Designer Snapshot: Bathroom Renovation Inspiration

March 12, 2014

By Paula M. Bodah

Any time I have the urge to make some decorating changes in my house, I do what I hope you do: open the pages of New England Home to see what some of the region’s top designers are doing these days.

Lately I’ve been giving some thought to redoing my master bath—a rather dreary space with its old tub in that rosy-beige that was all the rage in 1970. True, my husband and I replaced the vanity. But—how time flies!—that was eighteen long years ago now.

As I’ve worked with designers on these blog posts over the past couple of years, I’ve developed a little archive of photos I like, thinking I might reference them when I’m ready to redecorate a room in my house. Maybe it’s time to page through them and see what sparks my imagination.

Norwell, Massachusetts–based designer Barbara Bahr Sheehan has a fondness for classic shapes and designs with a fresh, contemporary twist. For a blog post last spring, she showed off this photo of a bath in a Cape Cod house she had recently finished decorating. “In the master bath we went for an ‘Anglo Indian’ look with a vanity I designed to create an island-like retreat,” she explained. “Crisp white tile and silver sconces and mirrors keep the look really tailored and easy on the eyes.” I can definitely see a similar look working my not-so-large bathroom.

bathroom design barbara bahr sheehan

Photograph by Brian Sheehan Photography

Here is another example of something quite traditional getting a modern update. In this bath, Susan Orpin, of the Boston-based Orpin Group, used what she calls “the refined union of old and new,” using a classic material in a new way. “For this bath, I used a porcelain tile that has a wood-like grain,” she said. “It looks like wood, but feels like stone, giving the hard surface a softer, warmer look.” I like the way the tile softens the sleek vanity with its contemporary fixtures.

bathroom design susan orpin

Photograph by Chad Lingle

I find the neutral tones of the baths above appealing, and can easily envision turning my dated space into something more closely resembling the classic/contemporary blend in these photos. But a part of me yearns for something completely different. A bold shot of color, perhaps, as in this contemporary bath designed by Kristina Crestin. It’s a fun look, and—along with my morning cup of coffee—would get the day off to an energetic start. I’m also really fond of the Pharos Modern pendants, from Niche Modern, that Kristina chose for this bathroom.  

bathroom design kristina crestin

Looking for more bathroom inspiration? Take a peak at our online gallery of beautiful bathrooms featuring a wide variety of bathroom styles from rustic to grand.