Though the room itself was fairly long and narrow, Serena Armstrong’s clients had a vision for their primary bathroom: A deep soaking tub for two, a spacious two-sink vanity with lots of countertop space, a make-up vanity, a large shower with bench, and a separate commode area. “The footprint of the bathroom stayed as is, but we took it down to the studs and filled it back in with all of the client’s wish list items,” Serena says.

The home is in Greenbrae, a family-centric neighborhood in Marin County, California. “Most of the homes there respect the architectural style of that time which is best described as California Ranch,” Serena explains. “Our client’s home has the typical floor plan of this neighborhood—a split level with the family spaces on one side and bedrooms and bathrooms on the other side.”

“When we bought our mid-century ranch house, we dreamed it could be the cool family home we wanted,” the homeowner says. “However, the property was in a bad sate when it was purchased. We learned from neighbors that the original owner worked as an executive for Pan Am, and the home had reflected the forward-thinking design the company was known for embracing—think the Pan Am airplane terminal at JFK. Unfortunately, the interiors had been inconsistently decorated through the years, with disparate styles ranging from 1980s glam to 1970s rec room to Pottery Barn traditional. The plumbing barely worked, the kitchen still had its 1960s appliances and there were many strange walls breaking up light and flow, making the interiors look dark and dank.”

With their busy family life, extended family dinners, theme parties for friends, and a very messy English bulldog, it was important that the primary suite be a relaxing, luxurious space. First, the room was painted in Benjamin Moore White Dove. Serena oriented the copper bathtub (from Premier Copper Products) in the center of the room. The space is tiled in Carerra and Weathered White tile from Clé. The plumbing fixtures are all Kallista, while the hardware is Rejuvenation. Over the custom vanity, Schoolhouse Electric Mirrors and sconces from Lumens add balance. 

The result? The homeowners say it best: “The primary bathroom is the ultimate retreat, and the first time we saw it we felt transported. We often have a house full of teens loudly gaming or making videos as well as an exuberant, barking dog. But when you go into the bath, it’s like entering a restful resort, with views of the local mountain and treetops from the bath and shower. It’s a quiet, luxurious room, and it feels like a treat to perform my hair, makeup, and skincare routines.”