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Ocean Inspired Master Bathroom

There are basic, builder grade bathrooms all over this country that are crying out for inspiration. This is a tale about how Gina Sims Designs is taking on those bathrooms, one Octopus-loving client at a time. Here’s the original state of the master bathroom (extra points if you can find me in the images):

My client’s inspiration starting point was a decorative Octopus hook: it referenced the ocean without screaming THIS IS A HOOK FOR A NAUTICAL THEMED BATHROOM AT A BEACH HOUSE.  We adopted it as the project’s spirit animal and kept the ocean and the beach in mind while drenching this space (did ya see what I did there?) with inspiration and character.

The Octopus print over the newly tiled bath makes a subtle nod to our inspiration without being cheesy, thematic, or VRBO-beach-condo-bathroom. This is a sophisticated print that makes the space personal and interesting. We anchored (I’m so good at this) the space with a gray-toned, tile with a driftwood appearance.

Instead of a traditional bullnose tile trimming out the edges of the tub (and as you’ll see below, in the shower), we used a black schluter to give this traditional space a modern edge. (#funfact: a schluter is a metal border profile that can be used to create decorative designs in tile fields on walls and floors)

Moving on to the vanity area, we replaced the traditional lighting with these brilliant brass wall scones that bring a fancy-boutique-hotel-bathroom feeling to the space. Just that extra bit of special that everyone needs in the master bath. The vanity has been painted Indigo Batik and topped with quartz. The black framed mirrors echo the clean lines that the schluter creates in the tile. The orange runner provides a great pop of contrasting color against the deep blues in the room.

Another basic, builder grade bathroom has been thoughtfully redesigned: but the best part of my job is seeing this expression on my client’s face when its all done!

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New Life for an Old Bathroom

Most of the homes built in the 1960s have the same, functional bathroom footprint. When a bathroom like this needs an update, usually we don’t have to tear down walls or rethink how the space is used. One of the many strengths of Mid-Century Design is that it is rooted in functionality. Space is used well: it is not wasted. To update a bathroom like this, we focus on updating materials and finishes that work for the specific owner of such a classic space. In this case, we focused on making the room comfortable and safe for clients who expect to age well in this home in the years to come.

With a nod to the bathroom’s former green tones, we updated the color scheme with a mineral tone, a muted, earthy aqua that reflects a more modern, calm feel in the room.

The classic nature of this bathroom served as the inspiration for the materials in this space. We selected a white and mineral colored fabric in a trellis pattern, and selected updated versions of materials that reflected the original state of the room. White subway tile for the shower surround is a brilliantly classic selection, and the floor tile, a mix of white and gray small tiles imitates the previous floor tile without the high volume of the 1960s color combination. As many 1960s homes are known for their wall-to-wall vertical v-notch paneling, we both winked and nodded to this traditional feature with vertical ship lap,  painted white and with a square notch: it’s a decidedly modern take.

Voila! New life for an old bathroom.

The design features of this bathroom keep the users of the bathroom in mind: for an aging homeowner, we ensured that the toilet seats were elevated and that the shower included grab bars and rails for both using the bathtub and the shower.

Considering the client’s young grandchildren also became a factor. Instead of installing the shower curtain from a tension rod that might be pulled down by young children, we installed the curtain rod from the ceiling and created a custom shower curtain to fully span the space. Bonus? The room feels taller and more spacious when a curtain is hung from a high level. This can be a game-changing feature in Mid-Century homes that do not have vaulted ceilings. #protip #youarewelcome

To keep the room feeling simple and cohesive, we matched the shower curtain to the window shade (in that epic mineral and white trellis pattern) and matched the towels in a similar tone. The Eucalyptus art print and the formal wall sconces polish the space.

When designing for aging populations, or if you’d like to refresh and redesign a bathroom that you’ll be in when you’ll need more supportive features, it’s important to focus on non-slip surfaces. If your bathmats do not have a non-slip backing, purchase a rubber rug pad. There are also companies that can install a non-slip surface to your bathroom floors and tub, and you can’t see it! Whaaaaatttt?! Yes: check it out here.

Do you have a Mid-Century bathroom that functions well, but could use a thoughtful update? Are you thinking about how your home needs to change to accommodate your needs in the coming years? Let’s talk. Right now. Call me.

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Color Boost, The Sequel

When I first worked on this beautiful house for this lovely newly married couple, they liked the back living space of their house but did not know what to do with the front dining room, entry and reading room. When we finished that, they loved it so much, the living space now needed to catch up!

This year, we were fortunate enough to do that to complete the first level of the house. When we go through the design process together, I am always thrilled to be invited back into their lives! I love repeat customers. 

The house was a new build and they were figuring out what they liked when they built it. Often, our initial style might look a lot like our parents’. It is a gorgeous home but they might do things a bit differently today. Common story for a lot of us, right?

They did not want to modify the kitchen since it was practically brand new, but accessorize and address the easy parts to make it flow with our other interior changes. We added new island lighting and a great Roman shade, art, aqua upholstered stools and added fun accessories to make it feel warm and full of life.

The living room got a jolt of awesomeness with a whole new color palette, carried in from the previous design job. We painted the mantle a warm dark gray and painted the coffer ceiling with a gorgeous pale aqua blue. The sectional is a beautiful navy and we accented in coral and aqua with our pillows, rug (layered on top of our large jute) and accessories. I had fun with the mantle vases and art up the staircase.

The tile detail in the before picture in the back bar area was copper and not conducive to our design, so we had a wood insert made and painted navy to match the front entry way, creating a lovely back drop that does not take away from the room.

The bathroom got gorgeous wall paper in the color of the living room coffers and a new chest, lighting, bold art and vases and the existing vanity was painted gray to modernize the look.

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Bath House

My clients bought their 1960’s home from the original owners. The house had great bones but some seriously dated wallpaper and tiny rooms. Architects in the 60’s built fabulously sturdy houses but with no storage and tiny rooms. We modernized this home by moving some walls, starting with these new bathrooms!

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