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hello there.

Well, whaddya wanna know?  Here's the plain and simple truth:  My name is Rebekah Tennis and I love design.  I love paper, the way it feels, its weight and texture.  I love extra special touches on little things: homemade tags on gift-wrap, old stamps on an envelope, and twine on nearly everything.

My husband, business partner and all-around solid rock Matt would probably tell you that he likes tools - lots of 'em, finding the perfect way to do something, taking things apart, and precision in everything. 

So you might as well have guessed by now... we are the perfect match for an old letterpress studio. Together we farm rice and have three adorable and active boys ages 5 and under.  This keeps us fairly busy, but whenever we have a spare moment, we crank up our 102 year old Chandler and Price platen press and pull some prints, or whip out a card line on the Heidelberg. 

There's more, oh yes, there IS more - but that's what this blog is for.  Take a look around, get to know us, our great town of Chico, California and our beautiful presses.


guest bathroom reveal!!

It’s here, it’s here! It’s been demoed, remodeled, styled, primped and photographed – it’s d-o-n-e.  Ladies and Gentlemen, I’d like to introduce to you our new guest bathroom. (happy dance, happy dance!)

Let’s start with a bit of review… we embarked on the “both bathrooms” remodel (our phase two) in January.  Remember this original inspiration board?  Well, let’s look at it again to refresh the memory a bit:

We were going for the black and white 1920’s Tudor look.  And then we spent a lot of time and effort creating the right black and white tile pattern, remember?  And lastly, ages ago, I left you with a sneak peek of the room.  And now, finally, it’s done!!  Much, much effort, but very, very worth it.

Before I launch into “after” photos, I realized (slaps forehead) that I never really gave you a proper “before” picture.  Well, I don’t think I ever really took any.  I did manage to find one or two originals, they can’t show you the whole space because it’s super small and the camera lens was not wide angle.  Here is what I have:

There you go, the guest bath before – in all of it’s boring-ness.  Leaving the toilet seat up required for authenticity.

And here’s the after:

Aaand… we love it!  It’s exactly the lived-in, classic/vintage yet kid-friendly bath I was hoping for.  Not to mention the plumbing now works, which is a big deal, and Cam loves taking baths in here.  We call it the guest bath, but it’s really his bathroom (the “boys bath”).  We planned through the remodel to create as many kid-friendly touches as we could, like a corner spot available for a stool (or a diaper pail as it stands now) and a mirror that tilts down for small people to see themselves.  Plus baskets for bath toys and dirt-hiding gray grout.

Oh, and an easy-to-wipe-down sink. :)

Here are little bits that I love…

Clockwise from top left: Curtain rings that actually slide without getting stuck.  A shower head that produces water (hot and cold!). No more oak – black paint and a knob from Anthropologie update our medicine cabinet.  Potty time with Elmo (yes it’s that time, wish me luck) and assorted bath toys have a happy place. I like to call these small blessings that make a BIG difference.

Our black vanity…

Matt jury rigged (is it really jury rigged and all these years I’ve thought it was jerry rigged?) the toilet paper holder.  It’s industrial and out of sight and so much nicer than having the TP on the facing wall.  I tried to warm up the vanity, which was quite modern, by replacing the rather severe drawer handles with some softer looking pulls –  they’re window lifts, actually.  Also, I added a couple of baskets to cozy up the lower space and provide more storage.  Lastly, I chose a less modern faucet  (whose cute little bunny ear handles have grown on me) to keep it a bit more retro.

And we can’t say enough about the tile.  Love it, and love how it came out, and loved working with our tile guys – they were grrreat. Can you believe that black and white border? And the black hex pattern?

There are little things remaining to be done, like finding/hanging artwork, changing out the light switches/plugs for black ceramic ones, oh, and adding a doorknob to the door so you can actually use it in private.  Little stuff, you know.

Thanks so much for coming on this little tour of our new bathroom!  If I missed anything and you have questions (or advice) – we love comments!

Come back later this week for a post on the master bathroom – with details on how it came together in there. See ya then!

