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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.


master bathroom {f.a.q.}

Way, way back when, I promised you details on our master bathroom remodel (remember, the one we started in January?).  Well, it’s been more than a month, and I have yet to produce anything for you.  What’s more, I haven’t even posted the after photos on THIS blog (although I had the joy of sharing them on Brooklyn Limestone in May).

All this to say… here they are, and it’s high time, too!  I’ll now try to make up for it by giving you so many photos you’ll have sore eyes by the time you’re done (if your browser ever finishes loading ‘em, that is).  Oh, and since I’ve had quite a lot of questions, either by comments, email or by contact form, I thought I’d take the time to do a mini FAQ right now, answering questions you, my readers, asked.  Which, I might add, is SO flattering that you would find my bathroom exciting enough to ask me questions about my sources!  I’ll do my best to answer them all.  Here goes.

If you want history on this, start with the mood board here.  Then look at before pictures here.  And here’s the reveal post I did on Brooklyn Limestone. All caught up?

First, a few after pics…

Can I just say we love it?  It turned out wonderfully, and we are really enjoying the benefits of hard work, plus plenty of research and planning.  It’s cool and refreshing and spacious and functions very, very well.

Let’s start the most popular question:

Q) Where did you get your vanity? Can I buy it online?

A) Sadly, no.  Our vanity was custom made by a local cabinet builder (D’Amato and Lee, they always do excellent work).  We priced buying a ready-made vanity from Pottery Barn or Restoration Hardware or something similar, and believe it or not, it was much cheaper to custom build a vanity, even considering hardware, sinks and marble top (we bought a remnant in the Bay Area and had it fabricated locally).  In building the vanity, here’s what I did:  analyzed what I liked about my favorite vanities (shaker doors, turned legs, wide center drawers, etc.) and hodged-podged it into a sketch of what I wanted.  The cabinet builder took it from there.

And one of the bid benefits of having something custom built, is we were able to get shelving and recessed cabinets made to match at the same time…

Master Bath storage… at a minimum added cost. Oh, and the pull out laundry bin?  I love it.

Q) Where did you find your tile?  Isn’t marble really high-maintenance?

A) Not only is marble tile supposed to be high maintenance, but it’s supposed to be super-expensive too.  Whenever I see marble tile mentioned in a home decor magazine, it’s usually upwards of $50 a SF!  I did a lot of research (local tile shops, bay area tile shops, online, remnant places) and found the best deal online – $7 a sf.  Shipping will be extra, so add that into your costs.  Oh, and BE SURE TO GET ENOUGH.  We ran a little short and were terrified the extra we ordered wouldn’t be in the same shade.  It worked out, but the extra shipping for the second time was not fun.

About the maintenance thing, we chose honed carrara marble (not polished) to make it lower maintenance.  If you’ve seen our kitchen, you know we love marble (understatement) and we’re okay with patina (etching) as it may happen.  I did seal the tile with a very premium product (Miracle Sealant’s Porous Plus) which I highly recommend – we use it in our kitchen too.

Q) What are your paint colors?

A) The walls are Benjamin Moore Silver Marlin in washable Matte finish.  The ceiling is a 50% mix between Silver Marlin and our trim color, White Dove.  I do 50% mixes on nearly all of my ceilings – it really blends things well and I like the softer appearance than straight white paint.  The cabinets are Benjamin Moore Fieldstone in Satin Impervo (I used Satin Impervo in Black for my kitchen cabinets, LOVE the stuff, no chipping at all 1.5 years in under heavy use).  Fieldstone is a warm grey color that is not currently on Benjamin Moore’s palette, but it’s an old color of theirs and if you ask they will have the formula for it still (I think the number is 1557).  I found the inspiration for using that color on Cote De Texasblogpost on Sally Wheat’s kitchen.

Q) Where did you get your chandelier from?

