Building a new home: Mosaic tile and Wallpaper!

Remember those barstools I asked you about?
You guys were fantastic with the feedback!  Holy comments my friends.  Loved it!  And your ideas were super helpful with my decision making process.
So to give you an update…YES  I did choose a fabric, and I bought 9 yards of it, and now I just need a free moment to sew them up and share the final results.  So more to come on that….

In the mean time, let me show you some home details…..some of those specialty items that felt like a risky move but I totally love them.
If you’ve missed my other posts, our family spent the last year building a custom home in the Austin, TX area.
We didn’t physically build it ourselves—we hired a custom builder to do the hard part; we were along for the decision-making ride.

Check out my previous posts documenting the whole process:
We’re building a new home!
Groundbreaking Party
From foundation to frame 
Stucco, shingles, and a pretty paint job 
Sheetrock, paint, and a double-decker deck
We moved!…and an ode to the old house
Tile, Flooring, Countertops, and Color 
Guest Room makeover

In my last post I shared most of the tile in the house.
For three of the bathrooms we used Interceramic Bold Tones 6×6 tiles:

And I originally planned to do the same in the kids bathroom, in True Yellow color.

But at the last minute I got cold feet and wondered if I was being too boring (of course you might already think I’m crazy for using green and teal in the other rooms).

And yes, maybe I should have just used white tile everywhere and painted the walls a fun color.
I realized one day, while being sucked into the Houzz vortex, that the home photos I loved most were the ones that took risks and used color and texture in ways other than simply paint color.  Of course I love paint too (check out our Guest Room to win a Sherwin-Williams gift card if you haven’t already).  But I wanted to give the house some unique features….without thinking about resale value, which is what people are constantly telling you as you build a custom home.  “Remember, you have to sell this home one day.”

And you just wanna yell “Can I please live in it first?!”

For the kids’ bathroom I mixed it up and chose a 1×1 mosaic glass tile called I Love Color—is that perfect name or what??!

And one day the tile guys showed up.  And the Lego tiles went up!

Felix and his cute black glasses did a fantastic job lining up the squares.

And he never seem annoyed when I asked “can I take your picture?  And if it’s not too much trouble….could you peel some of it back so I can see what it looks like? And….”

He just patiently sponged and peeled and eventually,

….grouted all those little tiles in white.

And one day it was done!

And Clara drank water till it was gone.

Oh I love this shower!
It’s like a wall of confetti!
Or sprinkles.
Or Tetris?
Name your specialty, and this crazy shower’s for you.

Now while Clara drips herself dry, let’s go downstairs and talk about Wallpaper.
After building such an open floorplan, I really wanted the dining room to have a bit of separation, so it felt like it’s own room.  And I’ve always wanted wallpaper somewhere in our house.

I’ve just never been brave enough to do it.

But I decided again—you only build a home once!  Okay, hopefully more than once because I’ve really had fun doing this.  So why not use wallpaper? It’s just paper!  And there are so many cool options out there.   If I hate it in 5 years, I’ll pull it off and we can start over.   That’s the fun of home decorating.

So I pinned a bunch of ideas (see my boards here).  And went with something from the Sherwin-Williams store.  Did you know they carry wallpaper?  You can check out books/samples from their store.

And you can also find our particular paper on various sites online.  It’s called York Wallcoverings Bistro 750 Trellis Wallpaper (click the link for other color options from Wayfair).

I was so excited when those rolls showed up on my doorstep.
And when it was the right time in the building process, we hired someone to cut, paste, and hang that trellis up.

Oh how I love hiring people.
It’s so great to see it all happen in a few hours time……


I love it!
I think it really fits with the rest of the vibe in the house.



The geometric shapse are subtle and the green ties in with the green front door.

Now I need to decide which table will go in the space.  I’ve taped out an IKEA option…we’ll see what Casey thinks.

And that’s an update!

More Lookout Lane details to come…

  1. Absolutely! So many people complain about living in plain white boxes but when the time comes to choose something for their own house, they choose boring plain white boxes! I don’t get it. We didn’t and 10 years later we’re still loving our colorful and bold choices. Yes, our wet room family bath will make it harder to sell later but we love it and we’re living in it now.

