The designer of this bathroom has magicked a beautifully light and airy space from a less-than-lovely, cramped room
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When the creative young family who live here first moved into their house, it didn’t have the open, airy ambience they felt it could have – but that didn’t mean it couldn’t be transformed someday. After constantly rearranging things in an attempt to make it feel like home, they decided to give the place a makeover with the help of designer Kristen Peña.
The master bathroom consisted of two small, rather gloomy rooms, which were begging to be opened up, so Peña brought in the sledgehammers…
Room at a Glance
Who lives here A family of four with two young children
Location Corte Madera, California
Room size 6.5 sq m
Designer Kristen Peña of K Interiors
Renovation duration Around three months
“After” photos by Luis Peña
The family and Kristen Peña worked with AM Construction to tear down walls and add a skylight to make the bathroom feel open and bright.
Sugar floor tiles, Fireclay Tile. Vanity unit, 5 Star Cabinets. Vanity unit hardware, Belmont Hardware. Vanity unit lights, Cedar & Moss. Wall hanging, The River Haze. Hand towel, Summer House. Shower head, California Faucets. Rug, Galerie Shebab.
Before The bathroom was divided into two rooms – one for the vanity unit and one for the toilet and shower. The division made the space feel cramped.
The mix of materials, including the different floor tiles in each room, created even more division between the two, low-ceilinged spaces.
Read expert advice on choosing a shower enclosure
After The dividing wall came down and the ceiling moved up to the roofline. Both of these changes allowed Peña to create a bright, cohesive bathroom for the family.
At the top of the owners’ must-have list was better lighting. Peña met that goal by adding a skylight, which gave the room a lot of natural light. “The skylight was a game-changer,” Peña says.
She retained the windows along the wall, and decided not to fit blinds – making maximum use of the light – because the house sits high on a hill, so privacy isn’t a concern.
By removing the wall in the bathroom, the family could install a larger shower, which is now 1.8 x 0.9m. They also didn’t want any breaks in the bathroom’s flow, so they chose a clear glass shower door, which makes the shower space feel like a continuous element of the space.
Peña then used one type of flooring – white hexagon tiles – across the whole floor for a seamless space. She also used hexagons inside the shower for continuity.
The bathroom rug and woven piece above the toilet add texture to an otherwise white and sleek bathroom. The vintage Persian rug doubles as a bathmat and matches the boho style found in the rest of the home to give the bathroom personality.
“Don’t be afraid when adding in textural elements,” Peña says. “These pieces – rugs, towels and wall hangings – can easily be swapped for a whole new look if you decide on a different style later.”
See more bathroom tile ideas and photos
Before The old vanity unit stood outside of the shower area and lacked adequate countertop space for the family.
After With the dividing wall gone, the family had space not only for a larger shower, but also for a 1.5m-long vanity unit.
Peña had a bespoke oak cabinet made to fit the space, which gave the owners the storage they wanted. The mirrors hide medicine cabinets, giving them even more storage.
The brass tap comes out of the splashback, an aesthetic touch that also saves counter space. When installing a tap like this, make sure you plan the plumbing and design before new walls go up.
The project was short, but it’s had a huge impact on the peace and quiet of this couple’s personal space.
What do you think of this bathroom transformation? Share your thoughts in the Comments section.