Sumptuous Sanctuaries: 8 Interior Designers Share Their Visions for Primary Bath Transformations
By John Roark
Interior designer: Sandy Black, Allied ASID
This bath was originally a study in dark travertine, terra cotta-colored walls and antiqued cream-colored cabinetry, notes Black, whose clients wanted to change things up with an alluring vibe that was also bright and roomy. Vanities were placed on the same wall, creating space for a freestanding tub. A window was swapped with French doors opening to the backyard and a spectacular view. “For glamour, glossy black-and-white marble flooring was laid diagonally, while statuary marble clads the 12-foot walls,” Black says. A glass mosaic backsplash, crystal chandelier and a metallic cowhide rug impart additional glitzy accents.
Interior designer: Angelica Henry, ASID
A warm wood finish, quartzite counters and limestone floors give this tranquil bathroom an organic aesthetic, which transitions softly to the beauty of the desert views just outside.
“Our aim was to update the space, provide better storage, lighten the palette, create an aesthetic that would not detract from the surrounding mountain views and increase overall functionality for the bathroom and the adjacent closet,” Henry says.
Relocating the entrance to the bathroom created a more efficient overall plan and afforded the addition of a separate water closet room. A massive and oversized built-in tub deck was removed and replaced with a sculptural freestanding tub, which also allowed for the vanity storage to be doubled. A soft tone-on-tone palette and floating vanities kept the space feeling open and airy and blends beautifully with the desert beyond. A crystal chandelier adds just the right touch of shimmer.
Interior designer: James McIntyre
For this bold, fresh update on a tired, traditional primary bathroom, McIntyre was tasked with not only updating the functionality of the room but also visually opening and expanding the space and adding a jolt of modern. “What was once a dark, cramped room now feels like a transitional, light-filled spa,” he says. Light-colored marble and contemporary appointments, such as brass fixtures, create a high-contrast, luxe aesthetic. Linen sheers diffuse light and provide privacy, while vibrantly colored textiles add visual punch.
Interior designer: Esther Boivin, Allied ASID
This 25-year-old bathroom desperately needed to be redesigned,” recalls Boivin. The owners wanted to eliminate the tub for a more spacious and dramatic vanity, which allowed for extra storage as well as a jewelry drawer center section. A glass block window was replaced with a contemporary floor-to-ceiling V-shaped window for a more interesting connection to the beautiful outdoors. There is both task lighting and sculptural decorative lighting for added effect. “The ceiling fixtures echo the angular shape of the cabinets,” Boivin says. “The integrated sink design is sleek and monolithic. The cabinets projecting pyramid doors are optically enhanced by the direction of the linear wood grain, offering a more intriguing character than just a nicely done bathroom.” Finally, the deep blue metallic ceiling and neutral tones are soothing and allow the colorful art to stand out.
Interior designer: Bonnie Lewis, Allied ASID
The design of this elegant primary bath was driven by the client’s desire to incorporate aging-in-place functionality,” Lewis recalls. To ensure that the room would be able to accommodate any future age-related needs, the space was reconfigured into an ADA-compliant floor plan and included a well-appointed, curbless walk-in shower.
A trio of sconces accentuates the room’s cathedral ceiling and echoes the vanity heights, while meticulously selected fixtures, mirrors, materials and finishes create a safer environment designed to prevent falls and accidents. The homeowners’ adult children now eschew the guest bath when they visit, Lewis reports. “They wait and take turns using the master bath because it’s so pretty.”
Interior designer: Anita Lang, Allied ASID
This serene bath is connected to an outdoor courtyard equipped with a cold plunge and hot tub; it also doubles as a focal point in the home’s hallway entry gallery. To create a sanctuary where one can begin and end the day with harmony, peace and mindfulness, Lang chose a subdued neutral palette, made visually sensuous with texture and integrity of material. Rifted 2-inch oak planks connect the spaces, while paneled walls of vertical rifted oak articulate the architectural message. “Floors in large-scale, limestone-colored tile, the backsplash of sculptural sandstone and the 3D tile are indicative of the flower-of life-pattern representing the unity of all things,” the designer says.
Interior designer: Jaimee Rose
A statement in high contrast, this master bath makes impact with simple, classic materials. Tasked with transforming a plain-box space into a wow moment—on a budget—Rose’s team got creative. “We flexed our paint fan decks and brought out the black and white to crisp up the space and add some drama,” Rose recalls. “Board and batten siding provides architectural interest to a drywall surround and allowed us to bust a move with black paint above the wainscoting. It’s a very approachable but powerful trick.” Hexagonal penny floor tiling adds a retro nod; matte gold fittings and hardware bring a note of warmth.
KEEPING IT FRESH
Interior designer: Amy Klosterman, Allied ASID
The classic elegance of layered whites will always make one feel pampered and fresh,” Klosterman says of this escape designed for a mother of two young children. A variety of patterns and mosaics of white marble paired with glass accents creates a feeling that the interior designer calls “like being in a white-washed, sun-filled treehouse.” A waterjet-cut marble mosaic adds a slip-resistant rug design to the floor, while the shower floor resembles ocean pebbles.
Subtle accents, including profiled marble trim and a transom window, add character, while a skylight and large tub window bathe the space in light. “Because this bath was long and narrow, an all-glass shower was important to keep the openness of the room,” the interior designer observes. “We also wanted to reduce visual clutter, so we built a mirrored medicine cabinet hutch in the middle of the long vanity.”