One Room Challenge Week 6: Finish Line

I can’t believe I am typing this. Welcome to the final week of the One Room Challenge Alas. Just as a refresh, the One Room Challenge is a six week challenge created by Linda Weinstein that gives participants a supportive and collaborative forum to transform a space. This is my first time participating and the space that we selected was our home’s master bathroom which we currently use as a guest bathroom.

Catch up on past weeks progress:

Week 1 / Week 2/ Week 3/ Week 4/ Week 5

Before we get into transformation photos, here’s a reminder of what the space looked like before. It’s gone through a few iterations with the final one being with this stately Harrison mirror but it’s also had this gold Project 62 mirror as well.

And now for what this gal looks like now

Brass Faucet and handles / Recessed Vanity Pulls/ Veranda Wallpaper/ Circle Brass Mirror/ Vintage Brass Towel Hook/ Vintage Rug / Vanity/ Blue Vanity Color/ Vanity light/ T-shirt Matchbooks / Preserved Boxwood / Elizabeth Mayville Knot Art

Toilet / Gatco Glass Shelves / Pottery Barn Toilet Paper Holder / Vintage Life Vest / Shadow Box/ Merisea Lui Room Spray / Vintage Sailor / Mudpie Matches / Glass Canister

Subway Tile/ Penny Tiles / Shower Head / Shower Head Holder/ Custom Shower Bottles/ White Hex Floor Tile

We had three major concerns when starting on this room 1. The darkness of the original bathroom because it’s a space with no windows 2. The weight of the room since the original vanity was large and dark with no breaks. 3. And the ugly bath fitter shower which just would not quit.

We originally started with white walls in mind to address the darkness and during week five I almost had a melted down when I realized exactly how stark this room would be, until the Veranda wallpaper from Serena and Lily came to the rescue. It’s perfect. A little coastal, a little whimsical and draws your eye right up, which is great for this little room that could use all of the square footage it can take. It still feels as light and bright and airy as the all white walls and is a huge improvement over the before.

If you follow me on Instagram, you got to see my joyful melt down over the cuteness that is this light. I love a bumblebee from my very core and this subtle light brings just another slight touch of whimsy to the space. When paired with the hex floor, it’s perfectly on theme for our home without being kitschy or niche. If I’m honest though, I will probably pull it down if we ever move.

Problem two we needed to address was the weight of the vanity. This stock purchase from Lowes was on the money and then we brought in a light color for it, Melodious by Sherwin Williams. The color is a direct color match from the little vase with the flowers on the glass shelf. In fact, the entire room is shaped around that vase and the top knot print. Top Knot, or Marigold as I’ve affectionately dubbed her, has lived in multiple spots in our home just waiting for the day when this room would come to fruition. Together those pieces shaped the color palette and the mood in the space.

Our third major woe was the shower, and to an extent the floor. The shower was way too tight for the average adult and didn’t feel lux in what is actually the master bathroom in our house though we use it as a guest bath. So we upped the wow factor with this irregular subway tile and the custom penny tile niches. Because the shower stall is so tight, I took a page from Shavonda Garner’s last one room challenge and made sure to include an extra niche at the bottom so you can shave your legs since there’s nowhere to sit in here. The obvious wow factor in here comes from the shower floor. As a life long Outkast Stan, this felt like the perfect opportunity to bring a little more of our personality into this home. You have no lived until you’ve showered in a shower with the lyrics to “so fresh and so clean clean” on the floor while singing it. What an experience. We are patiently waiting for the door to this shower to arrive and it should be here any day now. Until then we are using an unpictured shower curtain.

I could not be more pleased with how this little space turned out. More than any of the other rooms in our home, this space feels so special and complete. I’ve caught myself a number of times walking through the kitchen (where this room is off of) and stopping in just to have a little look around. From the number “18” which is our anniversary, to the little black sailor which hubby collects, to the “Private” sign which is our kitschy souvenir from Maine, to the towel that was gifted to me by Charleston Weekender after a long debate over the merit of Turkish towels (she won by the way), this room is very much a reflection of our lives and our home and I am so happy with it.

