Jon and Kris were fed up with their broken-down, dysfunctional en suite bathroom. Just getting ready for work every morning was a big challenge. The bathroom was actually divided into three separate spaces — each with its own door — and the result was a choppy layout that had them tripping over each other in the race to get ready and get out of there.

This en suite bath was so poorly laid out, and had so many other issues — bad lighting, no ventilation, tiny shower stall, broken tub — that these homeowners didn’t know where to begin. There was absolutely no saving grace to this space, so I got the ball rolling by sending in a wrecking crew. By the time it was done, we had a clean slate and were ready to get down to business.


Jon and Kris love the outdoors, and they wanted their bathroom to be a warm, inviting retreat, and a place that reflected their own personal tastes. So I came up with a plan that makes the most of beautiful natural materials, all wrapped up in an ultra-modern package. It brings the outdoors inside by incorporating natural stone, reclaimed barn board and mother-of-pearl surfaces, alongside ultramodern faucets and lots of glass.

I redesigned the room to include contemporary wooden cabinetry, with lots of space for towels and toiletries underneath, and an additional wall-mounted storage column. The high-tech chrome faucets, with single-lever counter controls, perch over two elegant glass vessel sinks. Above each sink I placed large mirrors, each framed by two lovely sconces that pick up the mosaic motif of the mother-of-pearl tiles. These tiles run along part of the backsplash, and continue down in a wide strip across the floor, extending up the outer wall of the shower.

To continue the outdoorsy theme, we installed a new toilet embossed with a floral pattern. But the piece de resistance is the gorgeous soaker tub, which I framed with a rustic barn-board wall and custom Caesarstone decking. Overhead, a whimsical antler-themed chandelier speaks to the homeowners’ love of the great outdoors, as does the artwork we chose to hang beside the tub.


The Caesarstone decking extends into a spacious shower surrounded by all-glass seamless walls. Inside the enclosure, I incorporated a wonderful stone bench and a luxurious rain show-erhead. Let’s just say that showering in Jon and Kris’ new bathroom is a spa-like experience about as far from the everyday as you can get!

To access this restful and relaxing retreat, Jon and Kris only need to slide open their custom-designed barn-board door, and as soon as they step through they’ll be transported into their own personal space, where natural materials and modern finishes combine to create a perfect balance of function and elegance.

All the various finishes are key to making this bathroom work. The barn board is especially important because it introduces a lot of warmth, which counterbalances the coolness of glass and chrome used throughout this space, while natural-themed accessories help to pull it all together.


We sent Jon and Kris’ choppy, poorly laid-out en suite back to the 1980s, and replaced it with a luxurious new space. Instead of rushing through their morning routines in an effort to get out of the bathroom, their new problem could well be getting to work on time. With such a warm and inviting spalike experience right in their own home, they may find it difficult to leave.

Interior decorator Candice Olson is host of HGTV’s “Candice Tells All.”


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