Modern Bathroom Design



The bathrooms in Steve Hill's 1926 Spanish revival home were functional, light, airy and very contemporary.

He wanted something that matched the charm and character of his historically designated home in the Marston Hills neighborhood of Hillcrest.

"I wanted something where you can walk in here 20 years from now and say it still goes with the house," said Hill, a flight attendant for United Airlines.

He also wanted a layout that made more sense. Because the home used to have a maid's quarter at the back, he had two bathrooms next to each other. "It was a really funky layout," said Hill, who has lived in the home for 12 years and has been renovating the house in stages.

After checking out a few design studios, he came across Tatiana Machado-Rosas, senior designer at Jackson Design & Remodeling. "I liked her ideas," Hill said. "We think a lot alike."

She created two bathrooms attached to guest rooms. Using porcelain, natural stone and hand-painted tiles, Machado- Rosas created a look that blends in with the rest of the house. But while they look like they belong in a home that is more than 80 years old, the baths have all the modern conveniences.

And as a bonus, Hill gained an extra half bath where the linen closet and the hot water heater used to be as well as a wine storage area where there once was a coat closet. The laundry room, which was in the back of the house, is now in the middle of the hallway for easy access.

Hill calls the new powder room his jewel box. A colorful antique pendant was converted into a light above the sink and crystals dangle from the wall sconce at the other end. Crystal doorknobs and faucet handles add to the jewel-like quality. The lower half of the wall is tiled with a combination of travertine, marble and slate to give it a rich palette of earth colors. The colors are also reflected in the marble countertop.

The idea, Hill said, was to make it look Moorish, which goes with the Spanish style of the home. "Andalusia has a lot of Moorish influence," he said.

The three remodeled bathrooms are unified by the same flooring: quarry pavers lay on a diagonal and are bordered by travertine.

"The goal was to have the same concept throughout but not the same tiles," Machado-Rosas said.

In the first guest bathroom, cream colored travertine tiles line the shower and lower portion of the walls. Hand-painted tiles, framed like a work of art, add color to the shower wall and evoke the past with their resemblance to the famed Malibu tiles. Malibu Potteries was in business for only six years, from 1926 to 1932, but it influenced the look of hundreds of Southern California homes and buildings with it brilliantly colored tiles.

But modern comforts aren't overlooked; an overhead rain shower is paired with a handheld shower.

An onyx mosaic border around the bottom of the walls "gives the room a classic look," Machado-Rosas said. The hand-painted tiles, which are from Florida and Mexico, also add a colorful border to the top of the wall tiling.

Arches define the second guest bathroom, which Hill also uses as the pool bathroom because it's a few steps away from the back door, which leads to the pool. The arched entrance to the shower is repeated in the marble-tile weave decorating the shower wall.

A skylight keeps the room light, as do the opaque glass pocket doors. The hand-painted tiles red instead of blue, orange and green in this bathroom add a strip of color to the travertine.

Details, such as tiled nooks in each shower for shampoo, pull knobs on the toilets and slightly distressed dark alder wood cabinets, give the bathrooms a historically accurate look while providing practical solutions.

"Each bathroom has its own personality," Machado-Rosas said.

Jackson Design and Remodeling