Thanks for putting up with me during this trying time,

XO Prepford Wife

One Room Challenge Week 5: Home Stretch

Hey friend hey. Welcome back to week 5 of One Room Challenge, where I am a day late but not a dollar short (at least not today). WordPress has a new set up and really I have been just too tired to fight it. I am a grand millennial at this point and too old to adapt to new technology.

Nevertheless, I persisted. As a recap, we are updating our master bathroom which we use as a guest bath.

Last week was a bevy of problems. This week is nothing but good things as we cruise into the home stretch with only the kind of luck that I deserve after all of the ripping and running I have had to do just to get this little bathroom going. I called Tile Guy and by I called, I mean Marcus called, and he came out and fixed that little tile in the C that needed changing with zero hassle. So needless to say I was thrilled.

But that was a little problem. My big problem; what to do about the starkness of the space was also solved and rapidly. I fell in love with a striped bamboo wallpaper from Serena and Lily, Veranda, that was conveniently on sale and added four rolls to my cart. The color is absolutely glorious in this soft grey blue that feels coastal and at the same time distinctly like the slightly whimsical vibe that we are giving off in here. The four rolls arrived quickly and one of the fastest installers in all of Raleigh came over and put it in for me. If you are ever in need of wallpapering, Katherine of Paper Kat is incredible and soooo fast and professional. She came over and got this little bathroom done in less than half a day.

I would show you some afters but the least I can do is show some restraint and save something for the reveal. But just know, the paper makes such a big difference to the space. It elongates the height of the ceiling and adds all this visual interest that I didn’t even know I needed when I first began this project. The one thing left would be to add a shower door which we are waiting patiently to arrive. We shall see if we meet our final deadline, huh? Count down is on. In the meantime, here’s me post work, fixing the last of the little problems. I installed a holder for the shower sprayer which was originally mounted near the shower head. It made it impossible to pull down if you were short.

I am so close to finish in here it’s disturbing. I can’t wait to show you guys the space all fully styled and in it’s full glory. See you next week for a hopefully completed space.

One Room Challenge Week 4: More Plumbing, More Problems


Hello friends, welcome welcome to week 4 of the One Room Challenge at Frustration Station this is your captain Victoria reporting for Duty.

As a recap, we are redoing our master bath which we actually use as a guest bathroom in our house.

Catch up on my weekly progress here:

Week 1 / Week 2 / Week 3 / Week 4 / Week 5

We’re still alive here but just barely. This week saw a ton of progress but also quite a few set backs. I painted the bathroom white which has been our plan all along since it would brighten this sad, windowless, little space, which was one of the key problems we neeeeeded to solve. While I was painting the walls, I removed the old light fixture to put in the light fixture of my dreams as seen in Week 3’s post. It was as cute as I thought it would bee (did you see that pun?). I deserve the joy that only this fixture could give me.


After installing it which was easy breezy beautiful cover light, the plumbers came which was the moment I was waiting for. They came at the end of last week to get the rough ins prepped so that this week all they had to do was the actual install. They were scheduled to install three fixtures and all three hit some sort of road block. Listing in order of complexity:

  1. Sink- The sink is installed. But in order to get it in, we had to cut the base boards to make room for the legs. No biggie and actually pretty easy for us to handle. Note the saw on the toilet. I cut right behind the legs. Also isn’t the vanity color cute? It’s Melodius by Valspar. It’s a very faint blue but I eyeballed and color matched it to this little vase which I am shaping the entire rooms color palette around.


2. Shower head- This was a wildly complex installation. It was incredible difficult for even our plumber who has been doing this for years but the part that holds the shower head to the wall also holds the sprayer. Look how high that is! I would have to be Shaq just to reach the sprayer. What we landed on was that once it was drilled into the wall -and you know it was drilled into the wall before we noticed- that we would just get an additional arm to park the sprayer on. So it’s in the mail as we speak, rushed delivered courtesy of our good friend Amazon Prime.


