Designer Elizabeth Stamos faced a couple of challenges with this bathroom renovation. Aesthetically, she had to bring it out of the early aughts. Functionally, she had to totally change the floor plan and address the lack of natural light. The end result is a peaceful oasis for a busy client. The muted materials, depth of textures, and feminine details make this a room we’d love in our own homes! Read on to hear what Elizabeth has to say about the design process:
Tell us about the scope of work in this room. What condition was the bathroom in at the start?
It was a complete gut and rebuild. It was very late 90’s, early 2000’s Tuscan style-Travertine floor and wall tiles with light green walls. Dated bathtub and Steamshower that were never used. Everything needed to be changed. We opened up the shower and tub, creating a wetroom and balanced that by adding a wall between the vanity and the toilet. This added some symmetry to the vanity area while making the toilet part of the room a little more private. Win-win.
Your client wanted something spa-like. How did you achieve that vibe?
I always tell my clients to view a space a sum of all parts, rather than focusing on one thing. Its all about layering to create the look. Starting with the floorplan of the space- the wetroom layout felt like a good start for that relaxed, spa feel. Handmade terracotta tile, with a color palette reminiscent of fish scales, added a depth of texture next to the clean white marble below. We added warmth with a wire brushed oak vanity and some glow with a chandelier. The softer, more feminine curves with the mirrors and sconces also added to that warmth.
This room doesn’t have any natural light. What are some tricks you used to still convey a bright and airy feeling?
By opening up the shower and tub area, we were able to make the space feel larger and brighter instantly. We also used various light sources- recessed cans, sconces and a chandelier, all on dimmers. This allows the client to tweak the lighting as desired without having it feel too artificial. In looking at materials, I found that a hand glazed terracotta tile bounced the light around the room beautifully. We ran this all along the shower and tub wall and it seems to glisten when its wet. We also played around with the custom vanity. Adding legs and a bottom shelf, rather than running the cabinetry to the floor creates a lighter, airier feel. White walls also helped.
Finally, any products or sources you’d like me to link to or mention?
I am a huge fan of the Kohler Purist line and used it in this project to balance the more traditional feel of many of the other selections. Having cleaner plumbing allowed us to go more feminine and traditional with the mirrors, vanity and lighting selections. Also, I am pretty in love with the Cle Tile zelliage tiles we used on the walls. I love the handmade feel and think they add such warmth and depth of texture to the room. I find myself wanting to put them in all of my projects and am having a hard time refraining from it! Lastly, I think all rooms should have some pretty little details. Even in a bathroom, it’s the little things that make a room come alive. We added some color with a vintage French apothecary jar turned vase and I found that pretty little trinket tray at Anthropologie. The coral was too pretty to pass up. And there you have it!