mine are constantly filthy!

    1. Yes. I don’t get it.
      Especially if they run around the property play outide, with the dogs, etc.
      “they use both twice a week”
      Kinda does my head in.

      1. We live in the middle east (hot dusty climate) and my kids also only shower this often, they are young so don’t have issues with body odor and obviously wash hands and faces daily. It’s not necessary for them to take a daily shower. When they were babies a nightly bath before bed was an important part of routine but now we just have stress free family time instead.

        My daughter also loves her baths (still at 11) and so yes it might end up a boys room. But Emily, you’re a designer, these rooms will always evolve. For now I would give it the wallpaper that makes sense in its current iteration. The tiles are neutral and if in 5 years you want to repaint the room, change out the bedding and re-wallpaper, then honestly that will be interesting blog content.

        There probably is no wallpaper on the planet that will be loved by a 15 year old boy so no need to future proof. My son has a floral tile border in his bathroom and he’s never thought twice about it. Definitely go the glass door, much more child-friendly and also allows more light in the room which will let the tiles glow. I think right now the tiles feel a little heavy and solid because of the stark walls, adding in pattern will change everything. Don’t overthink your instinct.

    2. My thoughts exactly.

      My brother and I shared a bathroom our whole childhoods. I don’t think either of us cared about tile choice.

    3. My kids bathe about 2x a week *shrug* We wash faces/necks and hands and sometimes feet daily. Good enough for me! Shower/bath time is like an hour ordeal, who has the time…

    4. Haha, I pretend my kids (3, 6, 8) get weekly showers/baths but really it’s more like every other week. My babies have probably had 4 or 5 baths each in their 10 months on earth.

      It’s currently winter, none of their bodies are exposed to get dirty and they’re still too little to smell bad. Until that changes nobody needs a daily or even every other day shower.

      I think twice a week is a totally reasonable shower schedule.

      1. Same! We always joke if weekly baths were good enough for Almanzo, they’re good enough for our kids. They do get filthy playing outside, so they have to wash hands, feet and faces before bed, but that’s pretty quick. They do change clothes every day because their clothes just get too dirty to carry over.

        And look, we are doing our part to use fewer resources (hot water etc) so we might not have the cleanest kids, but we are helping the planet.

    5. I’m also curious about why this bathroom would automatically go to Charlie. By all accounts the other bathroom seems to be more kitted out, so if there’s something about the “seniority” factor of Charlie as oldest (which I’m reading from the post, but could be wrong!), then to me it makes more sense for him to have the other one when the time comes. (Although—and I know this has been beleaguered in the comments—the truth is that neither bathroom has adequate storage for an adolescent anyway.)

      Emily, I do love these process posts so much! They’re a great content sandwich for me—background, factors, decisions, regrets (as applicable), plans (if any). Truly my favourite posts on the blog lately!

      1. I wondered also why not just give this room to Elliott if the time comes. But then I remembered they just did wallpaper in Elliott’s room so switching bedrooms would put Charlie surrounded by very flowery wallpaper.

  8. Cute bathroom. Love the tonal grout and the tile.
    I’m designing a similar bathroom right now for my house and I’m curious where to put toilet paper and spare toothbrushes for guests in this bathroom? That’s what I’m trying to sort out for my own space where I’ve used a pedestal sink and would love to hear your plan!∑

  9. I would stick with the wallpaper that you and your husband prefer. I mean, I totally get respecting your sons preference for non-floral wallpaper. But just consider it a gift to teenage Charlie who can roll his eyes dramatically and sigh over the burdens of having a famous stylist for a mom. You’ve got to give him something to complain about, right?

      1. I don’t think so and that seems kind of a snide comment. Emily has said she’s planning on making this her forever home and wants that consistency for her family.

        1. This was meant for the comment re: Emily buying a different house before Charlie’s adolescence

  10. I could definitely imagine a black and white striped wallpaper here (wider block stripes, no lines). Looks stylish, classic and French with the soft mauve/pink and is gender neutral. Add to that a black toilet seat. Together with the pretty pedestal sink, I think it makes a great timeless combination.

  11. You can change the grout color. There are professional companies that will use a colored stain over the existing grout. It is waterproof, but usually needs to be redone every few years. You are not stuck with a color you do not like.

  12. Why not skip the tiny akward mirror, and put a larger, maybe vintage gilded frame sort of mirror on the opposing wall above the towel rack. You’ll maximize the lighting, and then let the view be the star while using the sink.
    Also, I’d hold off on wallpapers until youve fond something that really fits your vision, this one feels a bit busy and I think the beautiful tile work will be more of a feature if you just let it be. I love that color, it feels like an updated vintage brick to me, SO good.

    1. One more thought, maybe where the mirror is you could mount like three antique silver cups, like mint julep style , vertically lined up, and then you could use them to hold toothbrushes, or small bunches of flowers or airplants.

    2. Agree! I immediately thought ‘bigger mirror’. In front of the window would make a cool impact. There was something shared recently on this blog where the bathroom mirror was right in front of a window.

  13. I love this cute bathroom! I personally think you should decorate it however you want it and not worry about your 9 year old who very well could change his mind by the time it’s possibly “his” bathroom! The only thing im not 100% sold on is the mirror…. I get how cute the antique one is but it’s not functional! That will end up driving you and any guest in there crazy more than the wall paper or grout!

    1. Yeah as a parent of a boy, her nine year old boy who doesn’t like florals now isn’t going to like them more later! Although honestly I think he’s not going to like the mauve tile which is the big elephant in the room here so maybe it doesn’t matter?

      1. Pink is my 13 yo son’s favorite color this year, and it’s new this year. Pink is currently very cool among teens here right now. I suspect maybe it’s 80s influence? So you really just never know!

        1. And many teens are all about gender fluidity these days, no matter their sexuality, at least in the demographic I’m familiar with (liberal, coastal.) So who knows how Charlie will “read” pink in 5-10 years?

    2. +1 I LOVE the tile and grout and love the wallpaper. I was excited about the mirror on an arm until I saw the small antique mirror. It seems like this room would actually be a great makeup room for Birdie + friends with the window+natural light right there if it had a decent size mirror. If it was my bathroom I’d put that small antique mirror on the other side of the window because it is decorative, not functional, and get a way bigger new mirror on an arm on the other side to go over the vanity. Something like this:

        1. Well there’s that….you’re right, the no countertop space and no storage does kind of make it difficult. It’s a shame, this bathroom could have worked really well for that. I’d still put the bigger mirror in!

          1. I think this mirror or something like it is a good solution – IMHO you need a usable mirror over the sink no matter what. What about recessing a shelf, maybe tiled, in the space above the sink. The mirror could swing in front of it or away from it.
            That would be a little like medicine cabinet storage or at least give more counter top like surface. For general bathroom storage, cleaning supplies, feminine products, toilet tissue, extra towels, etc. you will need another solution, maybe over the toilet or even a linen type closet in the guest bedroom. Love the antique mirror, I use them in bathrooms as decor in addition to a functional one.

