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This modest guest bathroom celebrates a relaxed seaside aesthetic, offset by some classic design touches


Used only occasionally – and then always by visitors – a guest bathroom is the ideal space to introduce a playful decor theme.

For this project, the owners asked designer Cheryl Hamilton-Gray to expand and reinvent an existing tired guest bathroom. The couple love the ocean and everything about it, so it was no surprise they asked for this bathroom to have a casual, beachy theme. With the preference of an extended family member in mind, they also requested a freestanding bathtub, but wanted to retain a shower as well for the preference of other guests, says Hamilton-Gray.

"We gained added space by repurposing the closet from an adjoining bedroom. Several rustic pieces and material selections evoke the seaside – for example, two room-height weathered posts, one to each side of the vanity, have the look of driftwood. The vanity is also in lightly distressed wood and the open shelving unit has an appropriately casual look.

"The floor is a hard-wearing porcelain tile with the appearance of Calacatta marble. The veining looks like water receding off rocks and so was a perfect choice. And the upper walls are painted in a marine-blue tone."

However, the relaxed, beachy look is offset by more formal touches, says Hamilton-Gray.


"The paneled door is transitional in flavor, while the white subway tile is a design classic. In addition, the curvaceous Victorian-style tub is served by what looks like a similar vintage freestanding faucet, as is the vanity sink."

The tiles run higher directly behind the tub and shower area for waterproofing. A half-wall is built out in this area so the designer could recess a niche into it. The half-wall is also capped with a ledge so someone standing to shower doesn't have to stoop to reach the soap.

The ledge and chair rail that extend to the next wall also provide a suitable break for a change in materials – the walls above the ledge in this area are in a tile with a different format, set diagonally. This provides visual interest as well as easy-to-maintain waterproofing, says Hamilton-Gray.

Cleanup after guests have gone home has been made easier by the selection of an apron instead of claw feet for the freestanding tub, so there is no need to reach right under the bath.

"For a touch of glamour, I chose pretty wall sconces with a speckled pattern," she says.

First published date: 31 March 2014

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Credit List

Bathroom and interior designer Cheryl Hamilton-Gray CKD, NARI, NKBA Hamilton-Gray Design (Carlsbad, CA)
Builder DPR Construction
Tub Porcher Archive Free Standing Tub from Faucet Direct
Vanity Pottery Barn
Faucets Salinas Collection from California Faucets
Floors Crossville tile from Bedrosians
Toilet Kohler
Accessories Shaving unit from Urban Outfitters; mirror from Pottery Barn