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HomeLifestyleWhite, Wood and Marble for a Serene Space

When Andrei and Cassandra Naeymi-Rad bought their Colonial-style home in the Chicago suburb of Libertyville about three years ago, they wanted to update the interiors to better suit their preference for clean, modern spaces. While the overall layout of the main bathroom was fine, the basic double vanity lacked storage, the imposing jetted tub no longer worked and the beige walls gave the space a ho-hum vibe. The large shower was a positive, but it didn’t have modern features needed for the spa-like experience the couple were after.

They turned to designer Kate Freund and Cassandra’s father, builder Patrick Sexton, to help create a more clean, modern and serene bathroom. Freund showed the couple photos and products she found on Houzz to help narrow down the design choices for the space. And while no walls were moved, a new custom walnut double vanity adds more storage and warmth. White walls and marble flooring give the room a calm vibe, while a steam shower gives the couple that true spa feel.

“Before” photos by VHT Studios; “after” photos by Pawel Dmytrow | PDETPhotography

Bathroom at a Glance
Who lives here: Andrei and Cassandra Naeymi-Rad and their two kids
Location: Libertyville, Illinois
Size: 220 square feet (20 square meters)
Designer: Kate Freund of Pear Tree Design Group
Builder: Patrick Sexton of Sexton Homes

Before: Apart from the lackluster finishes, the standard vanity didn’t offer the couple sufficient storage. “There was not enough storage in that vanity, and they were looking for an updated and modern vanity with more quality millwork,” Freund says.

Dated sconces and small wood-framed mirrors sat above the vanity. The existing shower was large, but it didn’t include the spa-like features the homeowners wanted. The old jetted tub no longer worked, and it had a tile deck that was difficult to maneuver and obtrusive in the space.

Pear Tree Design Group
After: The layout stayed the same, but Freund and Sexton stripped the space back. The new walnut double vanity became the jumping-off point, providing hardworking storage and an anchor of warmth against the bright backdrop of marble hexagonal floor tiles and white walls (Decorator’s White by Benjamin Moore). “We liked the whole wood-and-white look we saw from Houzz,” Andrei says.

The door to the left of the shower leads to a walk-in closet. The updated window overlooks a side yard.

Other paint colors: Ceiling White (ceiling) and Super White (trim), Benjamin Moore

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Pear Tree Design Group
The custom low-sheen walnut vanity features large drawers and cabinets with flat black pulls. An appliance pullout with electrical outlets for a hair dryer and curling iron sits behind the drawer fronts in the middle of the vanity. A drawer inside the pullout offers storage for small items like cotton swabs and cosmetics.

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Pear Tree Design Group
A custom full-height storage tower to the left of the vanity includes three shelves and additional electrical outlets. “We knew we wanted to keep family medical supplies at that location instead of somewhere else in the house,” Andrei says. “We have those on the top shelves inside there, and then have extra towels on the bottom.” Additional drawers in the tower hold cleaning supplies and other bathroom essentials.

A large custom frameless mirror spans the length of the vanity. Above the mirror, long and lean LED lights with a black finish offer energy efficiency, durability and a sophisticated look. “In our prior home we had long lights and a no-frame mirror and loved it, so we wanted to continue with that style,” Andrei says.

A white paneled door opposite the vanity, seen in the reflection, opens to an upgraded water closet. The other door leads to the couple’s bedroom.

Custom double vanity: Brighton Cabinetry; vanity hardware: Alexander in flat black, Emtek; vanity lights: Alto in black, Hinkley

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Pear Tree Design Group
Modern widespread faucets with lever handles and gooseneck spouts pair with rectangular undermount sinks.

Marble-look quartz countertops complement the marble flooring. A matte black towel warmer hangs on the wall outside the shower.

Sinks: Verticyl, Kohler; faucets: widespread with lever handles in matte black, Kohler: towel warmer: Jeeves in matte black, Amba Products

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Pear Tree Design Group
The 5-inch white marble hexagonal floor tiles have taupe grout and a brushed finish that brings out their icy-white background and pearly gray accents. “It’s not directional and makes the floor feel more continuous,” Freund says of the tile. “It also has a calming look.”

The elegant flooring also includes radiant heat. “We have a timer, so when we wake up in the morning, the floor is heated when we need to use the bathroom,” Andrei says.

Floor tile: Siberian Pearl hexagonal brushed marble wall and floor tile, 5 inches, The Tile Shop

Before: The former shower was spacious and functional but not quite up to the standard the homeowners wanted. “It was a little dated, with that taupey tan color,” Freund says. “We wanted to make it spa-like, with more fixtures and more options.”

The couple also wanted to eliminate the built-in jetted tub, which no longer worked. “And it was super bulky,” Andrei says. “It took up so much of the room.”

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Pear Tree Design Group
After: Black U-channel edge trim helps define the new custom glass-enclosed steam shower and coordinates with other black design details in the bathroom. The homeowners included a deep built-in bench inside the shower. “Our 3-year-old likes to sit in there in the steam,” Andrei says.

A modern white freestanding tub with clean lines takes up less space than the old jetted tub, helping the bathroom feel more open and airy. “This one was a good fit for this bathroom because it was modern without being too cold,” Freund says.

The upgraded fixed picture window overlooks the backyard.

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Pear Tree Design Group
The steam shower has a hinged glass door that swings both in and out, so the homeowners can reach in and turn the water on without getting wet.

The matte black plumbing fixtures include a valve trim with an ergonomic lever, thermostatic valve for precise water temperature, body sprays, multifunction hand shower with slide bar and two 12-inch rain shower heads. “This is their forever home, so they wanted a lot of options,” Freund says.

Hand shower: Purist multifunction in matte black, Kohler; rain shower heads: 12-inch contemporary round in matte black, Kohler; valve trim: Purist in matte black, Kohler

Pear Tree Design Group
Marble tiles in various sizes and shapes cover the shower walls, floor and ceiling. The walls have rectangular tiles, the floors have 2-inch hexagons, the ceiling has 1-inch hexagons and the shower niche is set in a herringbone pattern.

“We wanted to get a different texture for the shower walls, that’s why we changed the shape of the tile,” Freund says. “Then for the shower floor we wanted it to have the same feel but used smaller tiles so it would be safe.”

Pear Tree Design Group

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