3. Toilet- Oh boy, oh boy, the toilet. I purchased the Lexington toilet from American Standard that I have affectionately referred to as Square Potty for the last two weeks. It’s gorgeous and everything I didn’t even know I wanted in a toilet because let’s be real, who’s really thinking about a toilet until they have to buy one? Too bad the rough in on Square Potty is 12″ and our bathroom’s rough in is a 10″. No problem. Back to the store we go only to realize, they have no Square Potties with the 10″rough in. We scoured Lowes, Home Depot and the internet and no square potties. I am next level bitter but purchased the next best thing from Wayfair scheduled to arrive on Friday which is perfect timing to get it in before the end of week.


So Previous Potty still stands where Square Potty should be. Oddly enough, this is not the worst of our problems. The plumbers are paid so they will make sure the job gets done right.

Right now, the biggest problem is that I’ve painted the walls white and it feels STARK in here. It feels icy and cold and I worry that the lack of a backdrop will make the bathroom feel too empty especially since the accessories I’ve planned are glass and brass. No real color in sight. Back to the drawing board we go.

I’ve been toggling between three papers and I am head over heels in looove with this gorgeous horizontal stripe from Farrow and Ball, the closet stripe paper but I can’t justify the cost.


I am weighing the option for two other papers that would give the room the same feel but aren’t quite the expense.


Acadia Stripe Wallpaper


Anthropologie Winter Cranes in Duck Egg

So any moment now, I will pick a paper (or not). With more styling I could be okay leaving this space like this but I need to make a decision soon otherwise this little room won’t be complete by the end of the challenge. I am leaning heavily towards wallpaper.

Also, as the icing on the proverbial cake. I just realized the “C” in the true feature of my shower design, is not perfect. There is a small part of the curved that is messed up.


I am considering taking a little screw driver to it to fix it or having Tile Guy come back to rectify the issue. Either way, this should not have been grouted and I find it painful that we made it this far without it being right. Sigh. All in all, I’m just ready for the finish line. Tune in next week for How I Fix These Problems with your host, PrepFord Wife.


PrepFord Wife

One Room Challenge Week 3: Tile, Camera, Action


Hello friends and a very happy One Room Challenge Week 3 to you! I come baring updates. I am equal parts joy and dismay which I hear is pretty common for the ORC at this point. 

As a recap, we are updating our master bath which we actually use as our guest bathroom.

Catch up on my weekly progress here:

Week 1 / Week 2 / Week 3 / Week 4 / Week 5

Yes start with the not so hot things that have happened. I am still without shower head. I didn’t manage to snag one at the Restoration Hardware Outlet. But alas, the shower head I was originally in love with came back in stock! Woo hoo! I instantly added it to the cart and it’s well on its way. It’s amazing how even though I strategically planned for the things that I wanted in this space, I still ended up waiting for the shower head to come in. Since we have to wait for it to arrive to close up the last wall, we are working backwards in this space. We cleared the entire room and laid the floor and it is a wowee wowee change. I am so happy with the new floor even without grout. 

152A811B-F39E-4FEF-BAA3-933B3670CA303D179B13-00B6-4BD5-8835-8AC535D339BB7309CD3D-E4C7-43E4-AF6D-6C2448020E6335C51881-BC8F-4885-AC9B-5F0CA88A9A76After finishing up the floor of the bathroom, I rebounded back to the floor of the shower. I love Tile Guy but I knew exactly how I wanted this done so I did the letter myself. In last weeks post, I set up the tiles by laying the blue pennies that would be used for the wording on top of the white pennies so that I could spell out “fresh & clean”. I marked out the sharpie underneath the blue and laid them in the bed of the shower CAREFULLY. Then I pulled out the marked white pennies and replaced them with the blue penny. 13AE81C2-3BBE-4CD5-8359-37E51C834FFF5631E6E8-A925-48F9-8213-E3EEFFD481F29484DF1B-F896-43CA-B837-35477015FC23AAA6E3DF-FD4A-480D-A722-552771873297430701DE-C1D6-4044-870F-6791E0FF1FBCFinished up the shower floors and Tile Guy mastic-ed all of the little pennies down and placed a board on them so that the plumbers could get in to set up the shower and the vanity since we have the measurements for the shower head now.  YaAAaAAaY! (Feel free to picture me shouting that). 


