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Lilywood Hall Bathroom

Houston, we have a problem!

This is never what you want to hear when you are working on a job, but truthfully, every job has a “Houston”.  With all the jobs I have had the pleasure of working on in the past 3 years, there is always something that doesn’t quite work how you intended it to.  It might be the color of the light fixture that comes in the mail.  It might be the speed oven is on backorder for A YEAR (like in this kitchen)! Or, in the case of this project, the tile was not consistent.

The job was going great.  All product was ordered and delivered to the construction site by the demo date. The tear-out was super-fast and clean.  The best part was there were no surprises after we pulled everything out of the bathroom and shower room. No mold or leaks.  Fabulous. Below you can see the before photos!


Overall, this bathroom was maintained quite well. All the finishes had held up nicely. The tile wasn’t cracked, the cabinet doors weren’t falling off the hinges and they even had tile floor which in many of these homes, the kids bath has linoleum. Hard to believe that a million dollar home had linoleum installed…but it happens.

Your surroundings should represent the person or persons that live in that space. This was a basic bathroom with basic, materials. It needed to have the look and feel of the darling girls that are using it every day!


Taadaaa! Isn’t it pretty! Continue on to hear where the problems occurred and how we resolved them without a hitch!

Tile Install

The tile guy was the contractor that worked on my daughter’s new bathroom (you can see here).  He does excellent work. After setting the shower pan and prepping the walls, it was time to start laying tile.

We went with a classic porcelain mosaic for the floors and the shower niche.  White on white. 100% classic and will last the test of time. Day one, he got the whole floor installed.  Day 2, he started grout and that is when I got the call.


“Melissa, we have an issue.”  I’m thinking to myself, what can it be? And then I saw the photos the client texted me.  There were clearly 2 different lots of tile.  A lot is another term for “batch” of tile.  When making something with color dies, they assign lot numbers so that all the product that is going into one space is consistent and of the same “die lot”.  This happens with wallpaper all the time.  And apparently with tile!

In the photo, there is clearly a section where our tile guy switched to the next box of tile sheets, and it was a different shade of white. (Above: you see the brighter white tile on the right and all the little cut wall pieces on the left, but then the left side of the floor is a more gray color.) There was clearly a bright white and then there was a grayer white.  

Actually…I shouldn’t say clearly. Because some people can’t see shades that are that close in color. And clearly our installer missed it too, until he started grouting on day 2.


“What do we do?” Asked the homeowner.

I said, “Tear it all out while the grout is still wet.” 

But we waited.  The plan was to tear out the bright white sheets because there seemed to be less bright white sheets installed.

That turned out to be the wrong decision, for the new batch of tile was all the bright white! Go figure.  We had a 50/50 chance.

In the meantime, I am calling my rep at CFM who then called the Daltile store who then sent us a new order of all the same die-lot/batch number.


The customer didn’t have to pay any more. But our poor tile guy had to tear everything out and start again, laying the new all white tile.

Who was at fault?  We don’t like to point fingers but as a business person working on multiple jobs, you want to know how to prevent this from happening in the future.  It started with Daltile sending us 2 different die lot numbers.  If that hadn’t have happened, all would have been good.  Second, our tile guy should have caught it and noticed the difference in the new sheet when he was laying the tile. That is when most people notice the inconsistency and then the boxes get checked and traded in for all matching die-lots. He said, and it is true, that when dealing with an all-white room, there are always shadows cast on the surfaces creating “gray shadows”. He didn’t notice the color difference until he started grouting.

Always check your die lot numbers to make sure they are the same!

Bottomline is there is always a “HOUSTON!” But how you handle the !!!! is whom you choose to do business with.  The homeowner was very calm and understanding.  None of us yelled and screamed and pointed fingers. The tile guy knew he should have caught it, but we were all able to work together to solve the problem.  In the end, it was a slight delay in the project, but all the hick-ups were solved together and we moved forward peacefully.


After the SECOND tile install, then in went this beautiful wallpaper! Originally we were looking at this beauty by Schumacher but the sample was on backorder. So, when I was in the bay area over xmas break, I popped into the Serena and Lily outlet and found this pattern that gave a similar feel to the space and so we went with it!

Tip: shop the outlets!  We went to the Serena and Lily outlet on Dec. 26th and got all this wallpaper for the cost of 1 roll at catalog price!!!

Mixing Metals

I know it is hard to do, but MIX METALS! It makes a room feel more collected and designed than if you put in all the same metal fixtures and finishes.  Why?  Because it’s easy to go to Home Depot and say, “I’ll take the set!”  Any DIY’er can do that.  When working with a designer, they have the eye to make it all come together. 

A trick: have at least 2 of each metal in the space and don’t do more than 2. 

In this space, I really wanted the faucet to be silver in tone.  And so did the homeowner.  In their kitchen, (seen here) we used all 1 metal because that was what the homeowner wanted. So for this project, we pushed the comfort level and I think we did it masterfully. 

The faucet and shower bar are nickel (a warm toned silver).  The light fixture, towel holder and mirror are in the brass.  The brass drawer pulls also have a story. 😉


We were originally going to have nickel drawer pulls.  However, when the homeowner went to Rejuvenation to purchase the pulls, the nickel was on back order till summer.  However…the brass handles were in stock at the store.  Was that a sign? Yes! That was a sign! Brass drawer pulls it is!

Light Fixtures

The light fixtures we chose are also from Rejuvenation.  I love that store.  It has been my go-to for years. Even though it is no longer locally owned and is part of the William Sonoma group, I still love their products more than any other big hardware supplier. Why is it my favorite? They are so well made and the finishes are consistent.

Final Result

I can’t tell you how pleased we are with the results of this bathroom.  With the help of the homeowners, the contractors and the reset of my team, we created a classic bathroom, with long lasting finishes for 2 growing girls. Even though it was designed for t(w)een girls, it still feels elevated and adult-like and not overly girly.  I’m kind of jealous. In fact, I’m super jealous of Aunt Lisa and Uncle Blake who will be enjoying this space when they come visit very soon!

XO, Melis

Product Details

9 thoughts on “Lilywood Hall Bathroom

  1. Melissa, What a gorgeous bathroom you have created! I’m sure your clients’ young daughters are delighted and feel so grown up using their new bathroom! I love all the choices you made, including mixing the different metals! It’s so bright and cheerful. How wonderful to wake up in the morning and get ready to go in that beautiful room! 💖

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You created a beautiful bathroom. I like the brass hardware on white. It looks rich. Your description of the project was also well done. Even the “Huston” problem was educational. White and white can be different. I think the tile guy should have noticed before installing. But it all worked.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I worked in tile manufacturing early in my career. It is the tile setter’s job to check the lot numbers. Even when you buy boxes of the same lot of tile, it used to be standard practice to shuffle the tiles in all the boxes together to minimize subtle variations that appear even in a matched set of boxes. (There are some variations within the lot number based on the tolerances set on the color measuring equipment used for sorting).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is correct. I dont like to point fingers but … 🙂 And he even said, “usually you notice right when you start laying the new box.” And, he made it right and redid the bathroom with the new tile.


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