Project Spotlight: 3 Bathroom Makeovers
Taking on three full bathrooms, entrepreneur Jessica Honegger used our customization tools to design bathroom tiles for her family of five. Keep scrolling to see more of this beautiful Austin home that feels worlds away thanks to inspiration from her travels, colorful textiles and of course, all the tile!
Can you tell me a bit about yourself and what you do? Where are you based?
Well hey, I’m Jessica! I’m the Founder of the fair trade fashion brand Noonday Collection, the author of Imperfect Courage, and the host of The Going Scared Podcast. We cover all things social impact, entrepreneurship, and courage! Apart from all that, I’m proud to be a wife and momma of three. The Honegger household is in Austin, TX - we’re actually in the process of renovating our entire 1960s ranch-style home.
How did you hear about Fireclay Tile? What did you enjoy about the experience? What are your favorite products?
Fireclay Tile first came to me from my friend and blogger Jen Pinkston, as well as from our architect, Sarah Bullock McIntyre. Both of them told me about Fireclay’s assortment of unique tile colors and patterns. I also loved that y’all are a Certified B Corp, because Noonday Collection is as well. Your tile truly stuck out, though, because I’ve always been drawn to artisan-made goods. There’s just something about having handmade touches in your home that creates a more soulful space.
Tile Shown: Old Cairo in a custom colorway that Jessica created
My favorite tile is Kasbah Trellis. I travel internationally for work quite a bit, and this tile reminded me of a motif I often see represented in textiles from all over the world, whether it’s a market in Guatemala or Uganda. The customization tool on the website was also incredible and allowed us to create something that felt true to our tastes.
Tile Shown: Kasbah Trellis in Neutral Motif
Why do you love tile?
I grew up in San Antonio, TX - a city that has no shortage of Mexican influences, from the food and music to the architecture and design. In Mexican homes, tile is an essential piece of the puzzle. But I’ve always seen tile as more than just a utilitarian afterthought; it’s an intricate part of the design process. It’s a way to make a high-impact statement.
What are your 3 best design tips?
- I stole this one from my architect: decorate how you dress. Think about the colors and patterns you wear and incorporate those colors into your decor. If you do that, there’s no way the space won’t feel like you.
- Decorate with soul. Fill your home with a sense of story. Don’t get hung up on trends you don’t really love, and don’t fret about whether everything matches or not. Meaning matters!
- Leave room for evolution. Our lives are always evolving. Why shouldn’t our homes evolve with it? Leave some intentionally undecorated places in your home so that when you come across that piece you just have to have, you have the perfect space to incorporate it.
Can you tell me about your home? Is there any story behind it and the project that you want to share?
My husband Joe and I used to flip houses for a living, and when we found this 1960s ranch-style home in East Austin, we knew we had to have it. We originally did a quick remodel of the home. I was pregnant with our second kid, so the focus was just on making the house move-in ready. We didn’t think we’d be raising our kids here, but we quickly fell in love with this quick-growing, eclectic neighborhood and couldn’t turn back. After all, what is home if it’s not centered around community?
What type of look or aesthetic were you going for in your home?
My style is so eclectic that it’s hard to narrow it down! I’m drawn to handmade and natural materials, but since our home was built in the ‘60s, I also wanted to keep some of that mid-century feeling. The look I went for was a mix and match of story and meaning. If I decide to decorate one room with more antiques, I’ll add a modern pop. If I incorporate a lot of mid-century modern furniture, I’ll add an artisan-made rug.
You worked on three bathrooms, how did you come up with your color scheme and design?
My inspiration came from my personal style, my travels, and my past. I typically dress in the same colors we chose for the home, like the blues of our pool bathroom. In the boys’ bathroom, we hung little hand-painted “animalitos” that I’ve collected through years of traveling to visit Noonday’s artisan partners in Antigua, Guatemala.
Finally, our choice to use special bathroom tiles like these in all three bathrooms was inspired by my youth in San Antonio. In a city heavily influenced by Mexican culture, I grew up surrounded by beautiful tile. I loved the idea that we could incorporate handmade goods in a really statement way in these bathrooms.
Let's talk about the handpainted Old Cairo pool bathroom first, what was the inspiration here?
Old Cairo reminded me of a particular motif I’ve seen in different textiles all around the world. That choice just felt authentic to our story as a family, and the fact that it is hand painted makes it even more special.
What made you choose Old Cairo? How about the color palette of Jade, Sea Glass, Blue Velvet and White Wash?
Since these were for pool bathroom tiles, the colors were water inspired. This color way added a brightness to the space that also gave us a refreshing feel.
Now, onto the Kasbah Trellis bathroom. What look were you going for here?
This bathroom is shared by my two boys, whose room we designed with nods from all over the world. Their bedroom is decorated completely with items that I’ve curated from all over the globe, and the Kasbah Trellis tile reminded me of an African motif I’d seen during a recent trip to Morocco.
What made you choose the Kasbah Trellis in Neutral Motif?
I’ve always loved decorating a neutral space with pops of color. I started with the wall of Guatemala animalitos and just went from there!
Last but certainly not least, the Mayan Blue bathroom! What made you choose our Ogee Drop in this color?
My daughter is 13, and I wanted to empower her during the design process by letting her have a say. She was drawn to the Ogee Drop in Mayan Blue, which I loved! I’ve done so much work in Guatemala amongst communities of Mayan descent, so it just brought another level of meaning to the space.
Tile Shown: Ogee Drop in Mayan Blue
How did the installation process go? Did you face any challenges? Did you work with a tile installer or contractor?
We chose to hire one of the most experienced tile installers in Austin. The tiles are so unique, and we knew that the installation would be like installing a work of art. Our architect is all about thoughtfully utilizing every inch of space, so she even created little hidden boxes in each shower. The installer said it was the hardest install he’s worked on thus far!
Design Tip: Use tile trim to create a finished look. Jessica chose 1x6 Glazed Edge flatliners to finish her shower walls, niches and bench.
How was designing for your own home? Lessons learned?
The process has been long! We’re still working on the second phase of the remodel, so my husband and I are currently living in an Airstream in the front yard until our master bedroom and kitchen are finished. It’s definitely an experience that’s tested us in multiple ways. Living in a smaller space in the home with most of your belongings packed away throughout the process really makes you sit back and reflect on what you really need and want. It’s not lost on me that it’s such a gift to design our ideal space!
We’ve been practicing a lot of gratitude and have been really intentional about being thankful for this changing season of life. We want the house to not only tell the story of our family, but we also want it to be a home that openly invites others in as well.
What Fireclay products are you dying to use in future projects?
I was really inspired by the Fresh Exchange Sample Pack. Since our house is still in the works, we’re now wanting to use this tile in 2x6 Sand Dune for our kitchen!
Inspired by this tile filled home? Order color samples online now or check out our Handpainted Collections. Needs some help? Simply call, chat or fill out our Design Assistance Form and one of our talented Design Consultants will get back to you shortly.