Interior designer Kirsten Blazek has two words to describe the ’80s-era bathroom in her Brentwood Traditional project: mirrored hell. “My first thought was, who would ever want to be naked in here?” she says, laughing. “There were literally floor-to-ceiling mirrors everywhere — it was just too much.”
Armed with statement wallpaper, Semihandmade Tahoe Impression fronts, and plenty of white paint, Blazek and team managed to take the space from ’80s glam to modern escape in a matter of weeks. “It was a total gut job,” she shares. “We ripped out the mirrors, floors, cabinets, countertops, bathtub, wallpaper, shower — everything.”
Mirrors aside, the lighting and the layout proved to be the two biggest challenges in this project. “It’s a very long, narrow bathroom — almost galley-style,” she explains. “Coupled with one window and poor natural light, we certainly had our work cut out for us.”
Ahead, see how Blazek and team gave this dated bathroom a modern yet elegant facelift (all without knocking down walls or restructuring the space).
Create “Design Moments” to Transform a Long, Awkward Space
Making sense of the narrow layout was the first order of business for the AXB team. “We decided to create little ‘moments’ throughout the space to make the long layout feel more intentional,” she explains, referencing the free-standing soaking tub, statement vanity, and cozy bench nook. “Dividing the space up really made it feel purposeful and organic instead of awkward.”
Vintage rug by Blue Parakeet Rugs
Add Art & Millwork to Bring Warmth into a Bathroom
Traditionally speaking, bathrooms tend to err on the utilitarian side. But Blazek and team wanted this space to blend seamlessly with the rest of the house. “We added wall art, textiles, and shiplap to make the space feel warm and inviting — not just a bathroom, but an extension of the home,” she explains. “There’s actually shiplap in the kitchen, too, so the bathroom really plays off of that aesthetic.”
The floral wallpaper is actually a nod to the adjoining bedroom. “There were a lot of mauve tones in the bedroom, so we just ran with that color palette in the bathroom,” she explains. “The pattern really ties into the traditional feel of the home, but set against frameless oak cabinets and clean white countertops, it still feels modern.”
Lighten & Brighten With Bone Hardwood and Reflective Gold
White paint is always a foolproof way to lighten and brighten a space, but Blazek and team wanted to take it a step further.
“We added seven light fixtures to this bathroom,” she explains, referencing the four wall sconces and three ceiling pendants. The flooring was also a key factor in lightening up the aesthetic. “I didn’t want the floors to clash with the light oak Tahoe cabinets, so we went with a light, bone-colored hardwood,” notes Kirsten. “They really reflect what little natural light the space gets, and I love the way they turned out!”
Finally, the gold accents speak to the spaces’ classic feel while reflecting light around the room. “I think the gold light fixtures, mirrors, and drawer pulls really tie the space together — they’re modern in style but traditional in color,” she adds. “I think we nailed the modern yet elegant feel!”