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Our New Jack and Jill Bathroom Plan + Get The Look

When we bought this house we loved almost everything about it, but Brian was worried about sharing one bathroom with our two adorable but filthy kids for the rest of our lives. The idea of them being teenagers and us all fighting over the privacy at 7:30am didn’t excite me, but I was less worried because I grew up sharing one bathroom with 3-4 siblings. You’d be absolutely shocked with what this lady can overlook and pretend to not see (or clean).

Bathrooms have never been a place of luxury for me, so why start now? But, we figured we’d ask our architect what the possibilities were as we were doing some renovations to the floor plan and he indeed came up with an option to make our lives a bit easier in the bathroom department.

As a reminder here is a drawing of the upstairs floor plan when we bought it:


As you can see – three bedrooms and one bath. Here was our proposed plan to change:

Bedroom 1 would be a suite and we’d steal from bedroom 2 and 3 to create a Jack and Jill bathroom for the two kids. Like so:


Here’s how it looked in real life. We would steal from Charlie’s room, like so:


And Birdie’s room would be stolen from as well making it pretty awkward but still so adorable since she has a wall of windows (which we are now realizing will turn that room into a sauna most of the year).


Here is how that really turned out to affect the look of the rooms. These are both the same angles as in the above pictures, but show how we bumped into Charlie and Elliot’s room a bit for the bathroom they will share.

Emily Henderson_Jack and Jill Bathroom_Wallpaper_Traditional_English_Country_8

Every single person that sees it is shocked how we managed fit it into the floor plan and how it looks like it has always been there. Birdie’s room is awkwardly shaped – but it was before, and in Charlie’s room the cut-out looks completely normal and created a lovely little niche with a closet. We’ll take photos with the doors open, I promise, but hopefully that gives you a sense of where things are.

I created a design plan. It was to be the whimsical, fun, playful version of the rest of the house – Modern English country, but for toddlers. The room has no windows and barely room for a mirror – so we got creative with materials and finishes. It needed to have a specific design direction (wallpaper) to make sure it didn’t fall quickly into boring-land. Kids hate boring-land. Thus our nightly new obsession with creating an obstacle course over LAVA throughout the entire first floor. The days of quietly sorting shapes are gone and instead we are crawling on our stomachs under the sofa on the way to the blocks that have to be carefully walked on, heading towards the finish line. Kids like excitement and clearly so do we. So this bathroom couldn’t be boring …

And yet it needed to fit the rest of the house and not be a loud jolt of energy between their two already really energetic bedrooms. Now that I think of it, happy energy + relaxing is really my MO anyway, and that is what I tried to bring to this little jack and jill.


The first mood board was this, above: Wallpaper | Shower and Tub Combination | Floor Tile | Faucet | Beadboard Paint 

It was a good start but as things progressed so did the design plan:


Here is the updated mood board:


Shower Tile: We chose a handmade subway from Fireclay that has texture but is super simple. It is so pretty in person and I love the way that it turned out in that little area. Lucky for you they also have a HUGE giveaway going on right now with our friends at Rejuvenation to help you make over a room in your house. All the details HERE, but be sure to head over and check it out. Shower tile: $900 + Shipping. They gifted that tile, so I’m very happy that someone else will be the recipient of that special simplicity.

Shower and Tub Combination: We chose a polished brass with a living finish that is so lovely (and yes, we got our water softened to make sure it doesn’t corrode … amazing on our skin/hair and our purified water is so delicious I had forgotten what water tasted like). Shower and Tub Hardware: $578.20 c/o E-faucets. It’s what we have in our kitchen, too and it’s a high maintenance beauty but worth the extra effort to clean.

Tub: A tub that was affordable, in-stock and simple (I love George’s plumbing in Pasadena, by the by). Tub: $795 (not-gifted)

Floor Tile:  A porcelain herringbone that added a lovely reflection and was pretty affordable (and always in stock). Floor tile: $492.86  (32 sq. feet + 20% overage) c/o Floor & Decor.

Vanity: We fell in love with this vanity when we did the vanity roundup because of its special traditional style and its (DID YOU SEE THIS???) built-in step ladder. My kids are so obsessed with it even though they still can’t see the mirror, nor do they know why they would want to. We had extra marble from our island so we topped it off with that. We are going to change out the hardware to brass but it is SO CUTE and totally functional for little kids who need the extra step. Vanity: $701.70 c/o Wayfair.

Faucet:  The patina is already so pretty. The shape is perfect. I love these delicate ladies.  Faucet: $615.30 c/o E-faucets.

Beadboard: Do you know what is the simplest thing you can do to make you house feel more high-end? Add moldings, pretty doors, and paneling. It’s relatively inexpensive (materials are cheap, labor can add up), so timeless and such a crowd pleaser. That beadboard was $240 (12 pieces. Each piece is sold in 16′. $1.25 per linear foot) + labor.

Beadboard Paint: We chose the white from the wallpaper and man it’s just seamless (yes… pun … intended). Paint: $50 (one gallon).

Toilet: A classic shaped toilet – a crowd pleaser. Toilet: $915 c/o E-faucets.

Ceiling Light: I LOVE this semi-flushmount. It’s simple but with some whimsy and the perfect scale for a smaller space. Light: $496 c/o Circa Lighting.

Wallpaper: The cutest, most whimsical and yet fitting wallpaper ever. It’s an english countryside toile, but in a really soft colorway… WITH SHEEP!!!  I’m obsessed with this I can’t imagine the bathroom without it. Wallpaper c/o Farrow and Ball: $460 (installation was around $150 – $200 – all three bathrooms were $500 to install).

Emily Henderson_Jack and Jill Bathroom_Wallpaper_Traditional_English_Country_2

So there is a sneak peek and obviously we are shooting the reveal soon (waiting on the brass cleaner/wax and the styling). Meanwhile …

A lot of you really responded to the transparency of the exterior post RE the dolla dolla bills….Y’alls.

I don’t need to go too far into this ugly subject to get to the point – talking about money publicly is just as uncomfortable to me as it is to any of you. HOWEVER, I know that as a reader I would want to know the totals of a project like this because as a reader I’m wondering if I, too, could put in an extra bathroom. So as a blogger (and general person) who values transparency it’s my uncomfortable job to give said totals. The bathroom was part of a much larger renovation that will cost $180K (thank God for loans and credit cards and sponsors). My contractor said that he figured adding this bathroom would have been $27k on its own (NOT including materials). If you add up all those materials ($6500) on top of that figure it is indeed a lot for a tiny bathroom for tinier people who don’t know how to even wipe their own cracks…. They owe us.

Renovating a house costs a lot of money, it just does, because paying for proper labor in an expertise that requires experience is expensive. Hold on …. “Expertise That Requires Experience is Expensive” might need to be on a t-shirt or bumper sticker …. which I’ll sell … to pay for this bathroom. We don’t live in TV-renovation land, despite how fast we finished (I paid for overtime and weekend labor to meet our sponsor deadlines). We do get gifted a lot of materials because companies find value in the work that we do both in product placement on the blog/instagram/twitter/FB (with tagging/crediting) as well as the photos which they can use on their own social channels afterwards. I choose what companies/pieces are in my home, not the other way around (aka I LOVE all of these finishes and materials and would have bought them even if I didn’t have this option). HOWEVER, we will also be giving you a more budget friendly version of every room (in the future as well as this one) for the final reveal and will continue to do outside projects that are indeed budget friendly (I’m doing a flip soon where the budget is TIGHT and FAST – thats-what-he-said). This is also why we do pro-bono projects and will continue to use our media power for good in both makeover takeover and charity projects like we’ve done in the past.

