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Design

The Farmhouse Kids’ Shared Bathroom Is Coming VERY Soon!! Let’s Recap (And See Our New White Paint)

This week we’ll be documenting the full process of our kids’ shared bath (with a full, styled-out reveal and another YouTube video coming within DAYS – watch the first video if you haven’t yet HERE). BTW this is one of those rooms that looks straightforward, not moving any plumbing or changing the layout from the original room – easy peasy, right? But y’all NOTHING IN LIFE IS STRAIGHTFORWARD, especially when remodeling, creativity, and the internet are involved. There is just so much to break down and I have a lot to say (surprise, surprise), with a compulsion to share everything I learned. You really shouldn’t pay to go design school (once you learn renderings), future designers should just follow me around all day during a renovation year – you’ll learn so much!! It’s truly endless what you can learn (and if any designers say it’s not, don’t trust them). The creative process is a beast – so let’s hope it turns into a beauty this time, shall we??

Where Is This Bathroom In The House?

Today we are upstairs, off the landing where the two kids’ bedrooms and our guest bedroom are located. It’s a decent-sized bathroom and was the only room in the entire house that we seriously considered for months not doing much to (just paint, really). See for yourself…

See? Pretty cute! So how dare I tear this all out? Good question. Well, first off for you purists, it wasn’t original (done in the ’90s), but done with classic finishes in a totally tasteful way. Had we not been redoing the electrical and plumbing of the entire house (which we had to do, she was OLD and it wasn’t pretty) we likely would have not opened up these walls. But we still considered leaving it be until ARCIFORM did a bit of fortune-telling and reminded us that the whole house is going to be freshly, and perfectly renovated – do we really want one room to feel like it’s in a different house? Would we end up upgrading it to match the vibe of the rest later on? And if so, we should just do it now. You might have opinions about that, which I fully get. But I did picture the whole house done and leaving only this room mostly untouched started to not make sense.

But the location of everything was great (and how adorable is that vintage toilet that broke upon us trying to salvage??). ARCIFORM also pointed out a lot of tile imperfections – not the tile itself but the install, which I didn’t notice but once they pointed them out I sure did.

I want to say kudos to the former homeowners who remodeled this in the 90s – besides the paint color and maybe the light fixtures, this bathroom is totally timeless and classic.

We kept that train rack which I JUST found in the garage and have the perfect place for it. Everything else was donated to the Rebuilding Center and sold quickly.

So we set out to redesign it in an updated way that felt more “me” with a Scandi-farmhouse bent. Here were the renders that ARCIFORM did based on my design. Stephyn and Anne were so incredible at helping us see the vision with these renders (they use Chief Architect which is so much faster and more intuitive than others and can do 3D, plan view, and elevations at the same time – when you make a change it changes it across the board).

Tomorrow I’m going deep into the tile choice and why we did what we did, how we chose this design and any lessons learned for all of you design enthusiasts (hi! me!).

But you don’t go from renderings to all done without some hard work. When you have to redo the plumbing and electrical it’s really your chance to fix all the things inside the walls and make it a solid new house again (spoiler – this is also where your budget will explode, so if you don’t need to open up the walls, simply DON’T).

ARCIFORM did all the stuff that I honestly don’t even know about – Jamie (our project manager) becomes more of a national treasure every time I see old photos like this. SO MUCH HAPPENS without you even knowing it. Reinforcing stuff, adding insulation, a billion things to problem solve (our new pantry is right below so a lot of engineering need to happen). Everything. Is. A. Thing. (that might need to be a new EHD drinking game phrase along with “simple but special”). The point is, you can (almost) never make a big decision without it creating a domino effect (and sometimes those dominos are BIG!). I feel incredibly grateful that our house is basically brand new from the inside out now because ARCIFORM did such a high-quality job – no shortcuts – renovation.

When you aren’t making major changes it seems so funny to go from walls to no walls back to walls as if seven subcontractors weren’t involved. But it’s freshly done and going to last FOREVER.

