Bathroom Makeover: Travertine Tune Up

When Joe from Constructed Matter and I launched our Room Makeover offering, I never thought our first client would be my mother-in-law. She reached out to me a couple weeks ago asking if we could do it pronto. Planning and coordinating these things with clients take time which is why we haven't had any to show yet. But, we were excited to jump in and do our first one with someone I know. Our Room Makeover deal is meant to be a small-ish in scale project lasting a week or less. And by a week or less I mean the actual work, aka labor. Two weeks ago I began the designing and planning. We have to allow some time for orders to come in, which they didn't but we made do. We finished the install in about 3 days. I want to show you the before photo first but I shan't. Straight to the result!

Ok let's back up now. While my mother-in-law would have loved to tear out the travertine tile, it just wasn't in the cards. Too much time. Too much money. She has other projects she wants to tackle so we had to deal with it. The main problem with the travertine is just how yellow and brown it comes off most of the time. Here's what it looked like before.

So, we had the travertine, fine. But, that counter that I think looks like "tiger" granite had to go. I used to know the builder grade name but I purposefully blocked out of memory bc it is not yummy. 

Granite that must die

Clearly that had to go and was going to be a huge factor in brightening and de-jungle-fying the joint. Next up was toning down the travertine. Travertine was a huge flipping trend a while back when beige was all the rage. It's not a bad tile. I wouldn't choose it for my own house, but I do like that it is a natural stone. You can have it polished, which my in-laws did, and it looks shiny and new. Only problem is it is still beige. Some travertine comes off really yellow and even more so when paired with browns, reds, and..... anything. My mother-in-law tried to work with it and painted the walls a grey blue, even tying the gray and the beige together with the shower curtain. She thought it would feel like the ocean with the sand color and the blue. If I'm honest It didn't look half bad. But, it still felt yellow-y/brown and dark. To make matters worse all of the fixtures were ORB. I mean come on. More brown. :(

Brown and brown granite and brown fixtures

So, we stripped it all back. It comes to no shock to you I'm sure that I was painting this room white. I'm telling you I really really tried to think of something else. I studied. I Pinned. I Googled. The only thing I could think of to tone down the beige/yellow/brown of it all was to paint the walls white. It worked like a charm. Actually there were a few things that really made HUGE strides in correcting the browny yellow factor in this bathroom. 

  1. Paint. Obviously.
  2. Removing the blinds on the window. Even when they were slanted open it still made the room dark.
  3. Replacing the counter

To keep from adding any beige/yellow back to the mix we opted for black fixtures and hardware. I went a little haywire here actually. I had a black can of spray paint and nothing could stop me. I didn't even mean to enter the shower area but nothing was safe. I painted the shower curtain rod. I painted the shower head, tub faucet and handle. I don't know how that will hold up but my MIL was cool with it and if it turns crappy we'll just swap out the stuff for a new black version. For now it will work. The light fixture I ordered was backordered so I just ripped that old ORB mofo off the wall and painted it. Slapped on some new shades and called it a day.

Speaking of painting hardware and fixtures, Joe made us some custom towel bars. I looked for what felt like 5 hours for a long ass towel bar. No one makes a long ass towel bar. We need a long ass towel bar in this bathroom because when guests come in town to visit, which they do, often, theres need to be room for all the towels. So, Joe welded a 5' foot long ass towel bar and it is magical. It was raw metal so I of course painted it black. If it rubs off I will get it powder coated. My photos all sucked so I stole this one from Joe.

He also made a matching TP holder and hand towel holder.

Custom towel bars welded by Constructed Matter

Obviously there is a lot of experimentation here. I was sure to get these ideas cleared before implementing. But, also, since I am over at this house often, and use this bathroom pretty often, I can check in on the things and fix as necessary. For a client (and not my family member) I would maybe not go to these experimental lengths. It's fun to test these theories though and see what happens so I can share with the world.