        2. Then the make-up is stored in the personal bedroom. I did this as wel in the 1 bathroom house I grew up in.

          1. Oh for sure it’s workable. I imagine Birdie will end up with a cute vanity in her bedroom and take it back and forth. Storage and usage (pretty normal to do makeup and hair stuff in bathrooms) would just be a something I would prioritize when designing a 4 bathroom house.

          2. Yes! We had only one bathroom in our small farmhouse. We had a timer for our showers and then had to finish getting ready in our bedrooms. I still do this as an adult!

  14. Interesting how things are different in various pars of the country. In the Northeast (Boston area), the toilet and sink would have likely been on the inside wal instead of the outside walll, to avoid having pipes freeze during cold snaps (it ill be Minus 14 (-14) here this weekend!). In any case, wondering if you considered having plumbing and fixtures on the inside wall, since it is just on the other side from the laundry room. That would have helped with the window issues as well as the ability to have a mirror over the sink….
    I would not worry about the wallpaper. The room and tile are pink, so I don’t think the wallpaper even matters. When/if it comes time, it should just be your daughters room.

    1. I was thinking the same thing – fellow New Englander here! – although it seems to be more an issue for the shower plumbing (most kitchen sinks are on exterior walls for example. Contractors will typically build out the wall a few inches to insulate.

      1. I am dying over the tiny mirror and screamed when I saw it. Emily. Please do not install it! It’s so tiny and stupid and I really thoroughly hate the dysfunction of it. This is an April 1 post honestly. I truly want to know if you were high when you planned it out because I design whilst stoned all the time and even i, the duchess of sativa, have never wanted to put a window behind my plumbing fixtures like the original intent. I assumed it was because it HAD to be this way, but if this bath was created from scratch, I must insist on an explanation why the layout wasn’t mirrored onto the windowless wall as suggested above. Anyway, you’re this far, so the solution is a larger mirror.

        The tile, on the other hand, is perfect and the grout will lighten in no time with soap film.

        1. What about the major areas of the room that don’t get soap film??
          It’s going to be an issue.

        2. I was surprised to see the window added there intentionally as well (plus so weirdly centered), and it is only made worse by the near-useless mirror. I feel like previous EHD posts about bathroom trends or home tours have highlighted creative but functional ways of addressing these limitations. You could put a mirror on the opposite wall as someone above suggested, or even on the back of the door like you often see in bar/restaurant bathrooms. Suspending it from the ceiling in a quirky dramatic way also fun. Also, please please please put some storage in here. Wall shelves, hooks, anything.

        3. There’s no place to set anything like makeup on the sink, anyway, so having the mirror be over the sink wouldn’t help. Unless the idea is to store makeup on the toilet tank, which ew.

        4. This comment made me snort with laughter because I agree completely and I am also a duchess of sativa that would think I looked like the kid from Mask if I had to use that mirror every day.

      2. Suzanne – I think the interior/exterior wall issue is solved by the fixture choices. The water lines for the vanity and toilet likely come up through the floor. We had this issuein my New England bathroom reno as well, we were told we could have a pedestal or mostly closed up vanity, but NOT a floating vanity (or super open one) because then the plumbing would have to be in the exterior wall rather than through the floor.

        1. Never mind, I just looked back at the photos and you’re right! Interesting difference in regional rules…

    2. And speaking to the layout of the bathroom, I am suprised to see a few bathrooms in this house where the toilet is the first thing in the room next to the door. May be a regional thing, but any bathroom I have been in is usually the sink by the door and the toilet beyond. Just seems weird having the toilet stick out into the doorway space or having to sit right next to the door when using it.

      1. We had to do that in our half bath due to code issues and how much space needed to be around different elements. However, I didn’t gut the house and redesign the layout from scratch…

      2. I think it depends on your entry perspective? We located the vanity based on where the more visible location was. In one bath, the toilet near the door was virtually hidden as you walked down the hall and the vanity became the focal point.

    3. My thought, too. Curious why the lav and toilet are not on the interior wall, where a proper mirror could be mounted, as well. I’m sure there’s a reason for the choice and I’m really curious about it!

  15. Again, thank you for sharing your own design dilemmas. It helps us all feel okay about our own. : )
    I have no doubt things will come together in here.

  16. I love the tone-on-tone tile, and it’s funny to me that you picked that because it’s “timeless” when I wouldn’t have done it because I would’ve felt like a color was too risky (think pink or blue tile from mid-century everyone tries to pull out now). In any case, I hear you – I have a son and daughter and my son has much stronger opinions on design than my daughter. I think you can make it masculine with geometric wallpaper like navy or black stripes. Or, just plan to change the (lovely!) HoH wallpaper in a few years once the kids start making those decisions. Likely you’ll be ready for a change anyway, and, as you mentioned in your post, the positive to timeless hard finishes is so you can change out the decor fairly easily and inexpensively.

  17. I get a slight vintage YMCA vibe from the shower tile, and I don’t hate it. As a mom of a 12 and 15-year-old, I’d keep things flexible. Things are about to change. Also, do folks do solar tubes? Are they tacky? I’ve been thinking about them for my kids upstairs, windowless bathrooms. Something like that would give that shower more light without much effort.

    1. We have one in a windowless walk in closet and it’s excellent. Would HIGHLY recommend for a bathroom- it gives so much light.

    2. I had a super dark bathroom and a solar tube literally made it daylight in there. INCREDIBLE. It even helped to illuminate the adjacent bedrooms.

  18. I like the color of the tile with the crisp white paint. It looks clean and cheery and a bit modern. In this case, my vote would be no wall paper. Why not fill up the wall with art instead? Perhaps fill it with Charlie’s art. Or with art that Charlie selects.

    P.S. I’m always disappointed when the day’s post is about bathrooms. I think I must be the only one who thinks bathrooms are boring. Lol. It’s the room in the house that I spend the least amount of time in and have the least interest in making pretty. Functional is fine for me. Ha!

    1. This one should not be a disappointment to you, then, because we all agree it isn’t functional at all 🙂 It’ll be even more exciting in a few weeks, when the pipes freeze from being installed in an exterior wall!

      1. No, the pipes won’t freeze in the wall. This is Portland Oregon, not Portland Maine. My bathroom and kitchen plumbing is all in exterior walls, no problem.

        1. People seem to find it hard to grasp that this is a big country and their weather is not everyone’s weather.

          1. Oh then please excuse me, I’m from an even bigger country, where we learn about climate change.

          2. I think most people were saying that the fixtures should have been on the inside wall primarily because that would have avoided the window issue AND given the laundry room was right on the other side, would have been an easier, less expensive plumbing job. I find it almost impossible to believe they did not all least consider putting sink and toilet on the other wall – there myst be a reason they chose such a non functional layout! We all just want to know WHY!!!???!!!

          3. It’s probably because of the placement of the door and its hinges, in order to have a cute chair in the corner of the bedroom right outside the bathroom door (an Instagram vignette). I agree that it is dysfunctional.

      2. I live in Montana, where it was below zero Fahrenheit this past weekend, and I have multiple faucets on exterior walls in my recently remodeled house. I did have to switch to a deck-mounted faucet in one bathroom because the wall hadn’t been built to properly insulate a wall-mounted faucet, but the sink and plumbing is still against an exterior wall.

