2018-2019 Designer of the Year: Bathrooms $30,000 & Below

Winner: Kara Gordon, Sleek to Chic Interiors, Texas
This master bathroom transformed from a dark builder-grade design, to bright, fresh and airy. The client had a bathtub they never used, so we moved the shower there, and put a standalone vanity where the shower used to be. We rebuilt all cabinetry, new millwork around mirrors, and lighting and hardware extraordinaire! The elegance of this new space is every homeowner's dream!

The designer did not want to lose what natural light there was, and certainly did not want to add a skylight. So the designer opted for a clerestory window that need not be covered for privacy, so that all that light could flow in. The smaller window now provides more natural light than the larger window ever did! With the shower running right up to the sink vanity on one side, and the dressing vanity on the other, every inch counted, along with every material and how it all joined together.

The designer had to make sure that between the smaller window, the newer can lights, and the vanity sconces, that there was enough light for all bathroom and dressing tasks. There is now more light in there than there ever was before, without having to use 4-bulb vanity lights!

1st Runner Up: Bauer/Clifton Interiors, Bauer/Clifton Interiors,  Alaska
This small bathroom required a major overhaul, as it was greatly outdated, lacked storage & counter space, and was incredibly undersized for a master bathroom.  Fortunately, it was agreed upon by all that a neighboring room should be downsized in order to increase the size and functionality of this particular bathroom.  Per the designers' proposal, a successful design was delivered that incorporates classic, long-lasting finish materials to achieve a timeless spa-like setting. 

The updated vanity area includes optimal cabinetry storage, medicine cabinet, and modern wall sconces for increased lighting. The new walk-in shower incorporates dual shower heads, recessed alcove storage, linear floor drain, and a custom designed glass barn door enclosure. 


The toilet was recessed into the adjoining room and is now tucked behind the tall linen cabinet for additional privacy. Porcelain wall tile in an off-white marble motif was applied to all walls to reflect the natural lighting that pours in through the two new exterior windows and is accented by a leaf-shaped mosaic patterned tile installed in the shower area and behind the vanity for continuity.  Lastly, dark cherry cabinetry and bronze hardware contrast sharply against the soothing sand tones of the palette to complete this new spa retreat.


One of the biggest challenges was to manipulate the shape of the room to minimize the “bowling alley effect”.  This was achieved by creating a niche where the toilet would be placed that worked with the layout of the neighboring guest bath.  This niche effect accomplished a wider section in the center of the bathroom, creating a sense the vanity and shower areas were in essence ‘wings’ off of a larger zone.  A non-swinging door was required to enclose the shower due to the narrow space.  A custom designed glass barn door utilizes the widened niche of the toilet area; permitting entry into the shower.

2nd Runner Up: Nicole Arnold, Nicole Arnold Interiors, Texas
This master bath was a significant part of our multi room renovation in this home. The clients had a poorly laid out, dark, dated, dysfunctional bathroom that had a clear line of sight from the front door! We moved walls and repositioned doorways to design the room with not only a beautiful, but super functional layout. This bathroom now feels more like a private bath off the master vs. a master bath with access from the foyer. Whites and grays were used to freshen up the space from it's former browns and golds and a porcelain tile made the perfect choice for our client's love of carrera marble but no desire for maintenance. 

A vessel tub gave the client the spa feel she desired for her baths and we elected to keep the glass block window to flood the room with lots of light without compromising privacy.The glass tile striping gave the classic looking tile a more edgy feel to mirror the client's "rock and roll glam" theme in other parts of the home. A dual vanity on a continuous wall gives each spouse their own private space with intentional lighting at face level for makeup and shaving. The custom tower and lower cabinets maximize space in this room to house all the necessary bathroom items. 


Previous walls in the shower were not level and the tile installation was quite a bit more difficult than anticipated. The project took about a week longer than planned due to the need to rework some walls, but it worked out beautifully in the end.


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