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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.

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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