Renovation 4: Serene sanctuary
Rife with dated details and builder-grade materials, this lackluster Decatur bath was due for a style overhaul. Designer Lisa Gabrielson updated fixtures and surfaces and removed a bathtub to create more space within the existing footprint. Shiplap walls added a dose of cottage character and brightened the once-dark room. A fresh, airy color palette, including aqua blue barn doors, further enhanced the space’s idyllic charms.
Describe the space pre-renovation.
The bathroom was lacking in character and efficiency. The shower was small and the tub too large.
What inspired the new design?
The homeowner craved a bright, clean farmhouse style.
What were your top priorities?
I wanted to introduce some style while fixing the layout and increasing storage. You start and end your day in the bathroom, so I wanted to be sure that it felt tranquil.
How did you make the space more efficient?
We removed a large tub that never got used, which allowed us to extend the shower. A tall custom shelving unit beside the toilet adds storage and privacy. To keep things streamlined, we added a pocket door at the entrance and replaced the closet French doors with sliding barn doors painted aqua to match the vanity.
What was the greatest challenge?
Between the closets and bathroom, there were five doors converging in a small space.
What is your favorite design element?
I really adore the custom linen Roman shades. They feature a powder blue cabana stripe. I’m really drawn to simple yet classic materials.
What was your biggest splurge?
We clad all five walls in white boards, which was quite an investment but really elevated the space. They also gave the homeowner that casual cottage vibe that she was seeking.
How did you save money?
We purchased a ready-made vanity at Home Decorators Collection and upgraded the pulls. And we used stocked doors from Home Depot.
What was your lighting plan?
I love unique lighting, particularly side sconces in a bathroom, which create a more flattering light for applying makeup.