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I Design, You Decide: The Mountain Fixer Powder Bath



I do believe this is our second to last bathroom to design in this house (stay tuned for the upstairs guest bath still to come). Remember when I was designing nine bathrooms at the same time? Talk about an education in bathroom design, crash course edition. It feels like I had to write a well-informed senior thesis, but I missed all the lectures during the semester and had to figure it out all on my own. All of which I can’t wait to tell you about (and yes, book #2 is happening, folks and it’s not just about bathrooms).

The powder bath is small, typically off the first floor and mostly for guests, but you still want to have a good experience. Previously it was a full bath, like so:

Emily Henderson Lake House Intro Before Plans Grid Downstairs Bathroom New

But since another full bath is right behind it, we decided to make it smaller and make that bathroom bigger.

Emily Hendrson Mountain Fixer I Design You Decide Powder Bath First Level Floor Plan

Here you can see what we thought we were going to do with the powder bath (i.e. it would be a traditional guest bath) next to where we landed, which is much more compact but perfect for guests to pop in and out of.

Emily Henderson Mountain Fixer I Design You Decide Powder Bath Floor Plan Original And Final

For the fixtures, faucets and accessories of this bathroom, we partnered with Kohler again. The exciting part about this specific product was we got to pull from their new Components line which is pretty darn beautiful (and super customizable so you can get EXACTLY what you want).

Emily Henderson Mountain Fixer I Design You Decide Powder Bath Kohler Product Board Final

Components Tube Spout | Components Industrial Handles | Components Towel Arm | Corbelle Toilet | Components Toilet Paper Holder

Here’s how this line works: First, you pick your spout from three different profiles (we went with the Tube, but there’s also a “Ribbon” and “Row”…all of which are really stunning, simple and modern), then you pair it with either a rocker handle or the more industrial round handle trim we opted for. It currently comes in two finishes (polished chrome and matte black), but they’re releasing titanium and brushed nickel next year. The matte black is the perfect finish and man, the shape is so beautiful and clean.

We used the same toilet here (Corbelle) that we did in the kids’ bathroom but paired it with a matte black handle to tie in with the Components faucet and accessories. A few highlights about this toilet that are pretty darn cool (or at least, make my life a little easier): Kohler offers its ContinuousClean feature, which together with their CleanCoat technology and Revolution360 swirl flush, fights germs and features their “cleanest flush yet.” I broke down more info on this technology in the kids’ bath post (see that here), but as a refresher, it keeps things clean by dispensing a constant dosage of a cleaning tablet, which means less scrubbing on your own.

After the faucet and accessories line was chosen, I fell right in love with this mosaic tile from Clé (it’s not available just yet, but it’s coming soon).

Emily Henderson Mountain Fixer I Design You Decide Powder Bath Cle Tile Zellige Mosaic Sample

We started creating the mood board and threw all the products together and it’s looking pretty fun, but certainly a little busier than the rest of the house is coming along.

Emily Henderson Mountian Fixer I Design You Decide Powder Bath Moodboard Option One 09.17.18

Components Tube Spout | Components Industrial Handles | Tile | Pendant | Mirror | Components Towel Arm | Corbelle Toilet | Components Toilet Paper Holder | Vanity Marble

At first, we had a 36-inch vanity (Tresham, from Kohler) on that wall but once we finalized the floor plan of the house, we realized it could (and should be) much bigger and while we could have ordered a 60-inch vanity, a custom built-in wall-to-wall vanity got us super excited. It will be custom made from Bedrosians stone. We loved the idea of floating it, but wanted to add some storage or at least somewhere to put toilet paper in a cute wood basket.

The Allied Maker pendants are pretty amazing as the light shines down into the glass that hangs from a leather strap. The flooring will be the same wood as the living room which is still TBD, but we wanted to put in something to reference the warmth they will bring to the space in the rendering (otherwise everything might feel too cold without it).

Emily Henderson Mountain House I Design You Decide Powder Bath Option 1plan 09.17 Emily Henderson Mountain House I Design You Decide Powder Bath Option 1a 09.17

But as we were staring at these renderings, we realized that this bathroom isn’t feeling like the rest of the house as much. It goes somehow more “boutique contemporary hotel” than “modern mountain.”

Emily Henderson Mountain House I Design You Decide Powder Bath Option 1b 09.17

The tile in person has a rustic vibe, but it is busier and might just be jarring in this application. At the same time, it’s a powder room and if you are going to take a risk, this is where you do it, right? If we used a wallpaper instead of the tile, it would likely be just as graphic, so…

But then I fell in love with this tile, also from Clé. It’s a terra-cotta tile with the most BEAUTIFUL hand-glazed blue finish. It is matte, but has a lot of movement and that color is my color.

Emily Henderson Mountain Fixer I Design You Decide Powder Bath Blue Cle Tile Copy

This board came together rather quickly which is always a good sign.

