Lively Retro Tile Adds a Pop of Color to Small Bathroom

By January 18, 2017 Bathroom No Comments

By Becky Harris of Houzz

A strong personal connection to a 1950s ranch house, colorful confetti and even Godzilla played important roles in this bathroom design. “Part of my design philosophy is to try to add a playful element,” interior designer Galeana Younger says. In this case, she met her dream clients, who both had great eyes for graphics and were ready to have some fun with their small master bathroom design.

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Photos by Mark Menjivar

Bathroom at a Glance
Who lives here: Marisa and Ryan Parker. She’s in advertising, and he’s a graphic designer and an illustrator.
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Size: 60 square feet (5.5 square meters)

The 1950s ranch house had always been in Marisa Parker’s family. It had been her grandparents’ home, and she had many fond memories of time spent with them their. But when she and Ryan moved in, fondness did not exactly describe their feelings toward their tiny master bathroom.

Picture this: The bathroom had undergone a strictly functional intervention to accommodate a wheelchair, which included removing the wall you see here, between it and the master bedroom, and replacing it with a curtain. Because the footprint was so small, Younger designed the new wall to incorporate a pocket door.

The room is clean and white, accented by an explosion of color via the floor and accent tile. “This tile is very much their style — he’s an illustrator and an animator and she’s been in advertising for a long time,” Younger says. “They both appreciate great design, and especially love retro-modern style.” The vibrant penny rounds are playful, retro, modern and sophisticated at once. The light fixture nods to 1950s atomic industrial style, and its sunny color makes it light up the room in more ways than one.

“I love to be able to use my clients’ own accessories,” the designer says. In this case, she and Marisa surprised Ryan by hanging his beloved Godzilla art in here.

Tile: Mod Walls; faucet, medicine cabinet, sink and toilet: Kohler; Atomic Topless Double Industrial Guard sconce (similar to one shown): Barn Light Electric Co.

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Ryan is quite tall, so one of the challenges in the small space was the tight shower stall. “Before, Ryan had to crouch down in here,” Younger says. By borrowing space from an adjacent bathroom’s linen closet and pushing the shower head wall back 1 foot, she gained some elbow room. And overhead, she removed a low soffit, gaining about a foot of ceiling height in the shower stall — no more crouching required.

Another oddity was the toilet. “For some reason, it was placed at an angle, so we straightened that out,” she says. By using a pedestal sink, she was able to gain a lot of clear space. And the accent tile placed at this level gives the illusion of a higher ceiling.

At the other end of the tight space is the original aluminum window and linen closet. The linen closet eliminated the need for a vanity and allowed the couple to choose a pedestal sink that takes up a lot less room.

“They both appreciate retro touches and were willing to push the envelope,” Younger says of her clients. “The teeny-tiny space made this an interesting challenge, and their level of involvement and trust made this such a fun and creative project to work on with them.”

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