The bar has risen in bathroom design in recent years, and this town of Westport home showcases recent trends and rules that were just waiting to be broken.

Built for its homeowners in 2020, the Hart DeNoble Builders’ house was a Parade of Homes site.

DesignWell Interiors owner Amanda Van Wie was the lead designer, and she also worked on the project with Autumn Stankovsky, interior designer and residential sales representative for FLOOR360.

For this modernized Craftsman-style home, Van Wie knew she wanted to incorporate some quintessential wood tones into the large bathroom space so it didn’t feel disjointed from the rest of the home’s design. But that was a bit out of her comfort zone, she says. “I’m normally very light and bright, and a lot of white,” Van Wie says of her style. She prefers adding interest and depth with textures and materials instead of color.

The homeowners said they put a lot of trust into Van Wie and were hesitant at times, but ultimately thought it turned out fantastic.

white tub in a bathroom

Photo by Shanna Wolf

“They were super, super accommodating in that they were willing to take risks,” says Van Wie. “When you can push people outside of their box and get them to take risks, the projects always turn out so much better.”

Five Design Concepts You Should Totally Steal For Your Next Bathroom Renovation

1. Consider a Feature Wall
Tile that looks like wood has become a popular option for bathrooms in order to warm up the space, and Van Wie opted to use FLOOR360’s wood tile for a feature wall in the double shower and tub area for this project. The wood plank tile is also carried through the shower bench and borders the hexagonal porcelain mosaic tile on the shower floor. Larger tile sizes are in, too. “We are installing tiles that are 24-by-28 inches on walls and showers, as clients love the seamless look,” says Stankovsky.

2. Mix Up Types of Woods and Fixtures
Gone are the days of matchy-matchy materials. “It’s been a general trend on the West and East coasts, but I think in the Midwest people are just becoming a little more comfortable with mixing things and not having everything be the same all the time,” Van Wie says. In this bathroom, the shower features a combination of faux wood tile, marble tiles that are on the other two walls of the shower and on the rest of the bathroom floor, and hexagon-shaped tiles in a woven wood and marble design, all from FLOOR360. The vanities were stained a tad darker than the wood tile, too. And the fixtures were a mix of matte black, bronze and polished nickel.

shower with two different patterns

The mix-and-match patterns, tiles and fixtures play off each other for one cohesive look in this town of Westport master bathroom. Designer Amanda Van Wie says she prefers adding interest and depth through textures and materials as opposed to color. (Photo by Shanna Wolf)

3. Enclose the Tub
This bathroom stands apart because of the enclosed tub design — that was a must-have idea that came from the homeowners. A lot went into spacing the double shower and tub at the right distance from each other and installing the tiles in a certain way for water flow, but the end result is a showstopping, glass-enclosed shower and tub area.

4. Keep It Light, but Not Stark White
Matte-black fixtures, which Van Wie predicts will be a lasting trend, have helped break up popular all-white bathroom designs. Wood also brings a dark element into a space, and with it a more natural look. The homeowners wanted an “organic spa environment,” and wood tile, dark vanities and fixtures on a majority white palette help accomplish that.

looking out through the bathroom into the bedroom of a home

Photo by Shanna Wolf

5. Brighten Things Up
Natural light is always nice, but don’t shy away from a statement chandelier (or two!). More and more frequently, upscale bathrooms are channeling spa vibes, and the lighting in this project provides some subtle elegance. Van Wie says it took some convincing on the chandeliers, showing the homeowners what it looked like over an island in an example she found online. But it ended up being one of their favorite fixtures in the house.

Andrea Behling is the editor of Madison Magazine.

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