From Scattered to Glamorous

The previous floor plan for this master bath in the San Antonio, TX home of an empty-nester couple lacked focus as well as pizzazz. It was a bit scattered and the first thing anyone saw when they walked into the room was the door leading to the closet.

But Crystal Romero, registered interior designer and Allied Member ASID, changed all that when the homeowners commissioned San Antonio-based Bradshaw Designs, owned by Julie Bradshaw, Registered Interior Designer, Allied Member ASID and NKBA Member, to transform the master bath, bedroom and closet. Darren Leighton, principal with Jack Austin Homes and Remodeling, served as the contractor for the project.

Now, the first thing anyone sees in this award-winning bath is the luxurious tub niche – carved out of a portion of the existing master closet – that showcases a beautiful Tyrrell & Laing International slipper tub. Although made of a composite stone material, it resembles honed white limestone. Romero surrounded the freestanding tub with custom wainscoting and inset mirrors that reach to the top of the 10’-tall ceilings. She accented it with a Newport Brass wall-mounted tub filler in an antique nickel finish that blends with some of the existing hardware while giving a modern touch, without being too shiny.

“The couple wanted a ‘glam’ look,” says Romero. “The rest of their home is mostly traditional, but for this space they wanted to step it up a bit. They wanted a transformation with a ‘wow’ effect.”

Other special elements in the tub niche include a pair of polished nickel sconces and a TV behind one of the mirrors on the side of the niche. It can easily be viewed when turned on but ‘vanishes’ behind the two-way mirror when turned off. Both required a lot of planning to incorporate safely and effectively.

“It’s unusual to see sconces behind a tub because of codes,” she explains. “In this case, we had to wire them into a special circuit to allow for a wet area location. There was a lot of teaming up with others involved in the project, such as the electrician and lighting engineer, to get them to work. At one point, someone suggested that we take them out. But the design just wouldn’t have been the same without them. The extra effort was definitely worth it!”

Mounting the sconces on top of the mirror also enhances the light’s radiance and helps set the mood. “Sconces provide great face-framing light as well as really nice mood lighting,” she says, noting that since they aren’t super bright, she also added recessed cans to ensure adequate lighting throughout the space. “They double the effect of the light and really make the space look unique. Sconces on a wall can be ordinary, but if added on top of a mirror, they look amazing!”

The designer complemented the sconces with a matching chandelier, centered in the room and on the focal-point tub.

Read the rest of this amazing transformation, and view the gallery, at