    • 2) Dana

      Oh that makes me so happy to hear! Thanks for bringing a little color into the world too 🙂

  2. I always hate it when people act like customization somehow devalues a home (or like my taste is apparently so unique/bad that no one else will like it?) I have always decorated for me, and if someone comes into the house and doesn’t like it, then they aren’t my buyer 🙂 We have sold several homes with that theory in mind, and have always found someone who loves our house as much as we did! I love your wallpaper too – it really feels light and bright!

    • 4) Dana

      YES. That is such a great perspective.

  3. 5) Jennifer

    I love it! I will admit that I wasn’t crazy about the other bathroom tiles, but they aren’t in my bathroom. The kids bathroom though is fantastic!!! We are military and have chosen not to buy or build until we are done moving (hopefully next year), but I paint everywhere we go…or redo the yards…or sometimes both just to have some color or style in the case of the yard. I have heard the same thing about resale…blah, blah. My grandparents just built another custom home and decorated it they way the want to see it for the foreseeable future. The only thing they did for resale was to add a bathroom to the guest room.

  4. 6) Samina

    I love, love, love that green tile in the other bathroom. It’s just so bright, that I can’t imagine being anything other than happy every time I’d look at it. We’re getting ready to redo our master bathroom & I’m going to have to see if I can convince my spousal unit to try something bright like that.

  5. I love that you are making your house your own! We are always stuck in the resale trap, and end up with the boring options. But your bathroom tile and wallpaper choices are gorgeous! I’m hoping in our next house we can be a little more brave!

  6. 8) deeanna

    I love your house and all those wonderful details! I’d offer to buy it if it wasn’t too far of a commute for my husband.

  7. 9) Marian

    I LOVE the tile and the wallpaper thanks for inspiring bold happy choices

  8. 10) Lauralee

    oh, oh, oh! I LOVE that tile! We moved into an already remodeled home, and they put in BLACK TILE on the backsplash of our kitchen. BLECK! I’m thinking your tile choice would make me really happy…. the blue is so modern, and the orange is so me….. Maybe hubby will let me hire someone to take our tile out…. (he keeps telling me I have to do it…. yuck!)…. Yay for your new home!! It’s SO pretty!

  9. Beautiful! That tile is perfect and the wallpaper is so fun too! Isn’t it fun to have a house that’s so ‘you’? 🙂

  10. 13) Jan

    Love all your design choices. This home is very beautiful and the tile in the kids bathroom is divine. Thanks for sharing.

  11. It all looks amazing! I think you should be decorating homes for a living! I certainly wish you could come and do mine 😉 Could you share where you found that white drum pendant light? I’ve been searching all over for one just like it!

    • 15) Dana

      haha. Thanks Helen! That would be a very fun job. If only there were 24 more hours in the day for all the things I love! 🙂
      The lamp is from Destination Lighting….and it’s great that there are three bulbs in the lamp. I found others that I liked as well, but none of them were large enough and bright enough like this on is. I really love the lamp!
      Here’s the link:

  12. I love all the color you are adding to your house. If I had a house of my own I would use color everywhere. No boring white walls allowed. 🙂 And I think the confetti tile shower is so awesome! All my favorite colors. I would shower at least 3 times a day to enjoy it. LOL!

  13. 17) Amy

    Very cool! I like the tiles and the wallpaper! I love how your dining room area is a little separate from everything else.

  14. 18) Kathleen

    Great choices, beautiful house! Thanks for a fun blog.

  15. 19) amber

    your house is amazing!

  16. I love your choice for every bathroom! When i saw this last oneiimmediately thought of tetris haha. I like that you took it up to the ceiling.

    I feel odd saying this but i really like the wallpaper too. I am not a wallpaper person (well, i thought i wasnt because now im thinking about the raindrop one for my kids room), but what you picked is really nice! I can totally see a rectangle table there decorated nicely with a bench instead of chairs on the window side. Very nice Dana!