Plumbing (rough-in), electrical (J-boxes), then drywall went up (you can say “hang rock” if you want to speak contractor language, although I doubt they’d appreciate it if you are a lady which is just so cool…). Then tile, trim, and paint. SO EASY. 🙂

Tile Install Progress

Then… My Paint Fail

So last August we moved in, and the bathroom looked like this. It’s pretty incredible EXCEPT for my dumb paint color choice. I wrote about it more here, but essentially, while the tile was covered with plastic I made a blanket paint color choice for the whole house, which has worked well in some rooms, but not so much in others. The white I chose was too white and once the plastic was off the tile, I was super bummed/nauseous to see that the once white tile now looked very, very beige and it was all my fault. And y’all, I can handle ivory, cream, and taupe but this new beige-looking tile was a real problem for me (it was even worse in person, trust me).

I was SO MAD at myself and of course, had to tell anyone who stepped foot into this bathroom how much I had effed it up. It felt like such a rookie mistake. Fixable, sure, but again (sorry for being a broken record but there are always new faces here), we had JUST paid tens of thousands of dollars and it took three weeks to paint the entire house. So to have to pay to repaint and disrupt my family again because I didn’t obsess enough about the white color just felt so dumb. Plus my confidence was in question and so much self-doubt had seeped in that I didn’t even feel like I could make the right white choice on my own. Turns out decision and renovation exhaustion can affect your judgment, PLEASE BEWARE.

But we kept moving along even while I was awaiting the right paint color to magically reveal itself in my brain.

We went round and round (ha) about mirrors. Playing with a lot of vintage ones (none of which were chosen) because drilling into tile isn’t for the faint of heart.

Ultimately everything came together and y’all, this bathroom is FUN. What you’ll see this week is all things tile choice/design, how we retrofitted this dresser into a vanity, designed a new antique vintage light over the bath, and styled it out with a bold patterned fabric bathtub niche curtain. Adding color and pattern on a quiet foundation is my favorite game to play. I hope you think we won 🙂

And good news! The bathroom got repainted with a white that matched the tile, and…THE TILE LOOKS WHITE AGAIN. You might think you know what this bathroom looks like but styling goes a long way so please come back and watch it come ALIVE.

*The Pretty Photos by Kaitlin Green

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Vera
9 months ago

Yay! Super excited. I’m really enjoying the “this week” thing where we go deep into one big project each week. Very easy to be engaged in the “story” of it all – instead of getting a new chapter once every few months.

M
9 months ago
Reply to  Vera

Totally agree with this! Love the deep dive. Love the storytelling, as well! Thanks for these in-depth posts : ) Love and so excited!

KT
9 months ago
Reply to  Vera

Same here!

Lynsy
9 months ago

Can I nominate “y’all” for the drinking game? I like the white/cream tile.

Elaine
9 months ago

Whites are so tricky – is it a pink white, a creamy white, a taupey white, a strong white, a canvass white, does it read a hint of green…against a brilliant white all those undertones will be magnified so much you won’t even believe your white was white to begin with!
All that is to say that I don’t think “fault” is the way to go here, it’s just colour and sometimes our eyes only perceive so much in isolation. And honestly, I’m three paint colours in on my skirting boards so this post only makes your process all the more relatable (wish it wasn’t, for both of us!).
Can’t wait to see the rest of this deep dive.

priscilla
9 months ago
Reply to  Elaine

So true what you said Elaine. I’ve painted my living room so many times I think it’s smaller now than when I started!

MKP
9 months ago
Reply to  Elaine

I hope the months have helped you to be more compassionate towards yourself, Emily. It’s easy to look back with judgement now, but at the time your decision made good sense. Going with a white white has worked for you in the past, and so it was a reasonable choice. It’s just that annoying 20/20 hindsight thing that makes everything seem so obvious after the fact.

Reading about your experience makes me realize that I should really stop and feel massive relief that the white I choose for my renovation works and isn’t a major regret. I put some effort into it and definitely got help, but I also just got lucky that it went according to plan. I cannot even imagine the pit in the stomach of realizing it was a mistake when it is covering the majority of my house. Glad you fixed it and are happy with it now. And you have probably saved many readers from future issues by being so open about your regrets.

Colleen
9 months ago

I look forward to seeing which white worked!
I have found SW Alabaster to be a very lovely white for walls and trim— or to use with Pure White trim. It sort of glows when the sun streams in and seems clean and warm at the same time.

Roberta Davis
9 months ago

Can’t wait!

stacy
9 months ago

Another vote for really liking this “week” format for reveals! Very fun.
Feeling your pain on the bathroom repainting. I did the exact same thing in my freshly renovated bathroom. I wanted a nice light blue and when it got on the walls it was… sage green. Which was nice, but so wrong with the tile. It is what it is and we re-prepped and repainted. Annoying but better to finish it up and get it the way you want!

