It was a frustratingly slooooow week for progress in our One Room Challenge powder room build. Entirely my fault, of course. As I mentioned last week, I was starting to second guess my tile plan. Sometimes when a seed like that takes root, it grows into a giant tree overnight, and before you know it you've thrown caution out the window, purchased a whole new boatload of tile, and delayed your project for 4 days while you wait for it to arrive from Michigan.

The original design hasn't changed very drastically- in fact, at the end of the day almost no one will even notice what is a essentially a tiny detail. But, I'm inclined to think that design IS the details, so I think that's the whole point. You don't notice every little thing right away, but the overall feeling is fabulous. And then as you walk around a room, your eye lands with delight on all the layers you didn't see at first. 

So the plan was to do white subway tile, which is still the plan. The change was, I decided I really wanted a trim piece along the top and a skirting detail at the bottom. The complication was, those decorative pieces were not available with the subway tile I had already purchased. You see, every manufacturer has their own color white, their own sizing (one 3 x 6 tile is not the same size as the next 3 x 6 tile, if you can believe that), and their own thickness. So, you cannot use trim from one manufacturer and tile from another unless they're supposed to be different. In my case, it all needed to be white. That meant finding everything from a different manufacturer.

I went to Virginia Tile and was intrigued by a treatment at the bottom of one of their display boards. It is a pencil tile with a row of standard white subway tile beneath. By mounting the pencil tile directly above the field tile (rather than staggering it), it creates the illusion of a skirting piece. I really liked the look, and it was also a TON more budget-friendly than the actual skirting pieces, which ran in the $17 per piece range. The pencil tiles here are each under $2.

White subway tile with skirting trim- Laura Design Co.

This is a rendering I did of how that would look:

Use pencil tile and standard white subway tile to create budget-friendly skirting.

For the top, I wanted a cornice piece that was dressy, but simple. 

Subway tile cornice options - Laura Design Co.

Ignore the fact that half of those tiles above are a different white than the others. You can see what I mean about "white" being a subjective term among manufacturers. The trim I liked best is the one in the center, a 1.6" simple cornice piece that mimics the look of crown moulding. It finishes the tile nicely, but it's too fancy or elaborate. Here is how the top of the tile will look:

White subway tile with cornice top- Laura Design Co.

Putting them together to-scale, here is how the tile should look on the wall of the bathroom:

Proper height and proportion for subway tile wainscoting in a bathroom- Laura Design Co.

Once the dilemma of WHAT tile to put where was (finally!) solved, it was a matter of placing the order and tapping my fingers waiting for it to get here from the warehouse in Michigan. I had to break the news to Ryan that the whole weekend he had just cleared to install subway tiles was now free. He took it surprisingly well! 

Traditional door trim and crown moulding- Laura Design Co.

Instead of tiling, we (Ryan) tinkered on un-glamorous things like installing light switches and painting door trim. Funny story, when he installed the light switches they wouldn't turn on! You've never seen two people so panicked. (Word to the wise, test the power BEFORE you put up the drywall....) Thankfully, Ryan had just flipped the wrong breaker switch in the basement. For a real second there I thought we were going to have to tear the whole thing out and start over on wiring. 

The other two pieces of noteworthy news are 1) I now have not one but two MIA wallpaper installers. Both have said yes to the job, and neither will actually commit to a date. The curse of small projects. I am just going on faith and hope that I'll actually have wallpaper for our reveal...but in truth it's 50/50. And 2) The ORC has- for the first time in history- been extended by one week! The final reveal will be November 16th, making this a 7-week challenge instead of 6. Due to the many natural disasters our country has experienced, from wildfires to hurricanes, there are a lot of people in much more difficult situations than I can even imagine. My heart and prayers are continually with those who've lost family and homes. Among the lesser side effects, the storms have delayed shipping schedules and stock on goods, so Linda is giving some needed extra time for those who have been affected. 

Be sure to head over to see what all of the other One Room Challenge Guest Participants have been up to this week! 

AuthorLaura Irion
CategoriesOur Homes