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Publication Date: 2018-01-29

Behind the Design

Designer to the Rescue: Paloma Contreras

Houston-based designer Paloma Contreras tackles a cramped and dated bathroom in a family home, and emerges with a sleek, comforting retreat worthy of the most luxurious spa.

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The custom cabinetry is fitted with hardware by Rejuvenation, the sinks and tubs are by Kohler, and the mirror and fittings are by Restoration Hardware; the floor and shower tiles are by Ann Sachs and the sconces are by Thomas O'Brien for Visual Comfort. Photos: Max Burkhalter

The original bathroom in this house in Houston proved to be problematic for a number of reasons. It was out-moded and needed to be brought up to date for our young clients. The shower was enclosed with sheetrock walls and you had to step down into it, making for a claustrophobic experience. We tore out the shower, raised its floor, and created a larger space ensconced in glass. The existing built-in bathtub took up a great deal of space, which we alleviated by switching it out for a free-standing tub. Originally, a large cabinet was installed next to one of the vanities. It supplied needed storage, but it felt overwhelming. We crafted a smaller version to fit between the vanities, which makes the room feel much more open. The toilet, which can't be seen in the photo, was visible, but we designed a small water closet for it to add privacy. Additionally, we borrowed space from an unused adjacent vestibule to expand the closet at the entrance.

The bathroom prior to renovation.
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