A Fresh Faced Bath

When you have beautiful architecture, it’s easy to update a bath just by resurfacing without moving a wall or changing the floor plan.

Bathroom vanity and adjacent shower.
New paint on walls and trim (White Dove, Benjamin Moore), as well as the addition of Calacatta Gold marble tile (Triton Stone), creates a crisp, clean look. The designers kept the original diamond-paned, leaded-glass window beside the tub. New crystal knobs add a little sparkle to the vanity. Photography by Jean Allsopp

When you have beautiful architecture, it’s easy to update a space just by resurfacing,” says designer Kristi Freeman, co-owner of Catori Design House. Along with her business partner, Terra Bonner, Kristi brought a whole new look to the bath in this 27-year-old home without moving a wall or changing the floor plan. “Our clients built the house, but after so many years, some of their original choices had gone out of style,” says Kristi. “They wanted to add updated products for a fresh look.” Aside from new surfaces, fixtures, and paint, the biggest change was the new bathtub. “Back then, the only freestanding tubs available were clawfoot tubs,” Kristi says. 

Before and after of bathtub.
The original bath enjoyed an old-school soaking tub. To update the space, the designers took out the casement and replaced the fixture with an elegant free-standing tub from Ferguson.

Working with builder JL Crosby Construction, the team demolished the existing cased tub. “We took our client down to the Ferguson showroom and had her sit in several new tubs to try them out,” Kristi says. “It had to be both pretty and comfortable.”

Kristi and Terra’s Picks

Impactful Upgrade: 
Lighting! It’s like the jewelry to an outfit. We chose the Talia Chandelier from Circa Lighting because of its resemblance to bath bubbles. 

Here to Stay:
Brass accents. In frames or accessories such as candlesticks and trays, this classic material continues to endure.

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Ready to see it go: 
Industrial appointments. Traditional fixtures and finishes remain timeless.

Can never go wrong with:
Polished nickel plumbing. 

Favorite products: 
Creed perfumes and Lollia Wish bubble bath.

“A well-built house with a good design is always a wise investment. There’s no reason to rebuild something just for the sake of rebuilding.”

Kristi Freeman, Catori Design House

Expert Insights from VW Gallerie

Chrome and brushed nickel finishes keep a bath current. For a statement, try matte black or champagne bronze. 

Living finishes:
When you select a living finish such as unlacquered brass, it’s important to understand that when it’s manufactured, it is polished and shiny. Over time, the air and your cleaning products, as well as simply touching the faucet, will make it patina beautifully.    

Faucets and handles:
Taller spouts allow more room for handwashing and cleaning the sink. Fixtures with softer edges are gaining momentum over angles and modern styles. 

Electric mirrors are lighted and come with Bluetooth capabilities and TV projection. Kohler’s Intelligent Toilets offer integrated cleansing functions, heated seats, a nightlight, a warm air dryer, and a deodorizer. The seat can be raised and lowered via remote.   

Freestanding or Cabinets?
A pedestal sink works best in smaller half baths or pool baths where there’s not a great need for storage. 


Catori Design House: catoridesignhouse.com – 205.907.5499 – Instagram: @catoridesignhouse

VW Gallerie: vwplumbingsupply.com – 205.831.4773 – Instagram: @vwgallerie

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