A) The chandelier is from Overstock.  It was 20% off when I bought it, so under $100. It comes in a bajillion pieces, ready to be assembled.  I thought about blogging on the assembly (I have a photo of all the pieces spread out on the bed), but I didn’t want to give anyone a heart attack! It really is a great chandelier for the price.  I loved the one from the mood board, but couldn’t justify even the sale price (40% off) of it. We have it on a dimmer, which is easy to install and makes for great bath mood lighting.

Q) Where did you get the soaking tub from?

A)  I found the soaking tub online at Vintage Tub and Tile (I used them for some items with my kitchen and all of my experiences have gone well).  It is cast iron and so very, very heavy.  We both love it, it’s deep and narrow and fills for a really nice deep bath.  The rim fits my shoulders perfectly and Matt has no complaints either (he actually takes more baths than me, believe it or not!)

And connected to this one…

Q) Do you actually read in the tub?  Does the rack work?

A) We do.  What’s a tub without a book rack?!? The book from the photo shoot was not staged, it’s the book Matt had left there from a bath the night before.  I have to admit, I don’t read Will Durant’s History of Philosophy in the tub, I might bring in House Beautiful or Elle Decor for a bit of spacing out. To each their own. :)

Q) Where did you get your faucets, what brand are they?

A) I found the faucets on Amazon, they are no longer available.  I really wanted faucets in polished nickel, the finish we used throughout the bathroom, and it was difficult to find anything that didn’t cost an arm and a leg (over $200). I bought them brand unseen because the price was a good deal ($120) and they turned out to be Hansgrohe (which usually costs up to $600) and very high quality.  They are terrific, and everyone comments on the craftsmanship and heft of them. However, sadly, I got the last two.

Q) Where is your hardware from?  Where are your mirrors from?

A)  The hardware is from two spots – drawer handles are from here.  The cupboard latches are by Cliffside Industries, and I found the best deal for them here.  On a bonus side note, Cameron still hasn’t figured out how to work these.  It’s like antique good looks and child proofing all rolled into one. :) Enjoying it while I can!

The mirrors are from Pottery Barn, their Elise mirror.  No longer available, sorry!  That was fast.  I don’t think they are originally intended for a bathroom but they work great in there!

Q) Where did you get your bathroom stool from? What a great idea!

A)  Aw, thanks!  All praise in this instance should go to my mother in law, Audrey, who has always had a charming piano stool in her bathroom.  I just thought it worked fabulously (wood, adjusts up and down, perfect size, etc) and I hunted down one of my own from an antique dealer.  You can do the same!  A cute stool with clawfeet shouldn’t run more than $100 or so, or you could restore a shabby one.

Q) And the rug?  Where’s it from?

A) The rug is from West Elm, their 3 x 5 Pebble Rug. It’s not a bathroom rug, per se, but we needed something bigger to cover our floor, and I love the softness of it.  We vacuum it regularly, and so far, so good on maintenance!

Q) You sure love grey and marble, Rebekah!  Don’t you think you might get a bit sick of it?

A) Well, nobody really asked that.  But I thought I’d point out the obvious.  Let’s hope I don’t get sick of it! ;-)

Thanks so much for joining me for my first little Q and A!  Flattered to have it!  If you have any more questions, don’t hesitate to ask them in the comments…

Thought I’d leave you with a sneak peek of the bathroom floor leading into the new Master Bedroom floor (chevron!) which is receiving the last decorating touches this very week.  Look for it soon here on the blog!

Happy pattern. Happy weekend!

June 25, 2010 - 4:04 pm Laurie M. - LOVE IT! Great job!

June 25, 2010 - 5:08 pm Amie - oh my I absolutely LOVE your bathroom, especially the flooring and the tub. I'm a huge bath taker and right now all we have is the bathtub at the bottom of the shower. It's pretty lame. Great job!

