Bathroom Design using Natural Stone & Tile

One of the aspects of maintaining a thriving interior design practice is to keep abreast of new materials that become available in different and often new applications on a regular basis. For the past month or so, we’ve been feverishly scheming for an exciting new renovation of a beautiful home in Connecticut. Our goal is create a modern farmhouse look, leaving many of the existing architectural details intact while updating the materials and pallet used throughout. The client has asked us to lean towards more of a mix of organic materials and to steer clear of the more traditional choices specifically in the bathrooms and kitchen area. We were all inspired by the color pallet and feel of the inspiration image below.grey-barn-door-painted-hallway-wood-ceiling-cococozy-CopyWith most of our design projects, we begin with space planning. Once we’ve established the flow of the rooms, and the scale of the pieces within them, we forge ahead and begin to search for materials that’ll bring the rooms to life. For this particular project, there are multiple bathrooms, and with a concept in mind, we set out to find new combinations of materials that will add that perfect element of cohesiveness throughout. Below are some of our favorite natural materials from visits to four Different tile and stone showrooms in the Flatiron District: Ann Sacks, Walker Zanger, Waterworks, and Town & Country Surfaces.NaturalBathroomMaterials

1. Noire Antique Limestone, 4. Cafe Ceramic Tile, 6. Studio Moderne Fretwork Mosaics8. Opus Anticato Mosaics;  2. Noir Sully Limestone, 3. Luxor Grey Limestone, 5. Beau Monde Mosaics7. Calacatta Borghini9.  Saint Louis Linen Limestone10. Bateig Blue Limestone, 11. Athen Silver Cream Marble

Right away we were drawn to the dark limestone floor display at Walker Zanger, which we initially thought was marble. Our client likes contrast in rooms, so we felt we were on to something here with a dark, rich floor color. The large 10″ x 24″ scale would also work perfectly in a large master bathroom. To the right, a mosaic marble tile from Ann Sacks which has hints of grey and pink. While we felt the pattern would be too busy for a wall setting, it could definitely work for a shower floor.Showroom-Inspiration-1

With the noir antique limestone tile in mind, we began to search for inspiration images for a possible bathroom scheme to show the client. We found the image below, which pairs a dark herringbone tile design with beautiful painted millwork. We like the idea of having millwork in one of the bathrooms instead of a traditional bathroom wall material like carrara or ceramic tile. For this scheme, we combined the Walker Zanger limestone for the main area of the bathroom floor, with the Ann Sacks marble mosaics for the shower floor. To add a farmhouse feel, we may consider a reclaimed wood vanity – like the one featured from Restoration Hardware instead of the industrial one in the image.


Inspiration photography by Werner Segarra

Paint: Benjamin Moore, Shower Walls: Walker Zanger, Floor Tile: Walker Zanger, Shower Floor: Ann Sacks, Tub: Waterworks, Tub Filler: Waterworks, Sconces: Rejuvenation, Faucet: Waterworks, Basin: Waterworks , Vanity: Restoration Hardware

Another great idea from our showroom travels was to use a honed, grey limestone in a thin herringbone pattern. While we might end up proposing this for a hallway or kitchen, we thought we would think outside the box and create a scheme for its use in one of the bathrooms. The matte, almost sandy, look of limestone works extremely well with a polished or honed stone like calacatta marble which has natural hues of yellow and grey in the subtle veining.Showroom-Inspiration-2For Scheme 2, we are proposing the Luxor Grey field tile from Ann Sacks for the main floor area, with a stunning calacatta marble mosaic design from Walker Zanger for the shower floor. We will propose using a simple calacatta marble field tile for all the walls with a matching base board. To add a contemporary twist on this classic shape tile, we played with the scale and increased the size to 6″ x 12″ tiles. One of our favorites from this scheme was the pendant light fixture that we found at Hudson Valley lighting.Bathroom-Materials-Scheme-2-New

Inspiration photography by Michael Hunter

Wall Tile: Ann Sacks, Base Board: Ann Sacks, Floor Tile: Ann Sacks Shower Floor: Walker Zanger, Tub: MTI, Tub Filler: Kallista, Pendant: Hudson Valley, Washstand: Waterworks, Faucet: Kallista

Lastly, how could we resist this Walker Zanger calacatta mosaic tile! Our current material obsession is definitely calacatta–can you tell?! – so our eyes lit up when we found this mosaic pattern. Not only is the small scale perfect for any size bathroom, but the modern design is different from the typical basketweave mosaic designs that we typically see while sourcing materials. For the last scheme, we wanted to create more of a glamorous look than the first two using the calacatta mosaic tile. To accomplish that, we specified one of our favorite iron cast bathtubs from Waterworks with a glass legged pedestal sink from Restoration Hardware. This scheme definitely has a “wow” factor, while not being too over the top.



Inspiration photography by Pieter Estersohn

Wall Tile: Ann Sacks, Empire Rail Molding: Waterworks, Floor Tile: Walker Zanger, Shower Walls: Walker Zanger, Tub: Waterworks, Tub Filler: Waterworks,  Sconces: Hudson Valley, Cabinets: Restoration Hardware, Vanity: Restoration Hardware

So which is your favorite?!

  • Alicia

    Tile is exactly where I am at currently on my bathroom renovation. I am working around an original to our home (1938) basket weave tile on the floor in a medium green tone with black and white accent squares. I have chosen to make this bathroom masculine as it will be for our two boys. We did millwork just like the first bathroom scheme above and have painted it in Farrow and Ball’s off black. I chose white carrara marble with dark veining for our bathtub and free standing shower surrounds. And a white matte subway tile for the shower. I just need to decide on the shower floor tile and am leaning towards a matte black in either a herringbone, 1″ square, or hexagon. Loved this post and your blog! As an aspiring interior decorator/designer I love how informative your blog is, it is like no other!