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Mountain House Reveal: The Riskiest Bathroom I Designed—With a “How I’m Feeling Now” Update


We are back with another reveal, this time the hall bath (here is the in-depth process post from last year if you need a recap). We have at times called this the kids’ bath, but the kids only take baths in our huge micro bubble bathtub or our steam shower simply because they are more fun. So this bathroom basically just houses their toothbrushes and middle-of-the-night bathroom runs. Let’s show you around and at the end, I’ll tell you how it’s holding up.

But first, what it looked like before:

Upstairs Hall Kids Bath Reveal B&a 1 New

Upstairs Hall Kids Bath Reveal B&a 2

The bathroom “before” was dated and not our style (updated in the early 2000s) and generally needed to be started over and reworked. Originally, the bathtub shower combo was situated in the room length-wise, which limited the vanity space (and frankly, created wasted space). The vanity itself had decent storage, but a simple shift in the orientation of the tub and toilet area (and knocking down that partial wall) ended up opening up a ton more space.

The Goal:

This bathroom was supposed to be for the kids since their bedroom is across the hall. I wanted it to be slightly more playful, although I’m not sure that was achieved, but certainly bright and light. We wanted a full bath because we had room for it and a double vanity for storage. It mostly was another space for me to take a design risk as it wasn’t my bathroom. It’s modern mountain, in a bright Scandi vibe, leaning a bit more contemporary than classic.

Kids Bath 04

Let’s start with the materials:

We found this emerald quartzite at the Bedrosians stone yard and fell in love with it polished. It was certainly a risk and one that Brian was doubtful of but since it wasn’t our bathroom (i.e. he wouldn’t have to look at it every day), he said go for it. Because polished green stone with brass-finished is more Liberace, less modern mountain, I knew we wanted it in a leathered finished, but we hit a snag. We transferred it all the way up to the mountains to find out that the stone fabricator no longer had the leathering machine, so we had to transport it all the way back to near the stone yard, and then yes, back up here. But it HAD to be leathered in order for us to love it like we do.

Kids Bath 06

It was worth it and turned out to be INCREDIBLY stunning. It has a lot of gray undertones and is really subtle. We put it on the front and top of the tub, and it’s really our big moment.

Kids Bath 03

The tile is the gray zellige from Clé. We had the brick leftover from our LA house that I’d been hoarding for 2 years and didn’t want to waste it so we used it here. But I didn’t want to combine it with another material so we chose the same tile in a 2×2 for the floor. It’s shiny so I was worried about it being slippery, but the grout lines are close enough that I think it’s fine. But to be honest, we’ve only used this tub like twice so I don’t actually know. Also, I wanted to call out something you don’t see but is just as nice as the beauty of those tiles: the nVent NUHEAT radiant heating under the floors. It’s equivalent to pulling a warm fluffy towel out of the dryer and wrapping it around your cold, wet body…except for your feet.

Kids Bath 08

We laid out the brick in this alternating triple stack pattern on the vanity wall, which I think makes it feel really custom and unique. It’s SO BEAUTIFUL.

Kids Bath 05

We worked with Kohler on all the faucets and fixtures and chose the Composed line in their vibrant polished brass (this is part of their Finish to Order program, which lets me personalize the fittings I want in the finish I want, which is then made to order. Be sure to head to your local Kohler Signature Store or Kohler Experience Center to find out more about the program). It’s by FAR the most contemporary and modern line, but we loved the straightness of the faucet, and again, this was a room that I was willing to take more of a risk in. The cross handles keep it classic, and it’s just so sleek and chic. Plus, that specific brass shade looks SO GOOD against the pale sage green.

Kids Bath 07

The vanity (also Kohler and customizable) is huge and has so much storage that we even fit the waste bin in there. It’s classic, timeless and all in all great.

Kids Bath 01

The countertop was kept simple (a honed white Thassos), with very little veining to compete with the quartzite of the tub surround.

Because the bathroom was starting to go more glam (more on that later) so we needed to bring in black and wood STAT. We chose those pretty straight modern wood handles and knobs, which helped and then, of course, the sconces that are ridiculous and really take this bathroom in a different direction, in a good way.

Kids Bath 09

Kids Bath 11

Let’s get into how I am feeling about it now…

…and how has the leathered stone held up.