After the plumbers left, I couldn’t resist sneaking a look at my prized floor in all her glory and it’s a good thing I did because she had a little error. Look at the “S” in fresh. Something got shifted between the time I laid the first image and when Tile Guy mastic-ed them down. Lucky it was still pretty damp and I shifted it easily to make it right. 

D5B90CB1-9D22-4009-84F5-2B2C3677EA02The niches also got done this week. Cue more shouts of glee. I’m already so happy with the way these guys are coming out. I went with penny tiles in the niches to tie them in with the floors. 


Also two last unpictured changes but definitely the highlight of this week. I finished painting the vanity a soft powder blue which left me speechless. It’s really not a wow color for anyone except me but it’s exactly the color I had in my mind and to see it come to life is incredible. Hubby thinks the color is too light but I’m praying that the glaring sun has been washing the color out and that in the actual space it will feel cool and subtle. 

And last but not least, I found the vanity light of my dreams. Honestly, I already had one on the way that I liked and felt happy with but then I saw this one from Anthropologie and knew it was The One. It’s the fastest I’ve ever checked out for an item. I can’t wait until it get here.


Tune for next week of Victoria Loses Her Mind in the Bathroom,

XO PrepFord Wife


One Room Challenge Week 2: Demo Time and Floor Design


Hi there! Back at ya with the One Room Challenge. As a recap, we are updating our master bath which we actually use as our guest bathroom.

Catch up on my weekly progress here:

Week 1 / Week 2 / Week 3 / Week 4 / Week 5

Now that you’re up to speed, week 2 is all about the shower stall. We’ve talked in week 1 about how much we haaaate this shower stall and so it was naturally the first thing to go.

Demo Woes First

We demoed the shower first down to the studs. It only felt appropriate to start with the shower since it’s what sent us to renovating in the first place. We pulled out the fitter and by we, I do mean our awesome tile guy.  I promised myself that I was going to do less DIY this year and spend more time focusing on work and the rest of my life. This comes with it’s own problems especially for a control freak. Tile Guy didn’t cut off the water and nicked a pipe. Insert me trying not to morph into the Incredible Hulk. Luckily, Marcus manages most of the work with anyone who comes into the house so it was smoothly dealt with and repaired.


I knew I wanted shower niches. Not only are they trending but they are just down right practical. This shower stall is so tight and I learned my lesson about having anything like a shelf protruding into the space like the bath fitter previously did. So with the niches we are working inward. There was a stud directly in the center of the wall which kept us from going straight down the middle with the niches. After realizing the stud was in the middle, I quickly sketched what it would look like with the niches on the right before realizing that putting them to the right of the stud would conflict with the shower head.

Before I forget, the little niche on the bottom is a gem that I spotted on SGardnerstyle from Shavonda Gardner who built a niche in her shower stall in order to be able to shave your legs which is just genius. Mind Blown. This space is way too tight to build a ledge for shaving so I knew that whenever we redid the shower, I would make sure to include that little feature.

And now for more of the ugly. Insert Tile Guy nicking the electrical while cutting the niches into the backer board. Slaps forehead in exasperation. If you look closely to where the light is shining in one of the below photos, you can see the nick in my little shaving niche.



Once the War of the Nicks was over with. We could start tiling which went off without a hitch on the back wall. We left the right wall open since we had an idea of what sort of shower head we wanted but it was out of stock so we are back to the drawing board on the shower head situation. Until then, the tile will commence on the other two walls and the right wall will be left open until we decide what to do.


And Now the Part I Actually Care About

In the mean time, we are going to work on the floor which is the feature in the shower. I loved Outkast growing up and I do mean LOVED. So much so that I had an Outkast screen name on AIM. (Judge ya mama, don’t judge me.) So it only felt appropriate when doing this renovation that I pull in the lyrics “so fresh and so clean, clean”. I initially leaned on the idea of doing “Clean” exactly where you first put your foot down in the shower. Tile Guy laid the pattern out on the floor in our living room which gave me the chance to practice. I popped the mesh sheet of pastel blue penny tiles that we bought and began trying them out by laying them over the grid of white penny tiles. Because of the diagonal pattern, the words were spelling in a way that wasn’t, how you say, clean. I realized that if I rotated the pattern a few degrees, I could get the straight lines I was after. Having it laid out also helped me to realize that I wanted more letters! ‘Fresh & Clean’ read so much nicer than ‘Clean’ alone.




