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Your Home | Kitchens & Baths

A redesign takes this bathroom from locker room feel to bright, functional showpiece

Enclosing the shower and buying budget-friendly tiles help transform a South Boston loft.

The large-scale veining of the 26-by-46-inch porcelain tiles used on the floor and shower walls mimics that of Calacatta marble, yet the tiles were cheaper and more practical. The shower floor is done with 2-by-2-inch hex-shaped tiles. And a new niche provides convenient storage.sarah winchester

Even floor-to-ceiling windows couldn’t keep the bathroom in this South Boston loft from feeling oppressive. “The walls were dark plaster with a strange finish,” designer Laura Driscoll recalls. “It was like walking into a cave.” Lack of light wasn’t the only issue. The room didn’t have a shower enclosure, either, like a locker room. “There were no shower doors or curb,” Driscoll says. “The showerheads were just stuck up on the wall.” And the toilet was also out in the open.

Driscoll’s clients, a couple who had relocated from the suburbs, wanted a sleek, contemporary design with lots of light and a bit of privacy — easier said than done when renovating a condominium. “The room size, ceiling height, and plumbing locations could not be altered so we had to work with what we had,” the designer says.


Driscoll designed an 8-feet-long-by-3-feet wide shower with two rain showerheads and two glass doors. “We had to make sure the building could support the weight of all that heavy glass,” Driscoll notes.

On the opposite wall, a Porcelanosa floating vanity with two vessel sinks echoes the dual function of the two-person shower. Hard-working Robern medicine chests, with bells and whistles like interior electrical outlets and pull-out magnifying mirrors, hang above each. The toilet is tucked into a new, private water closet behind opaque glass at the end of the room.

For the floor and shower walls, Driscoll guided her clients toward oversize porcelain tiles with gray veining. The choice was a smart and practical one — the tiles are less costly than marble and more durable than porcelain slabs. Polished chrome hardware keeps the look simple and classic.

The resulting design marries form and function. “The bath is light and airy and accommodates two for getting ready for work in the morning,” Driscoll says.



Interior designer: LHD Interiors, lhdinteriors.org

Contractor: Peter M. McCarthy, Holliston

A passageway along a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows leads to the bedroom.sarah winchester

Marni Elyse Katz is a regular contributor to the Globe Magazine. Send comments to magazine@globe.com.