The last thing was to add the soft stuff. This is my favorite part. I don't care how much you do to a space in a renovation or makeover, if you leave it empty it will lack personality. If you fill it with your old stuff it will feel like a split personality. Finish it off! First I start with some things I know I want, like a piece of art or some vintage thing. In this case it was the Arizona and Ohio Eye Charts from Constructed Matter

Styled white floating shelves in bathroom

Next, I love going to Target, Lowes and West Elm and just throwing stuff in my cart. I tell this to my Design Therapy consult clients on the regular. When you finish your renovation or just want to revamp your space, go to the store and just start throwing shit into your cart. I'm not trying to get anyone to overspend by any means, but I've learned from my staging days that this job will never get done, or done well, if you don't just GO FOR IT. Sometimes shit works that you least expect. So, grab that cart and just fill it up. I usually fill up 2 or 3, honestly. Don't waste time hemming and hawing about do I really like it, will it fit, is it the wrong size, is it fugly....JUST GRAB IT. Take it all home and start grabbing from your pile to build your styled area. I can't tell you how many times I was so sure about something at the store and in the end it didn't make the cut. And guess what did? The thing I thought might be fugly. Take all the rest back. Then I finish it off by filling in with random stuff from around the house. 

Another thing, don't just stick to the departments in the store that coordinate with the room you're working in. Use things from other rooms to dress it up. In this bathroom I bought kitchen towels to be used as hand towels because they had a better pattern. I also used a cheese tray as a tray on the counter and a dining charger as "art". Whatever. IDGAF. It works.

Funny Side note: the bust on the counter is from a garage sale and cost around $1.75. He was awesome until I knocked him over and his head fell off. My MIL glued his head back on and I found him in her laundry room waiting for me when scavenging the house for more things to bring in. I sprayed him all black (naturally because watch out I have this paint can in my head) so his decapitation didn't show. 

Bust and cheese tray make a great bathroom

And that was it! Bye bye dark yellow-y tiger brown bathroom. Let's see the difference.


The bathroom turned out so nice and bright and the travertine is actually a nice sandy color now rather than all the brown and beige.

Interested in your own Room Makeover....or Restyling of a room....or Design Therapy Consult? Check out your options on my Design Services page!

Shop This Room

Shelves: Home Depot

State Eye Charts: Constructed Matter

Succulents: Target

Towel Bars: Constructed Matter

Towels Bath: Target

Towel on Rod: Target

Towel on Cabinet Pull: Home Goods

Vessel Sink: Amazon

Vessel Drain: Amazon

Wood Box: Target

Bath Rug: Target

Black Round "Art" Charger on Shelf: Target

Cabinet Pulls: Amazon

Clock: Target

Counter: Marble Look Quartz

Faucet: Amazon

Mirror: West Elm

Planter - White: West Elm

Planter - Black: Home Goods

Spray Paint - Black:

Camper Update: This Ceiling Is Bananas

Guys I can't wait to show you how the ceiling in my camper has turned out!!!

I partnered with Milton & King on this project which was awesome because from the start I knew I wanted to wallpaper the ceiling of this camper. They have so many great options and I wanted this place to be a bit wild. The biggest surface area to do it on is the ceiling. Liz Kamarul's RV was an initial source of inspiration. 

It wasn't my intention to do tropical like she did. At first I was thinking about something a little more geometric and subtle like the one on the left. Then one day on the way to school, my 4 year old daughter says, "Mommy, I think we should do palm trees on the ceiling in the camper." I don't even know if she knew I was doing something on the ceiling. I'm don't know where that came from, but I did have the Jungle Palm wallpaper on the right in the back of my mind and asked, "How about banana trees?" She screamed, "BANANAS!" which I took to mean "Hell yes." and so the decision was made. The wild factor in this camper multiplied by 100 thanks to my design assistant.

Then the doubt set in. I'm about to install banana wallpaper on a ceiling. In a camper. I've never installed real wallpaper, only peel and stick. And did I mention in a CAMPER. Also did I mention that I am alone in this renovation? I've been determined to do most of this camper reno myself bc honestly I need a long LONG break from contractors. But, anyway, I realized that I cannot in fact install wallpaper on a ceiling by myself. So, I enlisted the help of my husband. My husband geeks out as a system's engineer and programmer wallpapering is not in his list of repertoires. This should be interesting. At the time I wanted the wallpaper go up, he was preparing for a very important upcoming conference. I had to wait. I wanted the wallpaper to go up first thing after painting in case any goop dropped down from the ceiling or something of that nature. Why go and put new floors, cushions and kitchen stuff in if the ceiling was going to rain goop? You see how this is becoming dramatic?