Meanwhile, we are bathing those two toddlers in this bathroom and it is as amazing as bathing two toddlers can be – a total s*&@ show, but one that is way more fun in their own space. I didn’t live in the house with only one bathroom but I think it’s safe to say that Brian was probably right and that eventually we would have wanted them to have their own in which to smear poop on the walls. Plus now we run laps around the second story of the house –  through the two bedrooms/hallway and new bathroom while wearing bathrobes (CAPES!!!). I think a new upstairs obstacle course is in our future….

Questions? Let er’ rip … (I’m shooting all day so I may not get back to them til’ tonight but I will after the kids are down).


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170 thoughts on “Our New Jack and Jill Bathroom Plan + Get The Look

  1. I completely understand that how much you choose to spend on your own house is totally none of my business, but it is SO useful to know how much the work cost, and I really value that you disclose it.

    I really don’t think that the commenters should judge… Heck, you are in design. Of course your own house is going to be on the pricey side! Just like a dentist probably spends more than average on looking after their teeth!

    1. Agreed, knowing how much you spend on things is amazing because it gives me an idea of what things may cost when doing my own renovations. Obviously I’m not choosing the same finishes you are but I still want to know a ballpark so I’m not getting totally ripped off by people!!!

    2. one of my favorite things about this blog is your honesty– whether that’s about how much something costs or what a pain in the ass some things can be. being transparent about these things shifts the conversation for people who are in the midst of making decisions like this or maybe want to plan out so they know what to expect (or dream about some day being able to do!). and you totally should make that bumper sticker– the value of experience is lost on so many of us when we somehow expect to get things for cheaper and cheaper while not considering that the inherent cost of the goods sold or the people whose lives are funded by the work they produce– whether that’s a tangible object or a service. in short, you’re great! please keep sharing this type of information!

    3. Oh, this is gorgeous!

      RE: Cost: I think there’s a difference between judgement and comparison. 😉 Absolutely no judgement on what you’re spending – your money, your priorities, you do you, etc. But for the cost… all I can say is wow, I’m glad I don’t live in LA! We’d be looking at about 1/5 that amount, where we are. It’s SERIOUSLY location-dependant.

      1. Exactly what Ros said – so location-dependent! Being in another high-priced area, it is SO helpful to see what labor costs are in LA because it is really hard to find comparisons when you’re a few standard deviations above the average cost to, say, install wallpaper. That said, I was really pleasantly surprised that that only cost $500 🙂

      2. Whoa, where the heck do you live? You could put in a 100% new bathroom where none existed before including labor and materials for $7000? I am SO moving wherever you live!! Spill the deets please!

        1. I like in North Carolina and I’d say a small bathroom like this would run around 10k for labor. We gutted ours and it was considerably less than that, but the plumbing costs were lumped in with the cost of re-plumbing our entire house, so it would be hard to guess how much of that was allocated to the bathroom.

        2. Nope, it was materials only for $6500 on top of adding the bathroom for $27,000. For a total of $33,500 (at least that’s how I’m reading it). Love that Emily is transparent with figures. We run a building company (contractors) and people get such a skewed idea of costs from TV and magazines where they don’t include things like, oh, the labour!!

      3. Exactly. Prices are even higher in San Francisco (for lower quality work, no less). Your transparency on costs is so helpful for all of the reasons others have mentioned, and especially to me in California, where I know we aren’t going to get “Fixer Upper prices”. HUGE THANKS!

    4. “figure it is indeed a lot for a tiny bathroom for tinier people who don’t know how to even wipe their own cracks….” LOL! You’re hilarious.

  2. No questions from me but i have so much appreciation for the level of info you provide in your blog ($$ figures and all!)

  3. I am curious how you are going to hang a shower curtain with the shower having a slanted wall. I ask, because that is exactly how my bathtub/shower is and we haven’t found a solution! Currently it’s being resolved with suctions cups and clips…not pretty.

    1. Have you considered a combination of screw in hooks, shower curtain clips and a curtain tie to hold it back? You’d probably want to use a shower curtain that doesn’t have holes (or hem the top to remove them) but it would match the shape of the space and allow you flexibility in your curtain choices.

      1. What a great idea! I hate the look of shower curtain rods, but prefer shower curtains over doors/glass panels. I may need to try this out.

    2. I had the same question! Look forward to finding out on the final reveal! XO, Amanda @

    3. Me too! Our shower is in a beautiful room with skylights in the canted ceiling, but the shower curtain situation is bad. We have an awkward clips-and-suction-cups solution from the previous owner and it’s terrible. I’d love any input on solutions!

    4. We had this same scenario in our kids’ bathroom some 20 years ago. We found the best solution was to tape a white velcro strip the length of the sloped ceiling and a corresponding one to a shower curtain. The curtain we had the dry-cleaner modify, so that the top edge angled with the ceiling slope and the bottom (and pattern) hung straight. When our children were small they rarely had showers, we rinsed their hair when necessary with the hand-held shower attachment on the bathtub taps. So the curtain mostly lay folded on a bathroom shelf, out of the way. As they got older and wanted a shower, it took seconds to unfold it secure it with the velcro. They are all now too tall to fit under that shower and mostly use a different bathroom to bathe, but that velcro is still going strong (and isn’t grubby) even though the bathroom has been repainted a few times. It’s barely visible.

      1. We recently added a kids’ bathroom in our 100-year old bungalow, and many of the features are similar to Emily’s picks. (But, we stuck with a double-sink vanity because we have three kids and knew one sink wouldn’t cut it!) Our tub is installed with one slanted wall, as well, and the shower curtain dilemma was real, people. After weeks of searching, our contractor found the most gorgeous shower ring that he hung from the ceiling on one end, and then drilled into the tile/wall on the other end. So, it is hanging and mounted, if that makes sense? We thought it might not hold up without an additional hanging piece, but it’s been several years, and it is still perfect. It was definitely the hardest thing to source in our project, but so worthwhile! I’m doing a crummy job explaining how it was hung, but hopefully you can visualize it?

    5. We have the same slanted ceiling in our bathroom at the end of the tub (opposite faucet). We put a plain glass “wall” in at the slanted end of the tub, hung the shower curtain from the flat ceiling. Also had a 6 inch glass ‘wall’ at the faucet end to visually tie the glass together. Works well.

    6. We had a similar shower in our upstairs bath with a very slanted ceiling. My husband solved the problem by installing a triangle shaped wooden block he screwed into the sloped ceiling just outside the tile (we did not want to screw into the tile of the shower). Then we were able to put a traditional shower curtain tension rod from the wall to the block. It wasn’t entirely closed in – more like the open showers that are popular now – but it worked.

  4. This is so lovely, Emily. Thanks for the transparency on cost. I’m sure it is uncomfortable, but it’s so helpful as a reader to have a general idea of what these beautiful rooms cost in real money. I’m so over the HGTV budgets – they are obviously fake!
    I’m curious about the marble and unlacquered faucets. They both seem like delicate surfaces for a kid’s bathroom. How do you intend to keep them looking great?