  17. LOVE the updates, and the tetris wall! I am such a wimp with tile choices! I love the way it looks and your choices, maybe I’ll be able to get some courage and not go for the white 4x4s!

  18. 22) Tonje

    AWSOME!!!!! Your house rock! I would LOVE a detailed tour of the intire house, but that is too much to ask, I know 🙂 have a great day!

  19. 23) Carol

    Just can’t stop feeling amazed at the way you are building your home! You shouldn’t feel worried about the resale. It’s got style, it’s very elegant and it has character and personality. Between a house like a hundred others and one with a soul, I know which one I’d choose… By the way, could you clone it and send it to Germany for me? Love your blog!

    • 24) Dana

      what a beautiful way of putting it….a house with soul :).
      Love that. Thanks Carol!

  20. 25) Laura

    Ha! I’m glad my daughter isn’t the only one drinking her bathwater. And I LOVE LOVE all the fun colors and tiles choices.

  21. I love the splash of colour in your home, especially the multi coloured glass tiles in the bathroom. Adorable!!

  22. I can’t believe how fast your house has come together – it looks so great, so cheerful, colorful and you.
    I can’t understand the stress of resale worries, here in Europe it seems most people that buy rip out half the house anyway to redecorate to their own style, so despite what everyone tells me, I am not going to put a bathtub in my tiny bathroom when I finally renovate it as I will never use it, even if future buyers may prefer a bath over a shower!

  23. 29) Casey

    I love, love, love that tile!!!!! I must remember it when we do our hallway bath! I love color – we have orange and lime green accent walls and six foot abstract paintings with lots of color and people love our house. Color makes you happy:) Always do what makes you happy, right?

  24. your house looks wonderful!! love it

  25. I love your choices Dana, and choosing to decorate how you want to live! Your bold choices have room to breath, and calm areas near by…. A tastefully decorated and well maintained home will always do well in resell. And if they don’t like your choices they can redo them (assuming people on that price range will have the ability to personalize.

  26. 32) Heidi L

    I feel the same way about resale value–although luckily, I didn’t do anything too crazy to our house that we just sold since we only lived there a year. I am thoroughly enjoying your house posts and as always, can’t wait to see more. I absolutely love what you’ve done.

  27. 33) Grace C

    We too have just moved into our custom built house! We built on 10 acres that we plan to turn into some sort of farm. Our budget was sort of tight, so we did what we could. Our favorite part is the stone fireplace on our screened porch! Unfortunately as far as colors go, our builder was going to charge us an arm and a leg to pick more than 2, which I had to choose before construction even began! Grrr. But, I’ve already reprinted the boys room a great deep/bright blue and our bathroom is getting ready to be purple, shhh, don’t tell the hubby 😉

    • 35) Dana

      No, it’s actually green, SW 6704 Hep Green
      What are you painting Yellow?? It’s such a fun color. I feel like it’s so tricky on walls though. I’ve had good experiences and really bad ones 🙂

  28. 36) Rita

    LOVE your choice in tiles and wallpaper! I am a big Tetris fan and that tile would be so cool to have. Alas, we are renters and retiling is not an option. Someday! Might I suggest covering your switch plates with wallpaper? To me they always stand out so much even with them being white. I love the look of covered switch plates. You could even cover them with a matching solid green instead. Just a thought. 🙂

  29. 37) Sheila Perl

    I just love your wallpaper and the wonderful, bright glass tiles in your children’s bath! Gorgeous!!
    You have fantastic taste, and a beautiful home 🙂

  30. 38) Lisa

    I love the kids’ bathroom. I’ll bet the confetti hides some of the mess. The wallpaper gives off a zen feel. Very peaceful. Love the windows. I’m thinking you might want to add interior decorator after your name.

  31. I am seriously in love with all of your tile color choices—totally up my alley!!! I’m looking at that teal color for my laundry room. I need to come take some showers in those bathrooms to get a slice of happiness that you get daily!

  32. 40) Jenny

    Hi Dana-

    I am so in love with your home. Did you choose the floor plan from ones the builder already had or did you design your own? I;m loving the layout of the downstairs and would love to see a floor plan for the rest. Thanks!!!

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