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Dark Materials Add Drama to a 55-Square-Foot Bathroom (3 photos)

Photos by Thomas Kuoh Photography

Bathroom at a Glance
Who uses it: A 17-year-old boy
Location: Saratoga, California
Size: 55 square feet (6.1 square meters)
Designer: Jamie Kern of Design Theory Interiors of California

The older their sons got, the more these parents wanted to build their dream home. The couple finally decided it was time to make their dream a reality. They worked with designer Jamie Kern to build a new house in Saratoga, California. It includes this dark-colored bathroom for their oldest son, now 17. The bathroom will also work well for guests in the future.

Kern worked with the boy to pick styles and features he liked. The boy found photos on Houzz and saved them to ideabooks to share with Kern. Based on those photos, they chose a dark color scheme and went with a style Kern calls industrial modern.

Color. Kern balanced light and dark materials throughout the space to keep it from feeling heavy. “Dark finishes can be quite dramatic,” she says. “Lighter shades of paints, a bright white countertop and silver tones in the hardware will create brighter reflective surfaces that counteract darker tiles and cabinetry.” Here she’s used light shower tile and a white countertop, and dark colors on the vanity and on the shower bench, niche and stripe.

Tip: When going for this style, Kern says to use materials such as concrete tile and high-polished stainless steel to create high contrast.

Shower. To make the 16½-square-foot shower feel larger, Kern used large-format porcelain tiles. They opted for a mosaic floor tile but went with a larger grout width, as it makes it less slippery, she says. The glass shower doors also make the bathroom feel larger and make the dark tiles features more visible.

Shower bench. The seat in the shower adds versatility to the bathroom and allows guests who can’t stand as long to have a seat within the shower. It does take up shower space, but the trade-off was worth it for the clients.

Dark tile: Moy Moka, Porcelanosa; shower wall tile: Ash, Iris Ceramica; browse porcelain tiles

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