Okay, so I love every single thing in this bathroom and will not change a thing. HOWEVER, this bathroom feels a bit like a different house because it went more glam, which was not my intention. I needed to choose the brass Composed line early on because there was a decent lead time, so that was locked down when I found the green stone. Then we decided to use the leftover zellige which isn’t glam, but it is shiny. the combination of those three things does just give it a different vibe than the other bathrooms.

If I could go back in time, I would have kept that insane stone, but used black faucet fixtures and not put a tile behind the vanity because I think the stone is the star and we didn’t need more texture. I want to be very clear here—everyone LOVES this bathroom, I LOVE this bathroom, despite having some design criticisms for myself. This blog is not just revealing, but teaching and I think a good lesson is to remember to use restraint, and to keep the overall theme in all of your choices. I could have just done a 4-inch Thassos backsplash and drywall and saved some money. One of the reasons I didn’t was because working with Kohler, I wanted to ENSURE that all of the work that I was doing highlighted their products beautifully and that every angle of the bathroom has interest and texture to really showcase their product.

Kids Bath 09

As you can see in the shot above, the tile really enhanced and warmed up the space, so in itself that tile is AMAZING, it’s just A LOT of texture when mixed with the green stone slab. We could even have put the slab on the floor (cut into tiles) and kept it even simpler.

Again, I love this bathroom and certainly, nothing is changing, I just could have pulled it back a bit (and saved some money on tile labor).

Kids Bath 07

Now onto the stone. A lot of you are curious about how the leathered quartzite or honed Thassos has held up. It’s very hard to say because of the minimal use. But I will say this: someone put a piece of cheese on the deck of the tub, as you do, and it has left a grease stain that’s a bit darker. Now, I haven’t tried to clean it beyond a spray bottle and rag, but that made me really glad that we didn’t use it in the kitchen. Again, in our LA house, our kitchen is a light marble that is leathered and it is aging beautifully and I have no regrets. Quartzite is meant to be extremely hard (we did a whole stone guide here if you want to learn more), so I’m not sure but it’s darker so maybe it’s going to show grease where a lighter stone doesn’t.

Lastly, the Thassos…this could have easily been an opportunity to use a composite, like the Cambria we used in the kitchen. So far it’s holding up fine but if the kids’ gross bubble gum pink toothpaste gets left on the counter, I have to do a bit of scrubbing. I think if you are going to do something so clean and white and it fits your style, then a white matte composite would be a bit smarter.

As a side note, the stone in the upstairs guest bath, master bath and the downstairs bath all are either honed or leathered and get far more use and are doing GREAT. I think it’s because they have more veining, and thus are busier so even if toothpaste did etch it a bit, you can’t see it.

So there you go, our slightly more glam hall bath that I still really love, that makes me so happy when I walk through the doors despite being able to be critical about my decisions.

Kids Bath 03

I’d love to know if you guys secretly agree that I could have used more restraint. Or maybe wouldn’t have even noticed it until I pointed it out? Or do you think I’m NUTS because it’s SUCH a pretty bathroom???

Bathroom Resources


Pure White by Sherwin-Williams | Wall Tile by Clé Tile | Floor Tile by Clé Tile | Shower Surround in Honed Emerald Quartzite by Bedrosians Tile & Stone | Vanity Countertop in Honed Thassos by Bedrosians Tile & Stone | nVent NUHEAT Radiant Heating


Sconces in Blackened Brass/Black Walnut/Opal by Allied Maker


Rounded Rectangle Mirrors by Rejuvenation | Marble Tank Tray from CB2 | White Vase (similar) | Marble Soap Tray (similar) | Towels from Target | Shower Curtain from Target | Art (vintage) | Rug (vintage)

Fixtures by Kohler:

Vanity | Sink Faucet | Ceramic High-Flow Valve System | Sink | Adjustable P-trap | Toilet | Showerhead | Bath Spout | Bath | Hand Shower | Valve | Thermostatic Valve | Bath Drain


Switches and Outlets in Antique Bronze by Forbes and Lomax | Wood Drawer Pull from Etsy | Wood Cabinet Knob from Etsy | Shower Curtain Rod from | Toilet Paper Holder by Kohler | Robe Hook by Kohler | Towel Bar by Kohler | Towel Arm by Kohler | Door Hardware by Rejuvenation

Windows & Doors:

Matte Black Fiberglass Ultimate Casement Narrow Window Frame by Marvin | Reclaimed Beechwood Door by Ross Alan Reclaimed Lumber

Before we go, I wanted to give a great big thank you to my incredible team who made this house a possibility: Julie Rose, Velinda Hellen and Grace de Asis. Photos are by our own Sara Ligorria-Tramp, styled by me with help from Emily Bowser, Erik Staalberg and Veronica Crawford. Our contractor was Jeff Malcolm and our architect (that we used at the beginning of the project) was John Lyles.

