Sneak Peek at My House: The Hall Bath

This morning, I needed a sweatshirt to defend against the air conditioning. For a slight blessed moment, it felt like fall. Add in last night’s happy news from our contractor that our project just might start soon, and I’m ready to lose this summertime sadness. (Don’t you love that Lana Del Rey song?)

So, in celebration of all things changing and new, here’s a sneak peek at my design for the hall bathroom at Camp Sterling — soon to be “Camp” no more. (There aren’t enough emojis in the world for that joy.)


It is easier to design for someone else – as any designer can tell you. We are our own worst clients. When it’s your own home, you think of alllllllll the things you love, and alllllll the beautiful tiles and wallpapers and faucets and mirrors that exist in the world, and you stay up at night building 18,000 design boards in your mind, which you want to talk through with anyone who will listen.  I’ve designed literally 8 different hall bathrooms this summer, likely driving my assistant/mother/husband/friends  insane, but this has emerged as my long-running favorite.

(And yes, I used a similar mirror for my client Casey Kadavy’s powder bath makeover earlier this summer, knowing I also planned it for mine, but that’s OK because I LOVE her.)

So let’s break it down – a little bathroom design 101:

MIRROR: In a small bathroom, it’s best to choose one item to make a big statement — a fun cement floor, or subway tile everywhere, or even a vintage rug. In this bathroom, it’s that killer bone inlay mirror or a version therof. Wisteria offers a pretty one.


VANITY: I wanted a gray-stained wood to bring in warmth, and furniture-style vanities add so much style.  This Restoration Hardware piece is simple enough to hang out with that mirror and adds a classic element to tie in with the rest of my classically-designed house. It’s also sized exactly right. (Hmmm, I wonder who planned that . . . . ) I’ll buy it without the countertop so that I can add a little more detail to my marble backsplash. I like notched corners and all that jazz, like so:


FLOOR: Because the bone inlay is a natural material and carries with it that beautiful patina, I wanted a natural stone for the floor. But I also wanted the floor to be black. Slate has just the right amount of rusticity, and a herringbone pattern will add subtle interest. The grout will be black. Because black grout does not show anything, and is therefore the most glorious grout ever to exist in a bathroom to be used by actual people. I’m using Montauk Slate from Arizona Tile.

TUB: Clawfoot with a suspended shower surround – because it’s beautiful, and nods to the era of our home. Not the easiest for taking showers, but this is a bathroom for the children we don’t yet have, and the guests who will likely visit twice a year. I’ll probably do a black-skirted tub. Still hunting for the exact piece.

WALLS: I can’t do just paint on drywall in here, because I have issues, so I’m considering shiplap boards, wainscoting, or an understated grasscloth wallpaper just to add some texture. Stay tuned. Wainscoting paired with a very subtle grasscloth  has the leading edge. These aren’t quite the right colors, but you’ll see the idea:


FAUCET: Bridge style, because I love them to distraction. My choice is from Signature Hardware – from whom I’ve been ordering all summer to excellent result. The interior fittings are all brass.  (This matters: when you buy faucets from a discounter or a big box store, the interiors are often plastic, and eventual leaks are likely). Signature Hardware’s pricing is also more affordable than some similarly styled lines — and the faucet is available in the polished nickel finish I love. It’s just a little warmer than chrome.


LIGHTING: I’ll have can lights to do the heavy lifting, so the vanity sconces can be cute. I’m still searching for the perfect understated piece (the hardware needs a little more curvature), but this cute Schoolhouse Electric sconce might do the trick if I can’t find it.

ACCESSORIES: The Anthropologie hook I love, paired with my beloved Turkish Towels, of course.

Isn’t it exciting to have a vision come together? And wait ’til you see the before picture. Picture yellow linoleum floors paired with the original pink and gray tub tile. I’m showering in a washed-up Easter egg, people. Well, I would be showering in here — if the shower actually WORKED!

November 1, people. November 1.