From not knowing the first thing about tile to winning Season 3 of the Renovation Challenge, Yuni Min of Love Your Abode shares all the behind-the-scenes action and how she overcame some game-time challenges. We sat down with Yuni to chat more about her winning renovation. Grab some coffee and join in to find out more.
Q: Tell us what made you sign up for the Renovation Challenge, knowing you only had six weeks to transform your space?
We had no plans to do any other major updates to this bathroom until I got invited to participate in this awesome challenge. The funny thing is I actually went to the tile workshop last summer at the Haven Conference. It was sponsored by Jeffrey Court and you gave us tiling lessons including how to use the wet saw.
That gave me enough confidence to feel somewhat comfortable using that tool. I wasn’t planning on my first job being the biggest tile job in our house, but I guess go big or go home!
Q: With such a large project to take on, where did you start?
I started with my tile selection and color palette to really help guide the rest of the renovation. Once I had that everything else fell into place for design after that. I mixed some patterned wallpaper with new vanities that complemented my tile selection well.
Q: How did you go about selecting your tile for your space?
Size was a major factor for us. Having never worked with tile before I had to think about what I could feasibly do. Since I had such a large bathroom space, I decided on a large format tile so I could use less to cover more. I finally landed on the Carrara Inkjet in an 8” x 12” size. The tile just speaks for itself. I fell in love with this tile that looks like marble.
Q: What was your biggest challenge during your renovation?
My husband Jimmy and I are perfectionists and the hardest thing for us was making sure that we were using the correct method. We were truly DIYing this whole renovation and learning how to do things along the way. When it came to our bathtub surround, we couldn’t really find anything helpful on YouTube on how to tile over the existing tile to avoid demoing the entire tub to only recreate the same thing. We spoke with a few people who had done this before and decided to tackle it and see what happens.
We find it’s always best to do things the right way the first time. It’s also our space and we wanted something we could be proud of.
Q: We chatted about some of the crazier things that happened behind-the-scenes. Can you share one of those memories with our audience?
Haha, well anytime you’re doing a renovation there’s always some crazy things that happen outside of becoming friends with your local Home Depot associate.
Poor Jimmy had his eye swollen pretty bad from the tile saw, and I had to tell him to let me take over so he could heal up. We did have a deadline to beat and I love a good challenge.
Q: Tell us what you thought was the best part of the Renovation Challenge.
I thought the best part was seeing how supportive and invested in the process our fans and other designers were of each other.
I didn’t think I’d win. With 15 other DIYers who are so talented and some I even knew, I just thought I’d learn a lot and get a great bathroom at the end.
Q: In a six-week renovation and all that can happen what was the worst part?
Decision fatigue! After a while, you start to question your design choices and rethink and review everything. I had to tell myself to just push forward and trust the choices I had made. I’m so glad I did because we are so happy with our new bathroom.
Q: What advice would you give to those in the next season of the Renovation Challenge?
Enjoy the process of the renovation. There’s something therapeutic and satisfying about doing something with your hands that transforms your space. I’d also say have fun with your readers, it’s a great way to inspire others.
I’ve definitely caught the tiling bug and want to tile everything. It’s super empowering and I love that!
Q: To all those first-time tilers out there, what would you say to them?
Don’t be afraid to take on that first tiling project. It’s not hard work, it just takes time. If you’re investing the time to do it, be sure to take your time and don’t rush. It’s your space and you deserve to be proud of it.
It’s so great to hear more of the behind-the-scenes of your renovation, Yuni. Thank you for sharing your renovation journey with us and congratulations again on winning your dream vacation.
See more from Yuni and our 15 other amazing DIYers from Season 3 of the Renovation Challenge here!