June 26, 2010 - 3:44 am sarah b. - WOW! It's BEAUTIFUL. I've never truly considered marble until this moment... Love all of grey. The cabinet latches are fantastic. The whole thing is just lovely. Thanks for sharing! I'm saving this post for future inspiration. :D

June 28, 2010 - 2:49 pm Michelle - Loved your bathroom it's a beautiful piece of work.

June 30, 2010 - 10:40 pm Karen - Beautiful! You did a wonderful job. I am amazed! Also... your gorgeous chevron floor has me dying to see what you did with the master bedroom.

July 2, 2010 - 11:37 am Laura - That chevron floor is delish! I can't imagine you EVER getting sick of this bathroom. It is so timeless and classy. And it's easy to change out towels and bathmats and art for a completely different look. No, this is a bathroom for forever. Spectacular.

July 3, 2010 - 10:10 am Mrs Limeston - SO gorge! I love chevron floors and your master bathroom is dreamy in every way possible You are really lucky to have been renovating when you did. Those marble tiles were impossible to find at the prices you found them just a couple of years ago. Once the big box stores starting carrying them, the prices went way down. Sadly we didnt time our reno just right for this particular benefit but we still our marble.

July 8, 2010 - 2:41 pm Michelle - Love your bathroom, you did an amazing job. It's a classic and will last for years.

July 8, 2010 - 9:29 pm Elena - LOVE, LOVE this. oh one day! On another note, your family is perfect, your love just shines through!! Thank you so much for all the inspiration!

July 19, 2010 - 8:21 am Design Love - I'm in love with your bathroom! It's what I'd like in my very old farmhouse! Fantastic redo Cindy

July 19, 2010 - 1:57 pm Emily - Love your style. Were we separated at birth? If it helps anyone Lowe's actually makes a smaller version of the mirror for under $100. Someone asking if carerra marble would get tiring makes me chuckle:)

July 20, 2010 - 4:08 pm Livi - just gorgeous - LOVE it

September 25, 2010 - 6:09 pm Barbara - Love Love Love your bathroom. Can I asked where you got your tub fauecet and shower hardware?

October 4, 2010 - 1:23 pm fiona - What color/brand of grout did you use with your carerra hexagon tile? Looks great!

October 21, 2010 - 2:03 pm Brooke Oliver - Oh wow. This is so elegant, classic and just plain STUNNING! Gorgeous!

January 5, 2011 - 12:27 pm Michelle @ Ten June - Oh my. I'm in LOVE. Seriously. Your bathroom is my dream! We're in the middle of a MAJOR renovation of our bathroom right now- currently is stripped down to floor joists, studs and insulation- so this is like a dream come true!! Can't wait for mine to look like this!!!

January 5, 2011 - 12:50 pm J&JHome - You took my breath away. This is so beautiful!

January 7, 2011 - 8:19 am Jennifer Jensen - Hello gorgeous! I want that bathroom.

January 11, 2011 - 7:45 pm James - WOW! There are pallets of this in our warehouse (and it looks so borining in the sealed pallets & brown boxes) but when you see the finished item it looks tremendous. I know the product looks good, but 10 out of 10 on the installation and the photography is incredible - cannot say enough nice things. I just stumbled accross this blog and remembered the name and.. WOW! Outstanding. If you would like to you could send these pictures to us in high resolution and we will link them back to you blog. I think our cusotmers that have an interest in Carrara marble have an eye for other high quality decorative items they could find here. Again thank you James

January 13, 2011 - 2:50 pm Vaishali - Your bathroom makes me very very happy. You have achieved a look that most can only dream of. Most of all I want to thank you for all the details that you have provided. It was very very thoughtful of you. Simply superb!

January 18, 2011 - 7:19 pm Robin @ 3 Acres & 3000 sf - Love your new bathroom! I did want to ask did you know that chandelier over the tub is against code though? You need a minimum of 8' between the tub rim and the bottom of the chandelier. It is in the NEC code section 410 so it should apply to the whole USA.

