Date: September 5, 2023 | Story: Eileen Beard | Photography: Rett Peek | Styling: Stephanie Maxwell Newton |
Kathryn J. LeMaster Art & Design gives a primary bath in Paron a practical, stylish refresh
After a water leak caused damage in her shower, the owner of this home in Paron decided it was time to renovate her outdated primary bath. On the hunt for someone to help with a redesign that would be bright and inviting but easy to maintain, she stumbled on the work of interior designer Kathryn LeMaster in the pages of At Home in Arkansas and gave her a call.
For the homeowner, replacing the high-maintenance marble in the shower was the first order of business. “We’d had it resealed several times since we bought the house because it kept leaking,” she says. When she told Kathryn she preferred something modern that required less TLC, the designer recommended porcelain. “It can look like natural stone, but it’s hardier for the shower and bath area,” Kathryn says. She also replaced outdated glass brick walls while changing the shower’s footprint slightly, making it both wider and shorter than before to create space for a new seated vanity on the other side of the shower wall.
The drop-in tub was next to go. “I wanted to install a freestanding bath tub to open up the space, literally and figuratively,” Kathryn says. The homeowner chose this particular model because the lower lip of the tub makes it easy to get in and out and to lean into during bathtime with her grandson.
Stylistically, the homeowner asked Kathryn to weave some old-world elements into the modern look. An oil-rubbed bronze finish on the plumbing fixtures and lighting speaks to this influence, while their clean shapes keep everything in the transitional realm. “Nothing is overly sharp, nothing is overly curved—it’s a good balance of shapes and silhouettes that lends itself to some of the rustic elements throughout the rest of the home,” Kathryn says. An ottoman upholstered in a floral fabric continues this traditional flair while earthy textures in the Roman shade, rattan pendant, and wood-look tile flooring keep everything from feeling too formal.
When the homeowner mentioned that green was her favorite color, Kathryn was happy to accommodate with a pop of color on the cabinets. “I always like to bring the outdoors in,” she says of the nature-based hue. Apart from ease of use, the homeowner says the thing she appreciates the most about
her brand new space is how it makes her feel: “It’s very calming.”
While the hardware on the pair of vanities flanking the closet have a linear shape in the same oil-rubbed bronze finish as the lighting and fixtures, the seated vanity’s pulls—a brass-and-shell selection that plays off the bone inlay mirror—lend the space a girlish, collected charm. The cabinetry is painted “Privilege Green” by Sherwin-Williams.
“The window is such a focal point,” Kathryn says. “We knew we wanted to put a freestanding tub under it to open up the space.” Practicality was also front of mind: The upholstered ottoman has hidden storage below the skirt where the homeowner keeps toys and gear for bathtime with the grandkids, and the indoor/outdoor rug is washable and reversible. Frosted glass windows in both the shower and the water closet let in natural light without sacrificing privacy.
Contractor Mike Pace, Pace Cabinets & Remodeling Interior design Kathryn J. LeMaster, Kathryn J. LeMaster Art & Design Art Steve Griffith and Vivian Noe Griffith Cabinetry, millwork, and painting Pace Cabinets & Remodeling Fabrics Cynthia East Fabrics Fixtures, flooring, furniture, hardware, lighting, mirrors, rugs, and tile Kathryn J. LeMaster Art & Design Plants Hocott’s Garden Center Window coverings Sew Much by Monica Smith