      3. Portland is extraordinarily cold this week for the second time this winter. My parents’ very well-constructed and insulated house has had several pipes freeze this winter. Pipes freezing is a real concern if they didn’t put enough money and thought into insulation, and likely will continue to be a concern going forward. Climate change is real, but in Pdx it is mostly seen in more volatile weather, with both higher and more frequent hot AND cold stretches.

    2. Is no one here aware that homes are built & insulated differently in different parts of the country?

  19. I love, love, love the tonal in there. I don’t think you made any mistakes. And that pink floral wallpaper is perfect. Just do it!

  20. Oh my gosh that “farm weeds in forest” wallpaper would be amazing. The black green background would make the tile beautiful!! And the “weeds” vs a floral might make it less feminine. I think the white and pink is just such a huge contrast.

  21. What about a blue wallpaper similar in color to Kelly Ventura’s blue options, and then a simple, graphic black/white large art print on wall? That no longer seems “feminine” to me. There is a lot of rose, with the bedroom walls, too . . . you don’t have to continue that with the wallpaper. Articulating mirror is so gorgeous but would drive me insane as a guest. Love that you share all of this – thank you.

    1. i love the tile color, and grout color combo, but understand what you mean about it being flat if it’s dark. though of course it looks great in the pictures, which are lightened.
    2. LOVE that wallpaper.
    3. Why worry about having this be Charlie’s bathroom? why not let both kids share the kids’ bathroom and whoever wants to shower here can shower here without it being “their” bathroom? just because Birdie likes baths doesn’t have to mean the other bathroom is “her” bathroom. i don’t get it.
    1. I think because it’s an ensuite and it sounded like one kid may eventually move into this bedroom, whoever ends up in that bedroom “gets” that bathroom. They control access via their bedroom door, or give up privacy if their sibling can traipse through their room at any time. If they stay in their current rooms, it’s less of an issue.

  22. I LOVE, LOVE this bathroom. Tone on tone feels peaceful and so elegant. I would go for that floral wallpaper you are holding. I would not worry who gets this bathroom down the road. Kids might change bathing preferences. Do what you love. And if mirror turns out not functional you can change it for bigger and not antique finish. Speaking from my own experience – grout colorants don’t work well if bathroom is used frequently.

  23. I do love the color of the tile but agree the tonal grout leaves it a bit flat. I think wallpaper will make a big difference in the small space… maybe a powder blue wallpaper or another color for more contrast? I’m sure when you’re done it will be lovely.

  24. We’ve had a shower curtain and wallpaper in our windowless bathroom (we do have a fan) and it has been fine. I’m team shower curtain for your bathroom.

  25. I think it is lovely and I’m sure it will finish beautifully. Though you and I would disagree on a majority of things political and on your gender statements (but not on wine, fun and much of life), just for some peace of mind, history and maybe some interesting dinner conversations with your kids, the color pink was originally a masculine color and oftentimes used in situations where boys/men would be predominantly. For instance, I’m including a link to the state house in Columbus, OH… It is predominately pink and was built long ago when men were the only ones holding office. Anyhow, thank you for sharing your journey with this home and your thoughts, loves, regrets. It really does help the layman (me) when thinking through design decisions. Yours is the blog I go to daily! Cheers and peace be with you!

    1. speaking of gender, i gently encourage ppl to say “layperson” instead of “layman” etc. 20+ years ago, my dad started calling manholes “access holes” because it was required at his work. It is an easy small change. 🙂

    2. Eureka! I work in an Ohio county courthouse with a “feminine” color scheme, built in the 1920s with lots of art deco flare. It is not pink or rose, but maroon marble dominates here.

      I love the bathroom’s rose tile color, have been completely on team tonal grout, but this has given me new perspective. Thanks for sharing, Emily!

    1. Yes! BIG new mirrors in front of the window are awesome. The antique mirror has a place for a decorative touch, just not the main event.

    2. If the window and sink were aligned, then this would be a good solution. As it is now, with the window centered between the sink and toilet, I’m not sure how you get a functional mirror in the space. 🤷🏼‍♀️

  26. It does feel like a lot of saturated color, concentrated in one corner of the room. Bring in some balance and it should work much better. If I had my “own” bathroom as a kid, I’d be stoked and wouldn’t care about the color.

    1. I agree it feels a bit stark/makes the shower feel like it is a deep, dark, hole. Since the bathroom admittedly doesn’t get very good light, it would be cool to see you lean into it with dark, cozy colors, which can read more traditionally masculine. I’d love to see a dark green or dark blue, then a shower curtain fabric in maybe a fun animal/jungle print that picks up on these tones and makes it playful. I also love the idea of a heavy Parisian stripe as someone suggested above.

  27. Love the tile. Love the tonal grout. Love the wonky mirror. But, although I very rarely voice dislike here, I do not care for that sink At. All. Reminds me of the fussy 1980s/1990s sink trend. Blech. Yuch. No thank you;). Not my house though, as they say, and I could actually swim in that tile I like it so much.

        1. Yeah but I previewed it and added a winking emoji, so as I approach the Internet, I’ve conveyed my opinion with humor. YMMV.

  28. I’d really love a blog from Emily about your feelings about this house. Every time you post a reveal you admit to mistakes or errors or things you don’t like. It seems like there’s a lot of regret in this renovation. It’s interesting to witness as a reader. Maybe you should hire an interior designer to help?

    1. I think Emily is working on this– correct me if I’m wrong, but I think she posted that she had written a blog post on all her Farm House Feelings and that she wanted Brian to read it first.

      I also hope she shares, this is why I follow Emily– she actually gets personal and shares, it’s so refreshing in the Perfect Pinterest day and age.

      1. Agree, Jessica. Perfect is boring! And no regrets are impossible, even with what many of us think is the perfect house. I am so glad she is open and vulnerable on this site.

    2. I actually kind of agree with this. For a house that was essentially gutted, there was an opportunity to start over and really make it sing. It feels like every farm house post is a list of regrets or “make-do” moments. I have no doubt it’ll eventually come together beautifully, but for how much it must have cost … oof. You’d think there’d be something that’s correct.

      1. I don’t get this comment. I suppose if you go looking for negatives about this house, you’ll find them because EH shares her likes and dislikes. In every post, EH has focused both on what she loves about the renovation and what she doesn’t love. She loves her kitchen. She loves the pantry. She loves the sunroom. She loves the mudroom. Are each of those rooms perfect? No. Is any room every perfect? No. Is any renovation every perfect? No.

    3. I actually think that the blank slate + huge amount of resources make it HARDER to be really happy with a space, not easier. It’s the whole “paradox of choice” thing…the science shows that having too many choices can make us less happy, not more. I kinda wonder if with the amount of choices to be made and the feeling that you could have just about anything, some regret and dissatisfaction are just inevitable? (Honestly makes me happy to have my pretty little apartment with pre-chosen finishes that I’ve spent zero mental energy on.)

      1. This is a really interesting point, Angela.
        Research shows that people are less content with more choices, hence so-called “decision paralysis.”
        Cortisol increases when we have surplus choices, which fuels anxiety, which then fuels discontent and fear; this can even lead to depression.
        So having lots of choices can be the anti-thesis of contentment.

