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Florida Master Bath Gets a Coastal Look With a Touch of Glam (7 photos)

By the time a Washington, D.C., husband and wife were ready to relocate to Orlando, Florida, with their two daughters, their dream master bathroom was ready and waiting for them. The family had found their new home about a month before they planned to move for the husband’s job and enlisted interior designer Marissa Moolman of Moolman Designs to help them make it their own from afar.

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Photos by Framed Listings

Bathroom at a Glance
Who lives here: A couple and their two preteen daughters
Location: Orlando, Florida, area
Size: Roughly 150 square feet (14 square meters)
Designer: Marissa Moolman of Moolman Designs

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Most of the early-2000s house had been recently updated, but the master bathroom still needed work. “The bathroom was glaringly different than the rest of the house,” Moolman says. “It was basically just white on white on white.”

Moolman and her clients collaborated on ideas for the renovation using Houzz and settled on a breezy but polished aesthetic that echoed the sunny surroundings. “They wanted to go transitional, a little modern, but coastal was kind of their main vibe throughout, so they wanted natural elements,” she says.

That meant a neutral palette with light wood-look porcelain floor tiles, beachy details such as a capiz shell pendant light over the tub, gold accents and foggy gray subway tile with an almost iridescent gloss for the walls.

Browse freestanding bathtubs

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A Niche With Room to Spare

The homeowners’ must-have list for the bathroom included a freestanding bathtub, a herringbone design for the wood-look floors and a roomy shower with upgrades such as a corner bench and an extra-long storage niche.

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Wanting to be involved in every step of the design process, the homeowners weighed in often from D.C. For example, Moolman and her project manager husband and business partner, Johan, video-chatted with the couple to decide how high the custom niche should be in the shower.

We were able to have my husband and myself, who are totally different heights, stand there and Facetime so they could see, OK, gauge it off of our heights and where does that feel comfortable?” Moolman says.

Turn Your Shower Niche Into a Design Star

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Finding Balance

Because the existing bathroom’s layout wasn’t symmetrical, Moolman says one of the biggest challenges her team had to overcome was making the his-and-hers vanity spaces feel even.

“It was, ‘How do we shift what we have for the space to make it look proportional without showing major gaps throughout?’ ” Moolman says.

Initially, the plan was to install a large standalone tub to replace the old bathroom’s Jacuzzi-like corner unit. But with the spacing issue, Moolman ultimately opted to go smaller, flanking the new soaking tub with two large furniture-style vanities topped with white Carrara marble.

Above each, the scalloped edges of the gold-framed mirrors repeat the scallop shape in the capiz pendant. Gold globe sconces complement the other gold features without being overly matchy. Matte black faucets bought on Houzz and other hardware work as another unifying detail.

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Statement-Making Subway Tile

The ceramic wall tile is a step up from standard subway style, Moolman says.

“Every [tile] is a little bit different in color shading and every one is a little bit different in how they line up, so you can see a bit more texture throughout,” she says. ““Everybody, I think, has done subway tile to exhaustion, so this adds a subway tile but it adds a different element to it, so it has a little bit more of a unique feel.”

The choice to go all in with the tile gave the walls, usually a supporting player, a chance to shine.

I loved that we ran it throughout almost the entire bathroom. I think a lot of times the walls in bathrooms get overlooked, and by just doing that the whole bathroom becomes a wow,” Moolman says. The tile upgrade cost more than bare walls, but Moolman says it offered a lot of bang for her clients’ buck overall (averaging $4 to $6 per square foot). “So yes,” she says, “it’s an added expense, but it really makes the bathroom like a piece of art.”

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Long-Distance Logistics

Keeping the homeowners up to date on the project from a distance required a commitment to communication, Moolman says. Technology made all the difference.

“We had our team and our contractors take pictures and videos every single morning and every single night so you could see, OK, this is how the day started, this is how the day ended,” Moolman says. “Because, obviously, when you live in a house and you’re going through a renovation, you get the luxury of seeing that, good or bad. So being away, it’s important to still know: How is the progress going?”

Even hundreds of miles apart, Moolman and her clients were able to work together to have the bathroom ready to welcome the family to its new home.

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