neutral-washed, spa-like environments are a favored
theme for today’s bathrooms, local designers say there
is plenty of room for bolder approaches — be it in
color, pattern, texture and even intent.
Two baths — each with distinctly different vibes — in the same
one-story, lannon stone, midcentury modern home in Wauwatosa have their
own bold purpose: to keep a mature couple in their home for as long as
possible, while expanding facilities for guests.
Photo by Mike Kaskel
Jack Golatke of Story Hill Renovations, LLC says the
challenge was to carve out two bathrooms from an existing bathroom
and several closets that had awkward storage space. He did so with
the help of residential architectural design specialist Peter Wells.
“I really like how it turned out spatially,” Golatke says.
The result is a master bath with midcentury touches, such as maple
cabinetry, geometric-patterned wallpaper in aqua and apple green/gold,
an aqua tile accent wall with a trapezoid design in the shower, and an
infrastructure that allows for the addition of handrails.
Photo by Mike Kaskel
Homeowner Nancy Lehninger says she and her husband,
Bob, want to ensure they can live in their home of 28 years well
into the future.
That future also includes a showpiece powder room (with additional
shower), which boasts glass-beaded wallpaper in a bronzy coral pattern.
Polished nickel is
the choice for standard hardware in both bathrooms, and Lehninger
repurposed a hallway mirror for above the pedestal sink in the powder
“I wanted to blend modern and classic elements together, and I think
that itself is bold,” says Nick Konzal of Nicholas Carl Design. As part
of a design makeover featured in the 2017 Wisconsin Breast Cancer
Showhouse, Konzal let the original elements of the 1906,
Eschweiler-built Tudor on Milwaukee’s
East Side guide his vision for the 200-square-foot master bath.
Photo by Amy Lamb of Native House
“In 1906, they were not thinking about what we do
now,” says Konzal, noting that many homeowners now want a staging
area to get ready for the day or evening. He converted closets into
a separate shower space and created room for a double vanity.
Konzal extended original subway tile from another bath to most of the
walls in his new creation. He incorporated a wall covering from England
that mimics feathers as an accent around the door and top one-third of
one wall, covered by framed art. The claw-foot tub is a nod to the past,
while a new, four-legged cabinet almost floats to support the composite
backlit mirror and ambient lighting frame the vanity, adding a modern
The floor is comprised of 8-inch-by-8-inch, handcrafted encaustic cement
tile in a black-and-white diamond pattern. Konzal says he favors this
modern touch and its juxtaposition to the space’s more vintage touches,
like the repainting of its original radiators.
Anne Wangman of Forbes Design mixed sunburst-patterned wallpaper with a
hand-painted floor in a Mequon powder room by tying in mostly
understated shades of taupe, white, silver and gold.
“I love wallpaper,” Wangman says. “It fell out of favor a while ago, but
now it is back with a vengeance.”
Photo by Doug Edmunds
She also loves the outcome of the decision to hire
Fox Point artist Laura Wigdale to paint the existing reddish ceramic
tile floor in a stenciled trellis pattern, with soft gray and taupe
chalk paint covered with layers of polyurethane.
“The original tile was paired with a flowery mix of blues and red
wallpaper,” Wangman says. “We kept the chair rail because we did not
want to overpower the room with wallpaper, and we kept the vanity. We
just painted everything a similar taupe.”
Finishing off the
room are a new sink, polished nickel hardware (some of which mimics the
trellis floor pattern) and a metallic mirror as well as a faux bamboo
shelf — all selected to not detract from the focal point that is the