  5. It’s beautiful! I love it. And as someone who is sharing our only bathroom in the house, one that is the same size as the one you just added (smaller than my cubical!) with my husband, my 13 year old daughter (agh! agh! She spends sooooooo long in the shower and will empty a new canister of shaving cream in one go – and doesn’t tell anyone so I’m stuck in the shower without it. And the hair! The long hair everywhere! And the huge globs of toothpaste! And the huge mess from the waterpik for her braces! And the sitting on the barely attached to the wall marble sink to stare at herself in the mirror for hours! And the makeup everwhere – most of it mine, that she shatters! And the expensive creams she’s been told not to touch but smears all over!), and my 10 year old developmentally disabled son (that, against all the experts’ opinions, was able to potty train at 5, but is like an old man, spending 40 minutes on the toilet every late afternoon, and – like even ‘typical’ boys – gets pee everywhere)…. Anyway. All that is to say, Brian was right and this little bath was a fabulous investment not just in your home, but in your sanity.

    1. Cris S. you cracked me up with those stories!! I am sure you are a fabulous mom, with a sense of humor like that. Thanks for brightening my day!

  6. I don’t think you need to feel guilty or defensive for how much money you’re putting in to your home, especially your forever home where you will raise your family. You don’t owe us readers anything though it is fun to have those figures just for curiosity’s sake. And also, I don’t think badly for using gifted materials from sponsors. That is awesome and something all of us wish we had a successful blog to be able to do! You work hard for us greedy, eye-candy hungry readers so whatever you gotta do to keep pumping out the great content, donit girl. Mad props.

    1. Well said Katy!! This is the best sponsored content in my opinion- you are choosing to live with these products long term and have shown us how to mix and match various sponsored items. I think we all love you Emily even more now for your budget transparency!!!! This blog just keeps getting better. This is a spectacular space. Love that wallpaper with the little ones…it’s an endless conversation starter 🙂

  7. This is such a great use of space and I love the design plan! Re: Elliot’s room being a sauna due to sunlight…I would love to know what window coverings you went with to combat that issue, and also whether you considered (or are considering) an awning on the outside of the house over her bedroom windows. We have a similar issue with our house (also built in the early 1900s, like yours) and while I think awnings can sometimes look tacky, I also think they could be done well. I would love to get your thoughts, thanks!

    1. I wonder if the same film Emily used on her large windows in the old living room would help take out some of the glare / heat?

  8. I think you did a fantastic job with the bathroom! I also appreciate the fact you give us the costs up front. It really does help others try to plan when remodeling their homes. Fabulous job!!

  9. Such a lovely little bathroom! So smart to get it done now while the house was already under construction. We are renting a victorian house in Scotland (we’re American) and there is only one full bath in the house and then upstairs is a tiny room with only a toilet. It’s been fine sharing with our 3 children and I certainly like having less to clean but there are definitely times when another full bath upstairs would be lovely. Our tub also has wooden headboard in front of it. It looks lovely but since our kids at times get a bit over enthusiastic with the water it can get the wood all wet and start to get moldy and I could see it trying to rot over time. We’ve not thought it was the smartest thing to put wood where there is water…or cover the room in carpet where our boys pee. So, all that to say, you’ve probably already done it but if not, it’d be smart to seal it really well. Thanks for sharing so much with us. Your house is gorgeous and I’m enjoying every bit of the journey with you.

  10. Just here to say thank you for continuing to provide such great content and transparency to the process & financials!! I take it from the tone of your post that some commenters on your post RE: $$ were not pleased?? Which is crazy to me because not being able to talk openly about stuff is why people get so divided! So thank you for being so open with that information. It is SOOOO helpful. I might not spend the same way, but it certainly gives me a great baseline to work from. It helps me see that certain renovations are more do-able than I previously thought or that I need to let my dream of xyz die because it’s actually *more* than I thought 😛 hehe. I have only respect for doing all that you do with such grace.

  11. I love it and can’t wait to see the reveal! Thanks, as always, for your transparency. It is always appreciated.

    I know you are mostly bathing toddlers right now, but what is your plan when they start showering? Will you do a glass encasement? Seems like a traditional rod and curtain might leave a few gaps 🙂

  12. I love it! It does look like it was always meant to be there. Excited for the full reveal and to see what happens with Charlie’s closet situation, too.

    Any explanation for the mirror? The clips holding it in place are the only thing in the room distracting me — could you do a regular, thinner rectangular mirror (white frame? gold frame?) and hang it on its side?

    1. It’s looks like a vintage mirror. So it’ll be thick bevelled mirror and the clips will be metal clips screwed to the wood backing to keep the mirror attached to the wood.
      I love that sort although they are very heavy to hang. Can pick them up in charity shops for about £20 in the U.K., although equally you can find more unusual shapes for £400 in antique stores!

  13. Emily, please do a post about cleaning, polishing, and caring for unlacquered brass. I love the look but am a little scared of the maintenance.

  14. Thank you for your transparency on cost – it is SO helpful to help get an idea on cost before dragging out a contractor for them to say its over what we can spend and then we waste everyones time! Keep it coming, and ignore those haters!
    Amanda @ lifeonlinton,com

  15. Emily, THANK YOU for all this transparency about cost, and for the beautiful design inspiration. What we choose to spend on our homes is such a personal decision, so you’ll get no judgment from me. 🙂

    Also, if anyone out there is wondering if it’s possible to do this more cheaply, I’ll just note that if you have the patience and aptitude for doing the labor yourself, it’s possible to save a bunch on labor costs. I’ve been lucky to have people in my life who could teach me to tile, lay hardwood floors, etc. etc. etc., and a husband who’s pretty good at plumbing & electrical. Together we gutted & renovated a bathroom for around $7K, including beautiful marble hex floors with in-floor heating. And it took us a FULL YEAR to do it because we both have full-time jobs and were doing the work on evenings and weekends while trying to occasionally do something (anything!) else on an occasional weekend to stay sane. 🙂 I would have loved to be able to throw $$ at it and get it done in a month! But we all make the choices that work best for us, and Emily I LOVE what you did with this bathroom!

    1. I realized too that renovating an existing bathroom and putting in a new bathroom are two very different jobs. One is bound to cost much more that the other.

    2. Yes! Laying tile is something that sounds really scary, but (depending on the location and type of tile) it can be pretty easy. We put down some gorgeous marble hex tile in our bathroom recently, and it really wasn’t too bad and saved us about $1500 in labor.

  16. I just wanted to thank you for the amount of information you include in your posts. I don’t usually like to talk money, but am currently going through similar renovations in my home and find it very helpful to see that our costs are not out of line. Your house is looking amazing!

  17. Just chiming in to say: I really appreciate the transparency!! I didn’t read comments on the exterior post, but I thought that information was fascinating. I learn from the $$ info, and it helps me keep my envy in check (ie, my bathroom looks much worse, but it was undoubtedly also much cheaper!). It just makes you much more real. I also think it’s great for blog content to be aspirational, at least for some of us! Anyway, thanks.

  18. Gorgeous! That wallpaper is so sweet.

    We had a similar lap-running setup as kids in our house with a jack and jill bathroom. Definitely get rugs with grips on the back in the bathroom; my sister slipped on a rug while running through and split her lip on the toilet seat. Then the ER didn’t believe such a wild toilet/lip story and questioned her several times to make sure she wasn’t actually hit by my dad! LOL. It’s a great story now but I’m sure had I been the parent handling that, it would have been less fun.

