Brandon and Hadiel, a couple that live in a suburb outside of Nashville with their two boys, had worked with interior designer Lauren DeBello before. The designer had transformed their casual lounging/living area in their home and they loved the result. So much so that they hired her again to take on the main bathroom of their home– a space that was dark, closed off, and in need of an update. With their busy schedules of taking their kids to school and sports practice, work, and caring for two dogs, they needed their bathroom to serve as an oasis to unwind.

“When I took on the project, the shower was enclosed by four tiled walls and the tub was dropped into a tile surround,” Lauren explained. “The vanity had a dark, walnut stain and there was a large sheet mirror with sconces mounted on top.” It was clear that the space, as is, wasn’t working for her clients. “They wanted their bathroom to be neutral, open, and relaxing,” she said. “The house’s aesthetic is moving in a very neutral, calming direction that juxtaposes modern with rustic styles. We carried this mood into the bathroom by keeping a clean, black and white color palette, and accessorizing very thoughtfully and minimally with vintage, wooden pieces, and natural touches.”

The first to go was the tiled enclosure that walled off the shower from the rest of the space and was replaced with large glass panels. Next, Lauren selected matte black hexagonal tile for the floor of the bathroom and tile with the same motif but smaller for the shower. Glossy white subway tiles were used for the walls to offer depth and contrast to the floor. “My vision was to create a calming environment where each piece worked together in harmony and didn’t compete with one another,” she said. “To achieve this, I chose matte black fixtures and hardware throughout, as well as black grout to blend seamlessly with the floor tiles.”

One moment of pause, though, was what to do about the vanity. To stick to the budget, they had decided to repurpose the existing vanity by painting it and giving it a new quartz countertop. “We decided to salvage the vanity and paint it “Black” by Benjamin Moore,” Lauren told us. “I was concerned that it would disappear since both the flooring and the vanity would be black, but I trusted my gut and we are happy with the end result.” She then added in tall mirrors and sconces to emphasize the ceiling height and draw the eye upward.

The real showstopper of this black and white main bathroom is the free-standing clawfoot tub. “It was the most important (and only) item on their wish list,” Lauren added. She had originally hoped to put a floor-mounted tub filler but realized that the plumbing would have to be rearranged which would put them over budget. Instead, they decided on a modern wall-mounted faucet.

With Hadiel out of town during the majority of the 8-week bathroom renovation, she was able to enjoy a big reveal. “When she returned and walked into the bathroom, she asked the contractor if she walked into the wrong space because she couldn’t believe the transformation!” Lauren smiled.