As many of you know, the One Room Challenge took a pause last week to pay respects to George Floyd, his family, and the entirety of the Black Lives Matter movement. It was a week filled with great sadness, yet profound hope. As each of us navigated a complex range of emotions, we saw the greatest Civil Rights movement of our era finally spark, like a firecracker that, despite innumerable attempts, had remained unlit since our nation’s very first Fourth of July. The reverberations were felt throughout the world as black squares rippled through social media, and people from all walks of life threw on their battle gear when called to action. Now, here we find ourselves just two weeks from our last One Room Challenge post, yet in many ways, we are eons beyond that time.
I know I can’t be alone when I say that the material things are feeling gravely unimportant right now. Thinking about what to write this week has felt, well, challenging. And reflecting on my white privilege has dumped my ego into a pile of quicksand. But, all of that is not necessarily bad, just badly necessary. After quite a bit of self-navigating I finally realized that this week’s blog post could best be served by first acknowledging that black-owned businesses are not nearly well-represented enough in this here One Room Challenge space of mine.
So, beyond being a big (and terrifying) eye-opener I realized my myopic decor-buying habits need to change (among many other aspects of my life). I was introduced to so many incredible small businesses owned by black women this week, and sought to buy their pieces to feature this ORC season. I was obviously not the only one to be introduced because by the time I visited many of their shops, they were all sold out. I am, however, hoping to be able to secure a few pieces in time for reveal. I am keeping my fingers crossed that this vase trio from Effortless Composition (shown above) comes in time! More importantly, I am committed going forward to being MUCH more mindful of the inexcusable derth of black creators from my home, blog, and Instagram feed.
The one incredibly heartening thing that did happen this week was to see many of the sponsors I have teamed up with for this ORC season express solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. One of those sponsors, The Tile Shop, will be one of the main topics of discussion today. We have been largely focused on the bathroom space these past two weeks, and we are right on the cusp of having some really great progress to share with you. We begin tiling today, and just completed installation of the Wedi Shower System last night.
The Wedi Shower System is used in lieu of a mortar shower pan to create a sleek, lightweight and highly customizable frame to lay your tile on. We had to be very mindful of weight while building in our attic space, as it was necessary to ensure our foundation and flooring could hold the weight of a large bathroom space. Basically, The Wedi System was a lifesaver for us! The Tile Shop was incredibly helpful with helping us choose what pieces we needed, and guiding Billy through the installation process. You can see from the photos below that we were able to use the Wedi system to build shelves, a bench, the shower pan, the curb, and the walls.
The bathroom space will host three different tiles, all from The Tile Shop. The first of these tiles is large square cement tile, The Tile Shops’s Artisan Tiare tile, which hosts a stunning Moroccan-inspired geometric pattern. If you’ve been following me for a bit, you may know that I have a thing for orange, and these tiles offered the perfect splash of a muted rust shade that will bring some sophisticated color into the space. I love that the Artisan Tiare combined the ochre color with charcoal and white, allowing the tile to pick up the white and blacks that I planned to ground the room with.
So what’s a girl to do with all this gorgeous Artisan Tiare tile? Well, I just wanted to throw it everywhere. I decided to do the entire floor, shower floor included, in the Artisan Tiare tile and layer the neutrals on top. The floor would serve as the WOW factor when walking into the space, and the plan includes repeating the Artisan Tiare on the back wall of the walk-in shower to draw the eye seamlessly into the shower space from the rest of the room. The plan includes placing Kohler’s frameless glass shower doors from Build.com in front of the Artisan Tiare tile to really let the eye look straight through the entrance to the shower, and onto that tile.
The second part of the bathroom tile plan includes using two tiles from The Tile Shop’s Color Market line. I was looking for a subway-shaped tile that would have an earthy, matte finish and the Color Market tiles checked all of the boxes. The first tile I chose to work with from the Color Market line is the Santorini and the second is Cosmos (which looks to be currently not available on their site). The Santorini picks up the warm white from the Artisan Tiare tile and the Cosmos pulls the charcoal hue from our floor tile, making them both very intentional selections of black and white that we’d like to take from the Artisan Tiare, and repeat on the walls. The Santorini will be used in the shower space, and just outside the shower space, in an effort to lighten up what is otherwise our only windowless dormer. The Cosmos tile will be placed on all of the walls of our windowed dormer, which will also host a console and our sink.
Why not choose either the black OR white, you ask? This was something I deliberated far longer than I’d like to admit. My heart was truly set on the Cosmos, but I felt if it was used in the shower dormer it would make for quite the dreary, lightless shower experience considering the lack of natural light in the space. But I needed that Cosmos tile in my life, so I settled on using it on the opposite side of the bathroom space, and crossed my fingers that the Artisan Tiare tile, which carried both the Santorini and Cosmos hues, would facilitate a seamless transition from one side of the room to the other.
The next big ticket item we were able to check off of our Weeks 5-6 checklist was painting the walls and ceilings in the bathroom. We first primed the walls in Sherwin-Williams Premium Wall & Wood Primer and then slathered the walls and ceilings in Sherwin-Williams Pure White. White paint can be notoriously difficult to choose. There are SO MANY and we debilitate ourselves by asking what kind of undertones will best fit our space. But I have to be honest, this was the easiest white paint choice I have ever made (and there have been many).
Why? Well, the attic space has a ton of nooks and crannies, angled ceilings, and relatively low ceilings, too. There are seven windows in the space; one North-facing, one East-facing, one South-facing, and four West-facing. Having loads of different light sources, as well as lots of different angles, led me to choose a crisp white, devoid of any warm or cool undertones. Sherwin-Williams Pure White allowed me to use the same white throughout the entire attic space, and let all of the natural light do the talking. The Pure White plays differently throughout every little corner of the attic, and creates a crisp, clean backdrop for all of the louder details of both spaces. The white also creates a lightness throughout that makes the attic appear more spacious than it is in reality. And who isn’t game for tricking the eye into thinking it’s in a bigger space than it is?
Our Week 7 to-do list is loaded with all the fun stuff including:
We should clearly have a space that looks MUCH different in one week, and after all of these late nights and long weeks, that feels prettttty pretttty damn good.
Be sure to check out all of the other transformations happening this week over at the One Room Challenge, and of course be sure to visit the 19 other fabulous Featured Designers, all of whom are putting together some spectacular spaces:
A Glass of Bovino | Beginning in the Middle | Beth Diana Smith | Clark + Aldine | Coco & JackDeeply Southern Home| Design Maze | Dwell by Cheryl | Erika Ward | Home Made by Carmona | House of Hipsters | Hunted Interior | Kandrac & Kole | Kate Pearce | Katrina Blair | Liz Kamarul | Veneer Designs| Rambling Renovators | Renovation Husbands | Studio Plumb | Media BH&G
See yah next week (and please no reminders that we have just two weeks before reveal! HA!). 😉