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Portland Project: Second Floor Hall Bath Design & Update

Emily Henderson Portland Traditional Hall Bath Opener New

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.

Emily Henderson Portland Fixer Upper Traditional Floor Plans Proposed Plan Second Floor

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.

Emily Henderson Portland Traditional Fixer Upper Kids Bath Render Plan 01

Let’s chat through what we did, starting with the vanity room.

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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.

Emily Henderson Portland Traditional Fixer Upper Kids Bath Progress Design Moodboard Vanity Kohler

Finial Wall-Mount Faucet | Jacquard Vanity | Mirror | Finial Towel Ring | Caxton Sink

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.

Emily Henderson Portland Traditional Fixer Upper Kids Bath Progress Design Moodboard Vanity 01 Final

Backsplash Tile | Sconce | Slab Marble | Finial Wall-Mount Faucet | Jacquard Vanity | Mirror | Finial Towel Ring | Herringbone Floor Tile | Vernon Bin Pull | Vernon Knob

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.

Emily Henderson Portland Traditional Hall Bath Vanity Elevation

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):

Emily Henderson Portland Update Hall Bath Render 01 Emily Henderson Portland Update Hall Bath Render 04

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!

Emily Henderson Portland Traditional Fixer Upper Hall Bath Kids Vanity Toilet Shower Render 01

Now onto the bathtub/toilet room:

Emily Henderson Portland Traditional Fixer Upper Kids Bath Progress Design Moodboard Bath 01 Final

Skylight | Finial Shower Set | Shower Surround Tile | Marble Slab | Underscore Drop-In Tub | Herringbone Floor Tile

Emily Henderson Portland Traditional Fixer Upper Kids Bath Progress Design Moodboard Bath Kohler

Finial Shower Set | Underscore Drop-In Tub

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.

Emily Henderson Portland Fixer Upper Hall Bath Kids Toilet And Shower Render 7.31.18

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.

Emily Henderson Portland Traditional Fixer Upper Kids Bath Progress Design Moodboard Toilet Kohler 7.31.18

Memoirs ToiletFinial Toilet Paper Holder

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.

Emily Henderson Portland Traditional Fixer Upper Kids Bath Progress Design Moodboard Toilet 7.31.18

Memoirs ToiletFinial Toilet Paper Holder | Wall Tile | Skylight | Herringbone Floor Tile

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:

Emily Henderson Portland Hall Bath Render Walkthrough 7.31.18

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:

Emily Henderson Portland Project Upstairs Bathroom Sneak Peek 02

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.

  1. I have put pocket doors in bathrooms to separate the toilet/tub from the sinks twice now simply by necessity. We have 5 sons and 2 daughters. The girls have one bedroom, the boys have their own bedroom…I dream of a cool room with individual slots, but for now their beds line the walls and it looks like a dormatory. All the kids share one bathroom so the split has been necessary. I have always wondered why more homes don’t have it, but maybe it is because most families don’t look like ours thus this is not a need? Glad you did this b/c maybe it will make this idea more popular and thus be helpful to all families who need more privacy as kids grow.

  2. WOW!!! I can’t wait to see the full reveal of this room. The elements are absolutely stunning. You and your team killed it on this house, Emily. I love the colors, textures, architectural elements… can’t wait to see more!! Congratulations!

  3. Hi Emily, what a gorgeous bathroom design! The fittings are all so beautiful and timeless – I particularly love the marble herringbone floor tile and the mirror. Will you continue the combination of French gold and matte black in the rest of the Portland bathrooms, too? It looks amazing here!

  4. So pretty! I love the mixed metal accents in the vanity area. It’s so fresh and unexpected yet still with a classic appeal. Can’t wait to see more!

  5. I like it, but I am not a fan of the faucets. Something less curvy would be more fitting.

  6. Big kudos to your tiling/plumber coordination! LOVE that the wall mount faucet is centered exactly on those elongated hexagons, that’s a sign of good something (designer/general contractor/trade coordination)!!!!

    Can’t wait to see the full reveal!!

    1. Absolutely!

  7. This is absolutely gorgeous. But I have to say, when I saw that the toilet paper holder was almost $400, I laughed out loud. You go, girl!

  8. This house feels different from your usual work – more, um, somber? Was that your brother’s impact? Or for Portland you didn’t want your usual cheery style? Or was it to reflect the luxury/high-end nature of the materials?

    Or maybe I’m making that up? I admit I kind of miss the fun/girly/brighter stuff, but it’s maybe just me.

    1. Actually I have been thinking the same thing. I know you are growing and learning and experimenting style wise, and every wise and are doing absolutely beautiful stuff but I miss the earlier aesthetic. I still read you every day but have to admit not with the same enthusiasm. It was so great to have everyday another room or house design. Never the less you are an awesome designer and I love how you share your sources and processes so transparently. I know of no other Design blogger who is so generous.

  9. Love it, very timeless but modern! One thing I’ll never understand though- why hand showers are so unpopular in America…

  10. Emily, I love everything you do, but is it just me or does the “French Gold Finish” look like 80’s brass finish to anyone else?