May 17, 2010 - 5:25 pm MMW - This is STUNNING! Such perfect colours and layout! Our guest bathroom looks exactly like your BEFORE! Where did you buy your bathroom cabinet base? Did your carpenter build it for you or did you purchase it somewhere. True love. Next, please fly to Portland OR and help me re-design my guest bath. xoxo MMW

May 17, 2010 - 5:30 pm rebekah - Hey thanks! We bought the base and sink together from Signature Hardware online here: http://www.signaturehardware.com/product8257?utm_medium=shoppingengine&utm_source=googlebase It was 10% off and free shipping. I did modify it a bit as mentioned, but not too much. It's sturdy and made of real wood, which I liked. Hope this helps!! Good luck with your re-design.

May 17, 2010 - 8:01 pm Elisa @ whatthevita - WOW looks great! Love the vanity/sink, love the mirror, love the scones, love the tile, love the faucet. I just might copy several things on here for one of our bathrooms! Clever placement of the toilet paper, too.

May 18, 2010 - 3:11 am sarah b. - Wow! I love all of the tile & the vanity & the whole thing... It's lovely.

May 18, 2010 - 6:21 am Sara Jane - It's beautiful! I think I'd just go in there and run my hands across the tile all day long. I always thought it was gerry-rigged too but it looks like it can be either: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerrymandering

May 18, 2010 - 11:53 am Melanie - Swooning over EVERYTHING! Gorgeous. Beautiful. Stunning. Yummy!

May 18, 2010 - 12:50 pm Liz - I love it. Are those baskets from Pottery Barn? I think I’ve seen them there… Everything is just bee-you-ti-ful!

May 18, 2010 - 1:27 pm wanderluster - Its gorgeous! I love the vintage vibe... the tile work is excellent!

May 18, 2010 - 2:37 pm rebekah - Thanks so much everyone! You are all so kind. @ Liz - You're nearly right, as they are from West Elm, the only size I could find that fit the space perfectly. I love 'em.

May 18, 2010 - 3:18 pm Kelly - looks great!!! wanna do ours next? :P

May 18, 2010 - 4:08 pm Laura - I LOVE it!!! Love the vintage look with the modern touches. Timeless and fresh. Perfection. Okay, it's all your fault, we just did a mini-update on our bathroom. Replaced our in-a-hurry-off-the-shelf flooring and vanity countertop, repainted, changed vanity knobs, new towels. I will have to send you pics. Would love to do the whole thing but we did what we could with what we had. More later, Noelle calls...

May 18, 2010 - 4:29 pm Mrs. Limestone - Swoooon! Looks absolutely gorgeous. You've done a great job.

July 12, 2010 - 1:28 pm Tracie - Love this bathroom! We're in the process of remodeling our "guest/little boy bathroom" and I am using your as inspiration! What color is on your walls?

July 14, 2010 - 8:43 am rebekah - Hi Tracie! Thanks so much! Our paint color is Benjamin Moore "Quiet Moments" in this bathroom. Good luck with your remodel!

September 1, 2010 - 6:11 am help! - Wowwww, Awsome! What a beautiful,beautiful bathroom! If I may ask you a question: What do you think about the vanity you used if I am having white subway in shower and half up walls with chair rail around the bath, I'm using a matt white 2" Hex floor. Was considering this white Potterybarn knock-off vanity "http://www.bathvanityexperts.com/westwood-single-transitional-bathroom-vanity-white-white-32-inch.html Your vanity also comes in white but not sure how that would look? I was not as creative or dareing with the tile. I do not have any black tile. I chickend out. It's the kids/guest bath as well. Also, I was not sure what color to grout floors/walls, I thought white, can walls be white and floors light grey? HELP! AHHHH

October 14, 2010 - 12:13 am anonymous - Everything works for me except the floor tiles. The beehive pattern in black and white seems a bit off for me. Just my 2 cents though.

November 17, 2010 - 4:05 pm Christina - Hi there! I'm revisiting your guest bath reno. I love the window lifts that you used as pulls. Do you mind sharing where you found them? I'm thinking about using them on an old desk that needs an update. Thank you!

January 5, 2011 - 1:16 pm Aleah @ HeyBaklenko.com - This is a great reno! I love the vintage look with the modern sink. Just the perfect balance of retro and modern! I'll be showing my husband, as I hope to turn our very standard master bath into a retreat like this!

January 5, 2011 - 4:48 pm Elle C. - Found you through CG today. And oooh! Gorgeous! I love your vanity and your modern take on vintage style. I also like the hints of yellows and greens you threw in. Also, I was wondering how you created your inspiration board - I mean, not how you came up with the elements, but how you put them together for on-line viewing. Mind sharing?