      2. Also, in a case like this there is pressure to make the house “fresh and new” and “take risks,” etc, the whole time knowing that a percentage of your audience will criticize your decisions.

        1. I think this is a pretty thoughtful design community plus Emily has opened up the discussion. A lot of my confusion with this project has to do with functional design choices/oversight not paint colors and wallpaper.

          1. Though a lot of money was spent on this project, there was certainly a budget. My sense is that many compromises were made along the way, as in the vast majority of home renovations. Some areas were prioritized over others and not every functional improvement was possible. we tend to think of those who are more financially “well off” than us as having unlimited resources, but that is rarely the case.

      3. Agreed! I have an original 1950s rental bathroom and if I was an owner and had money I might have gutted it once or even twice by now after living here nearly 20 years. But instead I have had to be creative and make it work. I’m okay with the style now, but of course I wish there wasn’t so much visible wear and tear.

  29. By the time he switches rooms you would want to re-do it all anyway. It would be more blog content and I’m sure you would get sponsored too. The tile is bold and runs the show so just go with it. Honestly, its the only en-suite and the point was guests not sharing with kids – so why would this be different in the future.

  30. I like the tile and grout colour – it’s brick-like, which is nice.
    I’m not embracing the ‘it’ll look better once the shower grout fades’, because the rest of the room won’t be exposed to the same fade-causing rigours and the room will look worn or dirty, even. ⚠️

    I’d go with a different wall paper entirely…not pink, not floral. A mid-range width stripe of sone sort.
    Even black stripes, as someone else said, but not thick stripes coz the room is small.

    Still can’t get my head around your kids only showering twice a week! 🤔 *scratches head coz you bath every day*

    The room’s a work in progress. IMHO the whole guest room/bathroom is going down the too-much-pink-overkill. (Or is the design specifically for M-I-L Suz??)
    Looking foward to seeing what you choose to do and add to the room. 🤗

    1. My kids only bathe 2-3 times a week (ages 6-12). My oldest only just started bathing every other day as she approaches puberty. Teens/adults sweat and are prone to fluctuating hormones which impact the way that we smell, which is why it is regular practice to shower daily. Children, though often grubby, do not usually stink unless they are really dirty.

    2. A lot of things to be mystified about with this space…you built from scratch! WHY are the sink and toilet on the exterior wall when the space backs up to a laundry room?? Seems like such a total lack of thoughtful planning. I know gut renovating an entire house can lead to decision fatigue (I’m in the middle of gut renovating a seventh house) but you’re even working with an architect and not a single person recommended this? It just destroys the actual functionality of the space.
      Anyway, the only thing I’m not mystified by is your children only showering/bathing twice a week. My kid (9) plays hard and showers 2-3 times a week without issue. In fact, if she bathes more than that her skin gets super dry and itchy.
      Let’s just focus on design head scratchers.

    3. My children (7 and 9) sometimes go weeks without a bath. I doubt you would notice. (Sometimes their hair smells, but only if I stick my face in it.)

    4. I think the daily shower thing might be an Aussie thing!

      When your kids get sweaty walking from the front door to the car because it’s over 100F at 10am, most kids view shoes as optional and everyone wears shorts and t-shirts and plays in sandy playgrounds they probably get more dirty (plus the dirt sticks to the sweat).

      Plus for me getting them to have a one minute shower is quicker /easier than getting them to wash each bit.

      It makes sense if it’s not super hot not the bathe everyday but just not an option here – I think maybe in summer here it’s just part of cooling off before bed!

  31. We had a say over how our rooms looked (to a degree) when we were kids, but not over the bathroom (the whole family shared one – without a heat vent – in Cleveland, Ohio brrrr) and we all lived! Do what you want and what is best for the house. If he wants to use it or not he can. I suspect if his sister is in the other and he needs a shower or the toilet, he’ll use it whatever the wallpaper is and he won’t even care. Trust me, he’ll survive haha!

  32. Adding, because obviously today I am argumentative, I am mystified by all the suggestions for a black stripe. The pink is so warm-toned, IMO a black stripe would be truly jarring. Also, harkens to Hollywood Regency, not PNW Farmhouse. What gives?

    1. I was imagining a thin black ticking stripe, which I think could work and have a farmhouse vibe.

    2. Yes, but this bathroom doesn’t feel “PNW Farmhouse” at is it in its current state, either. It’s more of a amalgamation of styles as it currently is, with mauve, tonal tiles and grout, then a traditional sink. It lacks an identity.

  33. Thoroughly reject any of the “Charlie won’t like the pink tile, either” comments. It’s a beautiful tile, and that kind of color fussiness would be over the top. It *is* a bathroom, after all. However, I’m not a fan of the chintzy wallpaper vs something more bucolic or masculine/feminine-neutral. A light, beigey tone could help pull more of that element out of the grout, or a charcoal/black/navy could read more masculine, even with a floral.

  34. Hang the wallpaper you like. You’re over-thinking. It’s an en-suite guest bathroom. I wouldn’t be giving a 9 or 7 year old a say in this space right now. If you decide later on to repurpose this area in terms of who uses it, change out the wallpaper. That kind of change is always a bit of a hassle, but not difficult. The angst over this unnecessary and a little bit weird, honestly.

    1. I think when decisions get made, people analyze the reasoning… like comparing pros and cons. They’re imaging how it’s used in the future and sharing the floaty thoughts. If you are picking a pink wallpaper, one floaty thought is “but what if Charlie moves into this room?” It’s not weird, it’s thinking about their decision. It doesn’t mean all the floaty thoughts carry the same weight, they’re floaty after all.

      1. Not to mention that coming up with “controversial” design blog topics is Emily’s bread and butter, so take it with a grain of salt. Hmm, I must be hungry

  35. As the mother of two cis boys who are now young adults, I think the focus on the color is probably irrelevant, both of mine love pink.

    This bathroom is going to be problematic for a teen of any gender, though. Hair products, face products, razors, medications, contacts, etc. Where do they go? And the mirror – teens cannot pass a mirror without a full-on Queen B dance, it’s like a ritual. That pedestal sink is probably on limited time and you should probably keep your eye out for storage and mirror solutions that will stand the test of time.

  36. Did you use grout360 for the custom color? Love this look. As for who uses it in the future, cross that bridge when you get to it. If it’s Charlie, you’ll probably want to change the tile to match his style. But for now, make it gorgeous to your liking and change the tile down the road (assuming changing tile now is not an option! $$$)

  37. What about putting a small skylight in to make the tile look more interesting? Aside from the wallpaper question.

      1. oh goodness that flora paper fin rose rom marthe armitage would look so good in there. Or the blackberry design would be great and its also very oregon.

  38. Re the wallpaper, is a boy using a pink bathroom that big of a deal? Maybe it’s just because I grew up in a big family (5 kids) and we all shared a bathroom, so any of us would’ve KILLED for our own private space, even if it were a literal dungeon, but this consternation feels wildly misplaced to me. It’s not like the bathroom is IN his room, so why would Charlie’s friends hypothetically care? It’s not a representation of HIM and his style, it’s the guest bath, even if he uses it for showering and getting ready. And if his friends give him crap for showering in a “feminine” space, Charlie can either enlighten them on their outdated notions of gender performance, or he can just be like, “idk man, it’s the guest bath.”

