Designer Vicki Bolick’s bold, blue master bath is anything but cliche

The remodeled bathroom mixes rich contrasts with a touch of whimsy
Vicki Bolick bathroom
“White isn’t interesting unless you use a little hue to give it life,” says designer and blogger Vicki Bolick, who updated her bathroom by combining dark floors and stained wood vanities with lighter countertops and shower tile.

Photograph by Christina Wedge

Vicki Bolick enjoys a day of salon pampering as much as the next person, but for her own master bathroom, she nixed the cliche of an all-white retreat. “I love going to a spa, but I just didn’t want that feeling in my home,” she says. “People think that using just one color in a bathroom—whether it’s all white or a darker palette—is a safer choice, but I’ve always felt that bathrooms are far more interesting if there is a mix of materials, bold wallpapers, and an injection of color.”

Before remodeling her master bath in Cumming, Vicki (a designer who writes the popular blog The Ace of Space) asked her husband, Brian, to spend some time on Pinterest. When his pins revealed that he likes darker floors, Vicki decided to contrast taupe honed limestone flooring with light-toned Carrara marble in the shower.

The previous floorplan was dated and inefficient, so the Bolicks replaced an inset tub with a stand-alone version and eliminated a single vanity in favor of two separate units. “I wanted them to appear as pieces of furniture to add character,” says Vicki. “My objective was to have the darker furniture play off the light walls, and using a deeper stain made the bathroom feel visually richer.” A creamy countertop also contrasts with the cabinets’ woolen oak finish.

Vicki Bolick bathroom
White Carrara marble tiles provide a sophisticated look for the spacious shower but were inexpensive finds from a tile discount sore. Vicki selected individual tiles with veining that compliments other aspects of the room.

Photograph by Christina Wedge

Vicki Bolick bathroom
“If you have a separate toilet area, that’s a great opportunity to bring in pattern or visual interest,” says Vicki. “Pick a really stand-out wallpaper or graphic fabric.”

Photograph by Christina Wedge

To add architectural interest, Vicki designed (and Brian installed) a grid of wood trim on the ceiling and painted it all white. The pattern complements the geometric curtain fabric, she explains. “I love using moldings when possible to add architectural relief.”

Vicki spotted the “Acquario” wall­paper from Fornasetti at the Kips Bay Decorator Show House in New York a few years ago, and kept her fingers crossed it wouldn’t be discontinued before she started to remodel. “Using fish in the bathroom was a little tongue-in-cheek, but I love the whimsy, and it just seemed so perfect,” she says. “It was another way to bring in our personalities, since we love the ocean.” The wallpaper—confined to the water closet—inspired the color palette of silvery blue walls and a deeper blue window treatment.

Chrome Kohler fixtures and a contemporary light fixture by Z-Lite add sparkle. “I really felt that this room called for a substantial ceiling fixture,” she says. “We used a chandelier but mounted it as a semi-flush fixture. It adds a touch of drama without overwhelming the room. Lighting is truly the jewelry in a space, and I wanted it to be the statement piece.”

This article originally appeared in our Winter 2015 issue of Atlanta Magazine’s HOME.