Join Our Newsletters


december houston house and home virtual magazine
gulf coast special magazine
round top
house and home kitchen and bath issue


Bathroom Inspiration

8 Designers and Homeowners Share Personalized Spaces
By Susan Fox

It might be the smallest room in the house, but it doesn’t mean it lacks importance. After all, the bathroom is where most of us begin the day, so it makes sense for the space to greet us appropriately.

It doesn’t have to be hugely expensive, but the bathroom helps set the right tone when it’s personal, clean and functional.

When you have a chance to remodel or build your own personal space, here are eight inspirational bath ideas to consider:

Style & Simplicity  An A to Z Guide to Living a More Beautiful Life

1. Incorporate an interesting wall design for dramatic effect. The look for this master bath, located in The Woodlands, is a clean, elegant transitional style.

The design objective was to create a luxurious master bath by first opening up the space. The design team raised the ceilings to 11 feet, straightened out and moved walls to expand the area. All the plumbing was moved. The original bath had been faux painted to death — everything from the countertops to the walls was saturated in a design that did not suit the current owner.

The custom cabinets were stained a dark walnut. The new countertops are marble, and the fixtures are chrome. The walls — behind the tub and in the shower — are comprised of 6x12-inch gray ceramic tile, installed in a basketweave pattern. The open shower and free-standing tub lighten and balance the space.

Interior Designer: Kathy Anderson, Eklektik Interiors,1300 Shepherd Dr.,Houston, TX 77007, 832-804-6300,


Cabinets: Accent Cabinets, 2024 Airport Rd., Conroe, 936-441-3467

Tile: La Nova Tile, 9051 Knight Road, 713-796-9050,

Better Homes & Gardens Trade Secrets:

2. Add personal touches — design elements that make your heart sing.

Photo by Emily Minton Redfield

When one set of homeowners built their home, they designed two master bathrooms. This is one of the bathrooms; the other, with an English feel, is indicative of the other owner’s personal style and tastes.

The owner bought the 150-year-old Chinese teak door, with its intricate detailing, about seven years ago. It was stored until the timing was right. And right it is for this space. It is this type of personal touch that helps makes this bathroom a success. The owner’s travels to Asia inspired the design direction.

The objective was to have the bath convey a clean and quiet meditative feel. The “to-die-for” sink, which is made entirely of glass in a seafoam hue, was a must-have for the owner. When the water hits the sink, rings of iridescent appear. The floor and countertops are white carrera marble. The vanity is a natural grain oak stained with an ebony lacquer (Sherwin Williams’ “Black of Night,” SW6993). The white paint used is Benjamin Moore “Vanilla Milkshake,” OC-59, and the wall paint: “Dovetail” in flat, SW7018

Interior Designer: Michael J. Siller Interiors, 5120 Woodway, Ste 190, 713-528-4343 ,


Hann Builders Custom Home Builder, 5210 Spruce Street, Bellaire, TX,832-435-7792,

Heights Glass, 613 West 19th, 713-861-3729

Cabinet Company: Del Potosi Cabinets, 14619 Sommermeyer St.,

713-480-1170, and 10603 Alcott Dr., 713-480-1170

crosley radio turntable

3. Creamy and dreamy. Stencil designs can deliver a pretty, artistic focal point. The key is to do it well and in moderation.

This master is a Spring, TX, interpretation of a nice mix between Country French and elegant European styles. It begins with a very symmetrical design, with two dressing areas flanking the paneled-encased tub. The approximately 8x4-foot shower behind the tub wall offers entries from each dressing area.

The soft stenciling is richly executed but in a very soothing and subtle manner. Notice it on the wall and on the double coved, lighted ceiling above the tub. The floor is a cut travertine with medallion tile.

Builder/Designer: Rory Caton, Heavenly Homes,12345 Kingsride Ln., 281-582-6596,


Hardware Resources, 21240 Foster Rd., Spring,


Carol’s Lighting, 1710 Humble Place, Humble,


Imago Dei, 5250 Gulfton St. Suite 2G,713-520.5557,

Royal Design Studio Stencils, 800-747-9767,

Spruce: A Step by Step Guide to Upholstery and Design

4. Go bold with color; you only live once. And, it’s your private space!

Photo by Steve Chenn

The home itself reflects Spanish Colonial architecture. And because of the Moorish influences in such a home style, according to the homeowner, it paved the way for having exotic fun in the master bath.