Emily Henderson Mountian Fixer I Design You Decide Powder Bath Moodboard Option Two 09.17.18

Components Tube Spout | Components Industrial Handles | Tile | PendantComponents Towel Arm | Corbelle Toilet | Components Toilet Paper Holder | Vanity Marble

I love how the Components line pops off the tile more since it’s solid on solid. I’m really into how this room is simpler, more understated and works with the rest of the house so well.

Emily Henderson Mountain House I Design You Decide Powder Bath Option 2plan 09.17 Emily Henderson Mountain House I Design You Decide Powder Bath Option 2a 09.17

But a true I Design, You Decide couldn’t be just a switch of a tile, so we tweaked the vanity (not having it go to the floor) which the design team prefers, while I’m on the fence. I like both, honestly, but I do like that this one feels less heavy (against a darker backdrop of that tile, it’s nice to have an airiness). I think I might prefer the smaller scale of the pendants here, and the wood certainly adds some warmth, plus the scale and shape of the pill-shaped mirror (which would have to be custom made) just works so well in here to soften the harder marble lines. I’m a massive fan of mixing round with square and have in every room. For instance, a square pendant with a rectangle mirror would just feel too harsh and modern with the rectangle brick and the vanity. It’s important to find a balance in shapes so nothing is too angular (or too flowy if, say, everything had a round profile).

Emily Henderson Mountain House I Design You Decide Powder Bath Option 2b 09.17

This vote is a little different because we all prefer the simpler blue tile version and we REALLY hope you do, too, but I didn’t want it to feel like a cop-out or a forced choice either. We really tried to create two versions that look great and are inspiring, we just all saw the second version and said “yup, that’s good.”

Generally, you guys have voted for some riskier options (hello green quartzite in kids bath), but I also know how much you guys want this house to be cohesive and make sense (hint, hint). So we’ll still put it up for a vote and just cross our fingers. 🙂

I Design, You Decide

Powder Bath

Option One

Powder Bath

45 %

Option Two

Powder Bath

55 %
(Vote by Tuesday, Sep 25th to have your voice heard.)
You did it!

Thank you for doing your daily design duty.
Your vote has my vote 🙂


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I love the blue tile and marble vanity but not the pendants so much. I like the pendants with the black and white tile better but still love wall mounted sconces the best.


that’s exactly what I scrolled down here to post! another vote for blue tile w/ option 1 pendants!






Same here! Pendants from 1 with blue tile from 2!






Ditto!!! Was coming to post the same!


yep, blue tile but pendants are either wrong shape or too small.


I voted blue tile and also prefer the longer pendants and the vanity to the floor in option 1.


Agreed!! Pendants from number 1 PLEASE!




Agree! Love the pendants from #1

Emily T

Love the blue tile. The handmaid texture is really going to stand out with it’s simple color choice. I too love the pendants and mirror from option one. The leather is soo good.


Me too! Pendants from #1 are great.






I like #1 the best but since #2 is winning I would agree with the others. The pendant lights from the first option would look better than these little round ones

Deborah M

Totally agree! Tile from #2 but mirror and lights from #1!


Totally agree!


Yes! I agree completely!


Completely agree!!!! Love the option 1 pendants!




Completely agree! Love the tile in #2, the rounded mirror, and the floating marble, but DEFINITELY the pendants from #1.

The tile from #1 is awesome and I hope you use it somewhere, but not in the mountain house.


Oh and one more thing… I really like the marble going down to the floor which seems cozier- modern but not as cold for some reason.


Me too. I voted blue tile but prefer the vanity in the first option.

Cici Haus

Me too!

Colleen N

Yes! Essentially everything: sink design, lights, and mirror of option 1, instead with the blue tile.
I think I might’ve liked the other tile if the pattern was larger and less busy and looked more like a tonal terrazzo.

ha. i secretly like the vanity from #1 more, too but the design team liked #2 and honestly there are just too many ways to skin a cat (and we wanted them both to be desirable). maybe we’ll doctor them together …


Agree. Pendants and vanity and mirror from 1 and blue tile

Helena McNeice

I only voted for #1 because I preferred the pendants, vanity and mirror more then option two.


Totally agree wit this!


yes to vanity from option one with tile from option 2!


I like the circle mirror and sconces in option 1 but the tile of option 2.
Or it might be that the mirror is just too high in option 2…. looks like all kids would never be able to see themselves.

Julie P

Me too! I want the tile from #2 but the mirror and pendants from #1. I really can’t stand the racetrack mirror shape for whatever reason….

ha. we call it ‘pill shaped’ but yah, it is kinda ‘race-track-y’. although I do love it.


Exactly what Julie said….


Agreed. Round mirror with those amazing pendants with the leather and the blue tile.


