Small Bathroom Remodeling: Modern & Masculine

A small cookie-cutter condo bathroom is remodeled to create a sleek, sophisticated oasis.


To groom in relative gloom is not a fate to tolerate. The owner of this Florida condo wanted something more livable when it came to the master bath. Strict structural limitations meant designer Cheryl Kees Clendenon had her work cut out for her, as she had to deal with a low concrete ceiling, a basic plumbing scheme, existing woodwork and flooring, and the owner's instruction to include environmentally friendly materials in the remodel of this 14x5-foot bathroom.

Because space was so limited, the project was a balance of eliminating what the homeowner didn't need (the tub and a wall separating the toilet and shower areas) and adding what he did (laundry and electronics storage). Customizing a basic bathroom to this extent meant exploring all angles.

"For small, narrow baths like this, you want to create some visual air," Clendenon says. "An open vanity can help accomplish that, but you have to provide storage elsewhere."

A niche carved from an unused adjacent closet provided that needed storage. "It only takes 12-15 inches, and we gained 5 inches just by reframing the closet," she says. The built-in storage tower now boasts defined units: towel shelving, a tip-out hamper, and a small appliance center that houses an electric toothbrush charger and hair dryer. Clendenon calls it "targeted storage" for reducing day-to-day clutter.

Clendenon tackled the vanity next. Made of sustainable Lyptus wood, the piece's furniture look grounds the room and offers storage with two drawers beneath the countertop. Its open design below maintains a sense of airiness despite its deep-color stain and grid-shelf base.

Above the vanity mirror, a panel repeats the bathroom's existing woodwork, creating harmony and giving purpose to the room's surviving elements. Without that cohesion, the modern, masculine effect created with this remodel could not have been fully realized. "The result is compact, yet elegant and sophisticated," Clendenon says. "Now the space functions much better for the homeowner."

The fixtures and other details finish the space with beauty and practicality. Selected for their usefulness within the overall design as well as for their stylish good looks, the features complete the room's modern and masculine reimagining.

In the Details

A wall-mount faucet and floating shelves free up additional counter space and infuse visual interest into the one-wall bathroom. The tiny floating shelves also add extra storage.

Space between wall studs serves as storage for bathing essentials. The niche keeps clutter contained and off the floor of the shower.

Bringing a cool element to the otherwise warm color palette, polished-chrome fixtures facilitate a sleek and unfussy feeling.

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