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the reno that won’t end…ever


This bathroom renovation has just about bested me.  We’ve been working on it since…oh…January.  If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you probably remembered when I entered my half bathroom in a DIY Disaster contest by True Value.  Well, your votes made me the winner.  Here’s what the bathroom looked like when I submitted it for the contest.



(Before pictures always look worse when a toddler’s pajama shirt is strewn on the floor.)  This post might refresh your memory about the window to nowhere, the ballet bar, the pink plastic tile, the faucet that was installed incorrectly, the sink that was falling off the wall, the sticky black tiles… Is this ringing a bell?

There are dozens of reasons why it’s taken us so long to get this done.  We had to wait for the tile, then wait for it to be installed, then wait for the plumbing to be rerouted, then wait for the electrical to be moved…lots of waiting.  The hex tile was mis-matched, so we had to send some back and reorder more.  The faucet didn’t fit the sink, so we had to send it back and get another one.  The toilet didn’t come with a seat, so we had to go buy one.  The main reason, though, is that we have two other functioning toilets in the house, so it just wasn’t a priority.  My mom flew up for a few days and that was the perfect time to throw things in gear and make some major progress.  Here’s how it looks today…



I say with great pride that I hung almost all of the bead board and trim by myself.  I made templates for the tricky spots.  I used “big boy tools”, as I call them…like a chop saw, a circular saw, and a DeWalt finish nailer.  I was really impressed with myself and those days of building sets for musicals in high school and college really paid off.  I am known as “the caulk queen” in my house, so I also did the caulking and, of course, the painting.  I used Benjamin Moore’s Satin White Impervo (the waterborne version) on the trim and BM’s Grey Owl in Satin for the walls and ceiling.



The tile and chandelier are the only things not purchased from True Value.  I really, really, REALLY wanted hex tile, but it was going to cost about $1400 to have it special ordered through True Value, so I ordered it on Amazon for about $300.  I love that tile.  That tile was worth all of the waiting and headaches.  I want it in every bathroom in my house.  I want to take a nap on it when the bathroom is finally finished…well, maybe not, but I really love it and may kiss good bye it if ever we sell this house.

You may remember I had a very glamorous chandelier that was dripping with crystals.  It was lovely.  The problem was that it only had one, small 40 watt bulb and that was not enought to light a space with no windows or natural light sources anywhere close to it.  I swapped it out for this simple chandelier from Lowe’s.  I just about had to cry to get them to sell me the floor model, but they did and I went home a happy girl with a chandelier in hand.  It was very basic, though, so I made pleated ribbon trim out of a charcoal grosgrain ribbon and hot glued it to the top and bottom of each shade.  This was just enough to make it cute and put my stamp on it.

(I know it’s a little crooked.  Relax. I have learned that machines make perfect things and I do not and I’m OK with that.)

I also hung some vintage locker baskets to put toilet paper and hand towels in.


It’s coming along and I love just walking down the hall to look at it.

Another project in the works is our office built-ins.  These were supposed to be finished before our second child was born and he’s now three.  Well, that’s how life goes, right?  We’re getting it done now and it’s looking fabulous.  Well, it’s a mess, but in my head it looks fabulous.



Oh!  And here are the winners of the Dear Lillie and Wuslu giveaways…

Jackie from Fat Jak Originals wins the Dear Lillie Silent Night/Holy Night pillow cases.

Tara (blondeinsc) wins the Wuslu pie safe.


Jenn from The Handmade Homebody wins the Wuslu tool tote.

Congratulations, ladies!


As a chosen member of the True Value DIY Blog Squad, I have been compensated for my time commitment to the program as well as my writing about the experience. I have also been compensated for the materials used in this DIY project. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.


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  1. I think Small Spaces are the Best… They Most Certainly bring out the best when it comes to being Creative… Here is a SMALL Bathroom Space we Redid for our 5 Children who share this TINY TINY space.. Would LOVE for you to stop by and check it out… :)

  2. Josette says:

    Don’t know if this is where I should comment about the Stylish Patina give away…..but anyway….please throw my hat in the ring.

