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A Sneak Peek into the Bathroom Design Process

Gorgeous marble bathroom styled by Houston interior design firm Nancy Lane Interiors.

We've been working on a whole house remodeling project for a sweet family recently, and today we wanted to take you through a bit of the thought process behind updating a myriad of bathrooms in a real life scenario! That's right - that means working with a real budget, client preferences, and not the most perfect timing.

For a bit of context, this is a very traditional house, built in the late 90s, that our clients literally gutted to the bones, having already started construction when they hired NLI for a whole house of furnishings. By that point, they had already chosen their plumbing fixtures and placed orders to go with brass and black throughout all the bathrooms. However, they were open to our opinions regarding their original hard finish selections made with help from their contracting company. Long story short we ended up reselecting most of what had not yet been ordered...the tile and lighting.

Scroll through for a sneak peek!

For the primary bathroom, we were going for a relaxed, luxury suite feel. To start we selected a lovely quartz countertop with warm, rich marble like veining. Quartz offers great functionality and low maintenance compared to that of real marble and, depending on the quartz, is insanely gorgeous! For the flooring, we're using a large 12" x 24" format, again with a marble look. The one we selected has a nice mixture of browns and beiges and grays so its versatile and in no way matchy-matchy but rather quite complementary to our countertop material.

While we're planning to paint the majority of the house in an off white for the walls, ceilings, and trim, in this bathroom, we're actually using a very light gray. Gray can be a tough color to invariably reads green or blue and sometimes even purple so beware of just picking any old gray. For this project, based on our hard surface materials, we've selected Benjamin Moore Gray Owl. It's a perfect neutral gray with a slight hint of blue that really sings next to the marble like materials we've chosen. #it'sallabouttheundertone

For the shower, we wanted the marble look to continue, but again our clients didn't want the upkeep of marble. For the shower floor, we chose a 1" hex tile made from recycled glass that looks like marble. It's a honed tile with texture and that was an important detail to consider, just in case their two little girls ever needed to use that shower. No slippery tile!

Instead of using the same marble on the shower walls, we broke it up with an elongated 2" x 8" subway tile with a little wave pattern to it. #timelessandclassicwithatwist There's also a window near the shower, so the light will catch beautifully on these tiles, and reflect whatever color of daylight is coming in.

We chose a beautiful modern mirror with a golden bronze metal trim over both vanities, a lucite and gold sconce on her vanity, and a coordinating more masculine sconce for his vanity across the bathroom.

We noted on one of our walkthroughs with the client that new junction boxes had been installed overhead to sit above the mirrors, but we all know how horrendous that type of lighting is for putting on makeup or just seeing faces in general. Thankfully our clients trust us and approved our suggestion to switch to sconces that flank the mirrors for both vanities.

Upstairs in their guest room bath, it's another complete gut job. With free reign and a request for a timeless modern i.e. transitional bathroom for their guests to enjoy, we worked with the already ordered black faucets for the sink and shower but brought in pops of brass as well as a little color on the floor and cabinets. For the tub surround, we went with an always classic subway tile but in a herringbone pattern to bring in some fun and put a spin on traditional.

For their little girls' bathroom, we had to work around the already ordered black faucet hardware. To be honest I was afraid a black finish would feel really harsh in a little girls space so we wanted to add some pieces that would feminize the space. Look at these super cute lucite and brass floral sconces from our favorite local lighting vendor that will be super sweet for the girls as they grow up, paired with these more organically shaped mirrors. They're about a decade or more away from the makeup stage, so this design should last quite a long time for this family.

Just wait until you see the accessories and final styling...the all-boy mom in me is having the time of her life with this one y'all. I'm also happy to report that all of the lighting and tile has now been ordered. A word of warning...unbeknownst to us, the contractor waited a few weeks after we submitted our selections to place orders for the tile. During that three week time period one of the selections became unavailable and we got the dreaded phone call needing a reselect and STAT. #plottwist Please know that I'm not trying to cast dispersions but rather sharing as a friendly reminder...we've written many a blog post mentioning supply chain issues and hiring your design team early but its worth repeating...time is of the essence when it comes to construction, especially these days. My advice...hire your design team early and get those orders in as soon as selections are approved.

What is your favorite finish {color} choice for plumbing or tile for a primary bathroom? I'd be curious to hear!


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