If there's one area of the home that tends to require a face-lift every few years, it's the primary bathroom. Conveniently, it's also the most deserving of design attention, given how much time we spend here relaxing and getting ready to tackle the day. In other words, the trouble of going through a major bathroom renovation is well worth the effort. Case in point? Aly Hynek's impeccable new and improved bathroom.
The term "Primary Bathroom" is now widely used to describe the largest bathroom in the home, as it better reflects the space’s purpose. Many realtors, architects, interior designers, and the Real Estate Standards Association have recognized the potentially discriminatory connotations in the term "Master." Read more about our Diversity and Inclusion Pledge.
As the founder of accessory line Nena & Co., she has an eye for design and a fully developed sense of style that gave her an edge: She didn't need to consult an interior designer for the project. In fact, aside from some help from her architect and contracts, she designed this family-friendly space all on her own. As a result, the eclectic contemporary bathroom speaks to her and her family's needs and personality perfectly.
If you're considering a bathroom remodel, take style notes from this gorgeous renovation with insider tips below. Oh, and just wait until you see the before picture.
Getting Started on the Renovation
As you can see, the existing bathroom was pretty cramped and outdated. "We gutted it and had a complete redo of the space and even had to move most of the plumbing and electrical," Hynek tells us. In fact, "The plumbing was the single biggest challenge in this project. We had a flood and leaks and all sorts of problems! But they are all fixed now, thank goodness."
Aside from the logistic necessities, Hynek also had a clear vision for the aesthetics of the bathroom. "While functionality was a priority number one, mood and vibe of the space was a close second. I really wanted an open and functional space for everyday use that was also an oasis for me and my husband at the end of the day," she says.
Coming Up With a Color Scheme
"We didn't use any pieces from our last bathroom, which really opened up the opportunity to start completely anew," she tells us, but she did decide to keep a sewing stool from the living room that she's repurposed as a seat for when she bathes her kids. The lesson? If there are any pieces you really want to keep but they don't fit in with the new directive, think about repurposing them in another room.
One of the most exciting parts about starting over is choosing the color scheme. "I love decorating with cool colors, and blue is color that makes me feel refreshed and happy, and white always feels clean in a bathroom," shares Hynek, which made it easy for her to choose the room's anchor colors. Then, she chose to mix in metals and other materials. As someone who loves eclectic design, she doesn't believe "there are any rules when it comes to using all bronze, nickel, or what have you." In fact, her main mantra is, "It doesn't have to match; it just has to go well together."
Choosing the Staple Pieces
Since most of the bathroom should be dedicated to usable space and items, it's important to select big-ticket items that also lend themselves to your style, too. We're really digging this elaborate clawfoot tub. It's bursting with refined retro charm and old Hollywood glamour, which is a nice way to dress up the light and airy elements. If you want to bring both your self-care ritual and bathroom style to the next level, consider a statement tub.
Let There Be Light
"I put a lot of attention into lighting because I realized that can set the tone for any space," Hynek tells us. Beyond the overall vibe of the room, it's also important for getting ready. "I want incredible lighting when I'm getting ready, but I want controlled dim spa-type lighting to soak in the bath," she explains. She decided to install a "statement chandelier piece for over the tub, glam space type sconces on each side of the mirrors, canned lighting on the ceiling and motion sensor lighting under the vanity so she didn’t have to stumble around in the middle of night walking into the bathroom." She really did think of everything.
Keeping Things Organized and Clutter-Free
Having smart storage space is a big part of ensuring a clean, well-organized bathroom routine. "I wanted a place for everyday bathroom items because I never wanted unnecessary items out on the counter," but at the same time, they are essentials. That means tucking them away is the only solution. "I made it a point to get medicine cabinets for the mirrors. I invested a little extra to have drawers around the sink plumbing, and I even put electrical outlets with a safe place to store and plug in all my hot tools in the vanity drawers," Hynek tells us.
Starting Big Picture and Then Honing In
An eye-catching attraction, the lovely blue tile was the first thing Hynek bought during the renovation. And then after the remodel was done, "The first thing I bought was soft new white towels," she tells us. Starting big picture and ending with the smaller, replaceable items was wise since the latter is much easier to swap in and out.
And though Hynek was able to be her own interior designer for the project, she tells us she "couldn't have reimagined such a space without the help of [her] architect Steve Tiek. He is incredible when it comes to reworking a space to be something completely better and new," which is evident in this beautiful, functional shower.
Creating the Right Floor Plan
Speaking of the importance of a trusted, talented architect, coming up with the right floor plan and layout for your lifestyle and needs is key to creating a dream bathroom. In the end, "My favorite thing about my bathroom is the open floor plan," she tells us. Though it has nothing to do with the décor, color schemes, and personal style, a layout can make all the difference. "It used to feel so cramped, and I just couldn't get in and out of there fast enough. Now I love taking my time and enjoying the space," says Hynek.