L.
9 months ago

The green floor tile looks like grass to me and now all I want is cloud wallpaper on the ceiling… might have to do that in my own kids bath.

Karyn Meadows
9 months ago

I see the difference between the tile and your paint ‘mistake’ but it’s certainly not at all beige! Looks like a soft ivory and it is quite pretty with the white paint. I’d have been really happy with this.

Paula
9 months ago

I always remember a scene from Sarah Richardson’s old series where she was renovating Alex’s (her husband’s) cottage on a tiny island in Georgian Bay. She was showing him some fabric samples and saying “green, blue, grey…” and Alex replied “white, white, white…” So funny.

Janice
9 months ago

I am very interested in how you retrofitted the dresser into a vanity. I want to do that.

Lynsy
9 months ago
Reply to  Janice

Cabinet makers will do it once you have sink and plumbing fixtures chosen.

Karen
9 months ago

Hey Emily, I highly recommend you check out Maria Killam’s website and consider taking one of her courses or getting her ebooks, color boards, and color wheel. She’s a designer that specializes in color. She helps designers and homeowners understand the undertones in neutral colors which greatly simplifies choosing color, and helps you make the right choice the first time around. I recently did a complete renovation of my home (the works – bathrooms, kitchen, flooring, baseboards, light fixtures, doors, paint, etc., etc.), and her color wheel went with me everywhere when I shopped for materials, especially tiles, countertops, and flooring. https://mariakillam.com (No affiliate connection, just passing on a helpful tip.) Light has a huge impact on how color is perceived. For one of my bathrooms I was looking for the perfect pale gray paint with a hint of blue, but every single sample I slapped on the walls looked like some weird shade of purple or baby blue. The one I finally chose, BM Gentle Gray, looks blue with a hint of gray in that bathroom, but looked pale gray when sampled in every other room. Go figure! At least it’s easy to repaint, not so easy to re-tile.… Read more »

Sabrina
9 months ago
Reply to  Karen

Agree- she is a great resource!

Terra
9 months ago
Reply to  Karen

I know other commenters—and I believe Emily herself at some point—have mentioned that there does seem to be an underlying issue with reading colour “tone” in EHD designs that has resulted in some baffling combinations. I find myself super sensitive to tone misalignments (what a thing to say from my far-from-perfect rental in Toronto, ha!) so am REALLY intrigued by the Maria Killam course. Thanks for sharing, Karen!

Dawn
9 months ago

Curious to see the reveal. It looks a little like a missed opportunity and design over function. It’s beautiful don’t get me wrong. But I’m about to redo my kids’ bathroom (boy and girl ages 9, 6 respectively- so similar to yours). I’m planning for all the storage and stuff they’ll need. Face products, hair products, plug in tools, counter space. We also have the space subdivided with 2 sinks so they can use it at once (classic bath/shower combo). You could add a standalone piece eventually, and I suspect you’ll need to. One of my fav bathroom innovations is outlets in the vanity and the recessed cabinet for electric tooth brushes and hair tools. Our kid bathroom is also our guest bath when my mom visits. She uses every inch of our 6 ft counter.

Sabrina
9 months ago
Reply to  Dawn

yes, I wondered why there weren’t double sinks put in.

Shannon
9 months ago
Reply to  Sabrina

I think because there’s also a quest bathroom on this floor that one of the kids will probably claim eventually anyway, Emily was able to really prioritize design here.

Shannon
9 months ago
Reply to  Sabrina

Also, there doesn’t really appear to be room for a double vanity. Especially given that they didn’t want to move the plumbing.

alexa
9 months ago
Reply to  Dawn

No one needs a double vanity. Take turns.

sg5785
9 months ago

What’s unique with the week-by-week reveal posts is that the capture the whole range of emotions (well, and motions too) that owners go through when renovating. Especially this week, when even the decision whether to renovate or not was on the table, almost hit all the points. I feel really happy about the result, but pretty exhausted from just reading about it, let alone having to do it. And the pain of looking at your mistakes, even those you can easily fix, day after day. Oh man. I thought I wanted a project at some point in my life, now I’m not so sure about that anymore…but I’ll probably be super-excited to take on the sledgehammer when the reveal kicks in!