    1. Yes, it does, but I don’t mind because all of the door handles in my ’80s-built house are the same color, so this makes me feel better. (Bathrooms and kitchen are chrome; what I’ve switched out thus far is now unfinished brass, but so many door handles…just seems overwhelming to fix ’em).

  11. Such a detailed question, but how far is the sink from the side wall? I’m trying to figure out if I have room to put a towel ring like you have, but mine sink is only 5 inches from the side wall.
    Thanks and LOVE this bathroom!!

  12. So so gorgeous…alas, unaffordable. This is such wonderful inspiration and I’m looking forward to any more and would love if some more affordable options were threaded in too.

    1. Oh gosh don’t give up this style because of price. There are similar things out there that are really affordable. I am very specific about price point and look as I am googling and then check images and usually can find at least an affordable jumping off point to incorporate a similar look. However I admit I am very patient and persevering in my searches.

  13. I love everything about this bathroom!

    I know it’s off topic, but since the stair railing is showing in the first photo, I’m going to mention it–
    PLEASE share the source for those ballisters! I’m redoing my stairs and having a consultation to pick everything today!
    Is REALLY appreciate it!

  14. Omg that tile is to die for. In the sneak peak photo you get to see it’s real beauty, the renderings just don’t do it justice. Impatiently waiting the full room reveals, these sneak peaks are such a tease!

  15. I will never put in another toilet that doesn’t have an enclose trapway! So much easier to keep clean, plus just looks so much better. Another really pretty one we are using in our Modern Farmhouse remodel, (3 bathrooms) is the Kohler Corelle, https://www.build.com/kohler-k-3814/s1326978?uid=3162916. Classic, simple but really pretty and about half the price of the Memoirs. (Which of course is really pretty too, for sure.)

    1. The exposed trapway is a recent development in toilet “design”. It’s not really a “design” feature, but a cost-cutting measure. Some bozo accountant/finance person decreed that they could increase margins by 1.7% if they could reduce porcelain use by exposing the trapway. Women of the world, rise up!!! Refuse to buy those hideous “poop path” toilets. They are so ugly and nasty looking!!!

  16. I really like small tile too, but how do you prevent the grout from looking dirty?

  17. I don’t really get it, so one room has the two sinks and one has the bath and toilet? Is that right, if so wouldn’t it have made more sense to have the toilet in a different room to the bath so someone can use it whilst someone else is Wallowing in the tub.

  18. So pretty! I’m curious – what program do you use for your 3-D renderings?! Are these done on SketchUp? They are so helpful for envisioning the end result!

  19. This is beautiful. It really gives my confidence a boost after choosing so so much black and white in our home renovation. I’m sure it will look fabulous but it’s scary until it all comes together. Though this is a bathroom it reminds me of our kitchen and I just got chilly with excitement! Thanks for sharing.

  20. What height is the showerhead installed at?

  21. I have to add to your comment about the doors. When we remodeled our townhouse, we wanted to give it an Arts-and-Crafts vibe without being a slavish imitation. Our gc replaced all the door trim with a simplified A-n-C aesthetic.

    After the trim was finished, I was sitting in the living room watching TV, and from that vantage point I could look down the entry hall to see three doors lined up (powder room, utility closet, coat/understairs storage closet). The original builder grade doors looked TERRIBLE against the new moldings. Just awful.

    We weren’t finished with our project yet, so we have our gc add new solid Doug fir doors in a five-panel style (similar to this https://www.windsorplywood.com/product/5-panel-door/ but stained not painted).

    It was a HUGE difference. If I ever do this again (unlikely!), I’ll pay more attention up front to the doors.

  22. On your image of the toilet the flush handle appears to be French gold as well, but when I click the link I don’t see that as an option. How did you do that??

  23. Wowza, this is just the best, love everything! Great job. Hey, I’m getting one of those toilets, maybe 3 of them, those would be alot easier to clean for sure.

  24. What drawing programs do you use? AutoCAD? I need to update and loooking around for ideas. Thanks?

  25. Omg you should do a whole post about toilets. Might not be the most exciting topic, ha, but you should help America out by rounding up toilets with straight sides. I just bought one too and I am obsessed. It’s both visually and literally cleaner (dust doesn’t settle on the pipe shape as you mentioned). Now that I have one, I cannot figure out for the life of me why 95% of toilets on the market feature the shape of the plumbing in the back.

  26. Just gorgeous.! I dont want to be the party pooper here but $359 for a toilet paper holder, really???

  27. That sneak peak makes me want a white bathroom, but as Emily taught me, white looks dingy in a room with little (or in my case, no) natural light. Wonder if I can cheat by using “daylight” lightbulbs?

  28. The elevation showing the heights of the faucets, mirrors, sconces, etc. is SO helpful as I begin planning our bathroom renos. THANK YOU!

  29. Beautiful! We are redoing our master bath and read in several places you shouldn’t place lighting above the mirror [which is what we previously had] because it creates shadows on the face. Instead you should have your sconces on either side of your mirror. We also have a very large window facing the vanity [so, behind you when you are standing at the sink]. Thoughts? Thanks!

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