  19. Yes, I appreciate the transparency and echo what other commenters have said. But…what really stood out to me is that your kids are getting a Jack and Jill bath just like Brandon and Brenda on 90210 aka WHAT TEEN ME ALWAYS DREAMED OF. I hope they now how lucky they are!

  20. Don’t apologize for putting something on your blog that you feel strongly about. I am interested in getting an idea on how much things cost in your neck of the woods compared to my renovation in the Midwest. Also, this brutal honesty and extra information separates you from all the other design blogs that seem to focus on cutesy pictures and useless product plugs.
    Love the wallpaper in the bathroom, did you find the mirror as is or did you design the shape of it?

  21. Emily – you are amazing! I love your transparency, honesty, and humor. Everything about you, in fact. So relatable. Keep at it girl! (I could go on and on, but at the risk of sounding really creepy, I won’t… lol).

  22. Love that wallpaper. Toile sheep are something I never knew I always wanted. You carved out a very pretty, very practical space for Charlie and Birdie and will probably save heaps of your own sanity in the future.

    Re: funds transparency… I’m in the midst of making my childhood home (a 30s Cape Cod) my own, which thus far has involved undoing the modern Asian taste my parents injected (I love them, but why?) and bringing the house back to its roots. I think we’ve gotten used to watching renovation magic happen on TV, but after refinishing the original floors, taking the kitchen down the studs, and knocking down a wall to make the master bathroom a space that makes sense, the overarching lesson I’ve learned is that reality is EXPENSIVE. Long story short, as uncomfortable as it may be, I greatly appreciate you sharing the price tag on your brand of pretty. It keeps us from unrealistic expectations. 🙂

  23. Wow, wonderful progress…I am loving how you adapt your style to the soul of the house. And thank you for including cost…adds a nice dose of reality when envisioning my next project.

  24. I loved this sneak peek and look forward to the full reveal! Thanks a million for the $$ figures. It’s a reality check for those that are considering remodeling our own homes, it’s not cheap and shouldn’t be for expert work. Yours is my favorite blog and I’m so glad to see your business grow and with it, quality online content for us readers.

  25. Good for you!! You’re killing it gurllll and I love seeing a girl boss using her talents not only for profit, but for helping others. Love seeing your space come together and appreciate the transparency on pricing. Nice work!

  26. Even though the amount of money might make *my* stomach hurt, it’s not my money 😉 I appreciate seeing the costs breakdowns even though I could never in a million years afford to spend that.

  27. Love your Jack n’ Jill! We ran out of money in our move-in reno and a few years later when the boys were getting gangly and two full bathrooms were becoming a must, we decided to do both bathrooms at once, turning one from half to full. We actually moved out for one week b/c it was so inconvenient. Anyway, to finance the project we borrowed half from our 401K and asked my mother to loan us the other half. When she sent the check, enclosed was a little note: “I’m happy to loan you this money for your bathrooms…but just for perspective, it is more than our first house cost.”

    1. Just for anyone else considering the risky idea of borrowing from your 401k: you must repay pretax contributions with aftertax money, you lose investment returns on the borrowed amount, if you are laid off/quit/get fired you generally MUST repay the entire loan within 60 days or pay all taxes/penalties.

      1. Thanks, KD, for reminding folks of this. I’d hate for anyone to think this was the perfect solution without knowing all the ramifications. Fortunately for us, our risk paid off as we were able to repay our loan to ourselves in a couple of years.

  28. The bathroom looks adorable and definitely worth it. It also adds value to the house that I bet is equal or even more than the cost. I’ve renovated a house in an expensive area of California and none of your costs surprise me (they actually seem pretty good). That includes 2.5 bathrooms, that gorgeous kitchen, new floors, moving walls, paint, window updates, and I’m guessing electrical, plumbing and probably HVAC? Not bad at all. When I did mine, I used the percentages guide to feel better about the whole process. Kitchens should cost 5-10% of home value, baths 5%, etc. Because a price that would seem insane in an area where houses average $150k make a lot more sense when the houses are worth $1m or more, which is the reality of many neighborhoods in California.

  29. I really appreciate the budget transparency, and disclosing how much was gifted. Thanks for putting yourself out there! Q – do you reach out to companies whose product you want to use, or do you screen offers for the “yes this is beautiful and I want it” products?

  30. Love these renovation posts! We just did a whole house renovation on a 1926 house in Burbank and, oh man, “Expertise That Requires Experience is Expensive” is very very true. Unfortunately for us, we’ll be paying to repair mistakes that our contractor made. Also, is it just our house or do old houses in general tend to have crooked walls? As always, thanks for sharing!

    1. Not just you. We’ve remodeled 3 100+ year old houses now and nothing is ever plumb or square!

  31. This bathroom is adorable and beautiful – incredible considering its size! Thank you for your transparency on costs/sponsors/gifted items. It makes me trust your writing SO much more than other bloggers and is the reason I never click away from your posts. And I also love that you source budget-friendly alternatives for those of us who want to mix high/low or just add inexpensive pretty things to our homes 🙂

  32. Oh it’s so pretty! Also:
    1) You dropped a “that’s what he said,” which makes me love you guys even more;
    2) Does anyone have thoughts on kids and tubs and shower curtains versus doors versus half-glass-panels? I am thinking about replacing a shower with a tub for purposes of eventual children, and a shower curtain seems 100 times more practical for getting-at-children-to-bathe-them? But it seems like so many bathroom redos now have those half-glass-walls on tubs (instead of doors or curtains), but…doesn’t that make kid-bath-time more complicated? People with children, I’m so curious what you think! Emily seems comfortable with shower curtain, so maybe it’s okay after all 😀

    1. Mom of three kiddos: almost 6, 4 and 2. We just redid all our bathrooms and tub/showers surrounds with glass, except for the kids. For us, bathtime would be soooo much more difficult if there was a glass panel and door instead of a shower curtain. We figure we’ll add the glass once the kids start taking more showers, maybe around 8 yrs or so. For now, the curtains make it easy; not prettiest, but definitely the most comfortable.

      1. Always had shower curtains over the bath. Renting now with glass screen…absolutely hopeless! You have to be max 5’4″ or the height of the shower head causes the water to go everywhere. Would be so much worse with children I imagine

      2. That makes so much sense — curtain now, glass later. I keep thinking that renovations have to be all in one go. Probably because the thought of renovating terrifies me 🙂 Thank you so much!

    2. After having our daughter we took the shower door off our tub and it has made bathing her so much easier. The only problem is the tub had been refinished at some point and on the edge of the tub where the shower door was you can see that the tub was originally grey and not white. So we have to get that refinished.

  33. I love, love, love that you share so much detail! We just did a similar reno on a 100 yr. old house. Knocking down walls, adding a bath, total kitchen gut & re-do, etc. $125,000 total here in VA, but some of that savings was some DIY, especially demo. It’s just expensive and hiding that wouldn’t be helpful. My question: is that $180,000 the cost including or without the sponsor gifts?

  34. “If you add up all those materials ($6500) on top of that figure it is indeed a lot for a tiny bathroom for tinier people who don’t know how to even wipe their own cracks…. They owe us.”

    I’m dying, This is hilarious.