    I have become a follower of her fabulous blog.



  3. holy schnikes, LOVE the tile…kinda a sucker for the hexagon tile, can’t wait to see it all finished.

  4. danielle says:

    PA – LEEESSSEEE share the name of the tile, that’s what i’ve been looking for!!

  5. Starla says:

    How Fun!
    We almost have twin bathrooms! No kidding…down to the angled walls and no window. Same little angled rectangle. We are getting ready to put our beadboard up over Thanksgiving break. and we’ve got you beat on the time too. We’re at a little over two years now. :) Same reason – life, kids, and another working toilet!
    Love what you’ve done – can’t wait to see the rest. Maybe we’ll “deliver” on the same day! Blessings!

  6. Forget kissing….I could make love to that tile! Dang it is SO pretty! Can’t wait to see the finished room…I know I will not be disappointed.

  7. The bathroom looks great Marian! Love the tile and and bead board!

    ~ Rachael

  8. Your bathroom is looking amazing. I am in live with that tile!!!!! Excellent job on the beadboard. Would love a tutorial on how you did the stencils.


  9. Hi Marian,

    We recently went through a bathroom reno ourselves. We had a tile situation of our own. We will probably have to get it ripped out and redone. Knowing that, and seeing your tile, I have searched and searched your blog for a source on the marble hex tile you got from Amazon. I hesitate to ask for a source becauseI know you are so busy right now…. But here I am, asking. Would you share which tiles you ordered? They look great!

    Thanks a bunch!

  10. The bathroom is looking fantastic, love the tile floor…so pretty…and of course I am throwing up mad props to you for using “big boy tools”…my husband restricts me from using those…not sure why! :) Can’t wait to see the finished project!! p.s. I am sooo excited about the pie safe, thank you so much!! I had to hold my squeals due to being in the middle of an office with co-workers…shhh don’t tell my boss I sneak over here to read your blog! have a wonderful day!


    • Miss Mustard Seed says:

      Oh, congrats!! I love my pie safe. I’m still trying to find the perfect spot for it.

  11. I love that, “Relax. Machines make perfect things and I do not.” Wow, I so appreciate that sentiment. And how great is bathroom looking!!!!

  12. It’s looking amazing! My favorite part is the little vintage basket for tp.. genuis…

    I am so proud of you for starting your built ins! The hubbs and I are trying to decide if we’re brave/ talented enough to tackle our wall of built ins for our living room this year and would love any feedback. Does your hubbs have any secret/ helpful methods he might be willing to share? My husband is very handy but hasn’t had a lot of carpentry experience so we’re wondering if we should tackle it. Any insight would be so appreciated!



  13. After seeing your before bath, I almost have enough guts to share photos of our bathroom. It’s tiny, tiny, ugly, frightening, and quite hideous. It’s one of those tiny baths snuck into an old farmhouse. I’m quite at a loss on what to do with it. I love the look of beadboard, the white, clean, freshness of it all.

  14. The bathroom is going to be beautiful.

    I too have “that other bathroom” in my house that’s stuck in quasi-mid-almost-reno (tile purchased, paint decided, estimates gathered) and never seems to get done because, well, there is another bathroom that works just fine….

    I honestly keep almost forgetting about it until, for some reason, I walk in there and think “how is this not done yet?”

    Hang in there – it’s gonna be great (as are your office built-ins)

  15. Marian it looks so lovely!!! I am so happy it is all coming together. Your tile looks even better now. I love what you did with the pleated ribbon. I am so inspired. I have so many lampshades around here, they kind of get stored in every corner, waiting for the right lamp. I am always looking for fresh ideas to embellish them. Everything looks great, good luck on the office!

