Rustic Master Bath Makeover
A lackluster Atlanta bathroom is transformed into a stunning retreat with clever storage, smart floor planning and Southern, farmhouse-inspired style.
Photo By: Christina Wedge
Masculine and Rustic
On a medium-sized budget with a timeline of eight weeks, this modest 8X9 Atlanta master bathroom received new identity as a masculine, modern, farmhouse-inspired retreat packed with spa-like amenities.
Before: Dull and Dated
After living with a dull, lackluster master bathroom for four years, this 8X9 space received a major overhaul which kept the original blueprint, added additional plumbing and electric, and covered all surfaces with rich, interesting materials.
Small-Space Design Tip
Small bathrooms require designer tricks to help them appear less cramped. One of the most common ways to make a modestly-sized space feel slightly larger is to introduce mirrored surfaces in unique ways. The doors of the vanity are covered with antique mirror which helps reflect light throughout the bathroom, creating the illusion of more space.
Although hardware may seem like a small detail, it can influence the overall gender specificity of a space. While polished silver or glossy white finishes often evoke a feeling of glamour bordering on femininity, dark brown tones seen in bronze and aged brass can instantly give a space a masculine aesthetic. The door pulls used on this repurposed vanity are made of heavy bronze featuring an antique, aged finish.
One of the major design elements associated with spas is their use of audio/visual and technical components. To give showering a spa-like effect, an outlet was added inside of the vanity to allow for a receiver and iPad to control the ceiling-mounted speakers. In order to do this, the speakers were first installed with the wires dropped behind the drywall, and an outlet box was added to the wall prior to the tile installation. For easy access to the outlet, a jigsaw was used to cut out a hole in the vanity’s back panel.
Giving a bathroom modern flair can be done easily with just a few simple touches. It was important to pay attention to the vernacular while honoring the house's modern architecture with a well-thought-out redesign. The polished chrome sconces are a nod to the 1955 modern style of the house.
One of the quickest ways to date a bathroom is by choosing tile that’s too trendy and current. Mosaic marble is an excellent option for timeless flooring that is unspecific to a particular era or design style. Homeowners looking to put a more modern spin on mosaic may consider geometrically shaped tiles such as hexagons or octagons.
Flushing Focal Point
Commodes are often overlooked for their aesthetic values in regard to bathroom design. Manufacturers have played with the overall shape, scale and proportion of commodes, creating more sculptural, sophisticated styles. This particular commode style is referred to as "hat box" due to its shape which resembles the look of classic, rounded boxes meant for storing women’s hats. Something to keep in mind before choosing a sculptural commode as part of a bathroom remodel is how it’s powered. Many require additional electrical outlets to accommodate proper flushing, sound control and hydraulic, open-and-close functions.
Art is often overlooked in bathroom design due mostly to excessive moisture and possible deterioration. Since art is usually the most personal design element in a space, it was important to create an artistic focal point in this bathroom which fit the overall vibe and tone of its masculine, industrial and rustic style. After sourcing Southern artists, this equestrian abstract was created by Courtney J.Garrett and made bathroom-friendly with a resin finish which is glossy, wipeable and moisture-resistant.
Equestrian Towel Pegs
For a classic barn-like touch, equestrian wall pegs were used to hang towels along the wall just outside the shower. In their former life, these iron utilitarian accents were meant for jockeys to hang up their helmets and saddles outside their horse’s stables. To properly attach them to the walls, a ceramic bit was added to the drill, anchors were drilled through the tiles and into the backer board, and then metal screws were drilled in, keeping the pegs securely snug to the wall.
Industrial Shower Door
Seamless glass shower partitions are common for bathroom remodels in any style of home. Since the glass allows 100 percent of all natural light to flood the space, it aids in making bathrooms feel larger in size. For an industrial take, a custom factory window made of tempered glass and raw steel was used. When adding farmhouse flair to a space, many designers will mix in elements of industrialism which include: steel, heavy wood beams, and mechanical accents such as sliding tracks or straps. Something to keep in mind when opting for a factory window shower partition is the proper cleaning. Shower water quickly leaves spots on the glass, and it’s best to set aside one day per week to thoroughly wipe off all water spots with a squeegee.
Double Shower Power
Dual showerheads have become increasingly popular with new construction, and many homeowners have been quick to add extra plumbing for additional showerheads. To get the most out of the costs associated with added plumbing, consider installing a body bar rather than a standard secondary showerhead. The combination of a stationary showerhead with a removable body bar allows more flexibility in regard to rinsing off.
Soothing Shower Experience
Rainwater showerheads disperse water in a much more soothing manner than standard shower heads. An extra-long, ovular model was chosen for the bathroom’s redesign due to its ability to cover more body area with water. Ovular styles tend to cost approximately 20 to 30 percent more than square or circular models due to their limited availability.
Integrated shower benches are a great way to make everyday showering a spa-like experience. Shower benches are created with cinder blocks stacked to the appropriate height and width, then outfitted with backer board before tile is cut to size and attached with mortar and grout.
Full-length mirrors are a must in bathrooms and closets. Since the master bedroom closet is located inside the bathroom, a full-length mirror was used instead of a basic closet door. For rustic-industrial flair, the mirror is trimmed with raw steel and mounted directly to the wall with a farmhouse-style track. The track slides left and right, revealing the opening to the closet once open.