Living

DIVINE DESIGN: A bathroom gets a therapeutic makeover

Grant and Ayesha have had a very busy few years. They got married, bought a house and had their first child and the flurry of activity doesn't end there. The two spend most of their time tending to the needs of other people.

Ayesha, a nurse and now stay-at-home mom, chases after their little son Yusef all day. Grant, a sports medicine doctor who owns several clinics throughout the city, concentrates on the injuries of athletes, dancers and acrobats. The only problem was that the couple was too busy taking care of everyone except themselves.

They dreamed of creating a tranquil, spa-like master bathroom in which they could relax at the end of each hectic day. But their existing bathroom was so outdated, so poorly lit and so full of ugly green marble that they didn't have any idea how to renovate it. So I grabbed my crew and decided to resuscitate the bathroom and make it a modern space where Grant and Ayesha could soak, splash and steam away their cares.

The bathroom itself was quite large, but it had a lot of wasted space and not enough storage room. So the first order of the day was to rip out everything -- cabinetry, fixtures and finishes -- and start from scratch. I wanted to create a layout that would efficiently maximize every square inch of available space.

As a jumping off point, I created a focal wall covered with small, gorgeous earth-tone tiles in a mixture of glass and marble. I painted the rest of the walls in a neutral cream color. I put down dark, larger scale porcelain tiles on the floor and dark chocolate wood built-in cabinetry to create some contrast.

I then got to work on the fixtures, which all work together to give the bathroom a very sleek and minimalist feeling. Along the feature wall I installed a free-standing, deep soaker tub and an ultra-modern, eco-friendly toilet.

On the opposite wall I put up a graceful, elongated vanity in a deep, chocolate wood, with a contemporary sink, lots of storage space (including a great custom-built drawer to conceal the couple's laundry) and a heated towel rack.

Then it was on to the shower. But I didn't install just any ordinary shower. This one is a huge, enclosed space that will keep the couple pampered with an overhead rain shower, an assortment of body sprays, and a handheld showerhead that can be used while standing up or sitting down on the luxurious shower bench.

To lighten up this beautiful new room I installed recessed lighting in the ceiling, some intimate, waterproof lights in the shower and two sconces in the mirror above the vanity.

After adding some restful and relaxing accents -- from candles and towels to balms and salves -- this bathroom oasis was complete.

By using a variety of sleek finishes, modern fixtures and minimalist accents, this bathroom went from uninspired and bland to sleek and chic. Now Grant and Ayesha have an ultra-relaxing place to indulge themselves when they are not busy helping others. Now that's divine!

Interior decorator Candice Olson is host of HGTV's "Divine Design."

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