Light, Airy Contemporary Bathroom

Designer Christopher Grubb combines bright finishes and sleek style to transform a dark, dated bathroom into a serene retreat.

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For this Beverly Hills, Calif., remodel, design Christopher Grubb of Arch-Interiors Design Group, INC brings a fresh new look to an outdated bathroom. A creamy white color palette is mixed with contemporary fixtures to create a retreat for a golden-year couple.

Describe the homeowners' wishlist.

The clients are in their golden years, and while still every active, they wanted a design that would accommodate them for years to come. The exiting tub/shower configuration featured a large tub dam to step over, making it cumbersome to get in and out. The room was also very dark and dated so they wanted to lighten and freshen it up.

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What were the homeowners' design problems?

The clients were open to us exploring different layout options but after a study of the space plan, we determined that the original footprint was really the most functional. The room felt very heavy and dark and in some respects cavernous, so we wanted to create a space for them that felt airy and refreshing.

What was your biggest obstacle in this space?

There were not many obstacles in this project fortunately. Perhaps the only challenge was when doing the space planning we realized many of the shared walls would not allow for relocation of plumbing, etc. This made it difficult to come up with other layout options. In the end, however; we all were very pleased that everything felt in its natural place.

How does the end result match up with your original vision?

Given that this was a small space, as opposed to a larger room in the house, we had already done our homework to know what we were up against for construction. With the exception of a change in the counter material due to an extremely long lead time, everything came out according to or better than plan.

What lessons did you learn?

It helped us to think about functionality for our more mature clients. We were able to create a space with a seamless transition from the main floor to shower floor. There are no dams to trip over or tub walls to step into.

What are the "hidden gems"?

Because privacy was not an issue, we put an architectural glass in the shower and over the mirror to bring in natural light where there hadn't been any before. We designed a cantilevered vanity as opposed to a floor-standing one to lighten up the scale of the piece. Gray details are used effectively while not competing with the overall whiteness of the room.

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