I voted for Option 2, and love a pill-shaped mirror, but oh those pendants from the first option!!! Maybe you should reconsider the round mirror because THOSE PENDANTS… This bathroom is going to be stunning.


Yeah much prefer the pendants in the first option!


I can’t help it, I LOVE that first tile!! Maybe the rendering of the second tile is just not doing it justice, but after the fun of the first tile, the second just felt “blah” as my 5 year old might put it. That being said, before I got to the second choice, I did question whether it fit w/ the rest of the house’s vibe. But, my (internal) response to that was if Emily saw it could work, that’s good enough for me! I also REALLY love those light fixtures in #1. This is the first time I feel… Read more »


I’m with you, Lauren. That tile in option 1 is fantastic. The blue one looks bland in comparison.


I totally agree 100%! I’ve followed all of the i design, you decide posts and I’m most passionate about this one. PLEASE go with option 1. The blue tile looks rather boring.

Alexandra Rose

I also agree! I love doing something a bit more wild in the powder.


Love them both but Voted for #2 – would prefer the vanity going to the floor !!!!

Herself In Dublin

Option C please! The second tile, but with the mirror and pendants from the first one.


Same! I also like the vanity to the floor. So really, the first bathroom but with blue tile.

HA. everyone wants #1 with #2 tile! Oh dear!


Add me to that vote!

Vicki Williams



Me too!



Susan Brandt

Yep! Me too!


Me too!


Me too! Though I also like the smaller scale lights with the pill mirror. Option 1 vanity feels more like a piece of furniture- which reads more cozy.


That’s my vote too!


I agree!




I LOVE the tile in #1! #2 actually strikes me as more “boutique hotel”? ????????‍♀️


Same here – #1 felt lighter and airier to me, while #2 had more of a dark, modern vibe.


I voted for the blue, but I REALLY prefer the vanity that goes all the way to the floor.


I prefer the second vanity option, so that makes my vote pretty easy!


Oh- I love option 1. It’s so playful. The dark blue tile and marble vanity feel very formal and serious to me. Not the relaxing vibe of a mountain retreat.


^^This. The tile in Option One feels like a breath of fresh air to me.


Absolutely. To me, option 2 looks like a rather expensive toilet in a subway station (if there was such a thing…!)
Tile 1 is so much more original and more mountain-housy in my opinion, and the first vanity looks less as if it were in a subway station – much nicer and more homely in my opinion….


love option 2 but hate the oval mirror- keep the round one. the floating island is super cool but i think you might want some hidden storage too for no so pretty bathroom-y things like toilet paper and cleaning supplies that you might not want to be eye-level staring at while sitting on the toilet

its a powder bath so while we definitely thought about the storage options we decided that a pretty shaker basket with toilet paper and a stack of hand towels is probably all we’ll need in there. The laundry room is directly across the hall that will house cleaning supplies.


I just don’t think the tile in the first is right. I love to have one really dark, tiled wall. It is still a statement, but subdued and flows better with the whole home. You want guests who are there for a few hours or a day to have a taste of the whole home without needing to wander through it all. The solid dark tile does that.


I like the blue tile but like the pendants from option 1

Julie Dawson

Both options are really striking and the stone vanity is beautiful. I wonder though if this could have been a great place to bring in more wood for Bryan. The same vanity shape in wood.

Katie Kerr

Can I say that I choose option two, but I really wish that the first light had been repeated. I love both options though. 😀 Love this series!


Loving option #2, but with the mirror and pendants in option #1.


Why not use the mirror and pendants of option #1 with the tiles and vanity of option#2 ?

that seems to be the popular vote as of now. eek.


Mirror and pendants of option #1 with the tiles and vanity of option #2. Yes.
Although it hurts me to reject that gorgeous #1 tile…


This is my vote as well.


Love option 1, but not for a mountain house. Voted for 2 but really prefer the vanity all the way to the floor, proportions feel off to me somehow if not


I voted for #2, BUT I think #1 could work really well with some more wood elements!


I like the blue tile. But I don’t like the sink knobs. Having hand issues, I think the knobs would be difficult to grip and turn.


I think the vanity in No 2 would be better if the tile went all the way to the floor, and the bottom shelf was also floated. This would enhance the effect on the top part.


As much as I love the first design, the blue tile and floating vanity fits much better with the style of the rest of the house but I like the circular mirror and pendants from the first design.




I voted for the blue tile but I really wish you would use the mirror and lighting from option 1.

Paige Cassandra Flamm

I love the black and white tile in the first option! It’s gorgeous!



Option 2 with the pendants and vanity from Option 1.

Julie S

No contest, but I went through the motions of voting to secure its winning status! I truly prefer every style choice on the dark blue tile option. The mirror and light shapes, floating vs floor vanity, and hell yes the tile. The black and white tile is awful to me when it’s covering that much wall, like funhouse with a stabby clown kind of horrifying. And the floor length custom stone vanity feels like stuff I saw while working in a nouveau riche part of town, while making it floating somehow feels more casual-modern and less pretentious.

