our boys' bath design plan


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We are just days away from moving into our new house and I’ve got another design installment for you! The layout of our new house is such that the boys have the full run of the upstairs (hallelujah) and will all 3 be sharing a bathroom. Since we aren’t planning on having any more kiddos, we can go super masculine up in this space. My style tends to have a pretty heavy dose of feminine (hello pink tile in the master bathroom), so it is a fun exercise to flex the more masculine side of things.


Here’s what the room looked like when the builders turned it over to us, in all its beigey glory.



Nice, but real basic. But I made a couple of very strategic moves when making selections at the design center to set us up for the bathroom I had in my head:


  • Wood vanity. This was a slight upcharge, but guys, I have 3 boys, and they are HARD on stuff. They are not delicate or dainty or even reasonable rational human beings. They are animals on 2 legs. Kicking, crashing stools into the cabinets to wash their hands, slamming drawers, the works. And while I try (nag) occasionally (constantly) for them to be nicer to our things, it just seems to be our reality. Rather than a painted vanity that would inevitably need touch ups 3 seconds after move in, I opted for a wood vanity that would be easier to touch up with a stain marker.

  • Simple white wall tile. It’s funny, because this is the wall tile they had in their old bathroom that I always thought I’d change, but after 5+ years I realized I really liked it. You’d think a basic 6x6 white tile wouldn’t cost extra with the builder, but somehow it did.

  • White countertop. The one thing that was actually included in the price was a very basic quartz-like engineered counter. They were shocked that we didn’t want to upgrade this for granite. NOPE. Simple, please.

OKAY but the reason you’re all here: what’s the design plan?! There is one key feature that I have been DYING to do in a bathroom for years. I’ve presented it to several clients and nobody took the bait (well, that’s not entirely true. One couple DID go for a version of this. I’ll show you here below). Each time I’ve shown it one of the homeowners would love it and their spouse would have a visceral hateful reaction to it. Ha. I get it, risk can be hard, and this isn’t for everyone.

Enough build up. Here’s the inspo:


Image via yours truly at TLD



Image via design*sponge


Image via Kerri Kelly




Image via Jillian Lare


Guys, we’re doing a plaid floor!!!



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Okay, perhaps you’re not dancing about it, but I sure am.


What is more masculine than a black and white plaid?! Our boys’ rooms have always had that vintage classic boys vibe (totally digging on inspiration from Max Humphrey’s new book, Modern Americana on this one). That first image is from a project we did a couple of years back, which is a plaid floor made of marble (swoon) that comes in a mosaic sheet. It’s amazing. We did this for the clients’ shared boys bathroom. I’ve always wanted to do one on a larger non-mosaic scale. And now is the time!


The plaid floor is the jumping off point for all of the other choices in the space, and everything has this Americana vibe to it (pulling heavy southwestern).



1 SW Snowbound | 2 (similar) | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 (matte) | 7 (matte) | 8 (matte)

9 | 10 | 11 | 12 |13 similar| 14 | 15 | 16


I’m keeping it pretty neutral here (at least neutral for me) but adding in a couple of strategic pops of color that I’m pulling out of the art. Y’all know I love mustard and olive, after all. There will be some DIYing happening as well, namely in the window over the tub that is right at “inappropriate height” level. We actually have 2 of these waffle weave shower curtains, and I’m going to chop one down and sew it into a café curtain. That way there’s still lots of light but the neighbors don’t get a show. And I won’t say which one, but one of my three boys would be inclined to give a show (it's Max). 😑


Now let’s talk compromises. I can’t tell you how many times during a renovation I’ve heard from a client “we should have just torn it all down and started over so we wouldn’t have to compromise.” But friends, I’m here to tell you, even when you build from scratch, there are always compromises to be made. No matter how much time, resources, and experts you have at your disposal, you just can’t have everything you want. Sometimes it’s budget, and sometimes it’s just the laws of physics.


We were tempted to do quite a few additional upgrades in here, but budgets are budgets, and we aren’t multi-millionaires (or even single-millionaires if we’re getting really honest). There are a few things I’d love to swap out right away, but they aren’t happening now. I’m not a fan of brushed nickel, but we didn’t have the option through our builder to brass fixtures, and the black was an arm and a leg level upgrade. I also had no interest in tearing out the cement board and tile to get what I truly want, so we will live with brushed nickel (friends even as I’m typing this I’m looking up whether I can swap these shower trims now without replacing the valves. Budget be damned 😂).


I would also ultimately love to add wallpaper to this bathroom, but I have 3 boys, so that may never happen either. But I’ve included those on the boards for you just so you can see where I’m going with this and maybe you’ll want to use them! This wallpaper is amazing guys. Steven and I met in Fort Worth where we both went to college, so this Fort Worth Toile wallpaper is something we’re going to have to have in our house at some point.


So there we have it! These updates are happening NOW as we are wrapping up our post-build-pre-move-in-renovation, so hopefully in the very near future you’ll be able to see this (or at least an early version of this) in real life. Stay tuned!


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