Room to Breathe

Montgomery designer Heather Steen reimagined this expansive bath with waisted space into a grand bath with perfect proportions.

A set of French doors provided the perfect backdrop for the bath’s new focal point. Because the original floor plan had an excess of closets and an ill-planned use of ancillary spaces, it allowed room to widen the existing hallway and create a grand, graciously-appointed room. Photos by Laurey Glenn

A cramped labyrinth of closets, wet spaces, and storage areas was reimagined to create a grand bath with perfect proportions and elegant appointments. “While the existing bath was expansive, most of the valuable space was taken up for superfluous use,” says Montgomery designer Heather Steen, who operates Steenhaus Studio with her husband, Scott. The architecture and interiors firm worked with Selby Davis Builder to reallocate square footage and create well-connected, visually enticing, purposeful spaces. “We juxtaposed clean and crisp walls with the wooden beams to create very distinct gateways to different areas of the bathroom,” Heather says. Now, the spaces are open and visible yet clearly defined thanks to a revised floor plan and thoughtful material choices.

“As a designer I have seen my fair share of white bathrooms,” says Heather. “Don’t get me wrong—I love a beautiful white bathroom. However, in this home, we wanted to add some warmth by incorporating wood into the space. It allows the white and gray palette to present in a muted way to the user.”

Tip: Use materials to set off focal points and unite expansive spaces. Beams frame the tub, while a tile rug adds some drama.

EXPERT Insights from Robert F. Henry Tile

CREATE A WET-ROOM EFFECT: Walk-in showers with freestanding bathtubs surrounded by tile on all sides offer a dramatic look.

Use large-scale porcelain tiles on walls, or install a single slab of stone for a luxurious finish.

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COLOR: Gray-greens are trending thanks to Sherwin- Williams and Benjamin Moore’s picks for 2021 Color of the Year. Earthy pinks and muted blues are also popping up. Black-and-white tile combinations continue to have nostalgic appeal.

CAN NEVER GO WRONG WITH: Any variety of white marble with interesting veining.

POWDER ROOMS: Flex your creative style in this small space. Use interesting colors and shapes, along with unexpected countertop materials.

PATTERN & SHAPE: Chevrons, triangles, and hexagons are carrying forward. Counter edges are being fabricated to imitate furniture-inspired curves.

TEXTURE: Undulation on tile brings dimension and interest, as do various glazing techniques for handmade appeal.

Tip: Add emphasis to the details. Heather chose black grout to put a stronger focus on the fish scale tile pattern.

Heather’s Picks

SPLURGE: It changes for each project. There is always something that you want to be your “wow” moment. I tell my clients to make a statement where it counts and then save on the other areas.

UPGRADE ON A BUDGET: Drapery! Because it’s always the last item installed, clients often cut corners here to be done with a project. But it makes such a difference to have a finished window treatment.

READY TO SEE IT GO: Unrealistic design reality TV shows that give a false perspective on budget and timing for projects.

CAN NEVER GO WRONG WITH: Attractive, quality lighting and great tile.

FAVORITE PRODUCTS: Melissa Warnke’s “Diva” scent for Candles.


Heather Steen / Steenhaus: – 334.652.1493 – Instagram: @steenhaus

Robert F. Henry Tile: – 205.592.8615 – Instagram @robertfhenrytile

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