Paula Carr

Yes, yes, and yes.

Cici Haus

Man, the tile I’m either way on, but the pendants and the legs on the vanity from #1 – all the heart eyes!! (Though I love the pendants from #2 also…). I really, really love the legs on the vanity.

Taylor Juricic

I like the tile in option 2 but with the vanity to the floor and the circle mirror from option 1! combine them 🙂


How about a mash-up of the two? Replace the black & white tile in Option 1 with the dark tile from Option 2 and call it a day. Option 2 is too dark for a windowless powder room and needs the larger pendant lights and the “legs” of the marble vanity. Right now, the dark recess under the floating vanity looks like a place for spiders to lurk — and it’s too much a NYC loft/hotel look, IMO.


I think they are both beautiful. But I have to say I like/prefer option 1 with option 2’s blue tile. Even though I voted option 2 it was just for the tile. IMO, that would be a winning combination, the black and white tile is just a little too busy for this bathroom. Maybe if it was on the floor it would be less busy and have a wood wall behind the gorgeous round mirror and pretty sconces. But that would be another option. xoxo


I prefer Option Two, but as others have noted I want to see the mirror and pendants from Option One in that room. The oval mirror and super round pendants are doing nothing for me, but those longer pendants with the leather strap feel oh-so-right for the mountain house.


Agree, pendants are not quite right and I would take vanity to the floor. Love the blue tile.


Can we get the blue tile with Option 1’s mirror and sconces? That would be perfection!

Melody Thomas

#2 BUT…with #1’s light fixtures. They’re more substantial and make a better statement against the uniform tile wall. xoxo


Tile from 2 but everything else from 1! I think the marble going to the floor instead of the dark tile actually looks lighter. And I love the pendants from 1 but they might be too matchy with the pill shaped mirror. But I trust your judgement and can’t wait to see what you do!


Beautiful designs! I love both options, but I don’t have one comment/question. Is this bathroom close to the main living areas? It is kind of hard to tell how close it is to the living room by the floor plan. I ask because the toilet is right on the wall to the outside and really close to the door. Does anyone else feel like that might feel awkward for guests to use?


But I do* have one comment/question

Angie RS

Oh man, option 1 just looks so special/stunning and not just in a “let’s take a risk, y’all” kind of way.


Definitely the blue tile. But! Since the tile in the first option is so gorgeous, could you create a post about that tile, some similar/affordable options, and a range of ways to use such a super fun and striking tile?


Agree that option 2 fits this house much better and I love the whole look. That said, there’s something about the floating vanity that makes it seem more boutique hotel sleek. The version that goes to the floor has a more artisanal feeling and looks like it was placed in the room, which for some reason to me feels more right than the engineered floating version for this house.


Here’s where I wish there were multiple combos. I voted for Option One because I love that tile (and I’m sad it’s trailing in the poll). But, in all honesty, I prefer the vanity in Option Two (yay, Design Team, I agree with you there). Loving the black hardware either way, btw.

Kimberly Brandt

Option 1, but with a natural elements brought in to soften it a bit. (like plants in baskets, that sort of thing)


Option 2.

However with the round mirror not the pill shaped one. The race track shape references the rectangle of the tile to closely and a round mirror would complement it better.


I voted for the blue tile because the black and white is just too jarring, but I really love those light fixtures with the leather strap. Can we do a mix and match?


I love the first one, but if the black and white tile isn’t mountainy enough for you, could we do option three which would be option 1 but switch out for the blue tile? (I like option 1 best because it’s exciting, and not necessarily typical Emily. I think Option 1 is fun, and like you said, if there is a place to be risky and fun, it’s the powder room.)


The first tile is great, but it really doesn’t feel mountain or like the rest of the house. even with the simpler tile it still doesn’t seem at all rustic to me. Pretty! Just not mountain house-ey. But I’ll reserve judgment till the end!


aaahhhh…I love them both!


I couldn’t bring myself to vote. I love the blue tile but would prefer the mirror/lighting choice of the first option. I just couldn’t get behind the oblong mirror.

Angie RS

ALSO, with the natural cut of the tile (both tiles, but making the case for Option 1) and the natural plank of the flooring, I definitely feel the rustic. The brightness and geometric design of the tile along with the white stone all the way to the floor reads very Scandi to me and also creates a really open feeling to an otherwise small, windowless space. The darkness of the blue tile along with the darkness beneath the vanity feels a bit oppressive in a tiny room without natural light. Okay, second comment from me on this. I’ll get back… Read more »


That black and white tile is everything. I picked #1, but I do prefer the pendants from #2. Gorgeous job, Design Team!

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