Bathroom Styling and My New Favorite Design Book

Bathroom Styling and My New Favorite Design Book

Highlights from the new book, “The Perfect Bath” by Waterworks Co-Founder, Barbara Sallick

I've been giving a lot of thought lately to my lackluster bathroom vanity and how to make it pretty while keeping it free of clutter. Do you share this quandary? As I've said many times, when I need inspiration, or just want to free fall into a creative flow Pinterest is where I go. So, for the past couple of weeks I've been saving beautifully styled bathroom images here and here. Just a few…




As luck – or serendipity – would have it, as I was pouring over bathroom images, a gorgeous design book on bathrooms arrived in the mail from the publisher! The book isn't just 'A' book about bathrooms. It's written by The Bathroom Goddess herself – Barbara Sallick, Co-Founder and Senior Vice President of Design for Waterworks. Let me preface my fussing and fawning by saying that I would never promote anything that I haven't personally experienced and/or seen and that I didn't adore. I adore this book. It is chock full of images all of which are absolutely breathtaking. The chapters are organized in such a way that if you are using it to help you design, you can plunge right in to those tips and resources. If eye candy and a little lift with your afternoon tea, is more your speed, you can have that too.


© The Perfect Bath by Barbara Sallick, Rizzoli New York, 2016.


Collins bath



PerfectBath_back cover img

If you are looking for things to put on your holiday wish list, I highly recommend "The Perfect Bath". To purchase, click here.

As I contemplate my bathroom, I will be spending time considering the beautful bath accessories found at Waterworks.  

More interior inspiration to come…




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Recent updates to my house and missing David Bowie.

Hi sweet people. I wrote this post about a month ago, right before I thought I lost all of my photos and was having computer issues. Other than omitting the part about the bad weather we were experiencing at the time, and where I riffied on about how I've made yoga and meditation a lifestyle rather than a part-time hobby, I didn't change anything…

The passing of David Bowie this week hit me hard. His music was the soundtrack to my youth as I'm sure the same is true for many. I was with my Dad when he got the news that John Lennon had been shot. He sat down, covered his eyes with his hand and began to sob. At the time, I felt so awkward. An Ivy League graduate, college football linebacker and Korean War Veteran crying over the death of a musician… I get it now.

To the Thin White Duke…thank you.


Speaking of changes, I've been making some around the house lately. What do you think?


I went back and forth – modern or traditional for the dining room light fixture. As you can see, I finally decided on a traditional chandelier. The chairs and table are all modern, so to balance them out I decided a chandelier would be perfect. A mix of both old and new is what I strive for. I love how sparkly it is at night too.

I bought this early American table at an estate sale a few years ago thinking I would sell it. I don't know why I fell so hard for it, but I absolutely love it and cannot part with it. It bounced around the house in different spots, usually to fill a temporary hole, but I think it found a permanent place under this Hiro Yokose painting.

I wanted a table for next to this acrylic chair from the 70's that I found on Ebay (for $100!)  but it had to be simple yet substantial. I opted for a petrified wood stump from here


See that french daybed in the back? I've had that piece for awhile and am not sure what to do with it. I moved it to the above location around Christmastime when I needed to make room for the tree. I'd like to remake the mattress more like this and make big fat bolsters in a contrasting color like dark + light gray or brown + natural linen. I'm still deciding…. We'll see.


So now there's this big open space at the top of the entryway stairs and between the living and dining rooms where the daybed was… A round table would work, but it's not that practical and I don't want a formal feel. So, I'm thinking of a small 'conversational cluster'. I'm considering moving the coffee table from the living room (above) and adding 4 modern chairs. Ideas?




Another stump for next to the tub 🙂




Nightstands finally!



That's it for the tour! Happy week to you!




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FarmHouseUrban Update – Powder Room Reveal and my anniversary

FarmHouseUrban Update – Powder Room Reveal and my anniversary

Powder Room renovation in dark gray with brass fixtures

First off – Happy New Year! The first week of the new year has significance for me, because it was during this week 5 years ago that I said to myself, “why shouldn’t I write a blog?” Thank you each and everyone of you for reading, commenting, emailing and showing your support all these years, even when I veer way off topic. As I say every year, I'm humbled and touched beyond words that you find inspiration here. I am bursting at the seams in anticipation for all the wonderousness that this new year will bring and look forward to sharing it all with you. I wish you all a new year filled with heaps of joy, abundant good health, never ending peace and overflowing, heart pounding love!


As you may remember if you've been following the blog for awhile, the original house did not have a powder room. When I was designing the new space, I took out the existing bar area (which was HUGE by the way) and replaced it with a pantry (click here to see it) on one side and a powder room on the other. Here is how the powder room turned out.



The vanity is made of soapstone which I don't treat with any oils. I prefer the ashy natural gray to the darker shiny. The base is made of two metal legs. 



Instead of leaving the edges open, I added this curved piece to finish it on both ends.



All the other bathrooms have brushed chrome fixtures and white walls. In the powder room I walked on the wild side and went with dark charcoal walls and brass/gold fixtures and accents.



I found this antique candy dish at an estate sale and think it's the perfect recepticle for these multi-colored soaps.



This antique French mirror is one of my favorite pieces. It's constructed with fragments dating back to the 17th Century. The flash has distorted the colors a little, but there are touches of gold to the worn wood. 

That's it, hope you liked the tour. Please feel free to add your questions to the comments below!

Have a wonderful week!


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Soapstone sinks and other powder room inspirations

Soapstone sinks and other powder room inspirations

Hi there you. Happy first day of Spring! It's the time for new beginnings, fresh starts and picking up where we left off. New Year's Day just doesn't work. Now seems a much more fitting time for reevaluating, purging, getting organized and making changes doesn't it?

