Wallpaper and tile combinations that pair beautifully for a bathroom

One of the defining features of our most recent bathroom renovation is the combination of beautiful handmade coloured ceramic tile from Fireclay paired with a complimentary wallpaper. It’s a timeless combination that brings a lot of drama and interest to a space, and also feels incredibly elevated. I dove into my assortment of Fireclay samples and paired them with wallpapers I think would look gorgeous in a bathroom, to inspire you to create the same look in your own home.

Shown here: Fireclay Rosemary Tile in 2×8 and Round Liner with Sandberg Raphael Wallpaper in Green

Roundup: Small vintage rugs perfect for bathrooms, all under $100

In every one of my bathrooms we have a small vintage rug at the vanity, which adds both some colour, dimension, and warmth underfoot. In our recent bathroom reveal, I added a faded Oushak rug and it may surprise you that it was only $70. It’s such an inexpensive accessory that brings so much warmth and a piece of history to the space. Since my rug is one of a kind, I rounded up 10 similarly sized rugs on Etsy, all under $100, that would be perfect at a vanity and that I would use in a heartbeat. For reference, #7 below may not look like much, but it is very similar to the one we have in the bathroom below, if you can believe it!

Links: One | Two | Three | Four | Five | Six | Seven | Eight | Nine | Ten

The Main Floor Bathroom Reveal

Way back in May I wrote the last blog post about our main floor bathroom reno. Like all things in 2020, this project took far longer than we anticipated, but, good things are worth waiting for, right?? So, let’s talk through the project and get into those satisfying after photos.

To bring you up to speed, when we first moved into our house, over four years ago, we gave the bathroom on our main floor a cosmetic overhaul. We painted the walls and ceiling black, the vanity a glossy black, upgraded the lighting, and installed a brass faucet found on Craigslist. A few weekends worth of work and less than $1K in spend turned this into a bathroom we loved. We never used the shower (ever) and weren’t thrilled with the tile, but it didn’t make sense to do much more here when we had so many other projects to complete. We always talked about this being the bathroom that was at the very end of the project list, so if we ran out of spaces to renovate, we’d then tackle this one. Welp… during our kitchen reno, we received a call from our contractor saying that they needed to rip out the wall between the bathroom and kitchen and tear out the floors of the bathroom in order to make it structurally sound. So, we lived for a year and half with the below unusable bathroom, which forced our hand into a complete renovation of the space.

Here’s the satisfying before, refresh, and final after comparison photos:

This is the third bathroom we’ve gut renovated in four years and we have learned so much and have leveled up our skills with each project (bathroom one, bathroom two). So, I knew that we had the capacity to take on even more with this bathroom than we had in the past, and I’m so thrilled with the end result.

Custom Window Treatments with Calico

One of the biggest ways to transform a space and to make it instantly look finished is with window treatments. I’m always looking for resources that I can share with you that are accessible, high-impact, and elevate your home, so when I had the opportunity to partner with Calico on custom window treatments, it seemed like the perfect fit and experience to share.

*This post is sponsored by Calico. All content, ideas, and words are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that allow us to create helpful content while featuring products we use and love!

Our go-to spray guns and tips for how to spray like a pro

The spray gun has quickly become one of our most-used tools, as we’ve taken on more and more cabinetry, trim, and furniture refinishing projects. As a result, we have constantly been on the hunt for the best spray gun that will give us the most professional end-product. There’s nothing worse than killing yourself to install the most flawless quality trimwork and then being disappointed in the end finish because of your spray gun. Here’s our current assortment of spray guns and when we use them:

Our Multi-Purpose Spray Gun: The Wagner Flexio 5000

This spray gun is affordable and is a good choice for most bigger projects. It comes with a few different nozzles and canisters, so you can use it for broad coverage (e.g. painting a wall or fence) and smaller detail projects (e.g. painting a chair). It’s easy to use and covers a lot of ground quickly. Our only con about this spray gun is that if you’re looking for an extra smooth, perfect factory finish, you may find yourself frustrated with this spray gun. We have managed to get it pretty close, but just not quite flawless.

