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Total Bathrooms Transformation in San Mateo

My clients and I met on Instagram. They started following my account, and later on reached out to see if we could work together on their project. In fact, it was the first time that I had ever met a client through this specific social media platform, so it was a fun turn of events for me.

They had bought a cute house in San Mateo. It had an uninspiring generic bathroom layout that featured a medium size kids’/guest bathroom, and a small master bathroom. These spaces were in dire need of an upgrade, and since the rooms were connected I had to get creative and adjust them in a way that would result in a vast master bathroom, a good-sized kids’/guest bathroom, as well as gaining a fantastic entryway in the home.

Existing and proposed plans

To achieve this I kept the main interior wall intact as the hallway wall, while demoing the other walls. This layout opened the line of vision, creating a more open sense of space, where from the house entryway there is an unobstructed view of the length of the whole house up to the master bedroom. Likewise, all bathroom walls were reconfigured.

Guest bathroom

This is how the guest bathroom looked like:

And here how it looks today:

My clients leaned towards a Mid Century Modern vibe, rich in varying textures and patterns. To address their aesthetic I opted for a color palette of black and white, with brass and wood materials.

The feature that ‘takes the cake’ in the kids’/guest bathroom is the marvelous wallpaper that has a repetitive patterned sketch, in neutral tones, of a full blown bulbous blowfish. What better backdrop is there for our own puffed up preening? In line with the round motif, we placed similarly toned penny tiles on the floor. The glossy white vertical wall tiles compliment this space without competing with the blowfish wallpaper due to their neutral tone. Without a doubt, Mister Blowfish steals the show in this vibrant space, lending the bathroom a sense of fun and buoyancy. The vanity is made from beautiful walnut wood, framed in clean-lined black metal that brings a modern edge to this design. The brass accessories brighten the room with their warm satin tones and introduce a stylish element that works perfectly with the black-and-brass light fixture.

Master bathroom

This is how the master bathroom looked like:

And here how it looks after the remodel:

When designing the master bathroom, I aimed foremostly to create a spacious and luxurious room for my client (the complete opposite of what the master bathroom used to look like). I added a vaulted ceiling for more height and a skylight to bring in natural light and fresh energy.

The color palette is consistent with the kids’/guest bathroom, with classy black and white, and wood and brass accents -- clean and timeless. I used the same wall tiles as those in the kids’/guest bathroom, but with a twist. The glossy white rectangle tiles here are arranged in a herringbone pattern on the focal wall, and aligned vertically straight on the adjacent wall. The floor features black broken hex with black grout. The variety of angles, materials, and textures in the wall and floor tiles creates depth, character and intrigue, while their neutral tones maintain sophisticated simplicity. The warm hued walnut wood vanity adds harmonious elegance.

Beauty and functionality meet in the shower with an innovative recess box for shaving legs! To make leg-shaving an even smoother experience, when space allows I like to leave enough room in the shower for a bench, that can also be used in a more conventional way to place soaps and shampoos. This particular bathroom has a corner shower, which meant that placing a bench in there was not optimal. So, instead of a bench, a recess box became a creative solution.


Let’s go back to the entryway. Here is how it used to look like:

And here is how it looks like after the remodel:

The newly designed floor and wall plan literally opened the door for a new splendid entry, featuring a custom made bench with ample storage for shoes and a coat closet. Since my clients love wallpaper as much as I do, they opted for a fun multicolored botanical themed wallpaper that makes this space feel bright, energetic and welcoming. Vaulting the ceiling in the entryway, and adding a skylight, was a huge improvement to what was once a gloomy space. By adding shiplap to the ceiling slant, I introduced texture and balance.

I love the outcome of this home. The remodel transformed these rooms into welcoming spaces that are both classic and modern, airy and bright, intriguing yet mellow, and celebrate both form and function.

Photos by: Vivian Johnson

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