Make a Splash
Three great bathrooms range in style from modern to transitional
Elin Walters created her happy bath with a circle motif and rich accent colors. See more of this bathroom and other designers’ works below.
Photos by Jeff Garland
It’s a Mod, Mod World
Interior designer Elin Walters puts a cool spin on her main bath
BACKSTORY: Eight years ago, Elin Walters fell in love with a 1958 tri-level, Mid-century-style home in Ann Arbor. After living in a 1980s contemporary in Dexter, Walters was ready for a change — so she dove into the mid-century! Little by little, she and her realtor husband, Christian Ward, have been overhauling the home to bring out its original vernacular and its fun side. “We’re always working on it,” Walters, an interior designer who owns Exactly Designs, says with a laugh. “I’m adding my sense of whimsy and playfulness; it’s bright, happy, modern, and engaging. Next up is to replace the staircase. I just can’t stop!” One of the home’s more recent overhauls is the master bath. “The master space used to be two different rooms with two doorways. We made it one space, and now it also houses the washer and dryer and a walk-in closet. We had a very small footprint and had to use every inch effectively.”
TILE STYLE: Virginia Tile was installed by Tandem Tile & Stone (Ann Arbor). Walters chose a penny round design for the shower, and 12- by 24-inch gray ceramic tiles for flooring.
UNIFIED & UTILITARIAN: The vanity, mirror, sink, and faucet are from Ikea. “I love the clean lines,” Walters says.
WAKE UP TO WHITE: The walls are painted in Simply White (Benjamin Moore) — a perfect backdrop for the three colorful paintings by artist Ruth Langs.
GLASS CLASS: Walters designed a glass-block wall, installed by Tandem Tile & Stone, to separate the toilet from the rest of the space.
CURVE WALL: The shower is curved, which also makes it fun. “I didn’t want a shower door but needed an opening, so when you walk in you look at a shower wall that descends from the ceiling in a slant,” Walters says. “I wanted the shower wall to serve as a sculpture in the room; it’s the focal point.”
MAT MATTERS: Says Walters: “Our asymmetrical bamboo mat adds a natural element in a sea of grays and whites. It also adds warmth and is super practical.”
CHANGE-UP: “I swap out linens regularly because I get bored,” Walters says. “Right now I have a lime chartreuse hand towel with white circles on it to mimic the penny round tiles. I love circles.”
TOSS IT: Walters searched high and low for a “cool-looking” laundry receptacle to catch laundry from a chute, but couldn’t find one. Her solution was to order a huge plastic planter. “I cut out the false shelf so the laundry can fill it up,” she says. exactlydesigns.com
—By Megan Swoyer
A century-plus-old Detroit home’s new master bath gleams with subtle glam
BACKSTORY: Kamran Saadatjoo bought a three-story historic home two years ago on a unique Detroit street: a brick-paved, pedestrian-only section of Pallister Avenue. The makeover of the 3,500-square-foot home had its share of challenges because the 1910-era building had actually sunk. As a result, it required new footings. The house was raised 8 inches, says builder and general contractor Mark Affer, owner of MSA Construction in Birmingham. The behind-the-scenes fixes also took a bite of the interior design budget, says Anahi Hollis, owner and principal designer of Anahi Hollis Design LLC in Detroit. To create the large and open master bath she envisioned, Hollis took a walk-in closet and a small bathroom and created an oasis, complete with a massive shower with two rain shower heads, three storage niches, and a Mont Blanc quartzite bench (PMP Marble & Granite in Troy, fabricated by Wolverine Stone Co. in Warren). “The bathroom finishes were carefully selected with original historic elements in mind,” Hollis says.