Let me paint a picture for you about how this was to go down. The camper is parked at a storage lot. No water. No electricity. No one to install wallpaper for you. My daughter and her friend were also with us. Let me remind you they are 4. So, when the day came I was at anxiety threat level: MIDNIGHT.

Luckily, inside the camper we had two very long benches to prep everything on and I didn't quite care if I scored right through the paper to the bench. It would be covered with paint and a cushion eventually. Here are the materials we used including this glue from Home Depot. Believe it or not it is not that easy to find wallpaper materials these days even though wallpaper is all the rage.

So, we finally got started after weeks and weeks of self imposed stress. Would it be falling down everywhere? Would we be able to match up the seems? Would we kill each other? So many questions. And guess what....


The most difficult part about this process was thinking about it.

I mean why WHY did I let this get so built up in my head? All we did was paint the glue on the ceiling with a paint brush. Then we lifted up a sheet together and got it lined up. We didn't fight! I mean we aren't really fighters but you know when frustration is high, barking ensues. But, no need for that because this was EASY.

We worked in small sections so we didn't have to hold up a really long piece and try to work around too many obstacles at once. In the camper there are a ton of obstacles like curved walls, cabinetry, more cabinetry, appliances and doors all within a foot or inches of each other. So, small pieces it was.

We were even able to match up the pattern pretty well considering the non-straightness everything. We layered up the paper in spots so that it matched and honestly you can see the layered areas but you can't. I mean who will be inspecting the ceiling except us at this very moment?

It easily could've taken us 3-4 hours to complete but we instead stopped after 2 hours because 4 year olds. We came back the next day and finished up within an hour or so. I think Dusty was probably getting sick of me saying "OMG OMG OMG I FREAKING LOVE THIS!" and "DUSTY, I'M SO HAPPY WE DID THIS AND WE DIDN'T WANT TO KILL EACH OTHER."

It really was so easy. I encourage anyone to give it a try. If you know how to work a paint brush and a have a buddy to help out, you'll golden. Check out Milton & King's full inventory of wallpaper! They have so many options!






Camper Update: DIY Geo Dinette Table

Geometric Basswood Camper Table

One of the very first projects, besides painting the interior, was making this dinette table! I originally had the idea that I would have If You Give A Girl A Saw make one for me. But, if you follow her you know, she is very busy. At the time I wanted to order her shop was down with no reopen date reported so, I decided I'd make one. This would be a chance to put that chop saw I have to work for the second or maybe third time ever. 

Here was the inspiration for the table.

Obviously the pattern she did here is amazing. But, look at that coffee. Delicious. And a green mug. My camper color scheme has green in it. Staging works my friend. I was sold.

In order to make this as easy as possible, I thought I'd take the old table and just glue the pieces of wood on top. I saw an episode of The Weekender (around 16:20) where she uses balsa wood on a cart and thought this will be perfect. Cheap craft wood is the way to go. Thin, easy to cut, beginner friendly.... but, after seeing balsa wood in person at Michael's, I could tell that would be way too soft. It's so soft that you can dent it with just your fingernail. That's no good for a table top. What I did see at Michael's was a harder wood called basswood. Unfortunately, they had only 1- 2 pieces of each width. Hobby Lobby same problem. So, I went to good ole Amazon and bought a batch of it.

A full list of the materials will be at the bottom of this post. This post contains affiliate links.

The basswood arrived and I got to work. First thing, I learned which I probably should've checked in the first place is that the old table was crap. It was particle board with a thin laminate on top. It was crumbling and no bueno as a base. I had to buy a new base so I headed to Home Depot and bought a good piece of cabinet grade plywood. I didn't want it to have a bunch of knots in it and make my table all bumpy. I also didn't want it to warp. I bought a 4' x 8' piece and had them cut it to the size of my table and had ample leftovers I could save for other projects.