Check out the rest of The Mountain House reveals here: The Kitchen The Kitchen Organization | The Kitchen Appliances | The Powder Bath | The Living Room | The Downstairs Guest Suite | The Loft | The Kids’ RoomThe Upstairs Guest Bath | The Dining Room | The Family Room


Fin Mark


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I mean… wow. Just wow. That stone is STUNNING. I completely agree with your criticisms about toning down the glam. I think the end result has a fun vintage feel though, so who could be mad about that? 🙂


When you first showed us the renders of this bathroom I thought it was too glam because of the green stone and voted for the other option. Now that I see how the stone really looks like in this space it’s so beautiful and not glam at all. But as you mentioned, you could have changed somethings of the design to make it more mountainy and / or scandinavian (which it’s not at all). Still it’s a very beautiful bathroom and the green stone is perfect!


It’s quite beautiful; that stone is so interesting. I agree about restraint, you could have simplified a few textures. But luckily, the room is a “moment” and not a steadfast part of your lives, which works. xo


The wood handles read as brass to me when I saw the pictures before reading the text, so that seemed super glam (and the black mirror and sconces seemed kind of isolated). Overall it’s beautiful but yes, more glam than the rest of the house as revealed so far. I like that picture with the black pottery+greenery instead of white pottery, just that extra hit of black feels like it grounds it or adds a bit more edge to the glam. And the tile backsplash is gorgeous so I’m glad you used it.


What’s interesting to me is if you look at the shots that have just the vanity, it doesn’t come off glam and if you look shots with just the tub shown it doesn’t come off too glam either but all together it does seem less mountainy.
But that’s just from photos. I bet you do not get that vibe when you’re in the space because it is so pretty and really does feature the Kohler fixtures

Sari Makki-Phillips

I agree with you. I look at all the shots without the tub, and the bathroom doesn’t come off glam.. and still cohesive with the designs from the other bathrooms. I honestly had to take a second look when I saw the picture of the tub. I thought it was a different room altogether.. I thought it was an Inspo photo. The green stone and the brass fixtures look so different. They look great separately on the shots, just not sure how it looks altogether. You’re right though, sometimes you have to be in the space to get the whole feel. Beautiful, nonetheless.


Yes, I find myself agreeing with Emily and the above comment. I voted for that green stone and it’s absolutely beautiful! For me, the visual confusion is not necessarily the “glam” of the brass itself, but more the abundance of textures and patterns in total: the green marble should have been the principal star in here and instead she’s having to compete with two needy co-hosts (the zeliege tile and the brass fixtures). I felt this way from the beginning and thought that the green should continue on to the floors. To make it more mountain-y, some wood cladding behind the mirrors could have been interesting instead of the tile, even though I love that tile, especially how you had it installed. I am sort of torn about the brass fixtures because they compliment the green stone SO well, and yet black may have looked just as beautiful if the other elements had taken that into account from the beginning. It’s a helpful learning exercise for sure, sometimes less is more!


I was very curious to read others’ reactions. I agree with this – I adore the green stone. I have issues with the various tiles – I don’t find the bathroom too “glam,” I find it has a conflicted identity;). I think it needed to be simplified, just the stone, OK fine to the brass fixtures, or black, either way, but not the black AND the brass with the stone. Wood cladding, sure, and also a simpler vanity (without whatever you you call that “molding” on a cabinet door? lol I’m not well-school in home stuff.)

I feel like if you’re going to do that stone you have to embrace it – not in its Hollywood guise but in its deep bed of a river soul.


Love your “deep bed of a river soul” description of the stone. I feel that, too, and like you I think the room would have been better had the stone been the star. Everything else should have been drop dead simple, so they read as supporting players to the stone star.


