If there’s one thing I’ve learned through my years of design and styling work it’s this: Design your home for the people that actually live there. It doesn’t matter what so-and-so may think, or what your friends, family, and neighbors feel would look best, or what your readers and followers like or don’t like – none of them live there. You do. What’s more important is that when you step inside, it feels like home. For some that may mean a riot of color for others a white box. Modern or mid century, country or contemporary, whatever your drawn to, it should embrace you like a warm hug. Regardless of whether or not it pleases the masses or is on-trend. Because let’s face it – they’re both fickle.
When we started designing and building Grove House, my husband and I had many long conversations about what type of architecture and design we liked, how we wanted to live in the space, even how we cooked together in the kitchen. From those meetings over dinner and long walks we began working on a home that represented both of us. It would be simple, with clean modern lines and warm rustic touches. In other words, home.
My studio bath is on the small side. Not tiny, but definitely not as spacious as the others. I rather like it cozy. It’s basically a rectangle shaped room with white walls and concrete floors. Where I was able to inject character and warmth was with the decor. I’ve shared how my husband built the concrete vanity for my antique marble sink. It’s the first thing you notice when you enter or walk by and I love how it makes an impact and sets the tone.
An assortment of towels and apothecary items echo the same color hues from the sink and vanity and then continue throughout the bath. This helps create cohesion and dimension to the space.
The antique mirror was a gift from my friend Amy. I adore it’s worn patina and the imperfections that blur your reflection a bit. I’ve often thought of adding a post-it note that reads: You Look Marvelous for visitors. haha!
I found the glass encased vintage postcard at the flea market. When I returned home it I casually propped it up on the sink – where it’s lived ever since. It’s quirky and unexpected and reminds me of my husband who spends every free hour he can on the ocean.
After trolling Craigslist I finally found a black antique tub. I like to add a touch of black to every room because I feel it adds a bit of drama. Eventually I will tile the wall to the ceiling and add an overhead shower. This was a temporary solution so we could get final on the build. It’s hardly ever used so it’s not a high priority. I’m guessing you may have a few of those projects as well. The metal wire pendant has been discontinued but this is similar.
The vintage oil painting is actually an artists practice canvas dated 1965. The subject matter feels very California with it’s desert scenery and oceanscapes. My shell collection is a fitting companion. Many of them were gifts from my husband after returning from a diving trip. Each small token represents a safe journey home. The wood shelf was made from a leftover scaffolding plank and wishbone brackets. Simple is best in this case.
There is a large storage closet just outside the bathroom which is helpful when space is at a premium. I only need to keep a few small stacks of towels on the shelves and a large seagrass belly basket to hold extra paper.
Here the small watercolor painting, coat rack, monogramed towel, and stoneware bottle for the flowers are all vintage finds. Some are from local markets and others from my travels. I picked up several of the gray nubby towels while in Amsterdam. Wish I had bought more. Maybe when I return in the spring I’ll buy a bundle of them!
Although I’m the one who uses the studio bathroom the most, it still feels like a mix of both our styles. Masculine touches like the rustic wood and concrete floors and vanity – combined with softer more feminine touches like the marble sink, artwork, and linens make us both happy. But what I love most about the space is that we worked on it together and chose to limit the use of mass-produced store bought items to create a room that is instead, collected and truly unique to us.
I hope this inspires you to do your own thing. Buy what you love, be patient while searching for unique items, and don’t worry about what anyone else thinks about your design choices. Because at the end of the day all that really matters, is that it warmly welcomes those who call it home. Everyone else is just passing through.