January 5, 2011 - 5:32 pm ButterYum - Beautiful redo! I rented a 50 year old house once that had those little tiles on the floor - original, of course. I always liked it, even thought it was so old. Nice to know it's back! :) ButterYum

January 5, 2011 - 5:59 pm Centsational Girl - Completely gorgeous!!!! What a classic and beautiful bathroom! Love love love all the tile, and that vanity is just jaw dropping. Heart it all!!! xo Kate

January 6, 2011 - 9:15 am Kyleen - Love it. This is what I want for my master bath. Thanks for sharing. Kyleen

January 12, 2011 - 3:59 pm Kat - Hello Rebekah, it looks GREAT....LOOOOVE it (i came over here from Layla's :). We live in a 1920's house with similar hex tile... I was wondering would you mind telling me where you found your tile? Our original tiles are 1"... we've only been able to find 1/2" or 1 1/2", but nothing like the original at restoration sites (are yours 1"...they look like it in the picture but it's hard to tell). This reminds me that we can recreate this look if we ever have to leave our old house!

January 21, 2011 - 2:07 pm Vaishali - Hi Rebekah, Wonderful! Did you order the white and black hex tiles separately and then lay down your design? Or did AU pre-fabricate the design for you on mesh boards? I appreciate your input. Thanks!

January 21, 2011 - 2:10 pm rebekah - Hi Vaishali - We bought the white tiles on mesh and inserted the black ones where I wanted them (all done onsite). Hope this helps! Kat - sent you an email about Tile City last week. :-)

June 19, 2011 - 7:53 am Emily - I love your bathroom! I am planning on doing this look in our main floor powder room. Thank you for posting where you purchased the vanity because that is just what I am looking for! We also thought about doing a pedestal sink but really need the storage space. Is your toilet the Kohler Memoirs? That is what I was planning on getting but then have read some negative reviews online about it. Do you like it? Does is work well? Since this will be in our only bath on the first floor, it gets quite a bit of use. Any feedback would be appreciated. Thanks!! Love, love your bath!!

October 19, 2011 - 9:52 am Adrianne - Looks great! Thanks for your inspiration! What color grout did you us on the subway tiles?

January 24, 2012 - 7:50 am Tara Marr - Love this! Am redoing a bathroom now and have been looking at the one inch matte hex tiles....can you tell me about the grout you used? Also, about the tiles? Are they matte? I love how you pieced in the black...the standard black and white isbulk busy....love your design.

January 24, 2012 - 11:27 am rebekah - Hi Tara, I sent you an email, but I thought I'd post a comment here too since this keeps coming up as a question on the blog. :) We got our tile from Tile City (locally here in Chico) and it was 1.25" hex with a Matte finish. The specific brand I do not recall, but it was the only matte hex that they had in that size. The grout was a midtone-gray (Dorian, I think). Hope this helps!

August 11, 2012 - 7:52 pm Jennifer - I live in a 1930 tudor and you basically replicated our bathroom to the letter, except we have black and white basket weave tile on the floor. The white subway tile with the black borders is completely authentic and exactly the way ours is. Ours, unfortunately, is 82 years old and desperately in need of updating. But I thought you'd appreciate hearing that. ;-) Gorgeous work!

August 19, 2012 - 5:11 pm rebekah - Thanks so much Jennifer! Little things like that make my day!

October 2, 2012 - 2:35 pm Kim - We found your blog when we were googling tile options for our 1915 bathroom remodels we're doing right now (we're doing 2 bathrooms at once). We decided to a very similar black and white hex design to what you did in this bathroom in our main floor half bath. Tile laying starts around here next week. Thanks for the inspiration! :-)

July 8, 2013 - 5:28 am Rena K. - Hi, Where did you find your rabbit ear faucet? I'm currently in the process of redoing my bathroom in subway tile too and am having trouble finding rabbit ear faucets. Thanks so much! Rena

July 8, 2013 - 11:00 am rebekah - Hi Rena! The faucet is Kohler Bancroft single-hole in chrome. It's more expensive now - I think I paid $130 for it back in 2010? Anyway, it works wonderfully and we love it in the bathroom.

February 11, 2014 - 2:43 pm bathroom remodeling naperville - Great job on the bathroom remodel. It looks a lot better and will definitely appeal to more people if you have to sell at some point.

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