Spa Bathroom Bliss

I love redesigning bathrooms that start with the client saying 

"get rid of everything and give me a modern, spa bathroom"!  

This bachelor's bath used to look like this (more photos below) and was the main bathroom for the house.  
It was cold, dark, cramped, and just downright fugly!

So we stole some space from a linen closet in the hallway outside the bathroom, then opened up the wall where the tub used to be and found an additional 10 inches of unused space!  
Do you know how big a deal 10" in a bathroom can be when it runs the length of the whole wall? It's huge! 

Once the walls were gutted, we knew we had to invest in getting the structure right.  So we did a complete overhaul on the 1920's insulation and put in additional framing support for the floors to provide a solid foundation for the natural stone tiles and radiant floor heating to come.

The client knew he wanted dark cabinetry and light floors and that was it.  What he didn't know was that he would need to get rid of the stand alone claw-foot tub to make better use of the space with a tub and shower combination.  Not to worry, we saved the tub for another project.  

I spent quite a bit of time planning the layout of this newly enlarged space and designed a few floor plans, both with and without a separate tub to make my point! Removing the stand alone tub made a huge difference in the layout and allowed for a double-sink vanity and a free standing cabinet to replace the much needed storage with the hall closet removed.  We also added a bigger, eco-wise window to maximize the light coming in and keep the cold out.

In order to achieve that relaxed, spa feeling I wanted to keep the colour palette light and the finishes simple, so we went with 12"x24" honed ivory travertine tile for the  floors and carried it up onto the shower walls for a seamless transition.  Both were laid in a stacked pattern going in the same direction to keep the look fresh, yet refined.  We also installed radiant floor heating underneath - so nice on a cold winter morning!

We added a classic marble & travertine mosaic tile as an accent around the shower which nicely ties into the chocolate brown cabinetry.  In order to keep the classic shaker cabinetry from being too dark & heavy, we topped it with a creamy-white marble counter top with rectangular sinks for a clean, modern look and painted the walls in Benjamin Moore Vanilla Ice Cream - how yummy!

I initially proposed a large mirror for the end wall to bring in more light and open up the space further- but my single male client just didn't appreciate the need for a full length mirror in the bathroom (go figure?!).
I found this piece of art on canvas and knew it would look amazing on the end wall - so elegant and perfect for a this bathroom.  

I love to bring art into bathrooms, they really need some drama among the practicality of the space - Here's another example I wrote about here.  

I really wanted to glam up the space with unique mirrors over the vanity, but the "man" insisted on keeping it simple with dark wood framed mirrors - believe me, I tried!  
"Sorry Ana, you'll have to be dramatic with someone else.." he explained!  
Sometimes, you just gotta give in to the person paying the bill. 

So, instead of glam, we have a tailored and classic look.  

I added modern, sleek lighting in brushed nickle and frosted glass. 
A custom roman shade in linen adds softness and is totally practical in a bathroom.  
We put in new crown molding and larger baseboards to match the rest of the house.
A small, aged brass and metal side table offers just enough space for some extra towels 
and a bit of contrast in the otherwise serene space.  
Client's own art hangs above the toilet.

I had glass shower panels added with a swing-out door keeping the clean lines & airy feeling in the space.  Three new recessed light fixtures were also added for extra lighting when needed.

And finally, you gotta love this toilet by Luna Decora - it's low, sleek and eco-friendly!

Just to recap - here's the Before & After

What do you think?


  1. What a beautiful and functional transformation! The stool is my favorite element in the room. I love how you made it masculine enough for a bachelor yet if a female comes into the picture (roommate or otherwise) she will love it too! Well done.

  2. Beautiful! It looks so much warmer and larger....Love the artwork. Great job!

  3. Beautiful job Ana! Great use of space and you delivered exactly what the client wanted.


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