Girls' Bathroom Gets Colorful Update

Designer Rebecca Hawkins gives a bathroom shared by two young sisters a sophisticated new look that will carry them right through their teen years.

MR_Anderson-girls-bath-overall_s4x3 Photographs by Jean Allsopp

When Janet and Brian Anderson first called Rebecca Hawkins to come with ideas for renovating their daughters’ bathroom, there was plenty of room for improvement. “Brian and I knew we were going to have to fix some plumbing problems in that bathroom,” Janet says of the space shared by 9-year-old Hunter and 8-year-old Campbell. “We could see water leaks on ceilings below it. This bathroom was original to the house, and while we needed to fix these problems, we also wanted to update the bathroom at the same time.”


Pastel tile, a low, stock vanity with cultured marble countertops and ho-hum fixtures from the late ‘60s were in dire need of updating. Janet wanted to give the girls a fresh new bath that could grow with their changing tastes. With a budget of about $30,000, Janet and Rebecca began shopping for fixtures and finishes. One piece of advice Janet shares is that it’s best to have a fully fleshed-out plan for every detail of a bathroom remodel before you start soliciting bids. “Rebecca and I decided to put a lot of thought and work on the front end, so that we would be able to get accurate bids from different contractors, really comparing apples to apples,” she says.

For the renovated bathroom, Janet wanted each girl to have her own area for getting ready. So Rebecca added a wall at the end of the vanity to conceal the toilet, giving her a wall to install a second medicine cabinet. Changing from a double sink to a single, placed at one end of the vanity, allows one girl to be brushing her teeth while the other braids her hair in the mirror at the other end of the counter. “I can see the girls when they get older putting on their make-up and having enough space to talk with friends and really have a ball getting ready together, just as girls do,” says Janet.

In the newly-updated space, the three mirrors hanging above the counter are an interesting departure from the one giant mirror covering that wall, and were driven by Rebecca’s desire to show off the dramatic wallpaper along that wall. The fluted detail of the cabinets brings texture to the space. “All of the drawers close on their own, so you never hear any slamming," says Janet. "And I never see drawers left open - and that makes me so happy.”

Since the girls no longer needed a bathtub, Rebecca designed for them a luxe, spa-inspired bath. Inexpensive ceramic tile lines the entire shower area and wraps up onto the ceiling to minimize the effects of steam and water. “Instead of the typical bricklayer’s pattern,” says Rebecca, “we turned it vertical, which emphasizes the height of the ceiling.” Penny round tiles on the floor add a classic note of elegance, enhanced by the white Carrera marble floor. A countertop of white Alabama marble, more affordable than slabs of Carrera, looks nearly identical and kept the bathroom looking good and on budget.

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