Mood Boards

Our First Project: The Powder Bath!! Here’s the Mood Board

August 10, 2021

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We often share first looks and sneak peaks to our Love Letter subscribers (sign up here to get on the list) and last week we shared the first 3 projects we want to work on in our house. At the top of that list? The powder bathroom on the main floor. When we first bought the house, it was operable and looked like this:

The cherry floors that were throughout the first floor, extended into this small powder room and when they were removed, the floor, sink and toilet all came out of here, too. Which to be honest, was probably going to happen anyway. It wasn’t until we had my family over for Polly’s birthday party two weeks ago that we realized our guests currently have to walk through our bedroom, and closet and into our bathroom to get to a toilet. Or they can go upstairs or the guest house–there’s nothing convenient! So we put the powder bath at the top of our list.

Here’s what the poor bathroom looks like today. The salmon plaster you know, (I actually LOVE the mirror so much) but the rest of it looks rough.

Okay, spider webs, we get it! We haven’t used this bathroom!

The ceiling is the last photo and I just had to include it because they included the most beautiful stacked crown in this tiny powder room with 10 foot ceilings! Thank you!!!

This is the first project that we’re doing from start to finish in this house and I’m really craving that “one-room transformation” feeling. The thing I love about doing a small room first is you can really set the tone for the whole house in a small space–almost like a mock-up of what the rest of the house will be. It’s also just fun because you can take a small space like a powder bath from start to finish in a shorter amount of time, with a smaller budget, than say–a living room renovation.

Just like any room in our house, I really wanted this room to feel like a mix of historic and traditional, with some modern touches. I want every room in our home to be thoughtful, even down to this little pocket of a room. Here’s a mood board to show you what I’m thinking.


Wallpaper in 752, Wall Sconce, Watercolor Floral Art, Mirror (I’ll probably just keep the mirror that’s in there), Vanity, Toilet, Wooden Toilet Seat, Penny Tile Inspiration (white, black

When I’m designing a room, I like to start with one must-have, and in this room it’s the wallpaper. I wanted more of a geometric, graphic wallpaper–something to show off the height of the room (10ft tall ceilings anyone?) so stripes were the obvious way to go for me. In a room nearby, I actually have some plans to have more of a dramatic wallpaper installed. You might already know what I have up my sleeve if you read this post here. Hint hint.

The room was missing some warmth with the cool toned wallpaper and the tile floors, so I took a note from House of Brinson and thought that swapping out the toilet seat for a wooden one would be the perfect way to add some warmth to the space.


We already have the tile here and we’re popping out penny rounds to make a cool design just for this space. We hope to finish the whole thing this month! So by the end of August, we’ll be prepared to offer a better restroom experience–just don’t look in the kitchen! ha!

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What do you think?

  1. Nora Bass says:

    I love it all, especially the penny tile floor. The strip wall paper might be too busy for my eyes at my age.

  2. Mr Pickles says:

    Wow! Strikingly beautiful, just like a Maggiano’s Little Italy bathroom

  3. Jaye says:

    I love it already Julia! Something about this space makes it feel like an elevated version of the toilet closet from your last house. Bringing the “feels” but with a little added something. I am excited for this one!

  4. Tabatha says:

    Hi Julia! Will you have a professional install the floor tile or will you and Chris tackle this yourself? A lot of the time I see hex tile laid without a border. The border is so beautiful but adds a whole level to the installation that my brain can’t comprehend. If you do happen to DIY, I would love a post on how you figure this out.

  5. Miranda says:

    I can’t wait to see how this comes out. The vision board is beautiful. Where do you like to print your digital art? What are you thinking for the frame? Art is what is missing most from our home.

  6. Pia Lindkvist says:

    I do hope that the ceiling isn’t staying white. If a mural wallpaper isn’t going up there I hope that there will be a chandelier. Even though I don’t think the powder room needs more lights than beside the mirror but that high ceiling needs something cool…

  7. Dawn says:

    Gosh I love that toilet seat! I’ve been thinking about doing a black one for our powder room. Very classic looking, both.

  8. Betsy says:

    Love the board! The sink is perfect and the wallpaper but not a fan of wooden toilet seats. I like to see that they’re clean and white 😃 Maybe add some wood warmth with a trash can or other accessories- just an idea.

  9. Adrienne says:

    Stunning! I’m really hoping for a high tank toilet somewhere in your new home too!!

  10. Carrie says:

    I am here for this! That floor is of my dreams. The sconces are so beautiful and simple. I love the sink!
    My parents had vertical striped wallpaper in their teensy 3/4 bath off their bedroom when I was growing up and it definitely made the room seem bigger. (except the stripes were orange rust and brown, and they were like velour or something. Flocked? This wallpaper is for sure better!) When my mom took that wallpaper down, because velvety wallpaper in a room where one showers doesn’t hold up great, the room felt like it shrunk. It was a good (double) design lesson for me!

  11. Natalie says:

    Looks like this blogger did the same flooring you’re planning on doing!

  12. Cathi says:

    Love everything you’re doing~ as always! And, I might have missed it but what do you plan to do to the ceiling? I have a similar half bath situation and wish they had wired it so I could have a cool overhead light!

  13. Jeannine520 says:

    Beautiful! You’re speaking my language with this house. I think the wood mirror in your mood board is much better than the current one because it ties it with the warm wood of the toilet seat. Can’t wait to see this come together!

  14. EP says:

    I love the (future) vibe of the space, especially those darling tile floors. Can’t wait until that salmon faux finish is gone! Will you paint the woodwork?

  15. Amanda says:

    This is fab!! Can’t wait to see it all come together. I’m actually LOVING the wooden toilet seat. I saw Daniel Kanter use one as well in his home and immediately wanted one in mine, the dark rich stain adds so much in a small room! That and the tile will look so classy!!

    • Shelly Christensen says:

      I agree about the toilet seat. I remember the wood toilet seats from the 80/90s and they fit much more into the “country” design of that era. They were not this rich deep gloss wood illustrated here.

  16. Jess says:

    This looks great! I love that you are leaning more historic in this house as it’s much more in line with my home’s style. Trying to mix the modern and historic/retro/vintage (can those three all be lumped together? haha) vibes in my house has been a work in progress.

  17. ERICA MOBLEY says:

    Was this bathroom NOLA inspired? I live here and am certain I’ve seen that floor somewhere but drawing a blank. You always have to look down, around and up in NOLA. Every part of the smallest rooms are meticulously curated.

  18. Lee Harrison says:

    Is there a handy closet or cupboard to store tp and towels, cleaning stuff? I LOVE that sink style, but alas…no storage anywhere in the little jewel box of a powder room.

  19. Ashley Neville says:

    I love the idea of using a small room as a test to develop the aesthetic of the rest of the house. Such an original and powerful idea. Can you share any insight about how you decide when to do flooring that is unique to a room (like your penny tile), rather than the main house floooring?

  20. Renee says:

    I’m so excited for this! Such a beautiful mood board! This house is what dreams are made of and you all are designing it so beautifully. I love the wooden toilet seat. For those concerned about it, you could always buy yourself a padded toilet seat! 🤣

  21. Rav says:

    The powder room will definitely look amazing! You do a great job of incorporating patterns and making all your homes look cozy and warm. … Those in the comments that concerned with the wooden toilet for hygiene purposes, they can be kept just as clean as other toilet eats.

  22. Jolene says:

    THANK YOU for celebrating dark woods and traditional style. I squealed over the new kitchen cabinets (and the brass touch!) This is such a beautiful style and I know you’ll take it to the moon!

  23. Kirstyn says:

    Hubba hubba! All the moody vibes! Loving your choices. Can’t wait to see!

  24. Amie C says:

    Love it. I have a similar sized and shaped powder room I plan on making over in the fall. I wanted to use a similar vanity/sink and using penny tiles. to see how yours turns out and to get some inspiration. Can’t wait to see it done.

  25. Jo says:

    CLJ – love how we can count on you to do something different and bold! While the vibe in the powder bath is not my style, I know it will be beautiful to look at, and will serve as inspo for so many! Love to see each element and then how it will all come together in the end! My fav component of the mood board is that floral art!! So pretty!

  26. Kym says:

    The tile floor inspo is making my heart skip a beat (or two)! We are getting ready for a multi-room reno in our new house, and I’m going to splurge on an intricate hex pattern for our little laundry space.

  27. Kimberly says:

    Beautiful! Can’t wait to see it! I am also concerned about all the comments where people state that they are concerned. 🤣 Thank goodness they won’t have to use your bathroom.

  28. Julie says:

    Wow! Very inspiring and a modern twist on a classic little powder room. Love the whole mood board…

  29. Amie says:

    Wow, this is so fun to go on this journey with you!
    I’ve never paid much attention to the comments, but man there is a slew of critical “suggestions.” I give you guys a lot of credit for armoring up against all the feedback and still sticking to your guns. I can only imagine all the negativity you contend with each day as part of this job. Kudos!