Or how about a teak floor? I love wood floors in bathrooms, but no one does this anymore. If you use teak or Ipe or something that is normally used outdoors, it holds up perfectly, I have wood floors in both of our bathrooms with tubs and showers and it looks as good as the day it was installed, one about ten years ago an the other about five. It adds such a beautiful warmth and would work so well against that gorgeous green stone!


I feel exactly the same! To tone down the glam there should be more wood–like maybe even the mirror frames should be wood rather than black, or the vanity should be wood. I do love the brass with the green stone though. It’s so pretty! That combo does read glam, but that’s not a bad thing at all! 🙂


I can imagine a wood wall would really take this in a mountain Scandi direction. It’s all about the sauna connection.


Agree! I find my eyes are wishing for more black and less brass in here. But the stone is a knock-out!!


I love the stone! I think toning down the brass fixtures would have helped with it being “too glam” but… whatevs! Its still gorgeous 🙂


I agree completely. The stone is gorgeous, but black fixtures might have toned the room down a bit. It’s beautiful, but doesn’t match what we’ve seen of the rest of the house so far.


I agree! The only thing I’d change would be to switch the fixtures to the same thing in black. It would tone down a bit and make more sense with the sconces & mirrors.


I agree. If I were to change anything, the fixtures would be the only thing on the list.


I like all the parts of this room individually. My eyes wish there was a sage green bathmat on the floor instead of white in order to bring the green tile color elsewhere in the room. I also wish the art on the walls was more kid-like and playful, and also maybe a bit larger. I am really liking the mirrors (loved the mirrors in the “sexy” black bathroom too). Maybe the vanity hardware in this bathroom could be a different finish like white or wood or even matte black in order to reduce the glam factor and mountain-it-up.


*Correction: on my cell the finishes on the vanity pulls/knobs appeared to be brass, but now I see that they are actually wood. So, I don’t know, maybe small white pegs, or something that is curvier (more organic in shape, less squared off).


I was 100% against the stone, but wow, it looks BEAUTIFUL. Love how it turned out – well done Emily and team. And if it makes you happy whenever you walk into this bathroom, then who cares if it doesn’t totally sync with the other bathrooms in the house. It doesn’t have to.


SAME. It’s so much prettier than I thought it’d be.


Beautiful, but agree that this does feel like it belongs in a completely different house, and while gorgeous, the tub tile does give me a bit of a “luxe hotel” vibe.


Totally agree. I agree with Emily too that it should have been the tile behind the sink or the stone, not both. In the mountain house I would have done the tile and ditched the stone–it is too luxe for the rest of the house.

Loveley of

this bathroom is GORGEOUS. that stone is A.MAZING! love love love it. i love the shiny brass faucets with the stone. it doesn’t read as too glam for me. i don’t think any other finish would have looked as perfect with that stone. i just love the combo.
the wood vanity pulls are kinda outta place (IMHO) compared to the bathtub area though. so i guess maybe you’re right, and the tub is kinda glam. but not bad glam. great glam. the green stone on the floor would have been PERFECTION and continued the look, but it’s still nice as it is. love the tiled wall. definitely looks special and custom.


Beautiful! I would tentatively agree that it’s a bit more ‘glam’ than the rest of the house, but I probably wouldn’t have thought about it had you not pointed it out. And given the level of use (small) versus the joy it brings (lots), I’d say you made the right choice in taking that risk!


I agree. I never would have noticed it being a bit more “glam” if Emily didn’t point it out. I love absolutely everything about it. I was stunned when I saw the first picture. Great job!


I love this Quartzite! I don’t think ‘more restraint’ is the term I would use … but I will say that when you listed the three things you might have done differently I was shouting, “Yes. YES. YAAASSS!!” Black fixtures in the tub/shower would have been perfect in my mind. The shower area and the sink area seem like two different spaces (both lovely ones). But I love your reasoning behind why you chose what you did! None of us are designing in a vacuum and so those realities (the X factor, if you will) are in every space and in every home. Very relatable!


Wow! I won’t lie, I was SO against the green marble in the you decide post, but it really looks so beautiful in this room. I think the wall tile is stunning but am curious about how textured the floor tile is? Its so pretty but my brain is reading like it would be very difficult to clean? I’d love to see all black fixtures in this room, to tone it down a bit (though the brass is fantastic,) and while the wooden hardware is lovely, I don’t know that I love it in this room. It seems a bit jarring to me. All in all, still a stunning bathroom, and I appreciate your commentary on all of these posts about what you’d have done differently!