Finally after all of this running around I was able to start actually working on the damn table. I started by configuring the pattern. I split down the middle both directions and marked it off on the plywood. Honestly, this plywood is so pretty it could've been the table on it's own.

Next I figured out the angles. I had been taking an architectural drafting class which came in handy. I had some triangles (not pictured) to help with determining the necessary angles. 

Making the first cuts for my geometric table
Making cuts

First I cut every piece to cover the board. I wasn't sure if I was just going to paint on the actual pattern at this point or cut the pieces into a pattern and then just paint those actual pieces.

Look, I'm a newb. I have no idea what I'm doing. I'm winging it. So long as you get that. This post is as much of a what not to do as what TO DO. But, in the end you know I made a table so the lesson here is just try and maybe you'll end up with something you can use. LOL. 

Next thing was cutting the ends off so it was close to the size of the actual table. I left a little overhang so I had some to cut off if necessary instead being too short.

If I look back now I think I wish the pattern chosen a narrower basswood but honestly figuring out the angles and cutting all of these pieces was enough for me. Design-wise I'd prefer the narrower pieces but DIY-project-wise I'm glad I had the wider pieces and less cuts, angles and pieces to deal with.

Next, I decided to go ahead and cut the pattern into the pieces instead of just painting it. I wanted this to be "legit". During the first cuts I learned that if I moved the saw super fast that the wood would splinter, so this time I was sure to go slow and smooth. Why call it a chop saw if you can't karate chop it down!? Makes no sense to me.

After cutting the pieces I painted the appropriate parts. Next up was gluing it all down. This part just about ruined everything. The thing is that this basswood is super thin and probably the downfall of the entire project (except it worked so maybe I'm exaggerating). Once I glued it down with construction adhesive it started to curl. I checked in with my guy Joe Wood at All Around Joe in Cincinnati. He was my long time contractor when I lived there and gives me pro-tips when I've gotten myself into a situation like this. He recommended I clamp down some wood over top to help secure it. Probably would've worked except I didn't have clamps. I used paint cans and heavy tools and everything under the sun that would fit. I wish I had a photo of this because it was a shit show. Anyway, the next day I come to see the results and it was good.... not great. A spot where I used an unopened tool still in its box to hold it down didn't stay down like I wanted it to. It curled and buckled in areas as seen in the crappy photo below.

You can also see where the adhesive squeezed through in some spots. That I wasn't too worried about, I could sand it out. I re-adhered any areas that popped up and then got to work sanding away the adhesive and any lumpy areas. This is not that legit of a project. I'm aware. I also sanded the edges away. You can see below that they were rough where I cut them close but not exact. I was afraid using a saw would really tear this wood up so sanding it nice and slow was the best option. The photo below is before I re-glued the edges.

Then the corners I rounded off with the sander so no body stabbings will take place while maneuvering around the table in the camper.

So at this point the table is just about done, just cleaning up and putting a finish on it. Some of the paint was sanded away when I was sanding off the adhesive and trying to flatten some bumpy areas. So, I taped off the pattern and touched up the paint.

FINALLY, it was time to put a finish coat on it. In order to make this thing as flat as possible and fill in any gabs and unwanted "character" I decided to use an extra thick poly. I was hoping it would act as a kind of epoxy. It did a pretty good job but couldn't fix all of my mistakes. :)

Here's the table all done!

And then I left it outside for a few days and it rained. I live in the desert. It doesn't rain. Anyway, I cried internally and then brought it inside. After a day of drying the warping of the basswood subsided and it settled back into place. I put another poly coat on it to seal it all together a little more. 

Next, I stole the old hardware off the old table including the cross supports underneath. This table is meant to convert to a bed and hold someone sleeping so the supports were necessary. 


There are some obvious flaws, such as some warping in the one corner but since I've never made a table before, and used a chop saw for only like the 3rd time ever, I'm pretty happy with the outcome!