Our Detail Spray Gun: The Earlex Sprayport 6003

When we’re looking for that perfectly smooth factory finish, we use this gun. It’s perfect for cabinetry, furniture pieces, and other detail-oriented projects. We recently used this spray gun to paint cabinet doors and the finish is absolutely flawless. This spray gun offers you a ton of control, and when you couple that with the right sized nozzle (there are options), you can really achieve a high-quality professional look. We did use this spray gun to paint the paneled walls in our living room and dining room, even though it’s not a recommended use case, and found that it was much slower going than using the Wagner Flexio, but we did get exactly the perfect finish we were looking to achieve. One other note, since the room was so large, this spray gun needed to be on for several hours in a row, which definitely made the built-in compressor get pretty warm – I would say that project pushed this spray gun to the limit, though! We have found ourselves reaching for this spray gun the most since getting it. I will also caveat, that since this is a professional-grade sprayer, it comes with a higher price tag.

How to make 8-foot ceilings look taller

I dream about having high ceilings one day, but in the meantime, like many of you, I’m living in a home with standard 8-foot ceilings. As we’ve been sharing the renovations and design of our home, I hear the same question over and over “wait, are your ceilings really 8-feet? I didn’t know I could do that…”, so I figured the topic was worthy of a blog post. Here is my best advice for how to make your 8-foot ceilings work for you, not against you.

1. You can install crown moulding

One of the most common misconceptions around 8-foot ceilings is that you can’t install crown moulding without making the walls look squat. I don’t agree with this at all. When it comes to crown moulding, I would keep two things in mind when working with 8-foot ceilings:

Designing the perfect shower: 7 things to consider

We’re knee deep in planning out our second shower renovation and I wanted to share some of the things we’ve learned along the way, as long as some crowd-sourced features that you shared with me on Instagram last week. As with many home spaces, showers need to strike that perfect balance between incredibly functional to use and aesthetically beautiful.

Making the switch to cloth napkins and some faves

When we renovated our kitchen last year, I made the decision to reduce our usage of paper towels as much as possible, and that meant making the switch to cloth napkins and towels for cleaning. Beyond reducing our environmental footprint (which is always a plus!), I have really enjoyed how cloth napkins elevate a simple weeknight dinner and allow you to have some fun with different patterns and textures. Even if we’re just ordering in pizza, there’s something special about having nice, heavy weight napkins that make you feel like you’re having more than takeout. Over the past year, through some trial and error I’ve discovered some of my fave napkins, and I’ve rounded them up below. Some of the features I consider the most are the weight of the fabric, the softness, and how much interest they bring to the table, as well as how they have held up in the wash.

Natural woven jute rugs that pack a graphic punch

Typically, when I think of natural jute rugs, I think of them as being great neutral bases for a room, especially in a space that sees a lot of foot-traffic. But, there’s a whole category of natural jute rugs that feature more interesting designs and colours, which is what really attracted me to Annie Selke’s jute collection. When designing my dining room, I knew that finding the right rug was going to be tricky, as it’s a big open concept room that features multiple vintage rugs in one view, and I wanted a rug that could hold it’s own and look cohesive, but not compete with the other rugs. The rug also needed to be large at 9×12 in size and hold up to a lot of foot traffic, not to mention that it had to be low pile, in order to avoid dining chairs from catching on it. As always, my list of needs were long!

How to choose the right fabric for reupholstering furniture

About five years ago, I scoured Craigslist in search of two vintage swivel club chairs I could have reupholstered to suit my tastes. I found the perfect pair of chairs and then set out in search of a fabric. At our local fabric store, I fell head over heels in love with a remnant bolt of blush Ralph Lauren silk velvet fabric. The fabric was expensive, but a steal for what it was, and as I was checking out I asked the staff at the store “will it hold up as an upholstery fabric?” I was told yes, and that was the primary intention for this fabric. So I felt confident in my decision, spent my several hundreds of dollars on the fabric and didn’t think twice about it. We dropped the chairs and fabric off at the upholsterer and were eager to see the finished product. A month later, when we went to pick them up, the upholsterer told us offhand that that fabric was a little tricky to work with. That was my first indicator that maybe, I hadn’t done my homework on the fabric.