From “Blah” to “Spa” – A Before & After Bathroom Design Snapshot

You probably know what it’s like to have an outdated bathroom that you’ve just been neglecting, thinking “It’s just a bathroom.” But when a bathroom isn’t functional, it can cause not only an eyesore (especially if you add temporary storage), but headaches while trying to figure out where to put everything.

Such was the case with this bathroom in a client’s home in Boxborough, MA. While the original bathroom wasn’t as outdated as some that we’ve seen (no pink tiles or tub!), it was fairly plain and nondescript – and it wasn’t functional for the family’s needs. The pedestal sinks look nice, but it lacks countertop or storage space. In addition, a huge platform tub took up too much space in the room, and the shower was so small, it was nearly claustrophobic!

We conferred with the client and discovered that she really loves a contemporary look, and was looking for something spa–like: modern, organic, serene and Zen–like. She liked clean lines and wanted neutral tones so she could change up the look from time to time with splashes of color (a great idea for making a design timeless). And, as you can see from the BEFORE photos, she needed more storage, counter space and lighting.

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Katharine and I got to work immediately, excited about the entire “spa” vibe. After all, who doesn’t want the feeling of serenity and pampering in their own home at all times? We designed a unique, custom Japanese Shinto-style vanity made of bamboo wood, with a Caesar stone top and under mount oval sinks. Our wonderful cabinetmaker, David Lamoureaux of Carousel Cabinetry, in Lancaster, MA, brought the design to life. The lines of the sink legs are echoed in other curves in the room.  For pretty storage, we added a small bamboo cantilevered shelf between the sinks that holds accent accessories.

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To weave the curve patterns and organic elements throughout, we added curved floor tiles in a subtle gray stripe pattern. A shaped cantilevered shower bench also picked up the theme, along with a gorgeous, freestanding Kohler oval tub that fits elegantly into the corner of the room. Smooth pebble tiles are underneath, for an interesting change in texture and to further showcase the beautiful tub.

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The pebble tiles were continued on the shower floor – they feel great on bare feet! Because the tub was placed at an angle, instead of the previous in line position on the same wall as the shower, it allowed more room for the large open shower. And what a shower! Its larger design can fit two people (romance, anyone?). A beautiful frameless glass shower door and recessed niche shelves contrast nicely with the slate mosaic tile inside.

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Special thanks to Ken Howell, in Acton, MA – our General Contract on this project. And you can file these under things that only designers think about, but everyone appreciates:

·      Contemporary clean plumbing fixtures (these from the amazing Kohler Purist collection) in polished chrome

·      New recessed lighting and wall lights

·      Larger mirror

·      Contemporary wall lights

·      Neutral, calming grey wall paint color

The end result was a very happy client who is now discussing a redesign of her kitchen with us. We can’t wait!