Amalia’s Bathroom Design

Amalia’s bathroom also serves as a guest bath when we have family or friends stay with us. It’s also right at the top of our staircase so if the door is open, you can see into it when you walk up the stairs. I vowed that it would be the first project I would tackle when we moved in but it’s been a year now and we have yet to even touch it. Should I even mention the fact that the light fixture only has only had one bulb for a year? Oops!

Per my post on designing rooms, I put together this design over the last month using Photoshop. It makes it easy for me to see what looks good together and what doesn’t. I’m happy with how it’s all coming along, especially because it has some unexpected moments like the rattan shelf and the floral light fixture. It’s not too matchy but it’s a thought-out design.

We don’t want to spend a lot of money but we want it to look and feel like it fits in with the rest of the house and I think this accomplishes both goals well!

Tile: It’s a tiny room so I want to make it look bigger by using a floor tile with a small repeat pattern. I spent hours (hourssssss) looking up cement tile options and ultimately decided to order a few samples of both cement and porcelain options so we can see it in the space with the paint sample and the rest of the room. They’re both quite affordable and easy to install.

I put this one in the design but you can see a few of the other tile options we’re looking at below.

After lots of tile deep dives, my recommendations for online tile shopping (how old am I that I even wrote that sentence) are:

Cement Tile Shop: We ordered a sample of the Amalia Gris (duh) from here.

Clé Tile: They have beautiful cement and Terra Cotta options. A few of the samples I ordered are Los Feliz, Alhambra, and Moroccan 2.

Tile Bar probably has the most diverse selection and it’s where I found the porcelain tile picture above. I also got a sample of Bella Moma.

Granada Tile: I found this site from an old Emily Henderson post on tile resources. I discovered it before bed last night so haven’t ordered any samples yet but there are a lot of beautiful options. She also recommended Amazon as a resource for tile too and I’m into this one.

I need to stop before I go off the tile deep-end, but if you have any insight into porcelain vs cement vs whatever else kind of tile, please enlighten me!

Vanity/Mirror: The sink and vanity were replaced before we moved in so I’m going to do a quick update to that with new cabinet hardware and a new faucet (not yet picked out). The mirror, however, has been here since the ’60s and is a hot mess. It barely opens and the inside is completely rusted. It’s a waste of usable space so I found a really chic brass medicine cabinet that fits above the sink perfectly.

I had had my eye on this light fixture for a long time and worked it into this design because it’s so pretty and feminine but also not too girly-girl. My original plan was to go with this fixture that matches the mirror but when I remembered the floral one, I nixed it. If you want to see the design with the simpler light, scroll down for the tile options and it’s there.

Shelf: There is virtually no counter space here which makes it tough when guests stay with us and don’t have anywhere to put their stuff. There isn’t room for a floor shelf so I had the idea to put something on the wall near the sink. I originally picked this one from West Elm to match the mirror but when I asked my friend Dana for her feedback on my design, she suggested going with rattan to bring more texture into the room.

I found this shelf at Target and I’m hoping it looks as beautiful in person as it does online. I’ll report back on that. It has a beachy feel to it, so when I saw this set of prints on Etsy (Amalia requested pink) it felt like the perfect match. I’m not totally sold on the art but it feels like a good option.

Walls: I really really wanted to paint this room dark for some reason. Almost every room in the house is white because Anel and I are too chicken to commit to dark walls. So we figured the bathroom is the perfect place to dip our toes in. I’ve always loved Benjamin Moore Hale Navy and even considered it for our living room. It will look so pretty in here with the colorful floor tile and all the brass fixtures.

Tile (not finalized!)
Light Fixture
Medicine Cabinet
Kate Spade Shower Curtain
Rattan Shelf
Benjamin Moore Hale Navy Paint
Set of 3 Prints
Lucite Vanity Hardware (not pictured)
Roman Shade (not yet decided)


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  1. Jana R said:

    I saw your post on the bathroom reno and thought I’d give you info that I wish I would have had. We did a full gut of our guest bath, also right next to my little ones bedroom. We did a beautiful cement tile from an online retailer, love the look of it. But since the main color of the tile is white with a gray pattern any warm light that hits the tile makes it look discolored. Which it’s not, just looks that way because of the lighting. It’s also a hassle to clean. We put it in our laundry/mud room as well. The recommended cleaning is a cement tile paste that you have to rub in, let sit and then rinse off with a layer of water. I’ll attach a pic as well. I wish I would have just gone with a porcelain printed pattern because with 3 kids who has time for that! Love your design eye!

    8.20.20 · Reply
  2. K said:

    Hi!! I worked at a tile store for many years. Cement tile is actually porous like natural stone and requires sealing to prevent staining. For kids bathrooms I always recommended porcelain tile. Have fun with your renovation!

    8.20.20 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      This is so helpful, thank you!

      8.20.20 · Reply
  3. Elyse said:

    When I redid the floors in all my bathrooms the contractor said not to use cement tile. It is less sturdy so make it easier to wear and tear quicker. He said to go with a more stable tile even though cement is trendy right now. Would also suggest you go to FloorDecor if one is in your area. They have 1000’s of choices similar to the pricier ones.

    8.20.20 · Reply
  4. Liv Burns said:

    Absolutely love how this is coming together!

    If you’re looking for a local tile store, check out TileAmerica! I think they have a Fairfield location. They’re a locally-owned business and their designers are awesome — super trend-forward.

    8.20.20 · Reply