I write about everything related to home design and renovation. However, I have particular areas for homes with historical significance, California modernism, and lakefront cabins.
Imagine clouds over the sky or Ming dynasty porcelain and ask yourself: What is a more timeless color combination than white and blue? The pros here discuss their strategies for five bathrooms that demonstrate the potential of this palette as a whole and are paired with natural materials.
Homeowner’s request. In the early 1990s, when it was built, The first-floor bathroom needed renovation. “[The] space was too small in the shower, there wasn’t much storage space, the tub was too large, and lighting was very dim,” designer Laurie Westberg says. Westberg tasked the homeowner to design a blue and white Mallorca spa-like bathroom full of spa and vacation aesthetics while adding functionality to the tiny space.
Westberg included an extra linen closet, added an oversized shower, and replaced the jetted shower with a soaking tub. She built an upscale quartzite-topped vanity and an open-air linen closet with rollout sliding doors rather than drawers to make storage more efficient. She also put a sconce, sky tube, three overhead lighting fixtures, and three double sconces on top of the vanity.
The room has features. A lot of the elements in the space were designed to be accessible. The shower stall is accessible to allow wheelchair access, having two glass panels running across the ceiling from floor to top, and it comes with an adjustable teak bench that folds down. “Using a shower faucet on a bar rather than a shower head on the wall gives more flexibility for showering and universal design use,” Westberg says.
“Uh-oh” moments. Supply chain issues created enormous issues for supply chain management. “This bathroom was designed in the middle of COVID, and it took me three to six months to get the tile I needed due to COVID issues,” Westberg states. “I had to redesign the tile layout three to four times based on availability.”
The floor was dropped in the shower to create the proper slope to the drain’s linear-gradient, which was not easy. “It is always more challenging to do something which looks very clean and simple,” Westberg states. “A lot of engineering … goes behind an immaculate look.”
Wow, on the Waterfront
Homeowners’ request. “The homeowners wanted a crisp, transitional design with contemporary elements for their new waterfront property,” says Heather Weisz of HW Interiors, who designed the house with Lisa Hynes with Houzz Pro software.
Rooms feature. The main focal point of this relaxing bathroom is the shower wall, which is adorned with a watery blue ceramic tile set in an attractive basketweave design. A chevron-patterned honed stone flooring tile that flows from the bathroom onto the shower with no curbs adds just enough contrast to stand out by itself and makes the blue wall pop.
Sconces with Abaca rope and powder-coated steel give a highly textured and exciting counterpoint to the smooth surfaces.
Lessons learned. “Using ordinary materials in a new application can create a spectacular moment and a real showstopper,” Hynes states.
“Uh-oh” moment. The designers had a difficult time finding the materials needed to achieve the design they wanted and creating the perfect tiles “takeoff” (the amount of materials required to complete the design) to ensure that the builder could achieve their dream.
Trends are being observed. Weisz and Hynes find gorgeous stones, various natural elements flu, ted and reeded cabinets, and architectural lighting as the latest fashions in bathroom design.
Homeowner’s request. “Our client inherited this home after his mother passed and wanted to refresh the midcentury gem without losing its original charm,” designer Lindsay Stokes Kennedy says.
The client appointed Stokes Kennedy and co-designer Alexandra Cole after watching their advertisements for sponsorship on Houzz.
The room has features. Stokes Kennedy describes the shower’s royal blue subway tiles, placed in a vertical bond pattern, which she describes as “a nod at the past in a fun modern pop of color.” A custom walnut vanity is a part of the modern, mid-century style and complements the striking blue tile.
The floor is sturdy and timeless concrete poured, which provides a relaxing effect throughout the home.
Designer tip. “When going bold in color, provide balance by using neutrals in the same space,” Cole suggests.
Lessons learned. “We learned that even in great loss there is so much to gain, and how home can be as beautiful aesthetically as it is emotionally,” Stokes Kennedy states.
Homeowners’ request. The Manhattan’s Upper East Side bathroom is one of four bathrooms in a prewar home that went through a complete renovation. The goal of the renovation was to make it “light, bright and happy” for the family who resided there, according to Marketing Manager Joe Frahlich of SMI Site Management Industries.
The room has features. Tiles of a small square with a sky blue color cover the bathroom’s floor walls, shower alcove, and shower nook, creating a consistent look that fills the tiny space with a prominent appearance.
The classic design also provides brightness, according to Frahlich, along with “recessed shower shelving and [a] unique chandelier assist in keeping things simple and clean.”
Clear pulls work well with the chandelier. A tub deck with a solid surface extending to frame the alcove adds an elegant finish.
Homeowner’s request. “The homeowner wanted to remove the tub-shower combo and replace it with a walk-in shower for their guests,” says the principal designer, Heidi Arwine, who worked with the project director Brittany Patterson.
Rooms feature. Looking through Houzz for ideas, Arwine and Patterson designed the bathroom, which includes wall and vanity storage, and the shower has a low threshold and an enclosure made of frameless glass. The room’s focus is the stunning blue Emser subway tile in the shower, which is laid out in different patterns, including herringbone on the wall behind and horizontal running bonds on either side. The floor is decorated with a matching penny tile in various colors of blue.
Designer tip. “The tile was installed in a herringbone pattern to create an added design element,” Patterson states. “We are always seeking ways to expand beyond the standard subway tile patterns. .”
“Uh-oh” moment. “Due to the size of the shower and the door placement, we decided on a floating corner bench to give the homeowner the desired element,” Arwine says.