Finding Balance in a Serene Master Bath Remodel

Spa Master Bah Mill Valley

Serene Spa Master Bath, Mill Valley California    click on any image to enlarge

The request was for a spa-like serene atmosphere with warmth, color, and Asian inspired touches brought together in a very clean lined contemporary way.


A steam shower was a requirement for the homeowners along with an air massage tub.  And unlike the old bathroom they had been living with we would design adequate storage …… this was to be a relaxing space so no clutter was going to be allowed on the countertops!

Spa bath steam shower

Spa master bathroom steam shower

The starting point for our tile design was the floral pattern mosaic glass tile from Artistic Tile.  I saw it as a reference to the chrysanthemum patterned fabrics sometimes used in Japanese kimonos.

Using the floral pattern sparingly so as not to overwhelm the space, we then balanced it with a straight patterned glass mosaic, a creamy tile, and warm Cherry wood for the vanity and medicine cabinet frames.

Spa Bathroom tile and contertop

A minimalist custom vanity floats above the floor along one wall, the cabinet doors and drawers are all out of a single piece of Cherry so the beautiful wood grain pattern is continuous along the front.

Custom Cherry wood frames surround the two medicine cabinets which provide storage for small items, an open shelf in the vanity provides extra towel storage, and a linen closet was created right outside the door for larger items.

Spa Bath vanity

A custom floating vanity of stained Cherry wood and matching frames for the medicine cabinets.

For the countertop we selected Taj Mahal quartzite with amber colored veining that perfectly coordinates with the glass tile colors. Punctuating these warm tones with some very crisp spa-like whites for the sinks, towels, and bathtub keeps everything feeling contemporary and light.

spa bath tile and fixtures

Warm tile and crisp white fixtures

Ample light for the vanity area is provided by sconces as well as a center “lantern” light fixture created by hanging a pendant light fixture from a metal wall bracket.

Spa Bath lantern light fixture

Spa Bath lantern light fixture

The new pocket door for the bathroom is two layers of glass with actual birch branches pressed between the clear and frosted glass.

Birch Branch glass pocket door

Birch branches between glass create a beautiful pocket door for the serene spa bath

The success of the design lies in the balance of the elements; warm colors against crisp whites, organic elements counterbalanced with strong lines.

The success of the project is that the homeowners now have a beautiful place to relax and unwind from their busy days.