    IMO, the bathroom is always going to read pink/red because of the tile, so why not lean into that with the floral House of Hackney wallpaper? It’s gorgeous and cheerful and makes the tile feel intentional.

    1. Agreed – I think if any future embarrassment might maybe possibly be had by future Charlie, he’s going to chalk it up to “i dunno my mom designed it”. I don’t think teen boys are discussing bathroom designs very much… possibly almost never, haha. I literally can remember zero occasions that I myself considered the design of the kid bathroom at my parents house and NEVER would have thought to be embarrassed by it when I had friends over.

      Also, it’s gorgeous, you’re going to make it work without regrouting. Can you add a couple more light sources like sconces or even a skylight to highlight the tile more? Do whatever wallpaper you want, and I’m actually pro-tiny-crazy-mirror but also then adding a functional one on the other wall or maybe on the back of the door. BUT YES I am dying to know why you didn’t just put the sink on the interior wall so you could have a “normal” mirror and something with more storage? Just out of curiosity!!

      1. I wonder if the decision to add the window came later after the plumbing/placement choices had already been made. I’m a little confused on the timeline, though, so I may be wrong.

  39. I would put in a dark wallpaper (black and white, navy?) to make the tile pop more. The pink flowery wallpaper will make it disappear and look like a room a great grandmother designed.
    As someone who used a bathroom with a pedestal sink on a regular basis, and was driven batty by lack of storage- I couldn’t even put my toothbrush on the sink- I would replace the non-functional mirror with a glass cabinet to store said toothbrushes, acne medication and other things your kids may not want displayed when they are older. Non-usable mirrors and antique chairs you can’t actually sit in are my two pet peeves when staying at someone else’s house or Airbnb.

  40. I’m seeing that tile as a kind of 70’s color. Warm and comforting mauve.
    I might pull in colors like tan, camel, brown, mustard. Textiles going in will certainly be a nice addition.
    I see you’re going for a very open pattern with the floral wallpaper. Maybe find a similar scale, but look for branches, leaves, birds?
    For use by a guest, I might suggest hanging a real mirror and a narrow shelf over the towel bar. Flossing, makeup, doing hair. A little help please! Maybe a hook somewhere for my toiletry bag too. thx!

    1. I was going to come in to say something similar about this shade of pink looking good with camel, beige or mustard. We’ve seen Orlando create beautiful rooms with lots of pink – I wonder what he would recommend here?

      1. I second all of Lisa’s and Ellie’s suggestions!

        Some warm camel and a bit of green in a pattern would balance out the color palette.

        I’m liking the tile and color, but adding wallpaper could really tie the room together. If adding a skylight or sun tube is an option then do that for more light, and add more larger mirrors to bounce the light around too. Beautiful bathroom!

  41. Love the tile, although it does look dark in these photos.
    Personally, I would go the shower curtain route, because it’s easy, cheaper, changeable, and, as a previous commenter mentioned, would make the shower tile less “weighty”. If you’re only using the bathroom a few times a week the moisture/wallpaper calculus is really different than a bathroom that gets a lot more use (daily showers/ multiple showers, etc).
    That said, it sounds like you’ve already ordered the glass door, so I think you should get the wall paper that you & Brian, the homeowners, like.

    I get wanting to think through all possible permutations about who might use this room in the future, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time, and you definitely can’t please your fantasy of who your son will be in the future.
    I think any kid would be really lucky to have their own ensuite, but if he does end up moving into the guest room, and the bathroom wallpaper is a deal breaker, it can be changed.
    Given your understanding of Charlie’s aesthetic preferences, he’ll likely want to change the paint color in the bedroom should he move in too- might be a good sweat equity project for a teen, with some help as warranted.

    1. Agreed. Trying to account for the possible eventualities or future occupants (or your blog readers’ tastes and opinions) when designing your own home is a losing game and one of the top reasons behind design regrets imo. That has been the case for me at least.

      Design for how a space will be used most of the time for the next 4 or 5 years – in this case the guest room bath slash Brian’s writing room bath. In a busy house with kids and pets, walls need repainting every 5 years or so anyway and I imagine wallpaper will have similar wear.

  42. When they start saying again, “Ladies and Gentlemen” at online work, then I will return, but not until then! Florida is a common sense conservative state where most jd-60 people have brains!

    Open The Link———————————➤

  43. This bathroom is so cute and once it’s finished, will look amazing. I think choosing wallpaper is the hardest thing, there are so many beautiful papers out there and none of them ever seem to be the collective #1 favorite of everyone in the house. I would go daring, it’s a guest bath! And teens like weird.
    A different vanity might really change up the approach to this room… more options to consider!

  44. If only the window was above the toilet so there could be a regular mirror (or medicine cabinet with mirror) above the sink. I understand the desire for perfect symmetry when you look at the exterior from the back yard, and that is such a pretty view BTW, but the functional interior of the bathroom is suffering as a result. I am surprised Arciform didn’t say anything. I like the pink floral wallpaper and would add a light colored bath rug to break up the expanse of pink floor tile. It will look good with the guest room and that’s what matters at this point. Remember you always say textiles, accessories and artwork make a huge difference in how a space feels when finished, so just follow through with your original plan and do what you and Brian agreed on. I thought Birdie was going to have a dressing table in her room for doing hair and makeup once she’s a teen. That would solve alot of the storage issues (for her stuff at least) and you can have fun designing that area in her room with her as she gets older.

    1. From my understanding – the exterior symmetry had to do with the the guest room, which is where they moved the original window from this bathroom. They chose to center the bathroom window between the sink and toilet, and then install the wall sconce over the window, and no amount of wallpaper will fix that!

      1. Has she said why they did not put fixtures on the inside wall – that would have avoided the window issue and they could have had a mirror and a vanity with storage…

        1. I suspect she will never explain that here. She knows it was a poor layout decision and is moving on. Would be nice to know if they absolutely HAD to choose the outside wall for fixtures, or if it was just a bad design move.

      2. They had to put the bathroom window where it is to achieve exterior symmetry on the back of the house.

  45. That tile is amazing! If you aren’t sure which direction you are headed at this point I would just style it out as-is. I would warm it up with a soft sand colored bath rug, light wood accessories and simple, tonal artwork. Maybe hand towels that are rust colored. I think it will all tie together nicely with the glass enclosure once installed, looking minimal and almost desert-like warmth. Maybe feels like the Mountain House? If you really want to change up the tile, you could just have your tiler add a 1 or 2 row tile border, maybe in a warm rust? They would have to pull out the tiles to add a different colored accent anyway. Definitely wait on the wallpaper.

    1. Also, i think would be better if no white in that bathroom, i don’t like the red and white combo. the tile BEAUTIFUL though.

  46. When they start saying again, “Ladies and Gentlemen” at online work, then I will return, but not until then! Florida is a common sense conservative state where most jd-60 people have brains!

