5 Design Tips from a Stunning Bathroom Makeover
With Simonpietri’s help, one Manhattan family is living proof of that sentiment. In their West Village high-rise apartment, the designer overhauled an en suite master bath she described as “very dark and claustrophobic” and transformed it into a soothing gray-and-white room worthy of lounging. “Our goal was to create a space that felt luxurious but relaxed, elegant but informal enough for daily use,” she says. Another important consideration: storage. Simonpietri removed the existing tub, allowing for a larger shower stall and more cabinetry and closet space. “There’s easily ten times the storage it had when we started the project,” she says. Mirrored surfaces, chrome fittings, and sleek marble countertops and tiling add textural contrast to the gray wood wall paneling, completing the transformation.
Feeling inspired by this bathroom makeover? Here, Simonpietri shares her tips for how to get started in your own home.
1. Begin with a clear idea of what you want. “Whether the project is conducted by a design team or not, it’s really important to know what you like and dislike about your space, which will inform a comprehensive floor plan that integrates all of the desired changes,” says Simonpietri. From there, you can think about aesthetics, from the color palette to the types of fittings you’d like to incorporate.
2. Do your research. “The best clients are often the most informed,” the designer says. “Gather as many images of spaces you love as you can—Pinterest and Instagram can be fantastic sources of inspiration. The more trained your eye becomes on what you love, the easier it will be to make decisions as you move along. It will also give you a solid database to use and compare against your selections.”
3. Know your budget. “A flexible budget will allow you to make unexpected design decisions during the process, which add in cost but also significantly add to the space,” she says. “Always leave yourself some extra funds for great fittings and finishes, since ultimately that is what you will see daily, and things do come up during construction.”
4. Hire the right people. “To achieve beautiful results, it’s important to start with a good team you can trust, and who understands your budget and where to allocate your funds so they shine,” Simonpietri says.
5. Be detail-oriented. “When working with white marble, as we did here, I cannot stress enough the importance of dry runs with the material,” the designer says. “Your idea of a beautifully laid-out marble vein along the floor is likely not the same as the person who will be doing the tiling work, so make sure you rehearse this before anything is glued down. And make sure to open all of your tile boxes to sift through the material before starting to use it—colors will vary, and the sorting process will allow you to have more control over what is used where and what pieces to discard.” Most people, Simonpietri included, also recommend ordering at least 15 percent more material than needed for this reason, plus any cracking or breaking that often occurs during shipping and handling.