For the next two weeks the house will be under a shroud of tarps and paper, as the painters complete the inside. In the meantime, there are still a few things that need to be selected. On the top of the list is the powder room sink. The room is narrow, so the sink has to be small and the counter space wide rather than deep.  

Here are some powder room photos I've filed over the years for future inspiration.

Mirrored vanity - hampton design

 Ashley Goforth Designs

Ashley Goforth Design

Bathroom - la dolfina
via la dolfina

I really like this style with the corbels on each end that join into the backsplash. As far as material goes, necessity is the mother of invention and at this point budget and time have run out.  The walls are black and I'd like the sink surround to be, but black stone is hard to come by in a remnant. Soapstone is a great option. The more I looked into it, the more I liked it. Especially the way it looks when it is natural (as in NO maintenance).

Soapstone farmsink -greenmountainsoapstone
Soapstone_bathroom_sink -

SoapstoneSink - thisoldhouse
Soapstone farmsink

High backsplash soapstone sink

Any advice or suggestions on Soapstone? How does it wear if left unsealed? Do you like it?


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Postcards from Cabo

Postcards from Cabo

If you are contemplating vacation destinations, I highly recommend Mexico. The food, people, music and climate can't be beat. To entice you, here are a few photos from our trip last week. In chronological order…


grapefruit margarita on the rocks, no salt, no sugar, por favor










Remember my big quandary about bathtubs?  It's over. I'm a free-standing convert.  Looove the Venus on the half shell affect.




One evening we explored the colorful old town of San Jose del Cabo. The nearby Cabo San Lucas, has a very different feel with a lively nightlife and a new high-end designer shopping area.




The Bla, Bla, Bla silver collection is available at any of the three Bla, Bla, Bla jewelry stores, including the Bla, Bla, Bla kiosk at the Cabo airport. 



a bicycle cart of sweets and nuts

If you're feeling daring – freshly caught seafood, offered raw from the back of this truck.  Lots of hot sauce options.

This restaurant was one of the first homes built in the 1800's.

Hotel  Casa Natalia

Inside Hotel Casa Natalia is the best (in our opinion) restaurant in Cabo – Mi Cocina.  We've eaten there the last two times we've been to Cabo and both times it was excellent.  A blend of Italian and Mexican cuisine.




For info on the hotel click here.

For info on Mi Cocina click here.


I have more to show you from Cabo in the next post- like my souvenirs!! I think you'll like them! Plus a 'How-to-Get-This-Look' from Mexico for an outdoor room.

Tomorrow is my first 'real' photo shoot for my new website and portfolio! I'm very excited. It's a family room project I recently completed in Ross, CA. I'll show you some behind-the-scenes shots.

Also coming, a post on one of my most recent Estate Sale finds – and inspiring rooms to go along with it. I would love your thoughts on this one!

So please check back in, or if you prefer to have your posts delivered to your inbox, just hit the subscribe button and follow the easy steps.


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Bathtubs – Built-in or Free-standing?

Bathtubs – Built-in or Free-standing?

We're at the point in the design of our master bathroom to make a decision about the bathtub. With all the choices in beautiful bathtubs these days, it's really difficult to know which way to go, especially when it comes to built-in or free-standing. Based purely on aesthetics, I would choose a free-standing. They can be so architectural – like works of art… The quandary is – where does one put soap, shampoo, candles, etc? A small table is one option, but I'm not crazy about that look. Perhaps a window sill, but since we need a shade for privacy, I don't think it would work for us. If space allows, installing shelving on one or both ends is a possibility.  

Over the years I've collected many photos of bathrooms I love. I've never had a master bathroom until we moved to this house 4 years ago and it has no tub (shower only) so I'm taking this decision very seriously! It appears that the decision is being made based on function over form this time, but you never know!  It ain't over until the fat lady takes a bath!

Here are just a few of the many photos I've filed away for inspiration.  



Barnsley House

Bathroom - Cotemaison

Cote Maison

Bathroom - Kay Douglass

Kay Douglass

Master Bathroom - HB
This one and the two below are a Waterworks tub I have always loved.

The ottoman below appears to have a top cushion upholstered in terrycloth.  Looove it!  I bet it's on casters too.  I could see putting a simple silver or pewter tray on top for all the bath accoutrements.  

Bathroom - waterworks

I adore the bathroom below, although it doesn't really fit with the architecture (or size) of our house.  It's so clean and uncluttered.  I also love the arched cabinet shaped like the hallway.

Bathroom - waterworks - HB

House Beautiful

All white bathroom - mls watermill, ny

photo via mls listing for home previously listed in Watermill, NY

Freestanding tub - housetohome

House to Home

Love the tub, love the sconce, love the floor. Don't love the olive green table.

French soaking tub

Flagship Restoration Hardware in San Francisco (my blurry camera phone photo- sorry!)

Industrial Chic Bathroom 2 - Erin Martin

Erin Martin


Bathroom - HB desginer Fern Santini

House Beautiful


Bath w fireplace - william hefner

William Hefner


Bathroom - alexa rae

Alexa Rae

Gray bath - stars and butterflies

via stars and butterflies

Built-in tub

Oval tub - jim howard

This one by Jim Howard is a great example of a sort of hybrid.  I love that the oval shape was made more visible by the curved trim detail and marble surround. 

What's your favorite?  Any suggestions for storage I haven't mentioned?  Free-standing tub owners – where do you put your stuff?

The house projects are morphing from happening in phases to one big phase, so I'm a little crazed right now! Kid's rooms are still being worked on too! I can't wait to show photos of my son's room – it turned out great!  Stay tuned for more progress reports, inspiration file room photos, product reviews and everything in between!








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