Shower Design Ideas

By Kate Riley April 13, 2016

I have three shower remodels on my calendar right now, the first is my brother’s bathroom which I’ll be sharing in the next few weeks. The second is a client’s house down the street, they are friends of mine and we’re collaborating on a space makeover, and the third is the master bathroom in the Vegas house I’m flipping, it’s cramped and unpleasant and I want to make it a selling point for the eventual resale.

Homeowners repeat the same request when they’re thinking of a shower space, they are looking for spa like conditions and a space that is relaxing and pretty to look at. We spend 5-15 minutes in this space every day, shouldn’t it be both functional and beautiful?

When it comes to tile selection, I’ve always believed you cannot go wrong with a marble or marble look tile combination. I followed this philosophy to achieve a timeless look with Grandma’s shower remodel last year and I saw a lot of it at the Kitchen and Bath Show earlier this year. I also love to see a mix of complementary tiles, perhaps a mid to large size on the walls with smaller tiles on the floor and something interesting in a niche, but really there is so much opportunity and no set rule, penny tile on the wall is just as beautiful as large scale planks.

I’ve been focused on what makes a shower both functional and beautiful and here are a few ideas I assembled.

Niches. The space between wall studs is a perfect place to add a recessed niche. With advance preparation during construction or remodel, the contractor can place them strategically in the wall to create a place for shampoo, conditioner, soap etc. A wall niche is also a place to break up the spans of wall space and even add a different size tile as a feature.

 shower wall niche

milton development

 shower niche

sage design

Benches. When remodeling a bathroom with a walk in shower, consider the addition of a bench. It’s worth the loss of a few square feet of real estate since a bench provides seating for relaxation while the steam circulates, a place to corral all the cleansers, and for us ladies, the perfect perch for shaving our legs.

 marble bathroom tile

mark Williams

 shower bench

grant k gibson

Windows. Bathrooms with natural light don’t feel as cave-like compared to ones without windows. Even in a shower a window can be strategically placed to allow for natural light and still maintain privacy.

 walk in shower with window

via one kind design

 walk in shower plus window


Feature Tile Walls. The far wall of a shower is an opportunity to create a focal point in a bathroom and a place to mix tile patterns, the look is almost like a modern day mural. My brother did this in his new shower and I’m excited to show it off to you soon.


 feature tile wall

traci rhoads interiors

feature pattern shower tile

libby greene via decorpad

 feature tile in shower

coats homes


Statement Shower Doors. Most of the time remodelers opt for frameless shower doors and clear glass like the many seen above, but you can also be daring and make the shower doors a focal point. How stunning are these two examples of steel doors?

 black divided shower doors

david tsay

 steel shower door

trad home

Have you added any of these elements to your shower? What amenities do you find appealing in your shower spaces?


Powder Room Makeover

By Kate Riley April 11, 2016

Hello everyone! Today I’m sharing a beautiful powder room makeover completed at a friend’s house, the same friend Kara who gave her staircase a happy makeover last year. I’ve partnered with IKEA this year to serve as a Brand Ambassadör, so when Kara mentioned that she was looking for a bathroom makeover, I decided this was the perfect opportunity to show off some IKEA products.

Kara’s powder room was feeling very blah and dated. The tan walls, basic pedestal sink, and a builder-grade oval mirror left her feeling uninspired. This powder room also has access to a big storage space under the stairs, so Kara was looking for a way to jazz up the plain closet door as well. The changes are quite dramatic! The new space feels fresh and modern, and it was all completed with the help of IKEA products.

Here’s the ‘before’ and ‘after’.

  kara bathroom before

 bathroom after

I brought in the artwork (see details below) and suggested my favorite gold paint for the mirror and pulls (see this post) but Kara did all the real work in this space, including assembling and installing the vanity and faucet herself. Yes, she can now add plumbing to her DIY skills! Kara sent me pictures throughout the makeover and I was excited to see the daily progress.

The makeover began with the idea to combine dark walls with pale wood vanity and brass details. Yes, you can use dark color in small spaces. It gives the space a moody vibe and the deeper hue allows the lighter features (the vanity and the art) to pop out at you when you enter.

Knowing that she wanted to paint the walls a deep navy, the GODMORGON/ODENSVIK floating vanity in white oak was the perfect choice to complement the light wood floors and pop against the dark walls. Kara also added hairpin legs (not for support, just for the look!) that she spray painted gold for a chic little detail. You’ll also spy the LANSA pulls, which she spray painted to mimic the brass.

 vanity up close

The LUNDSKÄR faucet brings a different finish other than gold/brass to the mix. It’s a powder coated black that adds drama. You can save up to 50% more water with this faucet since it has a mechanism that reduces water flow, while maintaining pressure during use.

 ikea faucet

IKEA prides itself on manufacturing and selling faucets that help people save energy and water, and reduce waste, all while saving money, too. All of the bathroom faucets sold at IKEA have a function that mixes air into the water stream so you use less water without losing water pressure, so very smart!

The art on the walls is another budget friendly project, I downloaded the two tropical leaf prints from The Graphics Fairy (source below) then printed them and framed them. They add just a bit of botanical that’s always appealing on walls, and the white frames add beautiful contrast against the navy walls.

 art on walls


Kara attached one of the larger LANSA pulls to the closet access door. The toilet paper holder got a coat of gold leaf paint and the old sconce was replaced by an antique brass industrial style light (source below).

 sconce and art

 navy walls pale wood vanity


Kara was smart to follow the line created by the staircase pop out all the way down. Notice how Kara aligned the light fixture, the vintage mirror, and the narrow vanity all along that plane.

 bathroom after


Beautiful job Kara! So much thanks to IKEA for supplying much of what you see in this makeover!

Sources & Finishes:

Paint: Benjamin Moore ‘Hale Navy’


Faucet: LUNDSKÄR in black by IKEA

Door and Drawer pulls: LANSA by IKEA

Mirror: Vintage/second hand

Vanity legs: Hairpin

Sconce: Antique brass Feiss

Artwork: The Graphics Fairy, print 1 and 2

Paint on Mirror/Pulls/Legs: Krylon Short Cuts ‘Gold Leaf’

*This post brought to you in partnership with IKEA. All opinions are my own.