I put the sheets of penny tile in the shower and began trying again with the blues on top of the whites. I tried a few different iterations of the ampersand sign with the center around the drain and settled on one that I liked. I then used a sharpie to mark all of the white pennies under the blue pennies. I plan to pop out all of the white pennies and replace them with the blues.






And Now For More Woes

I desperately want a vintage looking brass shower head but can not seem to find one anywhere for the life of me under $2000. I have looked all over God’s green earth and have decided to try hunting for one in the Restoration Hardware Outlet in Asheville, NC. It’s a decent distance away from us but worth the trip if they actually have any of the fixtures that I need. In the mean time, I will purchase a faucet that looks similar to the one on the mood board. If I find a shower head and matching faucet at RH, then I’ll just return the other one, no problem.


We were only going to demo the shower this week but while Tile Guy is in here, he volunteered to pull out the vanity and toilet so that he would have more room to work which is great for us. So we are off to the races.



Hopefully, our adventure to RH goes well and I’ll have an awesome update for you around the shower head. Cross your fingers and see you next week.

XO Prepford Wife

Restoration Hardware Outlet in Asheville, NC

Hi all,

This is a completely random post about the adventure hubby and I took to the Restoration Hardware Outlet in Asheville, NC. I was on the hunt for a few fixtures for the bathroom and because the drive is about 4 hours from us, I scoured the internet for anything I could find about a Restoration hardware outlet or restoration hardware warehouse sale and found little to nothing. So I am compiling this quick post of what was available in the store that I visited around mid-September so you know what to expect should you adventure to one yourself.

The Asheville Restoration Hardware is located at 800 Brevard Rd Suite 670, Asheville, NC 28806. It’s within the context of the larger Asheville Outlet Center so you can also make West Elm outlet happen while your in the area. The store is relatively expensive compared to an outlet but I think for the most part, their clientele understands what RH’s actual pricing is like. If it helps there is usually some other promo going on in the store at the same time. the day we were there it was 40% additional off which would have been great if I found what I was looking for. (If you ask why I didn’t call ahead when I knew I was 4 hours away. I did. Twice. The first woman wasn’t helpful. The second woman didn’t understand what I was asking for and why in spite of me explaining how far my drive was. Sigh)

Overall, there was a wide array of merchandise in the store, the hardware had been picked over which is sad because they are literally called Restoration hardware but they had an awesome selection of lighting and sofas, so if you are in need of either, it’s probably still a good time to go for those unless they had a clear out sale. I hope this helps you as you hunt down any need you may have from the store. I tried to include a healthy sampling of what was available and a few prices so you know what to expect when you get there. Let me know if you have any questions and happy hunting.

XO Prepford Wife


One Room Challenge Week 1: Plan of Attack


A happy happy Thursday to you all! I am so excited to share that I’ve decided to participate as a guest in this fall’s One Room Challenge. The One Room Challenge is a biannual forum -April and October- for participants to have a fun and supportive way to share their room transformations over a six week period. This is my first time participating in the ORC and though I have some hesitation about that crunch timing, we have a room that must be done.

The room we are tackling is our downstairs bathroom. This bathroom is off of our kitchen and our guest room which is actually the house’s true master though we don’t use it that way (we took over our entire second floor as our set of masters). What that means is that we have a bit of a challenge on our hands; how to pack all the style of a tradition powder room, because it’s off our kitchen, but also how to maintain some of the formality that people come to expect from a master bath.


Humor me here with these before photos. I had no idea I would ever need them for a blog post. But we’ve done mild work to this bathroom since moving in, just to make it livable but it still had some serious issues.