  35. As a long-term reader of the blog, I had to comment to say two things. First, this renovation is going so fast and the results are so spectacular! Only a super-competent designer could pull this off in this amount of time. You have the world at your fingertips. Second, THANK you for being transparent about prices. Yes, if you live in a cheaper area of the country you go through a sticker shock. But those of us who live in high-priced areas have to make really complicated financial decisions, taking huge bets on renovation projects that we don’t know whether they’re going to pan out. I mean, going deep into debt only so that you can HOPE to sell your home is nerve-wracking. And believe me, buyers in these areas do not want to see cookie-cutter bathrooms with cheap materials. At least, you need to know that your real estate agent is giving you the right advice and your designer/constructor is not ripping you off. And that’s where Emily’s numbers come handy. So please, let her tell us!

  36. You mentioned that you were going to salvage the closet doors in both kids rooms. In the final “reveal” I noticed the bathroom doors were more modern and today’s standard size with a beadboard inset. Did you decide not to use the closet doors for the bathrooms? Was it a code issue or are they perhaps the closet doors that are (for now) not shown? Also, i’m wondering why you didn’t consider using black T-hinges similar to the ones on the windows on the new doors for a more cohesive look. All in all it looks amazing! BRAVO!!!

    1. Sadly since it was new construction we had to widen the doors for code, so we wanted them all to match. The doors into the bedrooms are still original (since they aren’t new construction) and we had one custom door made to replicate the old one (into the new master suite). But sadly we couldn’t use those smaller doors (they were only 24″ wide). xx

  37. You’ve inspired me to put some wallpaper up! I’ve been toying with the idea for a long time. We have a big wall in our kitchen that I don’t want to try and cover with frames, and think pretty wallpaper might be the perfect solution. I live in LA, can you refer who installed yours? What’s the process like to remove it when/if that times comes years down the line?

  38. Please share the source of the double vanity in the first mod board. Thank you!

    The Jack and Jill came out lovely. I appreciate seeing realistic costs associated with your projects. It drives me crazy how much they mislead people on HGTV.

    1. It’s from Devol in England and it was just an inspiration shot that we planned on using to do something custom, but then I found that other vanity and was like ‘SOLD’ – because of that adorable step stool.

  39. I love this. So pretty and what a great creative solution to adding a 2nd bathroom. I’m wondering though, can an adult see themselves in the mirror? Not that it would matter for kids, but maybe teenagers. As a 5’10” person this was my first thought, ha.

  40. The bathroom is really cute. My favourite element is the floor. Are you happy with the lighting situation with no windows and one ceiling fixture?

    I like the colour scheme of Charlie’s room and the plaster treatment is very pleasing. If it was my space, I’d want to tweak a couple of things to reduce the contrast between the green lower wall and the details. I would use black electrical receptacles and plates ( I would also paint the baseboards to match the green lower wall – to my eye the white stripe doesn’t add anything, and the green against the floor would be really pleasing.

  41. My husband and I built our permanent home in 2012, without having a general contractor. It took 13 months to move in, and we’ve been chipping away at projects (large and small) ever since. We spent $200k more than we originally wanted just to move in. Likely more, because I stopped counting. The whole process wasn’t fast or cheap. Construction is expensive. It just is. Thanks for your transparency.

  42. Wow, I am loving the transformation to your home! That bathroom is money hard-earned and well spent. You and Brian work so hard and deserve to reap the benefits. It’s gracious of you to share the costs and so helpful to your readers. Thank you!

  43. Love the bathroom (I DREAMED of a Jack and Jill bathroom when I was little, never happened!) and I will always be a fan of your transparency and honesty. I feel like we could be friends having coffee-talk. Thank you!

  44. I really do appreciate you sharing budget and cost info. I think that a lot of people forget that labor and the price of things in California are so much higher than most of the country. I see reno budgets of places on HGTV and laugh my head off. (Your whole house budget would do a bathroom here tv world) It’s nice to see how much, realistically, things cost in this part of the country.

  45. Please keep the transparency coming! It’s so helpful for perspective. I know if my San Diego prices are more than your LA prices, there’s a problem. Not enough can be said for the value of hiring an architect to help with tricky situations; costly, yes, but the years of training abs experience can be invaluable. The kids bathroom looks beautiful and I can’t wait to see the rest.

  46. I haven’t taken the time to read through other comments on the $$ posts, so i don’t know what other people have said, but I LOVE your whole take on this issue. You spend lots of $$ so I can live vicariously through you and look at pretty after photos, but you’re also super real about it in a way that doesn’t make me hate you. How do you pull that off?? It’s like the best of both worlds. Thanks for your transparency and your down-to-earth attitude about it all.

  47. This is a great kids bathroom and so appropriate for your house. I also so appreciate your transparency because it is such a good guide for first timer’s. We just completed a massive renovation on our house and although I’m in the Midwest your pricing is right in line with what I expected when you first showed the plans. I know exactly how you feel in disclosing the money so bravo to you for breaking the ice.

  48. Gorgeous! Also, *thank you* for being so transparent with pricing — even if it’s out of reach, it’s so, so helpful to get a realistic idea of what costs what.

  49. Gorgeous! Love the obstacle lava course and the cape capades!

    Is there a special sealant to keep mold from growing on the wallpaper? I love that look but I get nervous about using it in my own home (well, apartment). I know I live in wet Portland and you live in dry SoCal but maybe a windowless bathroom there is similar to my windowed one here?

    1. Similar question, same city! I’m less concerned about mold and more concerned about the adhesive being compromised in the humidity of the bathroom, especially with no window for ventilation. Will the wallpaper peel? Did someone advise that this wasn’t an issue? I recently bought a home in Portland and I’m wanting to wallpaper a bathroom badly but this has been my main concern.

  50. great bathroom and LOVE the transparency re costs. it’s super helpful since we are considering a remodel and it’s great to know what things cost. thank you!

  51. (I said this on the exterior post, but I’m saying it again). Thank you for sharing the cost of things! How everyone chooses to spend their own money is up to them, but it’s so useful to know how much your costs are, so we know what we can afford!

    Woo hoo for sneak peeks! Can’t wait to see the full reveal. I’m curious how the plan was originally for double vanity with 2 sinks, it doesn’t seem like it would have fit? I also wonder why you left a nook in Charlie’s room instead of making a bigger closet that takes up that whole wall.

  52. What is the trim color on the room and is that the same trim color used through out the house?

    I love that you are honest with the cost of the renovations and materials. We recently did a basement and friends would sheepishly ask the cost. I feel like when I can share that info I just saved them hours dealing with contractors and waiting for estimates .

  53. I’m the person that commented the other day about how I used all your “roundup” posts to pick out things for the 100+ year old house I’m renovating and wanted to share a bit of a horror story. Most people probably know this stuff but I found out the hard way.

    So I was picking out faucets and found the Kohler Purist line on your roundup post and fell madly in love. I ordered the faucets in brushed gold and when I was in the process of ordering fixtures for shower and the tub/shower combo I was devastated to learn that my contractor had already installed a Moen pressure valve and that dictated what kind of fixtures I could use. It would have costs a lot of money to tear down the brand new walls to switch it out and I just couldn’t afford it. So now I have this beautiful brushed gold Kohler sink stuff and this ugly polished brass Moen tub/shower combo in one bathroom (hidden by shower curtain thank goodness) and in the downstairs bathroom I have the brushed gold Kohler stink stuff and a black Moen shower kit. It’s a hot mess! In hindsight I wish I had picked out fixtures before the rough plumbing went in because I had no idea that the pressure valves behind the shower and tub walls dictate what line of products you can use. I don’t have anything against polished brass but it’s just not what I was going for and Moen has nothing in gold tones except polished brass on one of their very traditional sets. I’m hoping one day they produce something in a brushed gold or else I’ll just deal with it all as long as I can and then possibly switch to chrome or something silver.

