Bathroom Favorites

The master bathroom project is the worst and is neither simple nor small, as intended. I’ve never hated a project so much or had less to show for hours of work. The practical factors that come into play and encroach upon aesthetics drag me down. Bathrooms and kitchens projects aren’t for dreamers – or husbands of dreamers! Let’s not talk too much about the granite countertop and sink sitting in our garage right now that I made my husband go buy, then I decided I hated. Or the sconces I picked out that don’t put out enough light, discovered far into the install process. Instead, let’s admire these spectacular bathrooms that hit all the normal bathroom functions but are somehow also gorgeous, creative, original, interesting, colorful, minimal, and timeless…without a subway tile in sight! (Sources listed below)AD Jonathan Adler Bathroom 2

Jill Sorensen Bathroom

Bath makeovers gallery; Mar'11; 1300 Birch St, Las Vegas

Jamie Bush Bathroom

Able and Baker Bathroom

Glam Bathroom

BHG Orange Walnut Bathroom

mid century 70's bathroom orange sunken terrazzo

1/ Jonathan Adler, Architectural Digest

2/ Jill Sorensen

3/ Sunset Magazine

4/ Jamie Bush

5/ Able + Baker

6/ Source

7/ Better Homes and Gardens

8/ Source 


Hi friends! Guess what? School started today in my area and my kids aren’t there because we are officially a homeschool family!!!! I’m incredibly excited but understandably nervous too. There’s a big handful of reasons, but mostly I just want to see my kids more. I’m one of those. And this really accomplishes that on a grand scale. I’m not sure how it will work, or if it will work, but we all figured why the heck not try? I have a feeling it will be one of the best decisions we’ve made. Hence the cramming in of as many house projects as possible before I begin moonlighting as a 1st and 3rd grade teacher next week! In the meantime, some respects are in order…

Obsessed with following the progress on this A-Frame update. Obsessed. (The laundry room!) Respect to all the A-frame lovers and restorers out there.

I love the balance that this house strikes between quirky and clean modern. So playful but not cluttered. The kitchen tiles are what kitchen tile dreams are made of. Well done! RESPECT.

Avalon Beverly Hills Lobby Bar Stripes Platner Kelly WearstlerI know hotel design calls for constant updating but somethings just work and don’t need to be reinvented. I’m talking about interior perfection (Avalon Hotel, Beverly Hills^) being re-designed at the hand of it’s creator (Kelly Wearstler). The Avalon is one of my favorite places to stay in LA and is a source of continual inspiration (blatant rip off here). All I can make of the “refresh” is to offer my respects: 1.) To the creative genius of iconic round one. That mosaic painted wall and those Platner chairs will live on in my heart always, RIP. 2.) To the humanity of celebrity designers. Guess you are just like us, compulsively redesigning like commoners. Except we aren’t painting over the best mosaic wall ever and you kind of are… Ms. Wearstler, you’ve got my respect anyways, I’ve got no right to mourn, thanks for your work, I like to change up stuff too and the Avalon is still great.

An affordable and wacky mobile? Count me in CB2. Don’t know how I missed this until now, but I’ve now got one in my grubby little hands. Still debating where to hang it…master or family room?

If you need a time suck and like architecture: this tumblr. McMansion Hell, you are fun.

And kayak rentals. What good is being an idiot if it doesn’t play out on the internet? With that I present the James family kayak disaster of 2016: We bought a kayak on a whim, pictured above during its brief and tumultuous stay with us. Loading and unloading it on the rack of our SUV was an unanticipated pain in the kayak/divorce in the making, storing it was another hassle, we all couldn’t safely cram on it like I imagined, and then I found a dead dog on a secluded beach during our inaugural paddle. Like, what the what the hell, I will never recover. We quickly sold it and I am a dummy. The end. Kayak rentals, you are worth every penny. Respect, respect, respect. (Avila Beach Paddlesports is the place on the central coast.)


Master Bathroom BEFORE

Get ready for some glamour shots! First let’s get a few things straight: This has already been “updated” once – see way below for the true befores. We’ve been living like this for three years. Yes, what you are seeing is indeed bathroom CARPET + bare bulb + giant wall hole. Yes, the master bath really is this small. And it usually isn’t even this clean. Also, am I the only one who has a feeling that cultured marble is on the verge of coming back? Either way, I’ve got a thing for it. We are beginning to make some small surface improvements in here, so before that happens I present the befores/currents and the plan for this round of the master bath update…

cultured marble sink vintage

IMG_5759 (1)



Believe it or not, this bathroom has seen an even lower point than today. We did a serious amount of work to just get here before we moved in:

  • Repipe the entire house, including this shower
  • Build a new shower dam (entire bottom half of shower was torn out to the foundation and rebuilt)
  • New shower tile to patch all the repair work (on walls, floor and door frame)
  • Remove wallpaper
  • Remove mirror/medicine cabinet
  • Remove light fixtures
  • Remove towel bars, towel hooks, and a million safety bars
  • Remove mini blinds
  • Prime and paint walls
  • Paint vanity
  • New drawer pulls (vintage)
  • New bamboo blinds



This week we are hoping to begin to tackle some smaller surface updates and address some electrical issues. The goals for this phase are:

  • Rectify and rewire the wonkiest electrical situation ever
  • Install a second wall outlet on my side of the sink
  • Patch giant hole in wall and all the small ones too
  • Install new mirror
  • Install new (vintage) lights
  • New faucet
  • Towel hook (this knob from CB2)
  • Install floor tile = ???
  • Install a light and a fan and in the shower prison
  • Retouch vanity paint



A meatier renovation awaits us on down the line. This bathroom is TINY and cramped (only 25″ between that vanity and the shower!) so the 72″ long, one-sink vanity is a bit comical and lopsided. However, both of us agree that a small bathroom and a shared sink are a-ok. We could push out the bathroom into the bedroom and/or the dressing room – and I know that would technically increase the value of our house – but it’s not something either of us want so I don’t think we’ll be doing a full on remodel. However, I’d love for the shower to have a full glass enclosure instead of a dark box to allow more light and visual openness into the cramped space, and to gain a few inches in there. The shower currently sits at 31″x37″!  I’d eventually also love to have a different countertop and sink, though I’m happy to bask in this 70’s cultured marble in the meantime!