    Open The Link———————————➤

  47. How about something like Scalamandre’s zebras wallpaper? Feels like that would jazz the room up while still being boy friendly.

    1. Love this suggestion. The room needs something unique / weird. It also needs a pop of black. This blog has said in the past that every room needs a little black to pull it together and something weird. This bathroom definitely needs both.

  48. If you want to play up the pink, I’d go with the HoH wallpaper you and Brian like. Personally, I’d choose something busier with blues and greens and accents of pink/red to tie into the tile.

  49. This is my first time reading about this room. I love the tile and color. I agree with your assessment on the grout in that lighting and also the lack of contrast in flooring. However I think the tile could be broken up with a few simple swaps. The tile baseboard outside the shower reads “restaurant kitchen” to me due to the color and shape. It also appears to shorten the walls visually. I would remove it and replace it with wooden trim to add farmhouse vibes. I would also remove the top row of the shower curb and install a marble curb cap. These things in addition to adding a rug would break up the tile tremendously making the shower more of a feature.. Although my husband is a fan of floral prints, my young son is not at all so I would have to agree to keep searching for paper options if you go that route. I am surprised you are considering adding more of rose color though as going with contrast seems more in line with your quirk. And lastly, the mirror is not ok. It is too small and useless for people that do actually need a mirror over a sink to do things like shaving. Lip gloss and haircare can be done anywhere but there are mirrors over sinks for reasons. Maybe install a whole vertical column of articulating for fun but put a more useful option center stage for guests.

  50. I think an unexpected color palette here would make all the difference. Take a look at a Santa Rita cactus – it has these muted brownish pinks, with washes of fushia and lilac and tiny hits of citrus and sage. If you could find a modern botanical wallpaper in lilac with fushia and your pink in the accents, you could create something wild and wonderful. Also I think a lot of your wallpapers are sweet and vintage, this is one room where you can consider pushing it over the line a bit into weird and wondrous.
    This one is floral but not too feminine:
    Or complimentary green tones:

  51. I hope you do a big post when the Kelly Ventura wallpaper samples arrive because there’s so many beautiful possibilities for them to be used in the farmhouse.

    For the guest bathroom I’m liking several:

    Meadow in Shell, Meadow in Linen, Shade Blossom in Linen, Midnight Garden in Blush. The Verte design is lovely but the Mink color is too dark.

    1. Yes! Kelly Ventura Meadow in Linen or Shade Blossom in Linen would both be wonderful in this room! Add a light flat weave rug on the floor:)

  52. I know it’s “just a guest bath” but if you were staying at someone’s house and had to use a mirror that you couldn’t see your face in, would you be thrilled with that? I feel like there has to be another option that your guests will actually be able to use!

    1. Yes it’s really not very considerate of the poor guest, which is kind of surprising coming from someone as seemingly thoughtful as Emily.

  53. Omg something about the orientation of the vanity behind that window would but the crap out of me if I walked into that room. The tile and grout are a GORGEOUS, a quiet impactful combination. Pink is kind of the new blue if you ask my nephew for the new generation.

    I think if this was my house I would have just flipped vanity and toilet to the other opposite wall and moved the door over a little for the opening.

  54. I think the tile + grout is cool / not a design mistake 🙂 . Have you thought about making new mood boards for the rooms that you don’t like? AIt would be fun to see an updated post about the direction / style of the house and how it’s changed / where you want to go as you are putting the final touches on more of the rooms.

  55. If you like the mirror, but don’t like the actual distortion from the antique qualities, just take it to a mirror/glass shop to replace the actual mirror glass. You still get the great antique mirror, but with a new mirror that is actually useable.

  56. The tile is beautiful! I agree with a previous commenter — perhaps a sky tube could add some natural light in the shower so that you see more dimension in that corner. Plus, there’s nothing like being awash (literally and figuratively!) in sunlight to help you wake up in the morning.
    If this is eventually to be Charlie’s bathroom (makes sense, given the smaller space and lack of storage), I’d consider a wallpaper that picks up the rust/brick tones in the tile. You can make it feel less girly pinky mauve, more Nantucket red. And on that note, maybe lean into that ivy league color palette of navy, chambray, a blue stripe … a little preppy Americana feels appropriate in a modern farmhouse (and pulls in an EHD blue). Google “Ralph Lauren red pants” or search @kjp on Instagram and pull inspiration from there.
    Either that, or get weird with it! Caitlin had a whole posts on red & green rooms for maximum contrast. Paste up some Merenda snake party, something boldly graphic, maybe a Gucci tiger head print, Brooklyn Toile to bring in a wink … it’s a guest room for now, so it’s the perfect opportunity to treat the room like a funky boutique hotel ensuite.

  57. I have 11 year old twins and they definitely wanted separate bathrooms this year. Given that you have the ability to separate them, I would do so and choose a different wallpaper with this in mind.

  58. I like the monochromatic look, color, and shapes – unexpected and modern. I am glad you did not do the white floor, which would be expected. Plus, Mamie Eisenhower would love this pink bathroom. It is not too pinky and has an earthy feel to it. For now, the pedestal sink works, and I am sure down the road, you will want to make changes to the room because we all like to change things around, and Charlie will be able to contribute to the renovation at an age that will last till he leaves the nest. Thankfully It is a small room.

    I love the wallpaper idea, so I cannot wait to see it. I also prefer the glass shower door, so you can see the color, allowing you to see your vision with the texture and movement. I like the wallpaper you show, but I think you will find another wallpaper that will make you fall back in love with the space. You need to stop driving yourself crazy.

  59. HI There, I know it’s all done and dusted, but could the toilet and sink have gone on the opposite interior wall, moving the door over towards the exterior wall a bit to accommodate the toilet/sink? This would have skipped all the window issues and still have room for everything. Looks great! I can’t believe all the decisions that you’ve had to make…it’s exhausting but such a beautiful outcome.

  60. My 11 yr old cis male son looked down on pink when he was 4 all the way up to when he was 8. Then he suddenly became OBSESSED with pink. It’s his favorite color. He claims he’s never hated pink and that of course it’s just a color. For anyone. Not just girls. And then soon after a bunch of cis boys in his grade all started embracing pink. Pink hoodies, pink winter hats, pink basketball sneakers!!!! As an artist and a lover of color (and a super liberal mom) this thrills me no end.

    So who knows? Maybe the kids in your neck of the woods will also embrace pink as an awesome color that anyone can love.

    Maybe Charlie will grow to be proud of his homey, beautiful and thoughtfully designed home that his parents put a lot of effort into to make it so? Regardless of the color of the bathroom. I bet he is already. I love your work.

    Ps. We live in suburban eastern Massachusetts where I just assumed boys would sneer at pink. So proud of my fellow parents here who are teaching our kids to thumb their noses at gender defined color assignments.

  61. Birdie will need the bathroom – privacy and lots of mirror time are essential in teen years. Do the wallpaper its perfect. Change the sink to vanity and hang large useful mirror from the ceiling – done. I think your house is fabulous….keep going

    1. Agree with this, 100%, especially when she starts having her period. A floor length bedroom mirror is another great option, too.

