Celestin McGlynn and Lisa Nakamura, co-founders of Spec + Sage, an interior design and event styling firm based in Los Angeles, love helping clients refresh their space. The pair, who met in design school, were recently hired for a primary bathroom renovation for a family who just welcomed a baby. The brief? Gut the space without moving the plumbing and keep the small footprint both functional and stylish, all while staying on a tight budget.
“We had done their kitchen previously, which was one of our first projects,” McGlynn says.
The ‘90s bathroom had a salmon hue, “fake Venetian feel, and everything needed” a re-do, Nakamura recalls. When it came to the inspiration for the palette, the husband knew he wanted black tile. “We did a previous bathroom with a black shower which he had seen,” she adds. But in lieu of a dark shower, they opted for black Floor & Decor 2-by-8 subway tile, on the back wall, plus black-and-white patterned floor tile from Bedrosian, a tile they had loved and were glad to finally get to use in a project. Additionally, classic white 2-by-8 subway tile completes the space.
As this is the family’s primary bathroom, McGlynn and Nakamura knew they would need to make sure there was as much usable square footage as possible. “They had considered using some of the hallway space, but decided against it as they have another bathroom renovation to do in the future,” McGlynn says. Two doors, one from the hallway and one from the primary bedroom, take up further wall space in this bathroom, a unique challenge for the duo.
When it came to storage, they chose Semihandmade’s Impression Tahoe fronts to fit a Godmorgon vanity, which they estimate saved them $2,000 rather than going for custom cabinetry. The natural wood aesthetic, light oak look, simple design, and wood grain made the doors a no-brainer. Accents of rusty red pop against the black-and-white palette, as seen in the vintage-style rug and shower curtain, which add more dimension to the room.
“Because we had gone so neutral, we wanted to bring in color, but something that would not draw the eye,” McGlynn says.
Pottery Barn brass hardware, twin brass recessed medicine cabinets from West Elm, a Target print of a landscape, and Brizo faucets (a splurge made possible thanks to saving with Semihandmade) complete the simple, yet effective design.