    Does everyone else already know about this? I felt so dumb and so heartbroken to not have the brushed gold throughout the bathroom! I agonized for days about how to handle it. I probably should have just sucked it up and used all chrome but I had already fallen too hard for the Kohler brushed gold.

    1. Gina, having just finished a bathroom gut reno, this is one of the things I wish shows/blogs would point out. Everyone gets so focused on the aesthetic of the fixtures, but the fact that the faucets and shower heads and diverters are literally just trim tends to go unaddressed. Here’s what I’ve recommend to two friends about to embark on bath renos of their own: find a communicative and detail-oriented contractor, and have not only a finishes and fixtures plan before any work is done, but as many materials as humanly possible. I thankfully have the best contractor in the world — we sit down before every project, touch base on each aspect of work, and order whatever he and his team need to get through plumbing and electrical. For this bathroom in particular, where we were literally tiling three walls from floor to ceiling (the fourth is an exterior eave wall, so there are built-ins there instead of tile), I’d fallen in love with fixtures (Kohler’s Kelston line in bronze) very early on, and we ordered the valve and diverter valve at the same time as the rest of the shower system.

      The other tip: find a page or section that runs down every available item in your plumbing suite. It’ll show you everything that’s available, but may also list valves and other hardware needed for install. I think, between the faucets, the overhead shower head, the handheld, the slide bar, the hose, and various valves, elbows, and trim pieces, there were twelve different items ordered for my sinks and shower. Insane!

    2. Aw, you’re not dumb! It is a pet peeve of mine that tradespeople don’t tell you this stuff until it’s too late. I have had so many “Oh you can’t use that because xyz.” I don’t know why they think we already know these things? That’s why we’re hiring them, because we don’t know anything and we need them to tell us the important information at the appropriate time!

      1. YES! this is why we fired our contractor. he was most definitely deliberately keeping some info close to the chest and spinning us. “our budget is 20K” “great, here’s what i can do for that amount” “cool, and your fees are included in this?” “Oh no no – my fees as well as taxes are additional”. same damn marry-go-round. all the while you’re on a tight timeline and can’t necessarily just say “nope. fix it and come back”

    3. Designers don’t just pick out pretty things – most of our job is foresight in critical technical issues. That’s why we need degrees and some need licenses. Most design work (and money spent!) goes unseen under all the clothes and cake decorating 🙂

  54. I’ve been following your blog for almost four years now and it’s my first time posting a comment. I just wanted to say a HUGE THANK YOU for sharing your real life renovation costs for labor and materials. I’m sure it must be awkward and make you feel vulnerable to share with all your readers, but it is SO HELPFUL especially with seeing the cost of labor. I look forward to the budget posts for the other rooms in your home. My wife and I are renovating our 1951 house In the Washington D.C. area with the original bath and kitchen and it is so helpful see and learn about real life budgets versus “HGTV budgets.” I wish more designers and bloggers will follow suit and do the same. Perhaps it can help create a new generation of homeowners who have realistic financial expectations of renovation costs before they fall in a love with a home that needs updating. Thanks so much again!

  55. I have a question about wallpaper in your bathroom. I am about to do a bathroom renovation that has wallpaper (not my style) and it’s pretty beat up due to the moisture in the room. Maybe it is simply previous owners not so great installation/DIY But I would like to install wallpaper but wondered if you might share any tips you might have with wallpaper in bathrooms/best types ect… in a post someday. I need that vanity btw! Genius design. Love it all.

    1. We installed vintage wallpaper in our main bathroom 2 years ago, and it’s still fantastic. Make sure to use really good wallpaper glue (our paper wasn’t pre-stick); buy the biggest, best fan you can for the moisture in the room; and finish off open corners. (Our bathroom finishes are chrome so we used a chrome bar edging to help minimize corners from lifting.) Our installer also made sure to wrap the paper around corners so there were minimal seams that could eventually peel. I LOVE it.

    2. Yes, buy a powerful fan and put it over/near the shower. This is key. Get the 110 cfm, even if the ratings say you only need a smaller one. I got that advice from a guy who was inspecting the insulation in our attic and has seen a lot of homes with more than a little moisture damage in walls and ceilings due to inadequate ventilation. We just had a new Pannasonic 110 cfm fan put in our bathroom and it is amazing at keeping the walls and ceiling dry (before the walls would feel damp just after showering). It is also surprisingly quiet.

      1. Vinyl wallcovering is also more moisture resistant than paper wallpaper. Most moisture will stay on the surface instead of being absorbed. Of course the adhesive and careful attention to the seems matters as well 🙂

  56. Thank you Emily for this post and for being transparent! I really appreciate your honesty.

    My mom, sister and I lived in a similar house growing up (mom still lives there). We all shared 1 1/2 bathrooms for many years and with three females it was pretty crazy. She did a very similar gut renovation when I was a junior/senior in high school that was meant to take 4-5 months (she paid extra to get it done sooner apparently) and it took over a year to complete. We lived with other family during this time too. So good on you and your contractors for getting it done so quickly and beautifully!

    My mom’s reno was finally done when I was moving out for college, ha! It was totally worth it in the end, but was very expensive. She said she wished she bit the bullet and did it sooner but supporting kids on your own is tough and I think she wanted to make sure we were set for college first. The house is now timeless and has more than doubled it’s value.

    So thanks for your post. I understand it can be uncomfortable to talk about money, but I so appreciate your honesty.

  57. I think you need a page about finances, sponsors, and giving back. I know you said money makes you uncomforable but seriously I trust that the sponsored pieces are things that you would buy anyway, and It makes me sad reading your explanation every blog. I know people are nasty and want an explanation so just write it once and link to it. 🙂 love you Emily and all you do! Btw in your survey I said I love The sponsee pieces because I learn about cool products I may not have known about otherwise!

  58. All of this talk about sharing bathrooms makes me grateful that while I grew up we had four bathrooms for our family of two parents and six children. How much you spend on renovations doesn’t freak me out and is your business! Keep the pretty pictures coming!

  59. Can’t thank you enough for sharing the costs. I know it makes us nosey MFers but that is really the piece that differentiates between reality and just another pin on Pinterest. My boyfriend and I are starting to look for what could one day become a family home in Chicago. Most options require some sort of upgrade so the transparency is INCREDIBLY helpful right now.

    Can’t wait to see more!

  60. Odd question but would you add (or have you already) a shower curtain rod? I was just thinking, if you have an angled wall, how does one even add a shower curtain? Your kids are little bathing babes now but when they get older, how would you address the shower shape/angles?


  61. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SHARING THE COSTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! …and sources, even if I can’t afford them rn 🙂

    In a world where everything is Insta-perfect, I appreciate your realness. And “that’s what he said jokes.”

    Lastly, STOKED TO SEE THE FLIP!!!!! and hear about your experiences with it.

