May 16, 2021

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I'm Kristel

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How is it already WEEK TWO of the One Room Challenge? Last week I shared that we were renovating our half bath over the next eight weeks. A modern farmhouse style water closet that breathes warmth and character. Over the past week, I’ve been finalizing my design with the help of my followers on Instagram and locating my inspiration! I can’t wait to walk you through the space and give you the final updates!


I have combed through countless accounts on Instagram and sipped several cups of coffee while scrolling and pinning my most loved photographs on Pinterest. When I stepped back and looked at what I had added to my Powder Room Board there seemed to be a commonality among most of what I was pinning. Light, bright, but still warm. White walls were in almost every single pin. However, I know that when you add four white walls things can become sterile quickly. In fact, my husband Mike recommends to his sellers NOT to repaint rooms white when they are trying to sell their home because it can look cold and they may find the need to decorate MORE!

Incase you didn’t know, my husband along with my in-laws own a real estate team and have been top sellers in our area for over a decade. So, I took what he said to heart. I couldn’t simply paint the walls white and dust off my hands. Nope, I needed to add warmth to the bathroom along with decor to make the space feel inviting.

Click on the photograph to see this beautiful home. A House We Built shares design ideas along with tutorials. I absolutely loved their style! 📷@ahousewebuilt

I came across A House We Built and fell in love with this husband and wife team who designed and built their forever home from scratch. What really caught my eye from their home was their basement hallway. The waterfall of shiplap from the ceiling to the floor gave the illusion that the hallway was continuous, longer than it truly was and I liked the idea for our bathroom. Using shiplap on the ceiling and then down the vanity wall would make the room appear longer than it truly is which is helpful in a small space.

This is a change from what I had originally planned. At first, I wanted to add interest to the ceiling with a slat wood feature on top of a black ceiling. After thinking of this though, my worry was the heavy color on the ceiling would close in the space, making the ceiling appear shorter.

I also wanted to add board and batten to eye level around the room. However, the powder room is quite small and adding thick trim to the walls would only lessen our space, so that idea was removed.

Chip and Joanna Gaines are leaders in Farmhouse Design. On Episode 15 of their Fixer Upper Show, they renovated this charming little cottage they dubbed “The Giraffe House.” By clicking on the picture you can read about the renovations they made to this home. 📷 Magnolia

What drew my eye to this bathroom was the large beam. Adding wood elements to our small powder would bring in character and warmth. We will be adding two beams smaller in size, similar to the beams shown in the inspiration picture from A House We Built, but I love the raw edges of the beam from The Giraffe House. The two beams will be placed perpendicular to the shiplap on the ceiling, one just above the vanity and the other just above the commode. Adding a feature to the ceiling will not only carry our natural wood elements up, but also draw the eye to the height of the room.

Shea McGee is one of my favorite designers to date. I just love how she brought warmth and character to her mudroom using limestone tile with dark cabinetry. You can read all about her Mudroom design process by clicking on the photograph. 📷Studio McGee

Originally, we were not going to replace the flooring. The tile we currently have is large neutral beige 12×12 tiles set on the diagonal. However, As I started to play around with the different design elements in the water closet, I realized the floor wasn’t bringing anything to the table. When designing such a small space, everything must play a part to the overall plan. So, to have one element, the floor, not add anything to our overall vision was not going to work. We need each piece in this bathroom to contribute to the feel of our home and the current floor tiles are less desiring. Yes their neutral, and yes they are still in good condiition, but the large 12×12 squares aren’t adding any interest, so I went searching…

I was drawn to Shea McGee’s Mudroom in her own home. I love the herringbone pattern that naturally creates a walkway. It points the direction it wants your eye to travel, but the subtle variances in whites and creams does not distract from the other elements in the room. The limestone bricks create a warmth, but don’t make the space feel too rustic which modernizes the farmhouse feel.

So, we’ll be replacing our existing 12×12 tile with limestone bricks in an herringbone pattern. We do have a transition from our hickory hardwood floors into this bathroom that we will need to address. To make the cross between the hallways and the bathroom, I’ll be laying a threshold of limestone bricks side by side. I am most excited about this design element!


This week we tackled the walls while we wait for the tile to arrive. When you walk into the half bath you’re now greeted by light walls. Where there once were dark grey, there is Benjamin Moore’s White Dove to reflect the natural light coming from our single window. Remember we are solving an issue of a dark space in our home so anyway I can bring natural light into our powder room, I’ll take!

We chose White Dove as our wall and ceiling color because it has an LRV, Light Reflectance Value of 85.38! LRV is a scale designers use to determine how many lights need to be addd to a room based on the brightness being reflected from a natural light source. On a scale of 0.0 being pitch black and 100.0 being pure white, White Dove lightens the space tremendously at 85.38.

You can see where we marked the floor joists with a pencil before adding our shiplap. Not all the boards would be anchored into a beam so we needed extra adhesion.

We installed our shiplap to the ceiling and the vanity wall. Installing the shiplap to the ceiling was a bit trickier than it looks. I wanted to the tongue and grove boards to be continuous from the ceiling down the wall which meant we needed to install the boards running from the front to back of the house. This caused a bit of a problem with attaching the boards because they would be running the same direction as our floor joists. We used liquid nails to adhere the boards to the ceiling, tacking with our nail gun along the way.

To make the ceiling seamlessly flow down the wall, we beveled our edges on the vanity wall at a 45 degree angle. Then, we 45’ed the top of the wall boards to create the joint between the ceiling and the wall. This added so much! It eliminated the need for a trim piece to cover the joining boards, instead we caulked the seam.

Here you can see the 45’ed angle that will meet with the wall boards.

To install the T+G boards to the vanity wall, we needed to remove the pedestal sink. The sink came away from the wall easily after unhooking the lines, cutting the caulk line, and removing the bolts. I am glad we decided to add shiplap to this wall because the building crew left quite a mess behind that pedestal sink. Two gaping holes where the bolts had attached to the wall. There would have been drywall work if we decided not to have shiplap. Keep this in mind if you are also removing a mounted sink.


Heading into Week Three of the One Room Challenge, we will be removing the baseboard and toe kick before removing the existing tile. The tile has been ordered along with the sink, but I need to decide on the faucet and hardware for the vanity. I’ll be asking my followers on Instagram to help with the decision. If you want to see the daily progress and join in on the decisions, follow me over on Instagram @the.handwrittenhome


If you haven’t done so already, head on over to the One Room Challenge Blog to see the designers that are participating in this year’s Spring ORC. Besides designers there are over 500 guests participants, like myself, transforming spaces over the next 8 weeks. Come see all the progress and inspiration for Week Two!

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