Portland Project: Second Floor Hall Bath Design & Update
The upstairs hall bath of the Portland project is DONE, and today we are walking you through the process before the big reveal. This bathroom has quickly become one of my favorites (and my brother’s absolute FAVORITE) because of the tile and the French gold details. Man, do I wish I had put that beautiful finish in more bathrooms.
As a reminder, here is where we are in the house (below). It’s upstairs by the two bedrooms and could likely be the “kids” bath if a family lived here. While I wasn’t involved in this project during the architectural planning portion at the beginning, in so many ways, this house is designed for my family, and this bathroom is no exception.
It’s a good size and since we are starting from scratch here (this floor didn’t exist before we got our hands on it) we could make it two rooms and divide it with a pocket door so multiple people could use the bathroom at the same time.
Let’s chat through what we did, starting with the vanity room.
Every project is “driven” by something. You might call it a “jumping off point.” Maybe it’s a big beautiful Turkish rug where you build a color palette from. Or an heirloom piece of furniture that drives the design aesthetic of the whole room. In this case, as Kohler with our sponsor, we locked down the faucet suite and ordered it even before we had anything designed, so the rest of the decisions stemmed from that. This isn’t typical and can be challenging, but in this case, it really wasn’t because that French gold gooseneck faucet was so beautiful and the vanity is super simple—we just needed to pair it with tile and accessories that kept it looking modern and fresh.
With such a special, beautiful, sculptural faucet, you don’t want to draw any attention away from it, so we went with the Jacquard vanity which is simple and clean looking with squared off legs. I secretly wish I had ordered this instead for the mountain house because in person, I fell in love with it. We chose the linen white finish because, not knowing what else we were going to do in there, we knew that, at the very least, we always like white vanities.
The backsplash tile is from Pratt & Larson and is a beautiful handmade (and locally produced) picket that has a “Portland” finish, which is an edge that is kind of shaky. It’s BEAUTIFUL. We chose a matte finish because it’s slightly more modern (although honestly we were TORN) and went with a medium grout to show the pattern off. We are planning a whole post on this company because they can essentially produce any tile, any pattern, any scale and any color. The picket is classic, certainly, but having it be in that larger scale, in matte and handmade takes it to the next level. That gooseneck popping off it is kinda breathtaking.
The countertop is the most beautiful honed stone in the world from Bedrosians called Sky White and I’m OBSESSED with it and might even ship a few slabs down to the mountain house. I can’t talk about it enough. It’s also on the tub top and sides and boy is it a stunner. And the floor tile, which goes through both the vanity and shower rooms, is a classic small-scale Clé Carrara herringbone that offsets the backsplash tile really nicely.
Hot tip: Since wall tile tends to be medium scale, floor tile is almost always really small or large and finding large tile that feels classic and not contemporary (or too Tuscan) can be a challenge so I tend to go for penny, herringbone, basketweave, or a 12″ x12″ or larger marble tile.
The sconces are beautiful, elegant glass pieces from Rejuvenation that give off GREAT light. These weren’t our original pick (instead, we had a double sconce), but we switched those out for these because the original sconces projected off the wall and also felt like such a different style all of a sudden than the faucets. It was SUCH a challenge to find a classic-looking sconce that didn’t also mimic the gooseneck faucet in a way, and then once the tile and J boxes were placed, we were limited on the type of sconce. Once I found this one, I knew it was perfect and I love how the glass brings in another elegant texture, but in a quiet way. The mirrors are also from Rejuvenation and we went with a black finish to add a little bit of edge to the vignette.
I was so slammed leading up to this project that they were installing the rough plumbing and the J boxes before the drawings and elevations were done, which is NOT ideal. The faucets had been installed too high—like 12 inches off the counter—and not centered above the sinks and then the sconces were either too low or too high and weren’t centered above the faucets. We fixed it all, obviously, but figuring out the heights of everything to help the contractors place it (from here in LA) was so hard. We literally taped it all out on the wall in the office and FaceTimed with my brother as the plumber and electrician stood off to the side waiting for the heights. It was STRESSFUL.
The most important thing to figure out was the exact location of the wall-mount faucet; it’s tricky because everyone is different (and if you use a vessel sink, it’s much higher). We went with 4 inches off the counter so that it didn’t create a huge splash. Then, our mirrors would start about 4 inches above the gooseneck, reaching a max height of 6 feet, 6 inches, which would allow most people to see their faces. The sconces would be 5 inches above the mirrors, however, the sconce we chose would affect that exact height. When we switched out the sconce style, we had to make sure we chose one that worked with the exact location of the junction box that was already there. There were just so many variables and constraints, and they are permanent decisions. We had already moved the junction boxes around once before so I was not going to pay to have them moved again. Most importantly, I wanted and needed this bathroom to be beautiful. But we landed in a great place and it looks so good in person as if there weren’t any hiccups at all.
Here she is in our rendering (those walls/ceiling aren’t dark gray…that’s just a result of the rendering software):
We used the same door profile from Metrie for both the swing-out door and the pocket door, and listen, after seeing and experiencing these in person, I feel like I want to write a testimonial about what a difference a special door makes to a house. This may or may not happen…but I feel it DEEP within to tell everyone!
Now onto the bathtub/toilet room:
We chose a drop-in tub/shower combo in the same finish. And because the room has this gorgeous skylight from Velux, it can handle some color, which we brought in with a handmade textured tile from Pratt & Larson in a blue-ish gray. It has this really pretty and subtle pattern of white lines and we chose to do this in a gloss to add even more texture (but matte would have worked here, too). We staggered the tiles instead of stacking them to keep it more traditional, but went floor-to-ceiling on the back wall to add a touch of modern.
We used the same stone as the counter for the tub skirt face and the top of the bath, to look almost like an undermount sink. I know it kiiiiind of looks like concrete here in this rendering, but trust me…it’s SO beautiful in person.
The toilet is from Kohler’s Memoirs collection and is totally pretty and streamlined. On many toilets, you have a visible trapway (that part at the back where it looks like porcelain pipes twisting and turning) and bulky caps, but on the Memoirs, the trapway is concealed and the caps are very subtle. This is good for several reasons: it looks sleeker but also, it gives dust and other dirt fewer grooves to settle into, i.e. it’s easier to clean.
Please note that gorgeous TP holder—GAH! I want everything in French gold from now on!!! We used our pretty Pratt & Larson tile 54 inches up the wall next to the toilet to let the room breathe a little (that tile on EVERY wall, floor to ceiling, might have felt a bit overwhelming).
Ugh, I love these spaces so much. I’m so, so happy with how they came out and am (clearly) seriously obsessed with the fixtures and French gold finish throughout. I can’t wait to show you the real deal in the reveal, but until then, here’s a quick little rendering walkthrough of both areas of this upstairs hall bath:
And because we’re itching to show you this house finished, here’s a sneak peek of the space from the lead image of this post without the text so you can ooh and ahh and GET EXCITED:
Full reveal coming soon and head to my stories to see more sneak peeks of the hall bathroom.
*This post was created in partnership with Kohler, and all designs and words are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that let us create this daily content.