Patti Wagner is part of a small husband and wife team repurposing old properties to give them new life while making her home a little sweeter each day. Our owner and founder, Mercedes Austin having grown up in a historic property, knows that it’s a fact that this league of renovating is entirely in its own class. It should also be highlighted that she’s a mother of three which all points to the true passion fueling her work. Patti is self-made, born in Laos but her family fled the war torn country when she was four. She lived in two refugee camps in Thailand, and one in Philippines before going through the vetting process to arrive in the US when she was about seven. We have a lot of love and respect for Patti –she never takes the easy route and when she commits to something – she’s all in. Continue reading to see Patticake Wagner's ensuite bath mood board and tile selections!
Patti and her husband have done a great amount of work to renovate and restore their 1927 Tudor Home. From converting the attached garage into a brand new kitchen, to restoring all of the home’s original windows, the Wagners remind us the beauty of vintage charm. Her work to restore the character and story of our beloved Minneapolis Architecture shines from her creative touch. For that, we are excited to share our journey of her Tudor ensuite bath renovation in Linden Hills. We should technically say “creation” since the “ensuite bath” started as a sleeping porch. Check out her beautiful home below, including a before photo of the soon to be Ensuite Bath!
Patti came to us with a mood board already made to show us the overall tone she had set for her ensuite bath. Warmth through the vanity, old world, classic and timeless. From there, we worked through the process of taking this vision and curate tile design options for Patti.
"I really studied this mood board and dove into Tudor style and ended up cruising through many iterations of this architectural style. Easily I could have spent 20 hours just sorting through the iterations out there. Instead, I spent about 2 and had a good idea of the overall concept and what was speaking to me and of course tapped into the historic instincts I have embedded in me. The major goal was to curate a classic architectural feel but with the softness & kindness of a space suitable to raise children. Later down the road when the room is styled this statement will make sense. For now, trust me." - Mercedes Austin
The Importance of Artistry
We wanted to design something for Patti that would feel like it could have been a part of the home when it was originally built. Imagining being in the mindset of a tile maker in the 1920’s, we wanted to celebrate the artistry of Tudor style. This is something that comes natural to us as artisan tile makers! Here we are keeping handcrafted dreams alive o’er at Mercury Mosaics in Nordeast Minneapolis – it was really simple to channel the aesthetic of craftsmanship in the early 20th century for good vibes all around!
Venturing outside the typical hexagon pattern that Patti had chosen for inspiration, we knew we wanted to suggest a pattern that we love for its intricate and decorative details. One that would pair well with the character of her home, the modern-vintage inspired, Victorian Pattern.
This intricate pattern first came about in the Mercury Mosaics realm when we worked with Anwen, a designer at AHL Consulting. Inspired by a victorian style floor found on Pinterest, Anwen came to us to help create this look using our 2x2 Small Squares and Small Triangles. What we love most about this pattern is that anyone can create their unique twist by using an alternate color palette. Paired with our Deco Border, this tile makes a beautiful statement for any space. And that's exactly what inspired this unique look for Patti's Ensuite Bath.
Establishing Color & Direction
The next step, however, we needed a color palette – this would drive the whole look and is where we needed Patti’s eye – we needed her vision. The integrity of her home & experience would guide all final selections. Color selections don’t start off polished, there’s a lot of sorting, punting and just considering options until it’s time to narrow down. Below are a few of the color options presented to Patti.
"I wanted her bathroom floor to feel like an epic statement yet be soft in expression. Every time she’d take time for self-care, I wanted that floor to make her feel like royalty…. humble royalty. Stained-glass feels, details from tapestries, strong lines, intricate pieces – these influenced the selection." - Mercedes Austin
To successfully elevate the space, it was about bringing in traditional bones layered with modern touches. We wanted the floor to have the care of an artisan’s hand. With walls covered in traditional architectural tile details: Masculine Chair Rails, Sturdy Subway Tile, Grounding Cove Base all lead to the softness of the floor and highlighting it to be the focus of the space. Patterns on floors were very common to Tudor and homes from the 1920’s. We’ll be able to put a modern touch through the color palette. This is truly where Mercury Mosaics shines – our artisans hand paint each tile and lay each tile one-by-one on mesh sheets for ease of install. During layout you get the personal vision of a skilled artisan hand-selecting the variations of the tiles. Half the skill of layout is thoughtfully sorting the pieces and the artisans have an eye of taking one single glaze color and mixing it up to have a stunning blend – reflecting many variations that are natural within one glaze color. That is an art in and of itself and is impossible if we were mass-producing.
Before Making Final Selections
Before final selections are made and the tile order is sent over to production, we recommend living with the tile for a while. That's why we always suggest ordering tile samples. See, touch, and fall in love with the character of handmade tile. Our team will gladly help you with tile samples, whether it be one of our curated Sample Packs, a la carte tile pieces or something a bit more custom as is the case with Patti.
We may live in a fast-paced society; however, we only want you to build a bathroom once. If you take the time to do it right the first time, you’ll only have to do it once. Live with the tile. Look at it in different lights of day. Get another round of samples if you need. We think this bit of time in the front end to be fully certain of your selections will give you a great return on that investment of time.
"My vision is that Patti will be welcoming her grandkids into the space and they’ll ask grandma about this floor mosaic with their space-aged toys zooming across it and she’ll have all sorts of stories to tell about the good ol’ days when people used to make things with their hands “the old-fashioned way”. I digress." - Mercedes Austin
We love that Patti got creative and turned to her 208K followers on Instagram to help her make the final decision. The Instagram poll results show the lighter Deco Border as being the crowd favorite. What do you think, which style do you like best?
Next step after ordering samples and confirming your design choices is taking detailed measurements of the entire space and planning the details. Stay tuned for the next chapter of Patti’s Tudor Ensuite Bath Renovation. We look forward to sharing the finished space with you!
“The details are not the details. They make the design.” Charles Eames