The major problem is that this room is at the center of our house and has no natural light at all. Hence the hazy yellow glow in all of the photos. We thought about how we could add light but we can’t add a window or skylight (center of the house and all). And we can’t add a door with frosted glass (it’s off the kitchen and nakedness and a kitchen doesn’t much mesh).  It also has the problem of a very small footprint. But this like I said, this bathroom is at the center of our home and the layout in our house is very efficient; there’s no where we can steal square footage from.


Another problem is that we hate the vinyl floors. It’s the bane of our existence. We have it in the kitchen though, I painted over it, and knew it just couldn’t stay if we were going to do this room over.

But the most pressing problem and the one that set us off down the renovation bath is the shower stall.  It’s waaaaay too tight, not just for a master but for any full grown adult to enjoy a shower. Oh you can take one, but you surely won’t enjoy it thanks to that bath fitter which eats into the shower area by at least three inches on each side. 



Here are some inspiration photos:


I recognize that these images have very little in common with each other except the bright, light and airy aspect of all of them but that is truly the goal.

So here’s where we’re going:

ORC plan 2


  • Open up the shower space by removing the bath fitter
  • Create illusion of light by keeping the room white
  • All brass everythaaaang for the fixtures to warm up the icy white
  • A little something special that involves my favorite Outkast lyric of all time
  • Use open vanity to not weigh down the tight area

So that’s what I’ve got folks. I am crossing my fingers that this turns out well. I have been waiting quite some time to do this bathroom and I really want to get it right. Stop by next week for an update and to see if we are on track so far and what pitfalls we inevitably have.


XO PrepFord Wife

Pendant Light Above Island Without Seating

Long title. Easy concept. Can you put pendant lights above an island with no seating?

We are slowly working through our impromptu kitchen renovation. A few weeks ago while plotting improvements, I wondered if we could move the pendant light in our kitchen to the space above the island even though it’s small with no seating.  The pendant light in our kitchen was originally a fluorescent light box (yuck) which we quickly replaced less than a week after moving in.



While I liked the pendant that we selected, the positioning felt awkward right above the cabinets in such a slim place. I wondered if there was a way to push the pendant above the island which I’d never seen for an island as small as ours or an island without any seating. I obviously took to Pinterest and discovered it was possible.


Source: (Pinterest)


Source: (Pinterest)


Source: (Pinterest)

It was possible! While we were going to move the light above the island, minnaswhale freshen the light to a new fixture and add the recess lighting that Marcus was dreaming of living in here.

So I took to the internet to hunt down a pendant light. I wanted one that felt retro, fun but also special without clashing with any of the colors we already had (though several will change). Apparently that was a tall order until I saw the Melrose pendant from Serena and Lily which was love at first sight. Hubba hubba. But with a $998 price tag and a 19″ diameter, this lady love was out of my league.


Knowing how much I loved this pendant though gave me a really great starting point for what I actually wanted. Which leads me to our actual pick, the navy pendant depot light from Pottery Barn Kids for the low low price of $50.99 each.

white-depot-hanging-pendant-o.jpg I constantly tell people not to sleep on Pottery Barn Kids and Teens. if you look at many of the pieces out of the context of the great children’s room styling, its possible to enjoy them in adult spaces. Especially since them being children’s purchase usually means instant whimsy. I instantly added two to the cart and didn’t look back.

Confession time: this was not a DIY project. I have no problem doing electrical but when it come to complex projects -which I consider adding four canned lights to be- we hire out. And boy do I have no regrets. This is a project that Marcus managed while I went to work and the installers were there from 9am to 2pm. If it took professionals that long, how long would it have taken little ole me by myself?



They got the lights in and it feels like a brand new space. We get pretty good natural light in the kitchen, thanks to a really great bank of windows in the breakfast area in here, but  its never felt this bright and light in the kitchen. The bulbs that we previously had on the 3-light pendant were sleepy, warm Edison bulbs while these recessed lights are bright white and clean. I gotta say, Marcus pushing to have this added to our project list was a brilliant idea. It isn’t one that I felt moved to do. I wanted new pendant lights but I certainly wasn’t plotting on recessed lights. But Marcus was totally right and this came out better than I expected. So there you have it, a before and after that we had no plan for. You can add pendant lights about an island with no seating. We may evaluate that later on but for now, we are thrilled with the change.