Kayla aka Kilo Bravo

My initial thought too was – ohh I wish the tub kit was matte black instead of the brass. But man oh man, this bathroom is GOOD. I think the risks were worth it! I will be dreaming about that green stone for weeks. And now I need wooden handles on my next bathrooom reno. I am loving Mountain House Week! I don’t want it to end!


I had the exact same thought about the tub fixtures, though the finished product is stunning. I LOVE it, but I think I black would have looked awesome too.

Also, I want to say to Emily and team I appreciate SO much when you discuss these “regrets” or second thoughts you’ve done even when the finished product is LOVELY and you are generally happy with it. I have so much doubt about the decisions I make for my own home and it’s incredibly validating to know the pros (especially one I look up to so much) feel the same way sometimes too. So, thank you for that.

thank you 🙂 And you are welcome. so glad that you guys are willing to comment and discuss my picky “regrets”. xx


I just cracked up over your comment that “someone left a piece of cheese on the deck, as you do”. The bathroom is gorgeous.


Same, that line made me laugh out loud and then re-read to be sure it really did say cheese hahaha


omg, me too! I love that it’s not too glam to bring your cheese along. Success!

You guys. WHY DO CHILDREN PUT PIECES OF CHEDDAR ON LEATHERED QUARTZITE?? So far, a week after I wrote this post, the grease stain is still there even after I used a stone cleaner. So I can now confidently say that you should not put cheese on your leathered quartzite tub surround. if you needed an expert to tell you this, i’m your girl 🙂


Try rubbing a little original Dawn dish soap on the spot, and leave it till the next day before washing off. That used to pull grease spots off my unoiled soapstone countertops before I oiled the whole thing! Although maybe that was because soapstone isn’t very permeable? Worth a try…
Very beautiful bathroom! I appreciate your discussion and thoughts. Nice to know that design is a process for everyone, even the professionals!


You can probably get the stain out by making a poultice of equal parts baking soda and acetone, yes nail polish remover. Mix until it’s a smooth paste and glob it on the stain about 1/4 thick. Cover the area with plastic wrap and then tape it all around so that it’s airtight. Leave on for 24 hrs. Take it off and then wipe with a little water and dish washing liquid. Let it dry for 24hrs. If the stain is still not gone, repeat process. And the bathroom is stunning. I woudnlt change a thing. Except I wish you didn’t need a shower curtain so that stone would be fully seen.


Wow – I’ll be honest and say that I didn’t think I was going to like this bathroom… at all. BUT, I love it! And I don’t care that it’s a little more glam than what we’ve seen so far, I still think it’s calm and serene so it doesn’t feel out of place with the rest of the house.

thank you- I truly do still love it, I just love to look at my work critically so I can learn from it as well. I’m helping my best friends design their scandy beach house right now and we walked through this house and by seeing what worked and what slightly didn’t in person, its just so helpful. Its making them tweak their design and pull back a bit because its so easy to over design when the world is your oyster.


Gorgeous bathroom! My first thought wasn’t that it was too glam but that there was a whole LOT going on – the show-stopping green slab, all the shiny brass fixtures, the textured square tiles on the floor and brick pattern on the walls, the smoother white stone on the vanity, the more rustic wooden pulls – PHEW it was a lot to look at and I couldn’t even see the mirrors and sconces in that photo! All gorgeous, just a lot.
So, yeah, you could have saved some money. Maybe you were subconsciously wanting to distract doubters like Brian from the green stone?


that green stone is ethereal! really beautiful, great find : ).


I think it looks great as is. I originally thought the green would be much darker, but with the light green it feels very leafy and blends into the outdoors theme. The wooden vanity handles are definitely not sophisticated, so you toned down the glam some with those. The stone is very pretty and I think the tile looks great too. When I think of texture, I don’t include the green stone as a texture (smooth), but the tile, to me, is the textural element. Great job as always, and I am loving the reveals this week!


Love it, so no criticisms here—I’m not sure I even would have pondered its vibe compared to the rest of the house if you hadn’t pointed it out. After all, sometimes you just like what you like, matchiness be damned. 😉


I think it is beautiful. I also think it is natural to be critical of ourselves especially if you want to apply lessons learned the next time. I’m glad you are enjoying it!


