The Janet Makeover: An Avec Interiors Project

Spa Bathroom Luxury

Crafting Well-Being: How Avec Elevates Your Interior Design Experience


This spring, the Avec team had the pleasure of working with Los Angeles resident Janet to redesign her bathroom. Her Spanish-style bungalow was built in 1928, and while the home is beautiful, the master bathroom boasted zero storage, the world’s smallest shower, and not enough natural light. Solving these issues required a full gut and rebuild, so we collaborated with 5blox Inc. Construction to create a fresh, cohesive, and functional design for Janet. 


In today’s blog, we are sharing a behind-the-scenes look into our team’s process of designing the bathroom, collaborating with 5blox, and solving the challenges we encountered along the way. (Oh, and we’re sharing an exciting photo gallery of before-and-afters.)


Without further ado, we’ll walk you step by step through this very special project–from concept to completion!


To give you the full picture, we’ll start by sharing Janet’s thoughts about designing the space. She laid out her mission in her initial inquiry:


I want to gut a 1920s era 5½ x 12½ foot bathroom and rebuild with an updated, yet timeless design complementing my 1928 Spanish style bungalow. I have never hired a designer before but I know I need a professional to make the most out of the space, help me select the most beautiful tile, fixtures, and lighting, and guide me through the construction process.


Our team was excited about this bungalow bathroom project; we knew we could assist with all of Janet’s concerns and do an excellent job making her vision come to life! Once we had our initial conversation with Janet, we learned more about the home and delved deeper into her project goals. 


Here’s what we discovered:

1. Design needed to complement Janet’s 1920s house. Our team agreed this was very important! We needed to make design choices that would ensure her bathroom was visually harmonious with the rest of her home, yet updated and functional. The overall aesthetic needed to be timeless but avoid being super-modern. Challenge accepted!
2. Janet’s list of must-haves. Essential to any design project are the client’s must-haves! In this case, Janet needed the design to maximize natural light while ensuring privacy, and to integrate non-institutional grab bars for increased accessibility.
3. Janet’s list of nice-to-haves. This was also crucial for us to know. She wanted, if possible, to include closed storage with a hamper custom cabinet, a decorative display niche, and shower seating. 
While these three items don’t encompass every detail Janet and our team discussed, they give an overview of the three main goals she laid out! They are the foundation of Janet’s vision–and our design.


 After a set of initial conversations and site visit with Janet, the Avec team sprung to action creating a design. We knew it needed to solve various problems Janet was encountering with the current space while fulfilling her aesthetic vision–and were excited to deliver our solutions to her.


Here’s how our team fulfilled those three main goals of crafting a cohesive and updated design, fulfilling her list of must-haves, and checking off as many nice-to-have items as possible!



1. Cohesive, Updated Design


Our team knew we needed to select materials and decorative elements that nod to the aesthetic of the 1920s and complement the architecture–while keeping a contemporary vision. 


An important element of the decorative process was deciding on the tiles. While painted tiles are authentic to the period and offer a vibrant look, they can lead to a visually crowded space, potentially clashing with the simplicity of more modern designs. The perfect compromise ended up being Stars and Cross tile from FireClay Tile. Known for its artisanal quality and sustainable manufacturing, FireClay Tile reflects the craftsmanship highly regarded in the 1920s. The pattern we chose is subtly reminiscent of Art Deco styles prevalent in that era, with its geometric simplicity aligning well with contemporary tastes that favor minimalism and subtle elegance. We chose a stunning blue-green to evoke peace and tranquility.


Another big decision to make was materials. Marble and chrome are historically resonant yet timeless, so we wanted to go for those aesthetics. But marble isn’t as durable or affordable, which is why we chose to work with porcelain that mimics marble for the countertop and shower curb. We also decided to go with polished nickel instead of chrome fixtures for its warmer patina; this made for a cohesive color palette. Both these materials–porcelain and polished nickel–offer the dual benefits of durability and luxury, contributing to the timeless design.


2. The Must-Haves


We made sure Janet’s must-haves were successfully incorporated into the project’s design, ensuring its crucial functionality and aesthetic alignment.


To maximize natural light while ensuring privacy, we achieved this by using rain glass on the bathroom window and keeping an existing skylight. We chose Kohler grab bars in polished nickel to match the other fixtures and avoid the institutional look that less-quality grab bars can have.


3. The Nice-to-Haves


Most of Janet’s nice-to-have features were also achieved in our design, which enhanced the usability and elegance of the space. Our team would have of course liked to check them all off the list, but we needed to find the balance between these items and the overall design! 


For the closed storage option on her list, we custom-designed a beautiful rift-cut oak vanity, that provided organized, hidden storage and matched the design aesthetic. We also included a decorative display niche with custom rift-cut oak shelving and the stars and cross tile background on one wall, which was designed to showcase Janet’s collection of glass decorative pieces, adding a touch of her personality to the room. As for shower seating, we decided on a teak waterproof movable stool. While a fixed seat design would have been nice, it took up too much space, so this was the best solution to provide shower seating while maximizing space.


Once we created and finalized the design, we moved on to the construction phase–and our collaboration with 5blox. The Avec team was able to guide Janet through this process and acted as the go-between so all parties were on the same page, ensuring a cohesive design. 


This project marked Avec’s initial collaboration with 5blox, and it was a fantastic experience. They were consistently communicative, provided high-quality work, and were attentive to issues that arose during the project. Like any project, we encountered some challenges during this stage, but 5blox managed everything adeptly, contributing so much value to the master bathroom redo! 


(Check out their site HERE if you’re interested in learning more about 5blox.)


Last but not least, our team implemented all the remaining decorative elements in the bathroom, taking time to attend to all the small details.


Once everything was finalized, finessed, and styled to perfection, we had talented photographer Christian Morales take photos of the final product. The before-and-afters that we were able to share with Janet and our social media followers are incredible. 


Keep scrolling to discover them for yourself.


If you’re ready to enhance your living space with our impeccable interior design, contact our team of experts today. Whether you need just one room like Janet or your entire home designed, we craft refined but relaxed spaces that prioritize your unique vision. Schedule your consultation HERE today to get started. A beautifully designed home awaits you.

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