Polka Dots Galore


Today in “how many polka dots can I get away with?” I bring you a humble offering of just that; way too many dots. I have always loved a dot. It feels timeless and classic but still fun. If an item comes in a dot, I get it every single time. Especially if its navy or black. This black and white dot dress is an oldie but goodie from Ralph Lauren that delivers every time I wear it. It made it’s spring debut from the bowels of my closet just in time for a little day trip to the coastal town of Southport, NC.

Pairing polka dots with a pop of color and a denim jacket with be my go to until the weather warms up enough. In the meantime, I have been scouring sites for more pieces that will integrate into my wardrobe.  It’s like the internets have heard my plea and severely stepped up the quality and availability of polka dots this spring. Below, I am rounding up some of my favorite dotted things available for your consumption and mine. *Weep housewife tears of joy while looking through these*


Boden Rhea Blazer // Boden Rhea Pants // Connie Flat Mules


Boden Aria Ponte Midi Dress


Ganni Dufort Polka Dot Maxi


Talbots Swimsuit

Jcrew roll dot

J.Crew Rollneck Sweater

Mod10102853_beach_blanket_bingo_one-piece_swimsuit_red_white_MAINModcloth One Piece Swinsuit Comes in Straight and Plus sizes

10111119_dance_floor_date_a-line_dress_navy_polka_dot_MAINModcloth A-Line Dress


Small Laundry Room Tiling and Make Over

DIY Tiling Laundry Room 

A follower recently gave me a (very gentle) reminder that I never posted the laundry room reveal. Consider this me giving you a look as well as a laundry room tile DIY from someone who had no idea what they were doing.


Before of the Laundry Room


Removable Subway Tile Wallpaper // Ikea Kallax Shelf // Woven Basket // Tabletop Ironing board // Globe Sconce

If you are thinking to yourself, the before and the after look very similar (especially that blue shirt), you would be correct. The before is actually the “middle step” of our laundry room; a simple fix that was done just to carry us through to the “renovation”. The before of the laundry room is an excellent and simple “apartment fix”.

With removable wallpaper, an Ikea Kallax shelf propped on a ledge that once held a wire shelf, and a sconce, this laundry room was an easy fix until the renovation to come and would have been a great stopping point if we never decided to do anything else in here.

The Redo Process

Remove the “Removable wallpaper”

I was really excited about this step because I have always wanted to know if removable wallpaper actually came down without ruining the walls. Clean walls after would make removable wallpaper a renters dream. Plot spoiler: Not.


These grainy stills give you some idea of what the wall looked like after I removed the wallpaper. The removable wallpaper was not so removable. It shredded the paint that was on the wall. In the wallpaper’s defense, the paint felt incredibly low quality. There was no base coat beneath it and it felt a bit like nail polish when you fail to put a base coat and a top coat, if that makes any sense at all. Whoever painted our house must have done it quickly and inexpensively in an effort to get the house on the market. But consider this your warning if you have ever desired to do removable wallpaper.

I removed all the wallpaper, the shelf, the ledge and the machines and got to work.

Tiling the Wall

Now for why you more than likely came here. I tiled this wall in one afternoon and grouted it the next. As someone who has never tried tiling but has done some diy work before, I found it to be two hammers on a five hammer scale after reading many blogs and watching many videos late at night.

Shopping List 


Safety Glasses



Rags aka T-shirts

Caulk gun



American Olean Gloss Subway Tile

Grout Float

11 in flooring trowel

Snap Cutter

Tile Cutter

Grout Maximizer Additive

1/8in White Plastic Spacers

Type 1 Mastic

Sanded Powder Grout– For spacers 1/8in-5/8in

Drill Attachment Spiral Mixing Arm

Tiling the Wall


Before beginning, it’s best to think through what pattern you want. I wanted the traditional pattern so I buttered the wall with the premixed mortar along the base board. Then I placed a tile in the first position and went all the way across. If you look at the bottom row, you can see spacers placed between the starting row and the base board. I inserted those after doing the first row to make sure that there was a proper amount of space between the first row all the way across.  If you ever watch any tiling videos (which I highly recommend) they say spread the mortar like peanut butter on the back of the tile and the wall then press the tile straight on to the wall so you don’t smear the pattern the trowel made.

