#OneRoomChallenge Week 4 - Herringbone Tile and a Q&A

 Week four of the One Room Challenge snuck up on me. Maybe it's the onslaught of summer weather and beautiful blooms as evidenced by our crab apple tree (I'm not complaining), or maybe it's the fact that we're renovating during a pandemic and there is nowhere to escape the dust and constant mess. This week I was inspired by @katepearcevintage to structure this blog post around your questions.  And just in case you're new here, we're tackling our entryway, laundry space and two sets of stairs over the course of eight weeks. This week's Instagram Stories updates include all things herringbone tile (check my ORC highlight for behind the scenes footage of my husband Andrew installing over 300 individual tiles with the precision of an engineer).

This morning I opened up the Q&A in my instagram stories and here is what you asked (and my answers of course).

One Room Challenge Q&A

01 / What type of primer did you use for the stairs and railings? Did you have to sand?

For the stairs we had two different types of stairs to deal with as we are doing two sets of stairs and sadly they were not made the same. The staircase leading to our basement was carpeted originally and after removing the carpet we found basic lumber (no nice risers and treads) so Andrew started by sanding then he filled holes and caulked where the treads met the risers, then he sanded again. We used a can of primer my parents had but it was similar to Kilz Original. 

The stairs going upstairs are a nicer wood with defined risers and treads so Andrew sanded, caulked seams and sanded before priming.

The stairs were painted with two coats of Farrow and Ball Wevet in Estate Eggshell. 

The railings we primed and painted when we originally bought the home but we did touch up the banisters with a coat of Farrow and Ball Wevet in Estate Eggshell.

Next up we will add carpet padding and runners.

02 / I'm intimidated by wallpapering. Will you do it yourself?

No. We will not be wallpapering ourselves. My Dad is an excellent wallpaper installer so he graciously offered to install it for us. We did wallpaper one wall in our last home and it was tedious work but doable. My Dad did a wallpapering Q&A on my week 2's post which you can read over here but he definitely always advises to purchase a high quality wallpaper and according to him a traditional paper is easier to install than the peel and stick variety. I can't wait to share our wallpaper pick Endless Summer Wallpaper designed by Aviva Stanoff and manufactured by York Wallcoverings.

03 / Did you consider removing the wall between the 2 closets/cubby spaces?

We actually only have one closet. The second open area is where our laundry machines live (sigh). I did consider what we could possibly do to gain more storage here but my sanity requires closed storage so all of those open cubbies with hooks would likely drive me crazy. We also didn't want this to big a huge renovation (unlike last year's spring one room challenge bathroom we tackled)

04 / Clare paint's site said they only ship US - has that changed?

Ohhh I wish they shipped to Canada. We live about 30 minutes away from the border and normally we frequently order things to the UPS store in Ogdensburg, NY to bring back to Canada. We were super lucky to be able to cross the boarder before they closed it. I do love the quality of this paint so much (the colour we used is called Good Jeans) and perhaps one day down the road they may consider it.

05 / What is your plan for the doors?

The doors are definitely not staying white. We are waiting for our new hardware to arrive from Emtek. We're getting the Aston Lever in brass with square rosettes, and the Ares Tubular Entry Set in matte black on the exterior and brass on the interior (how cool is that they offer a split set)?! I really went back and forth on whether to go with brass or matte black and my main hesitation was that I really wanted the matte black on the exterior of the front door so I was so excited when we made the split finish discovery. The Ares Tubular Entry Set has a beautiful soft line but still feels modern. The Aston Lever's were and easy choice for the interior doors as it's a beautiful streamlined level that I just know is going to have a good weight to it. When we take off the old hardware we will be painting the doors with Clare Paint's Good Jeans (the same colour we painted the panelling with).

06 / How much does your back hurt after tiling for two days straight?

A lot. According to Andrew.

07 / Where is your tile from?

I sourced our tile from Ceragres here in Ottawa. It is part of the Segni collection and the colour is Ecru. These are 3x12" tiles. We are using a warm grey grout as we didn't want a lot of contrast with such a strong pattern.

Here is a sneak peek of our herringbone tile in our entryway

And just in case you missed it, here is the full plan for our entryway.

Our Entryway Design Plan

Sources // Lettie Flush Mount by Hudson Valley Lighting, Endless Summer Wallpaper designed by Aviva Stanoff and manufactured by York Wallcoverings, wall paint Good Jeans by Clare Paint, Door Hardware Aston Lever (Similar to shown), and Ares Tubular Entry Set , Staircase Runner Rugs Alchemy Silver / Graphite by Loloi, Muskrat by Alexa Mazzarello, Pool Bends White by She Hit Pause Studios, Vintage Rug by Eski Design

The plan breakdown:

  1. Done // Rip out the tile and replace sub flooring and tile
  2. Partially Done // Paint doors and panelling
  3. Wallpaper
  4. Replace lighting
  5. Build a console table
  6. Replace door hardware
  7. Add new rugs
  8. Partially Done // Refinish staircases and add runners
  9. Add accessories

Wonderful partnerships that are making this renovation possible:

I am so grateful to the following brand partnerships that are supporting this One Room Challenge project!

Hudson Valley Lighting // Loloi Rugs // Clare Paints // York Wallcoverings // Emtek

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What's next? Follow along to see all of the projects shared by the featured designers and guest participants

one room challenge

Just in case you missed it Week 1Week 2 and Week 3.


  1. This color you chose is just soooo good! Also, super jealous of a handy wallpapering dad! Love the tile and I can't wait to see the wallpaper up.

  2. Gorgeous design! That herringbone tile is stunning! So nice to have your dad help with the wallpaper. I have done it myself twice now and cannot say that I enjoy the process🤪

  3. That floor is turning out absolutely stunning!

  4. It is really nice when you do it all by yourself. Even if you make a mistake, you fix it afterwards. It is just like pad a real astonishment. Gorgeous project!


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