Sleek, Modern Bathroom Remodel

Designer Joni Spear turned a bath remodel gone wrong into the sleek, modern space her client desired all along.

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RS_Joni-Spear-white-contemporary-bathroom_h Photo Courtesy of Matthew Harrer

When a remodeling company left her client's bathroom very far from what he desired, designer Joni Spear took over the project. The end result was the calming, modern design that her client had been seeking.

Describe what the homeowner hoped to achieve with this makeover.


My client wanted his sanity back. We actually met on a date. On our second date, he was teary-eyed and asked me if I could look at his bathroom. He had hired a bath company to remodel and thought the job had gone completely wrong.

What was the biggest issue the design addressed?


Once inside the space, I could clearly see that the tile was hung incorrectly. Upon further inspection, I could see that the products specified were incorrect. The positioning of the shower jets was incorrect. The sinks specified had the wrong holes, and the faucets would not fit in their holes. Thus began our quest for the completion of the two-year bath remodel. We had to fire the original remodeling company, hire a new crew, completely gut what was done, order new products and start from scratch.

Describe an obstacle in the space.

Originally the plan called for 2-by-2-inch glass tile with sharp edges for the shower floor and clear glass tiles for the walls. I had to open each box of purchased products and reveal that the wrong items were ordered. We had to line-for-line find new products that would appeal to the client. He wanted a clean, streamlined, pristine space. He wanted it to be very balanced and angular, and he wanted every grout line matched.


Browse More Photos of this Bathroom Remodel

How did the end result match your original vision?

When I first designed the new space, I wanted the Bali pebbles to fall organically over the edges of the shower and around the tub. But the pebbles were rounded, and you can’t seal the glass shower enclosure on anything but a flat surface. Then we decided to keep the pebbles inside the shower only. In trying not to replace every single item ordered, we kept the tub and the tub faucet that was previously ordered. However the height of the tub was higher than the spigot for the tub fill, and we had to order a small fitting to elongate it so the water wouldn’t spill all over the floor. We also had to change the direction of the shower jets and enlarge the shower, because the way it was set up before, the jets would have gone right through the shower opening.

What lessons did you learn from this project?

I personally had not seen such surprisingly unprofessional work prior to taking on this job. But this was the classic case of an unsuspecting person being taken advantage of because of his lack of knowledge in the field. It really made me see the value of my education and the importance of hiring a designer.

What are the hidden gems that make a big difference?

This project cost almost twice as much and took twice as long as it should have to complete, but the end result is one happy client. It made me feel like Mike Holmes in Holmes on Homes.

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