Home & Style

Look Inside a Pair of Airy and Bright Main Bathroom Renovations

Proof that great light and a calming palette are always a winning combo.

Look Inside a Pair of Airy and Bright Main Bathroom Renovations
The bathroom came with two smaller vanities, offering minimal storage. Owner Tracy Morris had the new one custom-made by Lobkovich Kitchen Designs for about $7,500 (her biggest expense). At 114 inches wide, it has tons of room for toiletries. Photograph by Greg Powers.

Timeless and Glam

Morris kept the existing floor—a huge savings. It’s a herringbone porcelain tile from Architessa. Photograph by Greg Powers.

Though her McLean house was brand-new, Tracy Morris wasn’t quite satisfied with the main bathroom. And, as an interior designer, she knew that a few relatively small upgrades could make a big difference. She kept the same footprint and stayed true to the transitional vibe. In ten days, with a budget of just over $10,000, she gave the bathroom an easy—but high-impact—makeover.

Earthy and Minimal

Vanity lights are Mori sconces from Rich Brilliant Living. The shower skylight can open and close. Architect Catherine Fowlkes stresses that great lighting in a bathroom is always worth the investment. Photograph by Jenn Verrier.

This serene space on Capitol Hill was part of a whole-house renovation. But architect Catherine Fowlkes estimates that the primary bath alone would have taken at least three months. It involved totally reworking the layout and stealing square-footage from a bedroom, hall bath, and closet. Pulling off such a project requires coordinating a number of different trades—plumbing, electric, carpentry, etc.—which, Fowlkes explains, gets time-consuming. But the clients, a young family, are thrilled with the result, which nods to the mom’s Japanese heritage.

A floating vanity gives the illusion of more space. Photograph by Jenn Verrier.
The wood soaking tub inside the shower is from Zen Bathworks. Photograph by Jenn Verrier.
The flooring is an inexpensive quarry tile, commonly found on terraces. A cost saving, it adds to the design’s down-to-earth, unfussy sensibility.

This article appears in the October 2021 issue of Washingtonian.

Senior Editor

Marisa M. Kashino joined Washingtonian in 2009 as a staff writer, and became a senior editor in 2014. She oversees the magazine’s real estate and home design coverage, and writes long-form feature stories. She was a 2020 Livingston Award finalist for her two-part investigation into a wrongful conviction stemming from a murder in rural Virginia.