I totally agree with your points. The first thing I thought when I scrolled the photos before reading, was – wow! I love the showe/tub, but I wish the plumbing fixtures were black. But great design for sure!


I love this! That green slab is so gorgeous. Is it very expensive to install slab walls like this?

Cf Betcher

This is my favorite room so far! That being said, it is more glamourous than I would have gone. I totally understand the reason you wanted style on every wall, but I always tell my clients: not everything can be a star.
What I would really love is a light wood floor. Not much graining, marine grade finish for water protection. The floor tile feels like the thing that put the design over the edge.
But really, it is so lovely. And I feel like it goes very well with the house!!


I love it. Honestly SO WHAT if the aesthetic in this room is different. It is absolutely not out of place in this gorgeous home, is freaking incredible, and is exactly what it was meant to be, obviously! Here’s to taking and celebrating risks. Feeling inspired!


Can you talk about what you ended up photoshopping in this room for the photos? In the previous bathroom, I was surprised your team digitally modified the marble floor to correct the tile placement error. I’m sure the all editorial photos all have some level of processing, but I think it’s helpful for your readers to know what is real and what required virtual fixing.



Cf Betcher

Maybe pale blue towels to relax it a bit?


The green stone is gorgeous and lots of the elements here are lovely on their own. But all together it’s a little confusing. So many textures, and yet with the same tone in the green and the gray it all blends together — I wonder how it would have looked if the green was set off against a wooden slatted wall that read more mountain. And while I love that Cle zellige so much I have it in my own shower, I really wonder about it as a floor tile. It’s sharp!

I think the thing holding me back from really feeling like this bathroom works is the Kohler stuff. I know it’s a partnership, but it seems like several times, in your LA house and here, you’ve pointed out that you had to choose the fixtures so far in advance and then they didn’t quite work, etc. And I think that the Kohler stuff never quite fits in to what you’re doing, and is a little more safe than the rest of the design, but it keeps showing up.


I’m curious about the shower curtain length choices in this bathroom and the other one. Is it really ok for the shower curtain to not be longer and go to the bottom of the tub like you’d expect window curtains to do? There are so many more pretty yet affordable shower curtains in the standard length!


I don’t think the shower curtain is short — it’s just tucked inside the tub to show off the green stone.


What color grout did you use with the floor tile? So pretty✨


So. So. Beautiful. Bravo team! Thanks Brian for approving the risk as well. It really paid off!


This is stunning! I wouldn’t have been brave enough to use that stone but the result blows me a way! I love the tile on the wall… not so much on the floor. I think something with less texture would have worked better there. The fixtures are amazing and brass seems to be coming back though I would have gone with all black myself. Another triumph over all for you and your team. This week is SO MUCH FUN! I love the reveals!


I am a fan of this bath I just wish there was a glass shower door. Any reason why you didn’t do that here?

Paige Cassandra Flamm

This room looks amazing! Your team did an incredible job on this space!



I’m so glad you went with the 3 brick back splash. It is my favorite detail in the room!


Yeah, agree. Drywall + vanity would have been too basic suburban. The tile really distracts from the big white block. It’s so pretty.

And gosh, THAT SHOWER. Gorgeous.


Add me to list of doubters on green quartzite who now love it…and this bathroom! But when I saw posting on Instagram it made me decide that cabinet hardware needs to be changed. Accept the bathroom for what it is (glamorous greatness!) and get rid of the random blocky hardware. You’ll have perfection!

yah I suppose I could just lean into the glam? the wood is to pull it back (no pun intended) but maybe its just wrong.

Loveley of

yes!!!!!!!!!!!!! lean into the glam. the cabinet hardware totally threw me. do brass pulls!!!!!!!!! just call it mountain glam.


I guess I don’t find the green stone “glam!” But it’s intense. It’s deeply felt. So, maybe just feel it more deeply and let it tell you what to do? Maybe it’s telling you to dive down? Like, don’t do the stuff you know and are familiar with to surround the stone, “pull it back,” instead, let the stone talk you into taking an undefined risk.

Can you tell I’m a Californian with the woo-woo? Ha!


Yes, totally agree. It’s like you’ve pulled back the glam, but only 20%, which results in more elements being added (brass, black, wood!), and a *less* mountain minimalist look. I would also just lean into the glam… or go more minimalist with the pulls (and perhaps change the wood sconces too) in a more monochromatic direction.