  16. It’s coming along. I love the hex tile – it looks beautiful. The vintage locker baskets are so perfect for storing extra tp!! I can’t wait to see pictures of this bathroom when it’s done – it’s definitely going to be looking good!

    I’m so excited about winning the Wuslu Tool Tote!! Thank you so much!!


  17. Nora Merriman says:

    I am new to your blog and LOVE IT. I am totally hooked and can’t wait to read what you’ve
    been up too. I look forward to it everyday. Thanks so much sharing all your knowledge. You are truly
    an inspiration and I wish I had an ounce of your talent! :) You have a beautiful store too and hope
    to take a road trip someday to come and see it!!!

  18. I saved a Pottery Barn catalog that featured a bathroom with “your” hex tile on the walls and floors. It’s dreamy so I know how much you love your tile. I love it too! Except you get to feel it with your toes and I’m still drooling on a page. Someday thought…someday!
    I love that Grey Owl paint, very subtle and pretty.

  19. Janet Lawson says:

    Your bathroom so far is awesome…I love the tile too…Can’t wait to see it all finished…Oh and the shelves look great…Your work and ideas and color choices are always beautiful…I love your blog..

  20. A most definite improvement to the bath!! You must be tickled to death that visible progress is happening. I’m kinda bummed I didn’t win any of the good stuff you were giving away, but I guess it wasn’t my time. You have such great give aways from fabulous sponsors!!

  21. Love the tile! What a drastic price difference! wahoo! Looks great :)

  22. Sheryl says:

    Awesome…great Job …When it looks this good makes the tired worth it.

  23. I hear you! I am in unfinished project limbo myself right now. Sometimes I get paralyzed by things not happening as quick as I want them to and by my own perfectionism and sometimes I wear myself out I tell you! But I eventually get going again, and I always end up loving the results. Your home and your projects are beautiful and your bathroom and office will be no different. Can’t wait to see them.

  24. Tracey says:

    Oh, how can I learn how to do beadboard? It’s my dream for my little half-bath but figuring out how to get it around the holes for pipes for the toilet and sink baffles me. I am okay (well, not, but guess it has to be done) with taking out the sink and toilet to put it up, but holes? In the middle of a panel?

    • Miss Mustard Seed says:

      Holes in the middle of a panel aren’t as hard as they seem. The key is the measure really, really, REALLY well, so the hole ends up in the right place. When you have the placement marked, use a drill with a large bit on it and make a few holes around the edge or in the corners of the marked area. The drill bit needs to be large enough to fit the saw blade of a jig saw in. Use a jig saw to then cut out the hole. Clamp the piece of beadboard to a sturdy worksurface to keep it still or have someone hold it for you. You can do it!

  25. LOOOOOOOVE IT!!!! It’s beautiful. Especially love the baskets, our first home was right down the street from it! It’s amazing how far items like this travel.

  26. The bathroom is really looking terrific. I can’t wait to see the finished room! We are knee deep in bathroom re-do’s and it is challenging to say the least. I feel better knowing I wasn’t the only person that purchased a home with UGLY bathrooms. Sigh. What was I thinking? One bathroom was painted a wild mustard yellow with brown stick on wood looking tiles that were coming up. Can you say, “Ugly”? Hollywood lighting, etc. just a complete mess.

  27. It’s going to be a great room. Love the floor!

  28. Hi, this if off topic, but I just wanted to say I would love to see an “after” picture of the cedar chest you painted and posted about recently. I’ve been waiting patiently for several days now, and since you haven’t put up a picture I thought I send this friendly suggestion/plea. Thanks!

  29. I agree, that tile would be worth any trouble and waiting. The room is looking fabulous and I love the little ruffles on the chandelier shades! We started planning our exterior remodel in April and I just posted pictures yesterday….that was a lot of waiting.

  30. Good things come to those who wait…..and wait……..and wait. I have been in your shoes. The very good part of it (besides finishing) is working through it all while it’s still in process. Standing in the doorway thinking…..hmmmm, maybe that isn’t such a great idea after all and then readjusting. Slow and steady does have its benefits.