January 18, 2011 - 7:35 pm Barbara - Hi, Love your bathroom. It is actually my inspiration for our renovation. Could I ask what make and style is your tub faucet. I like the gooseneck faucet but havent had any luck finding one without the shower head attached. Is valves attached to the wall or the tub? Did you have to get more holes drilled into the tub?

January 21, 2011 - 9:45 am rebekah - Hi Robin! I'm not aware of the specific code, but we're pretty sure we'll have to change a number of things in various rooms if/when we decide to sell. If you could have seen the number of code violations in the 60's ranch we used to live in (some diy owner must have had a field day!) Good luck with your own remodel!

January 21, 2011 - 9:59 am rebekah - Hi Barbara! Our tub faucet is from here: http://www.vintagetub.com/asp/product_detail.asp?item_no=P0149-1QC It's by Strom Plumbing, but a rim mount rather than a wall mount. The tub came pre-drilled with three holes on the rim. The plumbing is in the floor behind the tub, as it is freestanding. Hope this helps!! Good luck with your renovation!

January 26, 2011 - 3:47 pm Marianne - Hi, I just love your bathroom. From one of the pictures, it looks like you mixed the carrara white marble and crema marfil on the walls and floors. Is it just the lighting or do you use both colors together. Thanks.

January 31, 2011 - 6:45 am Sherri - Hi Rebekah. Beautiful Bathroom! Wondering where your sconces are from?

January 31, 2011 - 8:58 am rebekah - Hi Sherri, our sconces are from Restoration Hardware (bought during the lighting sale). Marianne, it's just carrara marble. But that's a fun idea!

March 10, 2011 - 1:37 pm Sherri - Hey Rebekah. Wondering about the corner shelves in your shower...did you just use 12x12 tiles and cut them diagonal? If so, how thick was your tile?...or did you have them made?

March 10, 2011 - 1:54 pm Monica - Love your bathroom and I'm trying to duplicate the look. Did you use a different tile for the floor of the shower. Is the honed hex slippery. Thanks

March 10, 2011 - 1:56 pm rebekah - Hi Sherri, The shelves are actually remnants from our bathroom counter top (which was a remnant to begin with). We had them cut by the countertop fabricator to fit, and the tile guy tiled them in. They are 1 1/4 inch thick - I love the thickness. The remaining leftover counter slab we used for our shower threshold - waste not, want not!

March 10, 2011 - 1:57 pm rebekah - Monica, We used honed marble in the shower, but rather than hex, 1 inch squares to change the look a bit. It's not in the least bit slippery - I'd say far less slippery than the 12 inch white ceramic tiles that were there before! Good luck!

March 26, 2011 - 5:04 pm Nancy - Thank you for ending my search for the floor of my dreams. Last question: what grout color/brand did you use with the hex? Enjoy.

March 27, 2011 - 3:27 pm rebekah - Hi Nancy, My memory is a bit foggy, but I believe we chose "platinum" gray from the chip chart given to us by the tile installer. I originally wanted "dorian gray" but I think it came out a bit too dark. Don't know the manufacturer! Your best bet is probably to make up a little sample - I often change my mind after seeing samples!!

April 2, 2011 - 7:13 pm Nancy - And another question...buildersdepotdirect.com Carrara Venato or Carrara Bianco. I've got the honed part! Can you guess I just want to copy and NOT have an original thought :) Thanks Rebekah!!

April 3, 2011 - 5:46 pm Sherri - Hey Rebekah- Thanks for all the info. In the middle of a bathroom remodel and losing my mind! Would you suggest honed or polished marble for the vanity counter?....what did you use?...and how is it holding up? With three little kids I am nervous!

May 11, 2011 - 9:13 pm Susan - Beautiful job! I love marble too! Could you please tell me the color of the grout you used? And, is it sanded or unsanded?