Beautiful, but I do agree with all of your self critique! Also, the shower curtain feels a little out of place to me, I feel like a piece of glass at the shower head end of the shower (with no door) would help streamline the room a little more and draw even more attention to the stone. Otherwise, it’s so beautiful and fun to look at!!


I agree with you. It’s beautiful, but it doesn’t seem to match the rest of the house. Black fixtures would have helped. Also curious about if you knew then what you know now about your kids taking baths in your master etc if you have gone with a large stall shower with a glass door instead of a bath tub and shower curtain? I know you use the shower curtain because you like to be able to give your kids a bath, but it is a significantly more casual element in this otherwise tightly edited bathroom.

maybe. we did the curtain for the kids but no, they don’t use this bath much. i suppose time will tell!


Your critiques of your own design are refreshing and on point. Hindsight is 20-20 of course, and your decisions were understandable. I agree with others- I’m sure it was a cost saving measure but this shower really calls for a glass door. It needs to not be covered up by a casual shower curtain. A half Euro style door would allow the stone to be the focal point that it is.


I disagree about the door. It’d be too much in the way. Kids like to splash, and move in the bath, sometimes they lose balance, and it’s not that easy to control their every move. Eventually they learn, but it’s completely unnecessary at this point. I think the curtain makes it a bit more casual and attainable in an otherwise expensive bathroom. As much as I love luxe interiors, they can be snobby. This is elegant, expensive, yet comfortable and NOT pretencious. Simply the right balance.


It is a stunning bathroom, but I completely understand what you are saying about it being more glam than the rest of the house. Also, thank you for always being honest about this process. That can’t be easy with such a large audience. I always learn so much from you blog.

thank you for saying that. xx


I agree with your points but my main takeaway is that I’m thrilled you used the green stone and that it looks so stunning! That risk paid off 100%. The triple stack tile is the part I don’t love, not because it doesn’t look good, but because I feel it detracts from the green stone moment. I actually want a different material contrast here, like some wood cladding or something. Or ooh maybe the insane Moroccan plaster from the blog the other day! My brain wants another earthy material next to the green stone that makes it pop instead of toning it down. But, like you said, it’s still a beautiful bathroom with beautiful materials and who could be mad at that!?

Sara Kornfield

I totally agree- overall a beautiful room, but I think the backsplash tile competes too much as it is stunning on its own. It distracts from the green stone. I think black fixtures would have gone better, but the gold is beautiful too.


I actually don’t think it reads as glam, per se, however; I do agree that it doesn’t feel fully cohesive with the other designs in the house. It’s not the green quartzite – which I think actually mimics the beautiful greens of the woods/mountain. I think it’s that the fixtures are polished instead of aged or matte. However, it’s still a stunning bathroom, and I wouldn’t beat myself up for a single moment if I were you.


I LOVE the green quartzite. I voted for it the first time and I love it even more now. I don’t really think you needed more “restraint” per se, but to really make the shower/bath area more cohesive with the rest of the bathroom. At least from over here it feels like 2 different bathrooms put together. I think maybe a wood vanity would have been a nice way to up the mountain vibes and would go well with the green tones.


Love the idea of a wood vanity – that would have helped a lot along with black hardware and fixtures.


Yes! A Ross Allen floating vanity would be amazing in this room!


Yes – I was thinking the very same while reading before getting to how you feel today. A lot less brass and more black would have created a more relaxed and coordinated look. But the sponsor had to be highlighted properly, so the result is lots and lots of brass (which is very beautiful, just not here) and a slightly disjointed looking bathroom.
Each element is lovely in its own right and on its own – but sadly, they don’t all play well together in this space.


I think the stone is lovely. The only thing that really seems off, particularly in this house, is all the brass fixtures. I honestly don’t think they really work well in the space, and come off a bit gaudy. It takes the whole room in a bit of an early 90s direction. Had the fixtures been black instead, I think the whole space would feel more natural and grounded.


Gorgeous!!! I do see that it doesn’t necessarily fit the mountain vibe quite as much, but I probably wouldn’t have thought anything of it if you hadn’t pointed it out. I know you worked with Koehler on the vanity, but if it continues to bother you, then maybe some day down the line you could have Ross Reclaimed build a wood vanity to really warm things up! I can’t wait to see it in person on Saturday!!!