  62. Love this bathroom for your babies! I have a question about your brass faucets… My bathroom came with brass faucets/half chrome. two tone. I love them. the bottom half is brass, lacquered. I have been wanting to remove the lacquer and re-seal them, but read how you can keep them shiny without the lacquer? can you show us how and what products to use? what is the wax you using for them? are your faucets covered with some other seal? I would love to be able to have the same look as yours with my brass faucets. They always get wet and tarnish! I was surprised to see them in our bathroom. It’s only in our master bath. Its such a classic look that I love!
    Also, My tub is so bare on the side, and love your beadboard idea – I will add some! we added beadboard in our dining room and love it so much, but read that it warps in the bathroom but I think they sell plastic beadboard? 😉 Love the white look – I plan on getting that same marble top (new) and tile our shower with the large white subway tile. I think white in the bathroom is just so relaxing and clean! so far we have done it ourselves. I have a contractor for the marble top that will get done after the shower 😉

  63. Anyone can do some fast internet sleuthing to find out how much things cost, so why not just be transparent from the get go?! Keep on keeping it real.

    We have one bath for three bedrooms and the perfect place for a jack and Jill. When you do full reveal, I would appreciate any insights on adding new sewer line for toilet. My contractor just keeps saying ‘expensive’ but what are real design/spec considerations?!

  64. Thank you so much for being transparent in the pricing and costs. It is super helpful and not easy to find. Don’t stop!!

  65. Kitchens and bathrooms sell houses. Adding the second bathroom upstairs is a no brainer. Whenever you do sell your house, I am certain you will recoup your expenses. Your material costs are quite reasonable. I live in the deep south and my labor costs are lower. Speaking openly about the costs is a real service to everyone. Thank you.

  66. So….shower curtain? Do you not use one, or do you leave it off for the photos? I mean, not that toddlers are taking showers, but…at some point they will. If you did put one up, what would you use and what rod would you use, especially with a slanted ceiling like that?

  67. I second everyone who says THANK YOU for your transparency regarding costs and gifts.

    Some people will think “that’s way too much to spend on _________”. But our homes are so personal, as are factors such as how long you intend to own your home, how long it might take to see a return on investment, and what it’s worth to you to simply love what you come home to. For me, that’s worth a lot – for others, less so.

    I notice the same kind of commentary on other blogs I read with regards to homewares/fashion/skincare etc. There will always be some snark from readers saying “well it’s nice that YOU can afford that” but the majority of people deeply appreciate the real-world transparency and honesty around costs. Bravo Emily!

  68. Long-time listener, first time caller…
    I’ve been reading (and looking, and learning from) this site and the EHD team for a couple of years, and I so, SO, appreciate the transparency on cost for renos/quick fixes/staging etc… As a new owner of a tiny, ancient, house that needs a reasonable amount of work, I love the inspiration that Emily & team provide, as well as the details about how much the gorgeousness costs. The design-interwebs is full of outrageously tremendous and aspirational spaces with zero context or costing. It’s great that you guys keep it real.

  69. Emily, I really appreciate that you share how much things cost. It helps me to realistically assess the viability of these types projects in my own home. Keep it up lady!

  70. Totally appreciate the transparency. And two bathrooms for the win. We have one, shared with a still diapered kiddo, and already I see the value of two.

  71. I mentioned in the recent reader survey that I think because you are in design, you have a more expensive taste and a higher threshold for what you’re willing to spend, and that because of that, sometimes I can only look for inspiration. However, that being said, I 10000% appreciate you giving dollar amounts! I mean when you link to anything, we can all click to see how much something costs, but when it comes to labor, and materials that are in feet (like how much would I really need, what’s a normal bathroom, anyway?) it is so helpful to have that information up-front. Even though I don’t doubt that it is so awkward to put out there, thank you for doing what you would want as a reader, because we do appreciate it!

  72. I LOVE this biffy-make over! Really, pretty much all your make-overs are so awesome. But your sense of humour slays me the most!!!!

  73. This little bathroom is so cute! I would love instructions on how to care for unlaquered brass. It is so pretty, but I wouldn’t know what to do with it.

    Also, we’re hunting for our own house right now (in a pretty expensive area) and expect that we will want to do at least some renovations, so the timing of these posts couldn’t be better. It helps to see how a good house can be modified to be great. And I *really* appreciate you telling us how much it all cost. Thank you!

  74. I’m based in Australia, and just don’t understand how in the US, I often see new bathrooms with shower curtains! I find them gross! They often get dirty and moldy, they stick too you if a breeze comes through the bathroom. And they look cheap.
    In general, I’m not a fan of the shower over the bath, but in new bathrooms (renos or new builds) in Australia we use glass. They can be designed so they fold, making it easy to bath children, or get into the shower if space is tight…
    Just blows my mind…

  75. This post was great – I also grew up sharing a single bathroom with my brother and parents, seemed normal at the time! Now that I’m (supposedly) an adult I have so much greater sympathy for my parents. If you can swing two bathrooms, definitely go for it.

    And I echo the others in praising your transparency. When you see negative comments, keep in mind that most readers of the blog don’t comment, and those who do are the outliers. (And apologies in advance to those who eschew politics, but I have to say: I was sad to see the anti-Meryl talk in the comments section of your last reno post. Please keep saying your piece, in these times it makes those of us who support more inclusive principles feel less alone. It’s so tempting to want to disengage right now; thank you for standing your ground in support of love and acceptance for all).

  76. What a sweet and lovely bathroom! I absolutely love your choices and that wallpaper is gorgeous. Can’t wait to see it styled.

  77. Thanks, Emily, for being honest and upfront about all your design costs! I believe you are sharing truthfully! I have done numerous additions and remodels at my own home and flip houses here in low-cost Tennessee. I can say with experience that the dollar figures they show on design TV shows are totally, totally inaccurate!

  78. Honestly, it is so refreshing to read your blog! Even if I don’t like the style or care about exterior siding, per second, I absolutely love the genuine voice that you write with. Keep up the awesome work, Emily!

  79. This was so worth it, I promise! We have 4 kids and holy moly, I am so glad that they have their own jack & jill bathroom that we don’t share. Despite my best efforts, it gets disgusting really quickly in there! ha! and thanks for being honest with the costs. I think it is so helpful for folks, like myself, looking to buy a home and needing a ball-park idea about how much things really cost. Plus, you and your team put a butt-load of time into your fantastic blog, having some “gifted” materials is something you have totally earned! I am completely happy for you and this great new home.

  80. You sound like you are apologizing in a way to readers because of the expense on your remodel. Please don’t. You bust your ass to earn what you have and you are entitled to spend it anyway you like. You are a designer. This is your jam and an opportunity to showcase your talent and style. I like you telling us how much things costs and I admire you for being so transparent. In no way shape or form as a reader I feel like you are anything but a genuine person who has a heart of gold with really good taste with a gorgeous family. ?

  81. Thank you for sharing your budget. I actually find that information really helpful for future knowledge and think it is very altruistic of you to be so honest. You are extremely talented and deserve whatever perks you may get…you bring a tremendous amount of value that should be compensated! Even if you didn’t do pro bono projects, your blog itself is a force for good.?

  82. I think it’s important to remember that it’s also about the big picture – one can either buy a home that is “done” (of course to someone else’s taste), or you can save on the initial house price by buying something that needs updating and then do it yourself/contract it out.

    The bathroom looks great! Perfect use of the F&B wallpaper.

  83. Thanks for the transparency, Emily! I like to know how much things cost since we also live in the LA area. Though this is a reality check for me since I have fancy taste without the budget/reno experience. Maybe we can afford a future home in the ‘hood and would love to hear those budget friendly options!

