The First Mountain House Bathroom Reveal: Our “Quiet Drama” Powder Bath
Here we go, let the mountain house reveals proceed, starting back up with the powder bath. We started with the kitchen, then the kids’ room and now we have a few bathrooms to show you as we finalize the furniture/styling of the rest of the house. You’ve seen how the sausage was made in the process post, so today is just the pretty after photos. The good news is that I can not nor will I ever choose a favorite bathroom in this house. I love them all so much and am so grateful that I had a team of designers (looking at you Julie, Velinda, Grace and Emily B.) to help make sure I don’t mess up this house. Designing all four bathrooms at the same time, while doing the I Design, You Decide challenge (so each one twice) was a real “challenge stress” (a new term I learned and reference all the time meant for the good kind of stress that you shouldn’t shy away from, in contrast to the bad stress).
The key to most of these bathrooms is using materials that feel handmade and “soft.” No polished marble or glossy tile. Balancing that “rusticness” with the “refined” ended up absolutely working here in the powder bath downstairs. It feels minimal but with so much warmth.
Let’s start with…
It’s from Bedrosians and is absolutely stunning. I’m not sure if there is any left available, but it’s called Sky White. We chose Cambria quartz in the kitchen, but for the bathrooms where I’m worried less about wear and tear, I wanted the look of natural stone. We had it leathered which is almost like sandblasting it so that it has more dimension, in a really beautiful matte way. Typically your fabricator will do it, but ours didn’t so we had to ship it BACK to LA after it was shipped up to the house to have it leathered. It was a super fun way to spend money, but now that it’s over, I’m glad we did. The cost of leathering really depends on the stone and since we did almost all in the house, they just lumped it all together. But I think you could add $500 to the cost of fabrication for a room this size.
My team (led by Julie) custom-designed the vanity and it’s just stunning. It was the first time I’ve done a custom vanity and was scared that the proportions would be off, but Julie did a drawing beforehand to ensure that it would look great (thank you, Julie)! The sink basin is built-in to give that more modern seamless look.
In case you think it’s a solid piece of stone, it’s not. It’s built out of wood and then just faced with stone, and mitered edges.
I fell in LOVE with this tile before it even came out. Clé (who I’ve worked with several times and I can’t help but keep going back to their product) sent the samples of their new Italian terracotta from their Architect’s Palette line to me knowing that I would love it and they were not wrong. I wanted to use it in the master bathroom but when the other design was chosen, I had to use it here. It’s the perfect slate blue, with a lot of handmade feel to it, but in a simple brick shape. We stacked it vertically to feel more modern (if you are wondering about our feelings between stack and stagger, check out this post). Then we used a medium toned grout so you see the dimension of the tile without being too stark and high contrast.
We worked with Kohler on all the bathrooms in the house and were VERY excited to use their new Components line in here. It’s so beautiful and as our friends said last weekend while they were staying here: “Those knobs in that bathroom are the most beautiful we’ve ever put our hands on.”
There are a few different spout and handle choices that you can mix and match (we went with the Tube spout and Industrial handles), which is what makes this line extra special. They are just so sleek and yet soft (being in matte black). They are graphic and simple, meaning that your eye really understands what they are instantly which makes a big impact. We also rounded out the bath accessories like the toilet paper holder and towel arm from the line (which is the best part of working within one brand…all the finishes will be exact and the styling will match effortlessly). Head here to see the entire Components collection.
Typing out “the toilet” certainly did not feel like the most designy, glamorous thing, but this is a bathroom after all. Otherwise, it would just be a sink area. We went with Kohler’s Corbelle toilet with ContinuousClean here (it’s the same one from the kids’ bathroom) with their CleanCoat technology and Revolution360 swirl flush which fights germs and is a “clean flush.” Basically, it keeps things all nice and clean by dispensing a constant dose of a cleaning tablet with every flush. If it means less scrubbing for me in this highly-used bathroom (it’s closest to the living, family, and kitchen areas), then I’ll take it.
If you were invested in the I Design, You Decide for the powder bath, you might remember that we originally were thinking of a pill-shaped mirror with this blue tile (we showed you a round mirror but with the more graphic black-and-white tile). Everyone begged us to do the round mirror with the blue tile, so…that’s what we did. And I’m so happy. This is the Round Metal Frame Mirror from Rejuvenation and it’s great because it has a very thin metal frame that doesn’t take away from the insane tile and pendant lights (keep reading). We went with the 36-inch version which felt like a “Goldilocks” size in here—not too big to cover up the Cle tile, but not too small that it felt dwarfed by that custom vanity.
A quick note about the shape (whether we went with the pill or the round). There are so many linear lines in this bathroom, from the tile to the vanity to the flooring, so bringing in some softness via the mirror (and the lighting and even the swoop of the faucet spout) was needed to it didn’t feel too stiff or stark in here.
Allied Maker’s Well pendant was originally used in the design of this bathroom with the black-and-white tile, but when we kind of merged elements from both original designs, we decided on these because, well, they’re stunning. The shape of the pendant (and the mirror) really softens the hard lines of the vanity and tile without mimicking the mirror (if we had kept the pill-shaped mirror, it would have been too samesies and that doesn’t provide enough visual tension to be interesting).
Also, because every surface in here is hard, the leather strap really helped to bring some warmth to break up the colder materials. As for the light itself, it’s SUCH a pretty glow because of the frosted glass. A powder bath does not need optimal, bright light, FYI (you’re not putting makeup on in here likely, for instance), so it’s really an area where you can get away with a moodier light.
In terms of styling out the space for this shoot, we kept it very simple. Some cut branches are always nice in a powder bath (especially if you have guests coming over) to bring in some life as a potted plant probably won’t thrive in a windowless room. Then it was just bringing in the basics (soap pump, hand towel) and a little more color via art (this one is from MaryAnn Puls who we all fell in love with during the Portland project). Yes, there is open space on the bottom ledge of the built-in vanity that we could have stuffed with baskets and towels (and hey, I might when life gets rolling in this house), but clean and simple was the name of the styling game here.
SO THERE’S THE FIRST BATHROOM. We have another one coming at you in the next few weeks, but sadly have to hold the other ones until the fall. But don’t worry, more reveals are on their way. Thank you for helping to make this space come to life with all your recommendations/design ideas/voting. “I Design, You Decide” was definitely an out-of-the-box idea that caused double the work (ha), but you guys really did help to make this house a reality and I can’t wait to show you more of it.
And a HUGE thanks to Julie, on my design team, for being the lead on this one – that vanity could not have turned out so well without you.