  31. Yur tile floor look so scrumptious, I want to take a big lick…but probably not a good idea because, well, it’s in a bathroom…

    Your a a BOLD Girl for ordering off Amazon! We had plans to build a Arts and Crafts home and I was gonna put Hex tile everywhar… Too bad…plans change… boo hoo… poor me… luckie you…

    Someday, Morgan’s gonna come home and find me in the Master Bath smashin’ up that ugly ceramic tile with a big ole’ cheshire grin on my face and say…go to and get me some tile, baby…

  32. Paula says:

    Oh my gosh! I love that tile. I was going to make a lamp covered in it, but haven’t yet. The beadboard looks great. Great job!

  33. Your bathroom is coming along so beautifully! I understand about remodeling being frustratingly LONG! Still trying to get done after being here for three years.

    QUESTION: I don’t recall your having talked about the medicine cabinet… is it NEW, had a FACE LIFT, or GONE?

  34. The chandelier is so cute…lovin those tiles.


  35. Michele says:

    I was wondering where you got that awesome vintage basket… I live in RI and am pretty sure that came from one of the old mills in Pawtucket… would be so cool if I could get one for our new house in Newport, RI!
    Thanks, love your stuff!

    • Miss Mustard Seed says:

      I bought a stack of them at The Old Lucketts Store in Lucketts, Virginia. One of the vendors found a truck load of them somewhere.

  36. The bathroom is looking great! I too love the tile!! Beautiful!
    Bead board looking good too!

  37. That is a fabulous floor- worth the wait!

  38. I’m staring enviously. No, really. It’s not just that we have the world’s ugliest bathroom, it’s also that our well gave out last week and we have no water. We’re flushing the toilet with buckets. it’s really vintage, I suppose, but not in a good way…

    Anyway, your bathroom looks simply wonderful, a peaceful haven. I’ll bet it has plumbed water, too? Hot AND cold? You lucky girl!

    Yours, enviously,


  39. Love, love, love it!
    Someday I’d love to have some bead board and hex tiles in my half bath.
    Thanks for the inspiration! :)

  40. It looks amazing. I LOVE the floor and the wired baskets for your toilet paper! Love it :)

  41. Laurie Laville says:

    We are redoing our Master bath and I am buying 125 square feet of 1″ hexagon tile. THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for that link!!!! What a savings!!!!!
    I was thinking of getting the honed hexagon instead of polished though. Any advice on one versus the other? Our bathroom has a long expanse from the doorway to the opposite wall and a large window over the tub across from the double vanity with a large mirror. So, we have a lot of light. I am getting 109″ of honed carrara for the double vanity because I like the old timey look (and water splashes might take off the polish if we went with polished, so let’s get that out of the way from the get-go is my thinking).

    Polished or honed hex that is the question….

    PS I trust your advice because I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your taste!

  42. This looks great! Way to use those crazy big boy tools–I shy away from them, especially since I can’t do straight lines. Period.

    Okay, so your post title reminded me of Reno, the place, and something and I had to share. Did you ever watch Arrested Development? Well, there was an episode where they went to Reno, and the slogan for the town was something like, “Make a huge tiny mistake.” Since they are the littler Vegas. Whenever people had mishaps or got in over their head that episode, they’d say, “I’ve made a huge tiny mistake.”

    Your bathroom is NOT a mistake and looks lovely, but because of your post title reading to me like Reno the place, I thought of the quote. If it were my reno (Reno) and taking me so long, I would DEFINITELY refer to it as my huge tiny mistake. Just to keep my humor about me as I plowed through. :)

    Hope this comes off as funny and not offensive…I definitely mean it as such. The bathroom looks great!

  43. I am OBSESSED with that tile, and LOVE how your bathroom is coming together!!!!!!
    It’s going to be so beautiful, Marian!


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