May 8, 2017
When a master bathroom is dysfunctional and outdated, the homeowners miss out on an essential part of their home: an oasis to which they can escape. When designer Komal Sheth of Austin, Texas-based Spaces Designed was hired for one such project, she saw just how many issues her clients were having with their bathroom.
“When I visited the bathroom, the space was outdated and lacking storage of their daily necessities,” said Sheth, explaining that there were traditional brass plumbing fixtures and a very non-functional bathtub area.
Coming into the project, Sheth knew that her clients did not want to move any plumbing, so they needed to work within the constraints of the current layout.
“We had to recreate the space to make it more appealing, replace the outdated materials and finishes and add additional storage,” said Sheth, adding that the lack of storage was causing the clients to use the bathtub deck as a landing place for their shampoo, hairbrushes and makeup accessories.
A huge, inset tub set the tone for the previous design, which felt blocky and heavy with its dark materials and badly placed storage units. Three small steps led up to the top of the bathtub and were unnecessary and unsafe because of the tub’s short height. The shower, meanwhile, sported a dated framed door and the same dark tile as the bathtub. The vanity also felt like it had unfulfilled potential; a plain square mirror backed it, but the high, arched ceiling above felt completely ignored.
“The curve above the vanities and the bathtub was important to define the space,” said Sheth, “but it still needed a touch of sophistication, so we accentuated the curve with a mahogany veneer that matches the cabinets and floor.”
Now the mahogany veneer looks like it is framing three new paneled mirrors – two of which are mirrored medicine cabinets. In addition, a narrow backsplash below the center mirror adds detail to the vanity. The soft blue and gray, recycled-glass backsplash tiles were inspired by flowing water and help give the design the spa-like look the clients desired.
Emphasizing the Room’s Size
The bathroom was already large, but the randomly placed cabinetry and heavy tub dimmed its grandeur. To change this, the design team designed the vanities to be wall mounted so the floor has a more open and airy feel. Much of the dysfunctional cabinetry was removed, and a small makeup area was added. The doors to the room are also mirrored, which helps make the space feel larger.
Perhaps the room’s biggest problem was the bathtub. It was a tall, step-up unit with a 2-ft.-high built-in platform. Sheth and her team removed the steps and created a 6-in.-tall curved platform that echoes the curve of the ceiling. On top of the platform, an elegant and modern freestanding bath was installed.
“The clients can now bask in the bath and the sun while lounging in this elegant, freestanding bathtub,” said Sheth, adding that French-style windows replaced the previously frosted windows behind the tub. “There they can enjoy the spacious surroundings and natural light through the large windows.”
Textured wood-patterned tiles under the tub bring the large bathroom together and add warmth to the space, while also serving as a durable, easy-to-manage flooring choice.
“From the cabinet pulls to the plumbing fixtures, matching, clean lines modernize the details and stand out from the tiles and textures,” said the designer. “To add a bit of contrasting color and texture, we used light, sparkling countertops over the dark-stained, mahogany cabinets. We also introduced a rug into the space to soften the feel of the room – resulting in the perfect balance of warm and modern.”
Designer: Komal Sheth, Spaced Designed
Photography: Paul Cisneros Photography
Accent Tile: Walker Zanger
Backsplash Tile: Oceanside Tiles
Cabinet Pulls: Top Knobs
Shower Faucet: Moen
Shower Floor Tile: Botany Bay Pebbles
Shower Wall Tile: Porcelanosa
Sink Faucet: Kohler
Tub Faucet: Kohler