Cris S.

From the beginning of the post I questioned the shiny brass – I think an unpolished brass finish (or the black that you mentioned) would have worked better. I actually love the green stone more than I thought I would (I know how easy it is to fall in love with a stone slab that won’t actually translate to a space) and the leathered finish is beautiful. But yes, the bright brass and the tile next to the stone really pull you out of the feeling the rest of the house has. And also distract from the gorgeous stone.

It makes me feel a little better, to be honest, that even with a team and all of the experience you were working with, that you make some of the same mistakes I feel we made in our renovation. And I say that in a sympathetic way, not in a HA! kind of way.


Holy guacamole I thought the black bathroom was sexy…. this is THE most stunning shower I’ve ever seen. I LOVE IT! Sure sure maybe could have used more restraint but who even cares that shower is jaw dropping!!!


Would you have ever considered doing the green quartzite on the countertop as well? I get that it’s matchy matchy but for some reason my eye wants it. I think to better tie together all the separate but beautiful moments.


I absolutely love the quartzite and voted for it, I do think in photos it is a bit much with the tile but I bet in person it is so textural and feels amazing to be in!

Mary-Katherine Minnis

Totally wouldn’t have noticed had you not pointed it out – my jaw was on the ground the whole time because it’s such a stinkin’ STUNNING space! I’m so glad you went with the green stone. It really is a lot more versatile and subtle than I was expecting, while still making a statement.

One question I always have and would love if you could answer: how do you keep all your tile/grout clean?! You use soooo much tile in the spaces you design and I absolutely love the look, but I can’t even keep the shower in our apartment from not looking like a nasty frat house shower. It seems there is always nastiness getting caught in the grout and once it’s there, it’s practically impossible to get out. Do you have a schedule you follow to be proactive about it, or a product you swear by that can get out anything? Or, if you have a cleaning service come, do they have any tricks? Thank you!!!

xo Mary-Katherine


I would like to know this too; I will never ever tiling the floor of a shower after living with a tiled shower in our last home. I don’t care if it doesn’t look good, I’m getting one of those (hopefully higher-end) inserts that’s one piece. I hate grout so much!


My carpet cleaner also offers a steam cleaning service for grout that they say works wonders. I’ve never tried it, but perhaps worth checking out services in your area!


My issue is that it still needs constant sealing/resealing! God would I love an EH level detail of post about how more modern “epoxy grout” type products stand up and look over time. So boring but important if you’re lazy about it like me.

Mary-Katherine Minnis

Yes, yes, yes! Em, we need a detailed post please!!! Because tile is so damn gorgeous!

Mary-Katherine Minnis

That’s a great suggestion, thank you Kelly!

Kate S

I guess I’m in the minority, but I just, kind of, hate it? The green stone is beautiful and it looks so glamorous with the polished brass . . . but then there is a waffle-weave shower curtain that looks like it could be picked up in my local Walmart. And I like the mix of the tiles on the wall and floor, even with the stone, but the vanity doesn’t have any elevated style at all. It looks basic in comparison. The textiles, vanity, sconces, and wood vanity hardware are all odd choices to me. I don’t know. I think you should have just embraced the drama instead of trying to pull back toward “mountain.”


I’m not going to tell you how much I love this room and how beautiful it is, because – see the rest of the comment section. I WILL say that this is the best “teaching” post I’ve read on your site – and maybe anywhere. I’m decorating my first home, and constantly feeling the struggle between risk, restraint, and realistic. Posts like this with a lot of reflection and reasoning are so helpful for shaping my own thinking, like a good art class critique session. More PROFESSOR EMILY.

thank you! and thank god i’m not sensitive 🙂


thank god you are not sensitive because I also learn so much from your willingness to share and really analyze what works from a design perspective and also from a living perspective. THANK YOU AND KEEP IT COMING!

I think this space is gorgeous when you take it all in. When you point out your nitpicks, I can see what you mean, which helps me learn. I’m redoing 2 bathrooms next year so need all the help i can get! but all in all would love to hang out in this bathroom!

And also you acknowledging that factors other than getting the perfect design are often driving decisions, things like lead times, flat out mistakes and oversights, budget etc.

I also learn a lot from the comments but sheesh some people need to learn a little more civility, let’s pretend as if we were speaking to one another in person people!

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