Wyoming designer Tawna Allred has a history and a degree in oil painting- no easy accomplishment- so it comes as no surprise she still turns to the art form for inspiration. Using her first love (and the color principles that come with it), Tawna received training at Penn Foster as well as the New York Institute of Art & Design before settling down in Wyoming and opening her eponymous design firm. She quickly found a project close to her own heart (and home), and began work on remodeling her bathroom. The before picture would seem disheartening to some, but Tawna tackled the project with grace and good ideas. We love the result, and can’t wait to apply her tips in our own homes:

What inspired your bathroom remodel?
This home was bank-owned. It had been empty for two years. It had to be remodeled before we moved in.  The one thing that it had going for it was the beautiful tongue-and-groove ceiling with exposed beams. I wanted to enhance the ceiling and show its rustic romance, as well as pay homage to the incredible mountains where we live. I run trails in them all the time, and they inspire everything that I do.

What were your goals both aesthetically and functionally?
I needed to “Kill the Coyote.”  The bathroom had wallpaper trim around the room with moose, coyote, and other animal silhouettes against minty green painted walls. Not pretty. I wanted to brighten the room and infuse it with a modern/clean design. I also wanted two separate sinks for me and my husband.  The original bathroom had only one sink.

Ha- love the metaphor!! So, what was the biggest challenge of remodeling your bathroom and how did you overcome it?
We had to keep the long, narrow shape. We made a choice to keep the plumbing adjustments to a minimum, and moving walls wasn’t an option.  To open it up visually, we painted out the wood tongue and groove ceiling in a high gloss white, then painted the walls in the same color to make boundaries disappear.  We also opted for one large mirror instead of two smaller mirrors to make the room visually double it’s width. Two smaller mirrors wouldn’t have opened it up enough.

When you finally finished the project, what was your favorite thing about the room?
Its serenity.

For folks who are renting and can’t make any big changes to their bathrooms, what would you recommend to spruce up a bathroom space?
Re-do the vanity if you can.  Convert another piece of furniture into your vanity for high style. If you can’t do that, paint. If you can’t paint, you can always change out your hardware and plumbing fixtures, or add a statement piece of art.

We love that! Little changes can definitely make a big impact. What are your top tips for styling a bathroom?
Try to enhance the beauty of your vanity. Keep the colors and variety of tile to a minimum.  Add fresh flowers when possible, and keep plush towels on hand for guests or when you want to spoil yourself.

What’s the one thing every bathroom should have?
Simplicity. As De Vinci said, “[It] is the ultimate form of sophistication.”

So true! Moving onto other projects, what sets you apart from other interior designers?
My degree in fine art. I can draw or paint anything I want, and that comes in handy when clients need visual references. I know color and design principles inside and out. I know how to live beautifully with a contractor husband, 3 kids, and one extremely energetic lab. I have a very high “ease of use” standard. I also dearly love minimalism. Less is more.

What was the design lesson that took you the longest to learn?
Colors don’t have to match. In fact, a collected home that takes shape over years instead of weeks is more desirable.

We couldn’t agree more! Why do you love design?
It’s an extension of my art, and also helps people live better lives. That’s amazing!  I can create comfort, joy, and beauty in a very tangible way. I still paint and draw all the time, but design challenges me and lets me serve others. To me, that is joy.

We love that! Thanks for sharing your beautiful space with us, Tawna. We (along with our readers) can’t wait to see what you do next!

Vanity: Custom (drawn by Tawna & fabricated by Woodworks Unlimited in Thayne, WY)
Baskets: World Market, “Jessica
Sinks: American Standard, “Palisades” White Vessel Sink
Faucets: Pegasus Vessel Filler
Mirror:  Home Depot, Frameless “Glacier Bay Miriana” Mirror
Frame on Mirror: Custom (Alan’s Frame Shop in Afton, WY)
Showerhead: Delta
Rug:  Safavieh “Vintage Collection
Roman Shade: Blinds.com, Premier Roman Shades in Sierra Desert Mist
Paint Colors: White- Valspar “Meringue” (Ceiling in High Gloss, Walls in Eggshell) // Pale Blue Door-True Value “Cozy Corner” in High Gloss