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

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

But first, what it looked like before:

Upstairs Hall Kids Bath Reveal B&a 1 NewUpstairs Hall Kids Bath Reveal B&a 2

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

The Goal:

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

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Let’s start with the materials:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

…and how has the leathered stone held up.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bathroom Resources

Finishes:

Pure White by Sherwin-Williams | Wall Tile by Clé Tile | Floor Tile by Clé Tile | Shower Surround in Honed Emerald Quartzite by Bedrosians Tile & Stone | Vanity Countertop in Honed Thassos by Bedrosians Tile & Stone | Heated Flooring by Nuheat

Lighting:

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

Decor:

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

Fixtures by Kohler:

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

Hardware:

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

Windows & Doors:

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

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

 

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