June 12, 2011 - 4:57 am Barbara - Hi Rebekah, I love your bathroom soo much it was the inspiration for our master bath. I think we purchased the same tub but a different faucet. We have been having trouble with the faucet leaking from the intake valves on the inderside of the tub because the rim of the tub is rounded and the bolts of the intake valves do not sit flush with the rim. Did you have this trouble? We're at our wits end with this. Do you have any pointers? thanks

June 22, 2011 - 1:23 am David - Awesome, You did a great job. I Just love your bathroom.I have a small bathroom at my home and I want to redesign it in such a way that it looks spacious.

July 28, 2011 - 7:04 am Jackie - I'm a new reader, having found you from a linky you posted on CG! Love your bathroom, it has given me a couple of ideas!! Consider me a new reader. Jackie

August 30, 2011 - 6:37 pm Kate - Hi Rebekah, Your bathroom is gorgeous! It's such a classic, timeless bathroom! Quick question - is that carrara venato or carrara bianco marble in the shower and on the floor??

September 1, 2011 - 9:26 am rebekah - Hi Kate! Our marble is carrara venato. :) Barbara, sorry no advice on the faucet. We've never had any leaks. Maybe check with your plumber? Susan, our grout was platinum grey.

September 2, 2011 - 12:36 pm Kimberley - Rebekah, I am getting ready to remodel my master bath. Thought I had it all figured out. Planning on going with honed Cararra marble for both the countertop and the floors. I keep getting advice on why I should not use marble for my bathroom. Since you have now lived with yours for over a year, is there anything you know now that you wish you new earlier? Any mold/mildew problems with the shower floor? Do you do anything special after showering to dry the floor? What do you use to clean your marble?

May 25, 2012 - 8:00 pm Ann-Marie - Hi! I love your bathroom! We're thinking of getting the builders depot direct Carrara marble subway tile for our kitchen backsplash. I'm having a hard time choosing between the Venato and the Bianco. Just wondering why you went with the Venato over the Bianco? Thanks so much - your photos are pushing me towards the Venato! Ann-Marie

October 10, 2012 - 8:55 pm Brynna - Your bathroom looks great! I'm wondering if you know which Kohler model your sinks are? We will be renovating our bathroom soon and are going for a similar look, so I am curious to know which style you used. Thanks!

October 16, 2012 - 11:57 am Jen - Your bathroom is beautiful! I have a question if you don't mind. I've seen lots of pictures on-line in the Fieldstone Gray and am thinking about using it for a remodeling project I have coming up. I was wondering if the color has either a green or blue hue to it. I've seen some describe it as a green-gray color, but in some pictures it reads as almost a pale blue. How would you describe it? Thank you!

October 16, 2012 - 1:59 pm rebekah - Hi Jen! Grays really seem to change depending on your light (north facing, natural, incandescent, etc) and this gray is no exception. In our bathroom it is definitely a warm greenish gray, although I have to say it mostly strikes me as neutral. I tried using it upstairs in my boys room and it looked ridiculously dark and green-blue. So I didn't go with it up there. I'd say, get a quart and paint some big swatches that you can place in the room and read in the light throughout the day! Good luck!

January 7, 2013 - 3:38 pm Heather - I love the hex tiles and plan to do the same in my bathroom renovation next month. Looking at your photos and the builders depot website, it seems like your Venato tiles look like they have gold in them. Is that true or is it just the lighting in the photos? The ones that look most like your hex floors are the calcutta ones. Just curious!

January 9, 2013 - 8:27 am Eric - Love the bathroom and time choices! I'm thinking of doing something similar for our master and wanted to know what grout color you wound up going with. Looks like a nice muted color that accents the marble perfectly. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

January 14, 2013 - 12:41 pm rebekah - Hi Heather - Our wall tiles do seem to have a teeny bit of gold in them. Our floor tiles only are grey and white. Hope this helps!

