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The One Room Susanne Pumpluen Will Never Forget

One Room Susanne Pumpluen will never forget - bathroom with black tiles and open window in Italy

Susanne Pumpluen

Interior designers and other experts in the home industry work on an impressive number of spaces throughout their careers. But even if some of the makeovers and redesigns start to blend together after a few years, there are some rooms that are just truly unforgettable. 

So, to give designers a chance to revisit their favorite projects—and to bring you plenty of inspiration for your own home—we’re sharing the one room these pros will remember forever. For some, there’s a sentimental connection, for others, there was an obstacle they never thought they’d overcome. But no matter what, these rooms are worth remembering.

Though Susanne Pumpluen is a mathematics professor at the University of Nottingham by day, that doesn't stop her from having a strong eye for design.

"I have always been a very visual person," Pumpluen tells MyDomaine. "I love to arrange things and style rooms and make them look beautiful."

She started dabbling in design as a hobby three years ago by running an interior design account on Instagram, showing photos of her homes and focusing on sustainable design and "Scandi-bohemian interiors."

"I am an autodidact and have developed my eye for design through reading a lot about it and looking at thousands of pictures," Pumpluen explains. "With time, I learned to style the rooms in our rental in the UK and in our home in Italy, but always had to work with what I had and with very limited choices, especially in our rented cottage."

When Pumpluen was stuck in her holiday home in Italy during the pandemic, the shower began leaking and the bathroom needed a full renovation. Though she had never completed a renovation before, she completely redesigned the space in just six weeks and stayed within budget.

"We had to choose tiles that were available and in-store, as we could not wait for months to get them delivered," Pumpluen says. "My Italian is good but was stretched by not knowing all the vocabulary and having to constantly talk to people who were wearing masks (so hard when you cannot see the lips)."

With the help of a talented plumber and tiler, this bathroom transformed from non-functioning to a luxurious escape.

one room Susanne Pumpluen will never forget - black tiled shower with circle mirror and white sink

Susanne Pumpluen

Pumpluen knew she wanted dark tiles and black hardware (a rarity to find in Italy, as chrome is the norm), and was met with some resistance from her plumber, but that didn't sway her choices.

"When the tiler had finished tiling the room, with a meticulous precision that I could only dream of, and I realized my choice of dark tiles was the right one," Pumpluen explained.

Though her choice in tile may have been bold, Pumpluen made sure to keep many original features of her tiny '60s bathroom, including the high ceiling, the wooden window, the red marble windowsill, and the iron radiator,

"I believe in sustainable design and will keep original features wherever possible," Pumpluen explains. "A room has to work for the people who use it. Good design is not just pretty to look at, it has to be functional too."

one room susanne pumpluen will never forget - italian windowsill with plants and orb lighting

Susanne Pumpluen

Though the room was completed quickly, Pumpluen sees her personal style throughout the space.

"I do not want to create rooms in some cookie cutter style," Pumpluen says. "I want a timeless functional look that can be updated through accessories. I always work with a natural, neutral color scheme and use grays, whites and wooden elements. I love organic shapes. I love mixing old and new."

While it was stressful to renovate this space under strict time constraints and during a pandemic, Pumpluen feels only joy when thinking back on the process.

"I need to be creative to be happy.," Pumpluen explains. "I express my creativity both in styling rooms and when doing research as a mathematician. The thought process feels the same to me each time - it fuels me and calms me when I have found the right way forward. I go into a flow state when I do research and find new mathematical ideas. When I designed this room it felt the same."