KEEPING TRADITIONS: The bath includes a cast iron clawfoot tub with a Brizo Rook floor-mounted, waterfall tub filler. The floor is covered in a 1-inch white marble hexagon mosaic tile. A large mirror with Rhulmann sconces provides facial lighting. (Sconces are from Visual Comfort Lighting at Herald Wholesale in Troy; the tub is from Barclays Products Ltd. at Wittock Kitchen and Bath, Shelby Township; the tub filler is from Wittock Kitchen and Bath; tile is from The Tile Shop in Sterling Heights; and the mirror is from John R Glass in Madison Heights. Tile installer was Steve Kozlowski from SK Kitchen and Bath, Rochester.)
SHADES OF GRAY: A matte gray paint (Colonnade Gray, Sherwin-Williams) adorns the walls, while a Richmond vanity (Mindful Gray, Sherwin-Williams) is from Wholesale Builder Supply Inc. in Wixom. Adex USA subway tile in Silver Mist lines the shower (Virginia Tile Co., Michigan Design Center, Troy). “I really like the sort of monochromatic bathroom in here because it’s so big,” Hollis says. “I wanted it to feel very relaxed and soothing.”
MOSAIC MAGNIFICENCE: The pièce de résistance is hard to miss: a nearly 3-foot by 5-foot “picture frame” focal point that features Tempesta Neve Wheaton marble mosaic tile on the wall of the glass-enclosed shower (John R Glass).
NICKEL NUANCE: The polished nickel faucets and shower fixtures from Kohler Bancroft at Wittock Kitchen and Bath were coordinated with accessories in a polished nickel finish, helping lighten the space and giving it “a warmer tone than a chrome,” Hollis says. anahihollis.com
—By Melissa Burden
Flights of Fancy
A butterfly mosaic glides into this design theme
BACKSTORY: When architect Benny Spielmann — co-owner of Montreal-based stone, tile, and specialty design company Detroit Ciot, headquartered in Troy — planned a renovation of his daughter’s bathroom in their Huntington Woods home, he was able to have unlimited consultations with a very talented young designer — his daughter, Talia Spielmann.
“She’s really great with color and composition,” her dad says. “Although many 9-year-old girls focus on color-matching for clothes, Talia chooses complementary tones. She’s very tasteful and subtle, not flamboyant.”
Talia likes to work with her dad on design ventures.
“Talia, sometimes accompanied by her 11-year-old brother, Noam, comes to the showroom all the time,” Spielmann says. “She likes to participate. She’ll take samples of the stone and tile, and pretend she’s designing a home. She loves art and art projects — and Legos. Her Lego constructions are in every room of the house!”
ON THE WALL: “I’d been working with SICIS (sicis.com) art mosaic factory in Italy,” Spielmann says, “and Talia and I would look through their beautiful product books. We saw a butterfly-themed glass mosaic, and Talia — who’s always loved butterflies — thought it would be perfect for her new bathroom.” The installation was worked in sections, like pieces of a puzzle; the classic, square architectural pattern of white iridescent tile is softened by the inlaid butterflies. The floor (it’s heated!) and countertops are MAXFINE porcelain slabs.
“When we finished, the butterflies looked like they could fly off the wall,” Spielmann says.
NO HIDDEN VANITY HERE: Designed by Chris Jacob from Jacob & Co. in Birmingham, the vanity is set on a raised, stage-like platform at one end of Talia’s bedroom. A neat-looking façade of 12 identical drawers actually consists of cupboards and drawers to hide and store toiletries, supplies, and lots of trinkets. When the piece, along with the mirror and light fixtures, was installed, it was “amazing to see,” Spielmann says, adding, “so why keep it hidden away?”
PUT IT IN NEUTRAL: The tub, shower, and toilet are in a separate room, right off the vanity. “The walls are stark white,” Spielmann says, “with framed butterfly mosaic art. When choosing the features for her bathroom, Talia was able to discern that, like toys she’s outgrown and those she still loves, the classic neutrals will suit her far longer than the pinks and purples she once tended to favor. This whole renovation will be pleasing and functional to Talia at every age.” ciot.com
—By Honey Murray