  84. Contractors everywhere are thanking you for your price transparency, trust me. My husband helps run his family’s scaffolding business, and he talks about the reactions of homeowners when he or their general contractor tell them his scaffolding bid. Oftentimes, the customer tries to beg it down by asking for shortcuts to be taken, goes bid hunting among competitors, etc, but the simple fact with scaffolding is that it has to be done right to meet OSHA specifications, and doing it right costs good money in labor (the equipment rental is actually pretty cheap, by comparison). From the pictures on the exterior post, Emily’s contractor actually saved them a ton of money by doing the scaffolding themselves, but bringing in a scaffolding company to do the work probably would have allowed them to use the front door while the scaffolding was up (my husband looked at the pictures and said “Wow that’s awfully janky. Not how I would have done it, but our bid would have been about 2/3 of the contractor’s whole cost.”) I think people way underestimate labor costs. They think labor is probably around $20-25 per hour, but in reality, any job that involves a union worker (sheet metal workers union for many A/C jobs, carpenters union or laborers union for scaffolding etc) will be charged out at $60+ per hour, higher in higher cost markets like LA or NY. That may seem high, but do you really want someone unskilled building scaffolding?

    1. This is informative! I never considered that someone specialized in scaffolding, but it is awfully important. Thanks for the info!

    2. Such a valuable perspective Jessie, thank you. Emily and team, it would be interesting to do some posts on the trades you work with in your renovations, things to consider when hiring them, and how to think about their prices.

      One of my favorite TV shows is This Old House on PBS, and I marvel at the skill of the trade workers who carefully, skillfully, and respectfully do work that will impact homeowners for decades (centuries!) to come. I understand trade professions struggle to recruit new talent, and also struggle due to consumers looking to shortchange talent with unrealistic pricing.

      A series on the trades would be a wonderful opportunity for education and advancement. And maybe more opportunity for trade and sponsored revenue for the blog! Please consider the idea.

  85. I appreciate you sharing costs on your blog. It makes the project more realistic. Talking money is uncomfortable in our culture, but it shouldn’t be. Transparency makes things more affordable for everyone (according to economic studies). Anyway, it’s beautiful and I think it’s really smart to make room for another bath. Most buyers would expect it, and it will make your life easier.

  86. Hi Emily,
    Have you done a post on bathroom lighting? I mean placement. Do I want the most flattering light or the most honest lighting? I know side lighting is more flattering, but I need to see those circles under my eyes if I’m going to cover them up!
    I’m working on 7&9 girls’ bathroom update right now, so makeup isn’t an issue yet. Just wondering!

    Love all your work!


  87. I am currently sharing our primary bathroom with a spouse and two toddlers. It is doable. That being said, we do have another tiny bathroom somewhere that is basically only used for guests or extreme circumstances (e.g. The primary toilet is broken! Or, the primary sink is broken! Both of which happened last year at separate times). I wonder if I could ever live in a one-bathroom-only house. I think not, at least, not with a family.

    I love this bathroom’s moodboard. I think I’m going to have to buy some of the stuff.

  88. the bathroom is just darling! you will be so happy to have it!

    and i will give another shout out of love for your transparency! as someone who has owned several old houses, and spent lots and lots of money on repairs to fix the shortcuts others took, or upgrade builder grade materials that have no place in the house, I totally appreciate you highlighting how much it costs to do quality work with quality materials! I’m so over cosmetic fixes and ikea hacks – for things like bathrooms, kitchens, exteriors, i’m all about saving and planning for timeless work that will be beautiful and functional for a long time.

  89. Well done! It’s beautiful and shocking what you could fit into a tight space. How you ever done – or seen done – a bathroom with a laundry unit in it? We are hoping to move our washer/dryer into the bathroom that our two boys share, but I’m having a hard time finding examples that look nice! Would love an recommendations…

  90. So I came here to say AWESOME! And I’m glad you put the prices! And I LOVE that you were able to work with companies and get items for free because I LOVE looking at beautiful rooms!

    And when I clicked over, I was so worried that tons of people would be hating on you (because it feels like that happens always) and they aren’t! They’re all so lovely! I’m so happy about that and I hope you and your family are enjoying the hell out of that bathroom! : )

  91. I don’t understand how the kids get teenage privacy with the two doors into each others rooms… confused.

  92. Just to say, I really respect and appreciate your transparency. HGTV has us all convinced that remodeling is done by fairies in the night, so I think people are a little shocked by the reality. All the more reason we need to hear what the true costs are.

    Thank you!

  93. Have never commented before but I had to say that I love and appreciate how open you have been with the renovation costs. While I love HGTV, the budgets they present are extremely frustrating for how unrealistic they are. As someone who lives right outside a major city and has had a lot of construction work done on my 100+ year old house, it is so helpful to have real costs to reference when preparing to renovate. While some people might think it’s outrageous, you are so right that experience costs money. Cheap work usually equals a crappy finished product.

  94. I think you are the most darling and honest voice online, I so value your transparency and kindness. Thank you for bringing more sunshine to the world.

  95. I so wish I had found your blog when I was making decisions about the house we were building. I had decided to do two bathtub surrounds in simple white subway tile but panicked thinking that it was going to be high maintenance. I ended up going with a large porcelain tile in a design that was influenced by a pinterest pin. It looked gorgeous in the bathroom it was in in the picture, but looks out of place in our house because (I know this now), its too contemporary for our transitional/european style house. Plus, it relates to absolutely no other color scheme/theme in the rest of our house. The other bathroom was done with larger, longer white tiles layed vertically in an effort to do something “different”. Cool, but still wrong for the space. Now, with our house only a year old, I’m wanting a do over. Reading your advice and seeing your spaces, I know I would have avoided such a mistake in the first place had I found your blog earlier. One day, when I have finished decorating the rest of our house and have an extra $3000 to spare, I will consider it. In the meantime, I will be kicking myself every time I go in there. Anyway, thanks for doing what you do – your posts have helped me make some purchases for my master bedroom that I am thrilled with and plan on using more of your recommendations to redo my kids rooms and more.

  96. As someone who is longing for the day to renovate the one and only bathroom in our house shared with two little munchkins, I love these type of posts that show the real costs. Thank you Emily, you’re the best ❤

  97. I’m just about to use that herringbone floor tile. What shade of grout did you use? This looks so amazing! Thanks for the inspiration.

  98. Love your honesty! Love your sense of design. We just finished a full renovation of a Spanish home in Pasadena, CA. Like your home, It only had one bathroom upstairs. We cringed at the thought of sharing a bathroom with our grown children when they came to visit. We ended up adding 300 sq ft and built a new smallish master and small master closet. It was lots of extra $$ money, but in the end what is the point to renovation if you don’t do what you really need to do! Thanks so much for sharing all of your lovely home!

  99. My question is what you plan to for storage, especially for at the STUFF kids need to bathe and when Elliott reaches the teen years?

  100. Love your work and REALLY appreciate your sharing what you chose to spend on your finishes. 🙂 It’s helpful to have guidelines on costs, especially labor. You are talented and clearly hard working. You deserve everything you have. ENJOY!

  101. THANK YOU a million times over for being so open and transparent about your design process, you setbacks, your triumphs, your sources AND especially your budgets. I have not read the comments and have no idea what negativity surfaced, but please know that so many of us are eager for this information, and have great respect and admiration for your willingness to share. You are a true standout in the design/blog/social media/influencer world because you share so much – of your personal opinion, of your thought process, of your sources, of your process, and of your expense. I have such respect for you because, by making transparent all of these details, you are essentially proving that your TALENT is what makes you so special (not some hidden source list or secret information that you hoard to give you power). Way to go Emily and team! Please keep up the good work.

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