January 14, 2013 - 12:41 pm rebekah - Eric, we used a light gray grout (dorian gray, I believe). It has worn very well and I'm so happy with it.

January 30, 2013 - 10:52 pm Ashley - Amazing!! We are doing a master bath reno currently. Did you get all of the tile from Builder Depot- including the trim pieces? Curious to know what you used on the edges/corners of the shower and where you purchased it. Same for the slab stepping out of the shower. Any advice is greatly appreciated!

February 13, 2013 - 3:45 pm Lauren Bunker - I love your bathroom and I am at the beginning stages of my bathroom renovation. Can you tell me why you chose cast iron over acrylic for your tub? Also, where did you get the tub filler? Thanks, Lauren

February 24, 2013 - 3:12 pm rebekah - Hi Ashley, Sorry for the late reply! The slap and edges/corners we picked up at a remnant place in Berkeley CA (where we got our bathroom countertop. The countertop remnant was large enough for the step and for two shelves and a seat. The molding was available from their catalog in the showroom. Hope this helps!

February 24, 2013 - 3:15 pm rebekah - Hi Lauren, We chose cast iron because I love authentic old finishes and materials. I just wanted the real thing, and it was cheaper than the acrylic options I saw. We've been so happy with it! The tub filler I bought at Vintage tub and bath. It was from strom plumbing - gooseneck tub filler in polished nickel and was $270 (tub fillers are NOT cheap!) hope this helps!

March 12, 2013 - 12:00 pm Caroline - Hi. Now that it has been couple of years, how is all the marble holding up in the bath? I am about to embark on a master bath remodel and want to know if you have had luck with the veneto. Thanks:o).

March 21, 2013 - 9:23 pm rebekah - Caroline: It's great!! still in perfect shape!

March 24, 2013 - 1:32 pm Kathleen - Congrats! You did a fabulous job!

April 29, 2013 - 7:32 pm Kim - Your bathroom is gorgeous! So I have what might sound like a rather strange question... I came across your website via GardenWeb, I believe. And there is some discussion on GardenWeb as to whether http://www.thebuilderdepot.com/venato.html is a legitimate company from which to purchase quality tile--people seem to be insinuating that some of the people who post on GardenWeb are about this company are "paid reviewers" and not real homeowners. So, my question is: do you know that your bathroom picture is the one posted on The Builder Depot's website for an installed version of the Carrara venato product? See this link: http://www.thebuilderdepot.com/cama3xsuti.html Obviously, you are a homeowner who has put a lot of time and effort into an absolutely beautiful renovation. I guess what I'm trying to determine is if this company above, is the company you used...of if some other company is using your photo to peddle products that are different from what you used. If this makes any sense! Thanks!!

May 15, 2013 - 3:44 pm rebekah - Hi Kim, sorry for the late reply! I'm not sure about the situation on Garden Web. Those are my bathroom photos, and I did use Builder Depot and was happy with the tiles and their service. I assume they use my photos because they like having an example of the tile in use? Not sure why they would pretend to be a homeowner. I just know I bought tile from them back in 2010 and was happy with it. Hope this helps!

August 14, 2013 - 3:58 am Paula - Hi Heather, Found your Bathroom FAQ post via Pinterest. Your bathroom is truly beautiful! Benjamin Moore Fieldstone is 1558. It is part of their current line in their Classic Color Collection. Most people are familiar with their Color Preview, the ones numbered something like 2140-50. Paula ~ Mise en scène

March 7, 2014 - 6:56 pm Kristin - Hi! The bathroom looks great!! I'm doing a similar tub surround with carrara subway tile, but I've been a bit at a loss for what to do at the outside corners because the tiles I have all have straight edges (no bullnose). What did you do at the corners??

March 12, 2014 - 9:49 am rebekah - Hi Kristin! We did straight edges. I happen to dislike bullnose corners myself, so I was very adamant about straight edges. Just tile meets tile at the corner! Hope this helps!

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