How Can I Help You?

Paul,

I found your blog today and am so impressed with the beautiful effortless look you create in your designs.

I saw that you are taking questions and I have some about my dysfunctional master bathroom. I have a large whirlpool tub with a window right over it. The tub also must function as my shower because there isn’t a stand alone shower unit.

First question –  I don’t know what to do with the large window above the tub. (Right now there is just a roller shade.) The window must be covered and must be waterproof.

Second question – How should I enclose the space around the shower? You will see in the pictures that I have installed outdoor panels from pottery barn from the
ceiling and I thought they would work, but they really don’t keep the water contained because they don’t close. It also feels so cold and open – like I’m standing in the middle of a field taking a shower.  I had a quote for a glass enclosure but it is not a very economical solution. I want to eventually take the whirlpool tub out and have a claw foot  installed – then have a  separate shower built. In the meantime I can’t figure out how to treat the space so I can use it.

Any advice would be appreciated. I am attaching several pictures of the space.

Thank you,

Kelly

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Dear Kelly,

Thank you so much for your design inquiry.  You definitely pose some challenging questions regarding your Master Bathroom space, and some of your long-term ideas are really good ones…but as your research has already provided, some of the best ideas / solutions are the most expensive ones.

Here are my recommendations for your space, which are sure to take your Master Bathroom to another level.  Some of these ideas are beyond your request, so you obviously shouldn’t feel obligated to take my suggestions…but I can assure you that they would truly transform this environment.

1.  In order to treat the window in the shower, you can actually have a vinyl-coated shutter installed which would not only be more functional than what you currently have, but it would also be waterproof…so perfectly fitting for this type of application.  The picture below would be the type of shutter I would recommend (which does come in the above material that would be appropriate for a shower), and I think the architectural elements would really add visual interest to your space.  The mechanism is actually behind the louvers themselves so the shutter can be open during the day, but when the shower needs to be used, the louvers can easily be closed with one tilt.  The installer should caulk over the screws to protect them from the water, but the rest of the mechanisms / hinges would be either stainless steel or powder coated.

2.  I agree that a frameless glass shower enclosure would be best.  If I could encourage you to save up in order to go in that direction, I would do that…Before you decide to remove the current tub and replace it with a clawfoot tub (which I LOVE), I would ask you this…Think about your current investment and how long you plan on staying in this residence…If you foresee yourself moving in a few years, I think you would take a significant loss in removing the tub and replacing it…just not worth it…A glass shower enclosure would definitely increase your investment in this bathroom, and attract a potential buyer.  If, however, you foresee yourself in this home for an indefinite period of time, then I would say that any investments that you make should be made for you and your enjoyment, so a clawfoot tub would definitely be the way to go!

With all of that said, you really have selected the best option for the space by framing the window in the background and almost creating a window treatment around it.  Personally, I would go for just a touch more color and pattern to compliment the color and texture of the tile, and if you purchased two shower curtains (with the liners behind them as you have currently done), that should definitely give you the closure that you need.  I would recommend Restoration Hardware’s Diamond Matelasse Shower Curtain in Flax (fourth one down).

3.  Okay, so now for the advice that you didn’t ask for…:-)  Seriously, these are just some suggestions that I think you should consider because I think they would dramatically improve the space.

You sent some additional images, and the following image caught my attention.

When I looked at both of your images together, some immediate thoughts came to my mind.  Firstly, paint…I think that you could go with something warmer for this space.  The countertop, vanity, and tile all lean towards warmer tones, so I would be inclined to go with a warmer paint.  I would really love to see you go with something that lends itself to more of a “salmon” tone.  I would recommend Benjamin Moore’s Tomato Cream Sauce (2089-40)…It definitely has pink in it, but the pink is somewhat downplayed by a slightly orange tone, and with the tile in this space, I think the combination would be quite sophisticated and lovely…paired with the RH shower curtains and the clean and classic shutter, this would be a perfect marriage.

Secondly, the space needs personality.  The bones are there, but now the space needs to show character, age / wear, and softness, so I would introduce the following two elements that I think would complete your design scheme…Wisteria’s Graphic Flat Weave Rug in Brown and Wisteria’s Swedish Oak Stool.

The bathroom is currently all “new,” and it needs a few elements to give it some age and warmth.  I like this particular rug because I think it has a certain “relaxed informality” to it, and I think that it would be exceptionally durable in this space…I would place it directly in front of the vanity.  The stool is one of my favorites…a Swedish reproduction that will definitely not break the bank…I would either place it close to the vanity as you’ve currently done, or angle it to the left of the tub (in front of the left shower curtain).

I hope these recommendations help you, Kelly…As I said, you don’t have to take all of them, but what I can tell you is this…These relatively simple additions will transform your bathroom space dramatically, and the end result will be a shocking “Before & After!”  Best of luck, I hope this advice helps, and thank you again for your inquiry.

Paul

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