    2. I don’t really understand this, I’ve shared a bathroom my entire life and always had plenty of privacy! I don’t think I could imagine spending more than an hour a day in the bathroom, which leaves plenty of time for other users to meet their needs/get ready/take luxurious long baths, without compromising anybody’s alone time 🙂 What if she chooses to go to college and live in a dorm? Will she need her own bathroom then too? It might be nice for Birdie to get this bathroom, but I don’t see how it would be a *need* for her or for any other member of the family.

  62. I think this is shaping up to look great, but I think you risk making the same mistake with the wallpaper as you feel you did with the floor. What you need is not more of the same colour but something contrasting. Indigo looks great with terracotta, or even black. I love the suggestion made by another commenter for a wallpaper with stripes.

  63. I’m guessing that a lot of the ‘regrets’ came about with the rush to complete the project and only use one sponsor for the major fittings. The color doesn’t do a whole lot for me, if I’m honest, especially given that you worked with P&L. What I am really curious is why you didn’t include a corner bench for shaving legs etc?

  64. White breadboard 3/4 up the wall with your wallpaper above. Leave the grout. For a masculine look, paint walls the color of your tile.

  65. What about House of Hackney’s Golden lily in the apatite color? It’s less feminine with leaves and flowers (shhh). It also has a lot of movement to break up the hard angles of the wall tile. It also could add some color variations since you aren’t doing a shower curtain.

  66. I love the wallpaper you selected and think it will soften the transition from all the pink tile to the stark white walls. The paper will make tile look more intentional. That said, I do not understand why the the light fixture is centered over the window. It makes the sink look like it’s in the wrong spot. I can’t tell from the pictures, but I would place a single sconce or hanging fixture over the sink. It looks so odd to not have a light and mirror over the sink. I also am not a fan of the antique glass in the mirror. I would absolutely replace the glass. The bathroom does not have storage, but that’s ok to me since it’s a guest bath. Our daughter used our guest bath for years because she did not want to share the hall bathroom with her two brothers, and the lack of storage did not bother her one bit.

    1. I think this is a lovely wallpaper and would work very well in this room! I commented below and added a non-floral chinoiserie pattern – a botanical toile pattern might be even better!

  67. The tile is beautiful and the glass shower doors will look clean and practical and also beautiful. Adding sconces to the room can add more light and more dimension. I might suggest adding tan, beige, camel or a charcoal gray to the mix – ex: a wallpaper such as a non-floral chinoiserie in a light to medium charcoal grey or beige: Then maybe light wood shelving over the wallpaper and a beige rug on the floor. The shelving can hold decorative baskets/boxes, a plant or two, and some small artwork . Add a mirror that is functional somewhere in the room – I like your idea of a pull out by the sink; however my vote is for a really gorgeous/knockout new mirror that will look elegant and intentional and would also be functional. It will be a beautiful room!

  68. Some of these comments feel unnecessarily snide. Or just plain unnecessary (who has the time and energy to care how often your children bathe?! ) That being said, here I am with my 2 cents.

    I’ ve seen bathrooms like this with a small, unobtrusive glass shelf right above the sink. Place for the toothbrush: check!

    The HoH wallpaper feels saccharine. I know you want more light/love tone on tone for the soothing quality… so you are leaning into the lighter tonal pattern but it doesn’t read scandi or farmhouse or shaker or pnw m… or quirky or whimsical… I know that you want soothing Mountain House simplicity vibes but that bathroom needs a something more playful, I think… or the tonality will be too weighty.

    I almost want to see a muted/rustic triadic color scheme here. I could see butter yellow and blue playing well with the rosy red glow of the tile. I love Penny Morrison’s Magda. Probably not Brian or Charlie’s cup of tea, but quirky and the pattern has a playful use of scale. I’ll keep thinking (dislike the idea of stripes that some have suggested).

  69. The tile gives off mid-century vibes and I personally don’t think adding a wallpaper with large, traditional, pink roses will make things better. Other House of hackney patterns, like HOLLYHOCKS, could help distract from the monolythic tile. I would make the space more fun an cheerul and even complement the tile.

  70. Why not paint the room to match the tile? I feel like this room wants to go full monochrome. Can always wallpaper later. The white ceiling is the issue!

  71. That’s a *whole* lot of handwringing over what Charlie’s friends might think. Unless you’re going to bill his future friends for your wallpaper, they can hate it for free.

  72. Thanks for being so brave to admit publicly when things don’t work out exactly as you imagined. It’s really inspiring to me!

  73. I think it’s all lovely and you’ll find the perfect wallpaper to soften and enliven it all up. The small mirror isn’t at all an issue. I hate lots of large mirrors forcing me to look at myself, in or out of a bathroom. But maybe from a function point of view you could get some new glass put into that lovely old frame as it would be maddening to have an impeded reflection on those occasions when a good, honest close-up is needed.

  74. I feel you on the cis boy pink floral wallpaper query, and for a normal person I feel you on not wanting to redo wallpaper in 4 years, BUT: you are not a normal consumer as a design blogger and I think you could totally redo it in 4 years probably with sponsorship and/or to create content. So like, you can wallpaper it up now and deal with the de-femme project later (by which time the gal may prefer showers anyway) so I think 4 years might kind of be forever in EHD years? So you’ll be OK with the flowers (and so will everyone else)! Ok but now I can’t help but go read the comments a bit, heh. Good to know about tonal grout!!

  75. There are a lot of ways to creatively hang a bathroom mirror in front of a window and have it look bold and intentional. I did a Google image search and was really impressed. I dunno if you’re still reading these comments Kj, but wasn’t there a home tour recently featured on this blog where they hung the bathroom mirrors in front of offset windows? I can’t find it though I tried. This bathroom needs some contrast, and bold design choices to sing. My two cents.

      1. Thanks Kj! It just seems like the space needs a bit of a similar design risk with a stunning payoff. I could imagine a really stunning vintage, even heavily ornate mirror suspended off-center. Looking forward to the final reveal.

  76. My vote is for a wallpaper that is a little “weird”. I think Emily needs to bring the weird back and the whole room and en suite is just too… sweet. The pink tiles look fine, the bathroom just needs to be styled. I’m thinking something like Caitlyn’s bathroom’s bust wallpaper. That bathroom could have easily gone sweet, but the weird wallpaper she chose made it so INTERESTING, while still incorporating the colors she wanted to emphasize. Also, I agree with many that you need some storage in there. I like providing little toiletries for my guests – qtips, mini toothpaste, mini bars of soap, etc. Where would you put any of that at this point? Lastly, please do not do the antique mirror. I would absolutely hate it if I stayed at someone’s house, and I couldn’t see to pluck my eyebrows or put on mascara in the bathroom mirror.

    1. I agree. Im tired of these basic traditional wallpapers. Go quirky! Especially in a bathroom that is tucked away.

  77. Late to the party with my 2 cents . . . this is another “form over function” conundrum. Once you tackle the “function” you are going to be able to hone in on the form. What does the bathroom need to function well, especially as a guest bathroom? A well-placed, wet-rated mirror, somewhere to put the toilet paper, some storage (shelf/toothbrush cups, etc.), a rug, a window covering, towels, etc. Once those elements are in place, you will likely know what direction to go in with artwork or statement wallpaper. I think agonizing over the final touches before the functional touches makes things more difficult. Good luck – can’t wait to see how it turns out!

