Masculine bathroom design inspiration: My guest bath refresh

I’ve been thinking about a guest bathroom refresh for a very long time.

There have been attempts, oh yes, over the last couple years to repaint, but I’ve never been totally happy with the results–the reason being that the walls aren’t exactly in top form. The previous owners updated this bathroom by freshening up the tub (a Bath Fitter solution, which was cost-effective and yielded nice results–not exactly luxury, but fresh and clean, and I can definitely live with that!). They also installed a new “comfort height” toilet and a lovely pedestal sink. They also put up some bead board to add some vintage charm.

But unfortunately they stopped short on the walls, which have been taken down to the original plaster, producing an oddly textured and uneven surface. The walls have a bit of a pockmarked look to them. It’s always bothered me, and no amount of paint will help cover that up!

So, I’ve decided to call in some professional help: my contractor’s team are going to re-skim and repaint the walls, install some crown molding and new lighting, and help me add a few other details which I hope will greatly improve the look and feel of my guest bath.

The other consideration for this refresh is that while this is the “official” guest bath, it will be used primarily by my fiancé-very-soon-to-be-husband who will be immigrating to this country at the end of next month (perhaps more on this later!). I want it to have a masculine, clean, and more modern feel to better suit his design sensibility and aesthetic.

So without further ado, here are my inspiration photos. The common denominators here: these bathrooms all strike a nice balance between classic and modern, and they’re also vintage with a little bit of “edge.” The color palette I’m drawn to for this project consists of neutrals with heavy doses of warm white and black accents. Since my guest bath currently has black-and-white floor tile, which I quite like, I thought it might be fun to play up the black-and-white theme by incorporating some modern art work, as shown in some of the examples that follow:


Architectural Digest via decorpad. Love the basket weave tile and the black-and-white photography


The oft-pinned bathroom of Chloe Sevigny. No wonder–it’s pretty close to perfection. Sigh.


Love, love, love this jaunty gentleman’s bath by Gil Schafer


Rita Konig can do no wrong. I ardently love this bathroom. Her rooms are always perfectly at ease and never trying to hard.


James Wagman Architect, LLC via Houzz


Crisp, yet relaxed and easy. Justin Bishop via Desire to Inspire.


Lonny via Flickr. These are actually chocolate walls, but they achieve a black-and-white effect. Love how the calligraphic lines and lightness of the sketches above the sink provide balance to those dark walls.


Spare, sculptural, and yet homey at the same time. Via To da loos (Get it? Clever.)


Another Houzzer. Refined (love the grasscloth), with a clean, masculine vibe.


Via Habitually Chic


Deborah Needleman via Martha Stewart

I will be back soon with some “Before” photos so you can see how the land truly lies and hopefully some progress photos as well!

I’ve collected these and other guest bath inspiration photos on my Pinterest board here.


The Writer

Writer & Residence blog. A blog dedicated to two of my favourite things, interior design, and writing.

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