After doing the first row, I smeared enough mortar on the wall to do two rows. For the second row, I placed one half a tile that I cut using the tile cutter (unseen) into the first position to begin the staggering pattern. After going all the way across, I did the third row. I made sure with each row that the row was level horizontally but also vertically by making sure the vertical rows were aligned.


I went up the entire wall avoiding obstacles like plugs. I stopped halfway up the wall to scrape out the grout lines and prep the wall for the closets I planned to put in the laundry closet.


From this photo, you can see that around the plug, I completely left this area open. I planned to go back in with a single tile that I used a wet saw with to complete the hole.

You can also see if you look in between the empty grout lines that mortar got in. I used a metal nail file and a screw driver to scrape that out.


For end pieces. I measured the space for the finishing tile by placing a loose tile next to a row. I made a mark on the tile where the tile in the wall end and then used the tile cutter to cut there. Then I could use the long piece to match up to this row and the short piece to place in the row above.


Once I reached a certain height on the wall, I installed these unfinished wall cabinets by finding the studs and drilling a screw into the top and bottom of the cabinet. If you look closely in the below cabinet you could probably see the screw. A better way to do it (in a less stressed and exhausted hindsight) would be to place the screw right below the shelf so its less visible. Without boring you with the nitty gritty details, I installed this cabinet by myself by screwing a 2×4 to the wall at the height that would be below the cabinet. I then rested the cabinet on it as a brace so I could screw it into the wall. And you can also see the whole from that screw below the cabinet in the below photo..


After finishing up the wall, I realized I had some extra space below the cabinets and scored these little pieces to fill the gap. They came in a pack of 12 and fit nicely in this area. After letting the wall dry overnight, I followed the direction on the grout package to a T and smeared this wall. You can see the pattern that I used to fill the wall by the smears. For the small tight spaces, I used the caulk that I purchased which was the same brand and therefore color as the grout. Most major grout brands sell this caulk. Jackpot!


It look about five buckets of clean water, two sponges and two cut up college t-shirts to smear the haze off the wall. I started with a piece of cut t-shirt to rub off the excess, then a sponge filled with warm water. And another sponge of warm water. Then another sponge. Seeing a pattern here? Followed by another cut up t-shirt. ED192CF8-367B-4FB7-918C-FF3C9B127913F90406F3-17BA-4930-88F4-00755EC664C4

Until finally the wall was clean. If you look at this photo, you can see there are still gaps around the outlets that I still hadn’t solved by cutting out a piece of tile with a wet saw. In case you are wondering, those are still like that. I have been sooooo busy since Christmas (when this project was done) that I have yet to complete this. I will I promise! It looks a bit unfinished like this.


I painted the walls a hydrangea blue-purple that changes color with the light and patched up the wall where the previous shelf once lived.


The middle section of the all looks a bit wonky, but its level in person. I checked while loading these photos because I didn’t realize quite how strange the angle looked.

Styling The Laundry Closet

We specialize in hanging a ton of our clothing so we knew we needed both a hanging rack and shelves. We brought in the same tension rod that we had before because by this point we were beat and some Ikea hangers that we picked up one weekend.  We also put it two pieces of unfinished polar as shelves. We left them unfinished and unstained because we quite liked the way they looked with the hangers and the wicker baskets.


The Reveal


The laundry area got a few more tweaks for functionality like hooks for the stool, tap lights under the cabinets (that’s what that glow is) and something to hold brooms and mops on the other wall. As you can see in the photo above, I need to go back and correct that rogue tile around the outlet. Overall, I am happy with the project and would certainly tile again. Just not in the near future. Except for that little gap. I’ll tile that. Also, feel free to ask any question that I was way to vague on in the posts 🙂