  78. How exhausting to always have to explain/justify the things you say on here! I have a 14 year old gay cisgender son who certainly doesn’t fit in the old fashion thinking of “boys are made of snips, snails and puppy dog’s tails” which I wholeheartedly love and embrace, but I still wouldn’t have expected you to have to explain your son’s opinion and justify your support of it. I admire your thoughtfulness and care, as those are great traits to have, but don’t envy your need to tiptoe around your words on this platform.

    As for the guest bathroom, I LOVE all of your choices thus far! I think the wall tile with the coordinating grout, and floor tile are so so good. In the pics the texture and color do pop, but I know you said the pictures are brighter and not a true representation of what you see in person. I love the wallpaper idea, whether it be the floral shown or another one. Press forward, friend! Can’t wait to see what you come up with.

  79. Love seeing progress posts and watching you work things out, Emily. I personally find it hilarious that you’re referring to seeing yourself in a mirror as a “luxury” (the things we do for design!) I can relate but honestly you need a mirror that actually functions 😂

  80. I hope you go with the lovely wallpaper in the photo accompanying this post. If your son takes this room and bathroom in the future, it shouldn’t be hard to change—and not terribly expensive since it’s a small bath. The rose wall tile is the color of a desert sunset, so you could make it more masculine by bringing in other desert colors. Or treat it as a Harry Potter-style turret? Also, the away jerseys of the Portland Timber (Major League Soccer) are pink with a pattern of roses that match the wall tile, so you could conceivably do an understated sports theme or a Celebrate Portland theme. I think choosing their rooms when they’re older will be a great exercise in assessing options and living with the results. Your kids are lucky to have such an empathetic and supportive mom.

    1. That is kind of funny, I feel like it was just a flip that copied all kinds of elements from the designers/stylists du jour. I totally see some Mountain House elements as well as Portland House and then a touch of Sarah Sherman Samuel thrown in there.

  81. I agree with a lot of the commenters that some texture and wood tones might soften and make it more ‘farmhouse-ey.’ But knowing glass shower door has been ordered, it’s worth exploring other wallpapers. I’m wondering if a fun toile, like this one, might work?

    or even a jungle scene?
    (I have no affiliation with this company i just used their mushroom wallpaper in that same tone on tone metallic in my kitchen and am totally obsessed.)

    Either way, i don’t know that wallpaper choice will be what wins Charlie over or not and agree that predicting the likes and dislikes of a teenage boy is nigh-on impossible and not to worry. Also not for nothing, it’s only in the past hundred years or so that pink became a ‘girl’ color and blue for boys. used to be the opposite. However, I take your point that it’s the overall mauve and floral vibe rather than the specific color to which he might object (but again, who knows, that far down the line). My parents’ bathroom was vintage tile in almost this exact color and they accented it with blush and medium toned wood and it honestly feels pretty gender neutral?

  82. Ok, this is maybe the most critical comment I’ve ever left on this site but…what is up with Emily not caring about function in bathrooms that aren’t her own and making these decisions about storage, etc. that do not benefit her kids or her guests? “I’m not concerned about it AT ALL (likely because it’s not my bathroom) and I feel like not every room gets to be this super dialed 2023 luxury”. Having a usable mirror isn’t a luxury? It’s literally HALF the point of a bathroom. I get that the vintage mirror looks cute, but come on! Between that unusable mirror and the pedestal sink with no counter space, I’d be pretty frustrated as a guest, especially since I know how much thought and money, and effort was poured into this house. Why would you choose to do your guests dirty like that, Emily?

  83. I love the saturated richness of the monochromatic tile and grout combo. It’s what takes this bathroom from straight up traditional to fresh and modern. Keep following your instincts. Can’t wait to see the end result.

  84. I so appreciate your sharing you ….I’m sure you know, but I’ve been looking at the new beautiful waterproof wallpaper …could help with any concerns regarding shower door ….and you always end up creating beauty xxx

  85. I live in a brick house almost exactly the color of those tiles. It gives me the serious desire to decorate your bathroom like a tavern/coffee house. lol But anyway, my actual suggestion is to hunt through your props and find a mirror to hang on the wall across from the window to bounce light through the room. You can check to see if the wall mirror will work for personal grooming. I’m not sure if you were indulging in hyperbole, but I am dubious about the articulating mirror if it doesn’t work as a mirror. But if the wall mirror works fine, then the articulating one can just be pretty. (I like antique mirrors too, but I would be dismayed if I had to use it as my mirror.)

    1. You could also add a vertical cubby between the studs, or a series of horizontal small square ones, for storage and plants. (Or a medicine cabinet, though the powers that be have declared them to be out of style.)

  86. I love the idea of bringing in a beautifully contrasting color – like a sage green/teal blue! You might be able to find something that complements the gorgeous tile without it being solely tone-on-tone

  87. The grout color looks perfect to me. I would also not put up any wallpaper. Less is more. Let the nice tiles, sink, mirror etc have their ‘star moment’ instead of pulling attention in all directions by making it more busy.

  88. I think the grout “issue” might recede a bit in importance if your wallpaper has some lightness to it like the sample you held up.

  89. Love the grout and the tile!!! They are the stars of the room! Let them shine by keeping it simple. No wallpaper. Keep it simple with a wood shelf and plants. In the future, if your children would like wallpaper, make your decision then.

  90. Emily, why not do a wall mural in a forest landscape or some other non gender specific theme? Greys blacks and whites could be amazing!
    What about whales?!

    Bonnie O

  91. As someone who has all boys this is something that I have been dealing with for years. I am not one to assign a sex to decor, but I have found that my choice sometimes doesn’t work for the men in my life because they feel it is too feminine. I have always had a hard time decorating my son’s bedrooms as the choices for boy decor at places like Pottery Barn Teen, are usually limited to plaid, plain dull colors, or sports teams, while the girls get unlimited styles and patterns, the boys section always seems like an afterthought. There is a way to make decor that appeals to boys/men more interesting than that, but I feel like we constantly send limiting messages to boys about what is acceptable for them. I’m not talking about you or your blog, but what I typically see at mainstream retailers. To me the tone of the pink tile is less feminine than a light pink, and I love the House of Hackney floral wallpaper, but full disclosure I love their stuff, and recently used their Zeus wallpaper in Tobacco in my walkout basement “rec room”. It’s a chinoiserie style print with ivory cranes, and weeping willows, which tends to feminine, but the Tobacco (orangish) color makes it less so, and my sons absolutely love it!

  92. Beautiful bathroom, I love the pink tile and the old house quirks!
    I had a shower remodel that turned out feeling darker than I had hoped, we ended up adding a solatube skylight in the shower and problem solved! I couldn’t believe what a difference it made.

  93. i think you should go with the floral wall paper in the guest bathroom. i dont understand why birdie and charlie cant share the kids bathroom throughout high school and college – my brother and i did. they key is organization and respect. they can always of course use that room like they have been to speed up getting ready time. it just wont be “theirs”.

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