The light fixtures from Morocco definitely set the tone, along with the vaulted ceiling and uniquely arched windows, which are framed in carrera marble. The paint color is a mix of two: Sherwin Williams’ “Magical” finished with a glaze called “Kismet.” The floor is also carrera marble with a glass tile design.

Directing the project was homeowner Carlita McMahon.


Builder: Thompson Custom Homes, 9039 Katy Frwy, Suite 230, 832-327-0197,

Soaker Tub: Kiva Kitchen and Bath, KIVA Kitchen & Bath, 7071 Southwest Frwy., 713-781-2222,

Stone: Materials Marketing, 3433 Alabama St.,


Spruce: A Step by Step Guide to Upholstery and Design

5. This Uptown Houston remodel took a cramped 1990s bathroom and turned it into a spacious room that invited in light and provided good “work flow.” The new design called for a large glass double shower to take the place of the original tub. The shower lacks the typically found threshold in order to accommodate future aging-in-place needs. Additionally the shower walls were constructed with water-resistant Sheetrock.

The makeup vanity and cabinetry were custom made to look like furniture, adding special touches like the antique chair legs. Porcelain tile is used to mimic the look of marble.

Paint colors used: Benjamin Moore’s “White Christmas,” #872, and Benjamin Moore’s “Pearl River,” #871.

Design/Builder: Craftsmanship by John, 1418 Cedar Post Ln., 713-984-8834,


Tile: Horizon Italian Tile, 2702 W. Alabama St., 713-523-4504,

Spruce: A Step by Step Guide to Upholstery and Design

6. Think about using a mix of materials to get the specialized look you desire. Here, find stone, wood, copper, concrete and brick tying the look together. Using high-quality antique and re-claimed pieces underscore the want for authenticity.

Homeowners wanted a “Tuscan” feel throughout their new home, located around Magnolia, TX.

The design objective was to create as much of an authentic space as possible. The concrete sink used in a separate area from this one is a “relic” the designer found in small village located in central Italy. The walls are plaster, and the large old beams reclaimed from an older property that was demolilshed. Above the copper tub is a bricked barrel ceiling, which is common to Italian architecture.

Interior Designer: Kathy Anderson, Eklektik Interiors,1300 Shepherd Dr.,Houston, TX 77007,



Cabinets: Accent Cabinets, 2024 Airport Rd., Conroe,


Stone: Materials Marketing, 3433 Alabama St.,


Spruce: A Step by Step Guide to Upholstery and Design

7. Create a spa-like ambience . . .

Invest in a great tub, if you like to soak and relax.

Photo by Miro Dvorscak

It is hard to envision the huge cultured marble columns that stood in this space along with all the mauve tile and carpeting that also once consumed the 1990s bathroom. The house is located in The Woodlands.

It has been nicely transformed . . . creating for the homeowner a very simple and tranquil space. The owners, former residents of Pakistan, prefer a quieter look — liking what they call the “bare naked spaces you see over there.”

They brought the rug back to the U.S. with them, but found the light fixture at a local antique store, which has since closed. The functional limestone ledge is 9 to 12 inches in depth and offers a soft, pretty backdrop to the wonderful free-standing tub.

Interior Designer: Carla Aston, 26202 Oak Ridge Drive, Ste. A101,The Woodlands,


Limestone/Durango: Walker Zanger,

7055 Old Katy Rd., 713-880-9292,

Hardware:/Santec: Moore Supply,

300 West Loop 336, Conroe, 936-441-3666

Tub: MTI (, Moore Supply,

300 West Loop 336, Conroe, 936-441-3666

Spruce: A Step by Step Guide to Upholstery and Design

8. Small doesn’t have to be cramped, typical and ho-hum. Add soft color, interesting tile . . . and a surprise — like the open shelf inset into the wall above the tub.

This bathroom is one of the five found in a newly constructed home on Galveston Bay. The owners wanted light, bright and a subtle beach style. The vanity is custom made, and casters were placed on the slipper chair so it could roll out of the way if needed.

The countertop is a “Mystery White” marble, and the tile floor is Greek white marble. Mosaic tile around the tub is called “Seafoam” from Marrazi. The wall color is Sherwin Williams’ “Alabaster,” SW7008, and the walls are painted “Contented Green,” SW6191.

Interior Designer: Peggy Hull at Creative Touch Interiors, 2402 Quenby, 713-529-7681 or 832-877-1357,


Marble: Colours of the Rainbow (now Master Tile Colors) with eight Houston stores, 4340 Southwest Freeway,713.993.0727,

Greek marble: