I’m depressed. My Mom is looking for a
cottage trailer up in Vernon (as a second home). It’s 5 hours from here, warmer and dryer in the summer and she already spends a lot of time there. This means less time with my Mom here in the country (where I already moved to be close to her) because she’ll be up there more often.
Yesterday morning over our 5:30 AM coffee, I decided to look for myself because the choices are bleak. Mom wants at least 3 bedrooms with 2 bathrooms, so there’s room for all of us when we come to visit.
The second reason I’m depressed is that NO ONE and I mean NO ONE installs basic and boring white tile in bathrooms. I’m sure you can relate if you’ve bought a house at some point.
I started at homes that were $250,000 and went up to over a million. Sadly, it doesn’t matter how expensive the house is, the bathrooms and kitchens don’t get prettier, just more expensive to renovate because you’ve already paid for someone else’s choice in basically brand new tile.
It goes like this, you look at an exterior and think “That’s charming, I could live with that”, and then you start flicking through the interior photos, and–in the homes I viewed–it seemed like the bathrooms are even worse than the kitchens.
Also with a kitchen, if it’s paintable, it seems easier than fixing up 3 bathrooms that are ALL JUST UGLY. And thankfully, because white kitchens are trendy right now, I did see them in the listings.
But then I looked at 3 homes, IN A ROW that were all in the $450,000 price range and this variation of tile (below) is what was installed in each bathroom.
That’s when I decided this intervention was in order ; ) ; )
Why is white not the default option I ask you? Why is it always the dark trendy neutral of the moment?
It seems that since the fresh/colour trend (I refuse to call it the grey trend anymore because that is NOT what it is) has really taken off, there’s even more charcoal and grey painted cabinets out there too. And by the way the charcoal hardwood you’re considering? Not good either. And don’t even get me started on the Encaustic tile trend. It’s all in the same category.
I know you’re loving it right now, but I promise you, as soon as this trend is over, you’ll be getting out your white paintbrush AGAIN.
So notice we’ve moved from the Tuscan Brown trend, where the average kitchen and bathroom–NOT found on Pinterest–looked like this (below). To now, when someone goes out looking for tile, they come back with charcoal or black?? Seriously?? Are either of these the look of a classic, timeless and forever bathroom? NO.
It’s so wasteful because we rarely like someone else’s ‘trendy’ choice that we inherit and then we simply count the days when we can rip it out and then install our own trendy choices. And the vicious circle continues.
Recently, when I sourced tile for my clients renovation that’s finally starting this week, I was dismayed to see that you actually have to look hard to find white tile, it’s not readily out on display in showrooms.
When I asked why white tile was buried in the back somewhere, I was told “Because we have so many other interesting tiles here“.
Then I walked into a tile showroom in the design district on West 2nd in Vancouver and had the best time with the two gals in the showroom, I started sharing about how I’ve pretty much built my brand around white subway tile and she laughed and said “Whenever people ask me which tile is classic, I tell them, white subway tile and hex tile, that’s it” And they always respond “But that’s boring”.
Interesting = trendy and extremely short lived. Boring = timeless.
When I arrived back in my clients home with a marble looking porcelain tile (her other bathroom and laundry room is hex tile), it was the ONLY one available in the 3 showrooms I visited that day. Everything else was solid grey on black on grey or of course, boatloads of variations of earthy, blotchy tile.
So no wonder, the consumer who doesn’t know, arrives home with it. I’m telling you this because I don’t want you to feel bad if you’ve got charcoal on charcoal tile in your bathroom. If you have installed or inherited a bathroom you don’t love anymore, you can still make it pretty with a little styling.
Just don’t paint the walls a green beige (above black bathroom), that’s certainly not the right colour either. Earthy colours generally are not fabulous with greys/blacks and whites. If I inherited a bathroom that looked like this (above) I would go out and find some wall paper to bring this baby to life. Since you can’t do it with a shower curtain in this case.
Don’t forget to remove the builder mirror and bring in a fabulous one!
OMG how about the drama of red and gold (above)?
Notice that you can’t wimp out on the colour if your working with charcoal. A colour that’s too pale even if it’s fresh will die paired with such a dark neutral.
White subway tile is inexpensive but installation costs more than a large scale tile, so that’s fine, go with a 12″ x 24″ or 18″ x 18″ faux marble porcelain tile.
It’ll be just as affordable, and the new homeowners after you will continue to love their bathroom just as long as you do.
I also like the way the trendy gold hardware was installed here along with the coordinating mirror and sconce lighting (easy to change) but the faucet was kept a in the chrome family which in the end seems to be timeless.
So here’s my bottom line, classic and timeless advice.
Stick to white (off-white or cream, same difference)
If all else fails, choose white.
If you don’t know what to do, choose white.
If you end up in a tile store that doesn’t have any white tile, walk out.
If you have a bathroom with charcoal tile, don’t be mad at me. This post is not for you. It’s for the person who hasn’t decided yet. I love you. We’ve all made the same mistakes without professional advice, so don’t despair.
I still love you, and I don’t judge you. We all have our gifts, this just happens to be mine. If you’re still not convinced that I’m not judging you, read this post. It’s an old one but it’ll make you laugh ; ) ; )
Have a wonderful week my lovelies! xoxo Maria
If you would like your home to fill you with happiness every time you walk in, contact us! We would love to help you choose colours, select the right combination of hard finishes or create a plan to pull your room together. You can find our fabulous e-design consultation packages here.