Designer Larisa Barton takes on a very special client—her parents—for a massive bathroom renovation in their Jupiter, Florida home.
Clients can be tough. Parents can be tougher. Having your parents as clients might be the toughest of all. But not for our designer. When her parents bought a Florida getaway that was perfect—save one bad bathroom—they knew exactly who to call.
So this is your parents’ bathroom. How did they rope you into this renovation project?
My parents found their dream house and the only room that was a major eyesore was the bathroom. It was a given that I was immediately going to be on the project before they could even think about the rest of the house.
How would you describe your parents’ style?
The house is modern with touches of California and Cape Cod—a lot of white, blues and textured neutrals. They wanted a bathroom that would feel like a spa with all of the bells and whistles, but still uncomplicated. They are eventually going to retire here so I knew it had to be timeless.
What problems were you trying to solve with this renovation?
The existing bathroom had green walls, brown tile, and ’80s cubed glass. Nothing about it was modern. For the most part, the layout worked functionally. There were two small linen closets that we combined to create a large walk-in for my father (my mom already designated the large walk-in in the bedroom as her own). We also wanted the shower to be more open to the rest of the room so we used two glass partitions instead of a door.
How is it working with your parents on a design project? Did they trust you explicitly or did they have a lot of their own opinions?
My mother is very decisive—a trait you hope for in a client. She came with me to see everything: cabinetry, tile, all of the plumbing. We have similar taste so there wasn’t too much discussion on finishes. My father had one request: a large rain shower with all of the accouterments.
What considerations do you have in mind when you are planning a bathroom renovation? How did you balance budget/desires in this space?
Working with relatives gives you the upper hand because you know how they live. I knew my parents would want a low-maintenance space, which is why we chose porcelain tile instead of marble. Additionally, we were able to plan out all of the vanity storage efficiently and place outlets everywhere that made sense.
The look of this bathroom is very clean, but also textural. How did you balance all of these different materials?
Layering neutrals allows you to create a modern look that isn’t too stark. We used large porcelain tiles on the floor and wall and finished with a marble mosaic trim for the texture. We also brought in soft white quartz on the vanity to break up all of the tile.
What are your favorite parts of the renovation?
I love the large niches with the Thassos mosaic tile. For added drama, we also lit the interior of the niches.
Will you work with your parents again?
Of course! We are currently finishing up the rest of the house. The guest rooms are completed and have been broken in—one of the perks of the job.
You don’t have to have a designer in the family for a bold bathroom renovation. Sign up for Homepolish today and we’ll help you navigate the process.