    • Julia says:

      Thank you, Amie!!! Homes are so personal and style is so subjective. I enjoy taking people on a journey of designing the spaces in our home, and I really don’t mind if they don’t like what I choose as long as they keep it respectful! <3 Everything on this mood board is already ordered and rolling sooooo hahahaha

    • Karen says:

      I am shocked at how rude many of the comments were. It’s one thing to post concern about a choice, but to say it’s something is a bad choice based on personal opinion shows a lack of tact. If you would not say it to Julia’s face, maybe you don’t need to post your opinion.

      But you know, that’s MY opinion.

      • RC says:

        The styles shown on this blog has been more transitional and modern in the past and is now leaning quite a bit more traditional as Julias personal style evolves and lives in more traditional homes. Perhaps some people can’t deal with the shift/ aren’t used to this style and aren’t being kind? I personally am less inspired visually by traditional style but I am still here for the creative expression and storytelling.

  30. Megan says:

    That mood board is gorgeous! I love the idea of striped wallpaper to show off the ceiling height.

  31. Mary Lynne Crosby says:

    Love how you are already starting to carry the beautiful blue you are putting into the inside of kitchen cabinets! So gorgeous!

  32. Ann says:

    SO happy to see you doing this! I’m trying to figure out my powder bath with no natural light and no ceiling light either. It’s been so tricky to find just wall lighting with a tight wall space, and a bright enough light. Thank you for this inspo!!

  33. heather says:

    Love this! My one concern is the profile of the toilet! It is very modern/apartment rental. Why aren’t you using something with a more classic profile like Kohler’s memoirs line? I think it would look so much better with the moulding, the sink, and especially a wood toilet seat!

  34. LD says:

    Is that striped wallpaper???? Love your aesthetic but rethink this. You are sitting and the lines begin to move and wave. This happened to me in a house we bought. That wallpaper came down that day.

  35. ally says:

    excited to see the finished results! a little concerned about the sconces, like eyes staring at you? but I’m sure you’ll pull everything together. the mirror is very fun.

  36. Barb says:

    Please not the wood toilet seat. I love everything else but if I’m being honest it kind if grosses me out. Can’t explain, maybe a bad childhood experience. It just wouldn’t feel as clean to me 🤷🏼‍♀️

    • Megan says:

      Most toilet seats are wood! It’s just that right now it is more common/popular for the finish to be white rather than a clear or stain.

    • Karrie says:

      I love it all Julia
      The wood toilet seat is nostalgic
      The striped wallpaper is classic!
      The modern lights are unexpected!
      And the tile is my favorite classic look.
      It will look amazing, as always
      Ignore the negative comments

  37. Kelly says:

    Love this! The mood board is so pretty and I can’t wait to see it all done. I always wonder though, with that type of vanity with no storage, where do you store things like extra toilet paper in a small bathroom like that? Will you have a shelf somewhere or just have a couple on the back of the toilet? 🤔 I’ve seen lots of that style sinks lately and I always wonder that because vanity storage seems so vital in a bathroom.

  38. Ellen says:

    Wow!! Mood board and inspo pic are amazing!!! Can’t wait to follow along with this cute powder bath!!! Y’all do it best

  39. Kim says:

    Love it! I like the idea of the taupe colored penny round with either black (like the inspiration) or with white, it brings in some of the wood and tan tones of the wallpaper. Can’t wait to see it come to life!

  40. Tara says:

    I had the “eek” fave when I saw the wooden toilet seat. However, that’s a product of growing up with one in yhe 80s/90s. But it can always be changed back easily later if you find you don’t like it. Just keep an eye on the finish condition. Once it starts to crack, replace that puppy right away. My parents left theirs with a cracking finish, and I can only imagine what germs lurked in there! I can see the appeal of the look with the rest of your bathroom, though.

  41. Lissa Walker says:

    Just say noooooo to the wooden toilet seat. Yes to everything else . Keep up the inspiration

  42. You are a genius at creating a classic space that feels so interesting!

  43. Heather says:

    Can’t wait to see the floor tile in place! My family had wood toilet seats in the 80s/90s – sad to see them coming back in style since they are NOT comfortable.

  44. Anna says:

    I know it’s a small space but this mood board is possibly my absolute favorite of all time. Super excited to see more in this design vein! I do think the mirror you picked is perfect and pulls it all together. Can you make the other mirror work somewhere else instead?

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We believe we should all love where we live.

We’re a couple of homebodies, working to uncover the home our home wants to be. And we’re so happy to have you here. 

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