Stay tuned for a bunch of camper updates! A bunch of projects are being completed and in the pipeline for new posts. There are a bunch of wild DIY projects here I can't wait to share with you!

Material Source List

I Might Be Insane But Take This CYBER MONDAY Discount And Run

I'm not one to go posting about my perfectly manicured Christmas tree or show you how to set a table for the Holidays. That's just not me. I don't really do those things. My Christmas tree hasn't been purchased yet and when it's up will be showered with love by my four year old with homemade and found trinkets rather than staged and photographed by me. My table won't be set since I don't have a dining room. What I will get in on is Cyber Monday because dammit I have something to offer! I might be nuts doing this but this year, after seeing Bad Moms Christmas, I'm feeling pretty festive. That seems backwards but sadly it's true. 

For Cyber Monday I'm offering 20% everything on my site. And while that only includes a handful of items, it could be significant should you be in the market for let's say house flipping advice, a design consult or even design services! Yes. That's right. My design services will be 20% off for ONE DAY ONLY. 



Have a daughter, son, sister, cousin that's about to go into renovation mode!? Give the gift of design assistance via a FLIPPINWENDY GIFT CARD, BABY. 

Use the code CYBER17 at checkout! Pick your poison below...

Cyber Monday discount runs until midnight tonight (11/27/17), Arizona Mountain Time. Merry Christmas to all and to all a great kitchen or bath. 

***Offer valid for new design projects only

Before & After: Eclectic Spanish Modern Bathroom

Ok dudes. Today I'm talking Before and After of my Almeria project bathroom. I don't know if you remember....but this house was cute AF and straight up my alley. Like seriously the most perfect project. It was in the Coronado Historic District here in Phoenix. It had all the small closets, arches and REAL hardwood floors your heart desires. Swap out the Spanish style to traditional and this might as well have been one of my Cincinnati flips. To give you an idea of the style of the house, check out the exterior below.

The bathroom in question was very interesting when I got it. Very.

Clearly this was all coming out, but nothing much was going to change as far as the layout was concerned. It's a small bathroom and the only one in the house. The only thing to do here was to max it out design-wise. I also wanted to make sure it was light and bright. Here is the design I put together.

Almeria bathroom design board

Obviously that dresser was not going to fit in there. It was just a place holder. I had to go out and find the right vintage dresser that would fit which I found at Zinnias At Melrose almost immediately. Next up was deciding on the focal point of the room. I found the ogee pattern tile at Floor & Decor and decided to put that on the back wall of the room, the window wall in the shower. In order to keep the rest of the shower from competing with the accent wall, I chose a regular ole subway tile with white grout. With white walls in this bathroom, the subway should fade away. And it did. 

Ogee tile accent in bathroom

For the flooring I decided to do marble, also from Floor & Decor, in a herringbone pattern. The finishes I decided was going to be brass. I could have gone with my go to Delta Trinsic shower faucet, but found a different style I thought played a little better with the ogee tile. I liked the subtle details on the shower head. Something different!

Next, the lighting! Oh that light. I love it. I love how it is so dramatic. It really brought your eye line upward and filled out the higher ceilings.

And let's get to our favorite.... the Before and After!!!

Spanish style Phoenix home bathroom before and after

I think this bathroom turned out nice and bright, just how I wanted it. If you want to know where any of the items I used in this bathroom are from, just check the source list below!


Tile Floor - Sahara Carrara - FLOOR & DECOR

Tile Shower - Subway Tile - FLOOR & DECOR

Tile Shower Accent - Villa Heirloom Arabesque - FLOOR & DECOR

Toilet - Glacier Bay - HOME DEPOT


Towel Hook - Liberty - HOME DEPOT 

Shower Curtain - Fieldcrest - TARGET

Vanity - Vintage - ZINNIAS AT MELROSE

Counter - Sparkling White Quartz - ARACRUZ

Door + Doorknob - Original

Faucet Shower - Delta Addison - AMAZON

Faucet Vanity - Delta Trinsic - AMAZON

Mirror - Project 62 - TARGET

Plant Pots - Thrift

Sconce - LightCookie Parato - ETSY

Sink - Decor Star - AMAZON