It went through a full gut remodel.

Bathroom Shower and Vanity Before & After by Corine Maggio
Before photo: Corine Maggio; After photo: Thomas Kuoh

You don’t often hear about sizable bathrooms feeling cramped; it’s usually a small bathroom feeling like a tight squeeze. But that was the case in this San Rafael, California primary bathroom, which “felt dated and felt a bit cramped considering what a large space it is,” according to interior designer Corine Maggio of CM Natural Designs, who oversaw the project.

Corine and her team ended up doing a full gut remodel on the bathroom, transforming it into a chic space that felt roomier and more functional. “This client loves to travel and has a strong appreciation for the arts. This space was meant to reflect that and was, in part, inspired by their European travels,” Corine says. “ They wanted it to have drama and have a bit of glam with a touch of a boutique hospitality feel.”

Bathroom Tub and Vanity Before and After by Corine Maggio

Before photo: Corine Maggio; After photo: Thomas Kuoh

Since it was a gut remodel everything was changed, except for the layout, Corine says. That might seem a bit counterintuitive considering the space felt cramped and normally a layout overhaul is the first solution to that, but instead Corine made some smart, strategic choices that made the existing layout work better. “For example, we put in a freestanding tub instead of a drop-in tub so that there was more visual floor space and a separation between the vanities and the tub,” Corine says. “We also did custom freestanding vanities that feel more like furniture. We adjusted the footprint of the shower to make it larger and more luxurious. And then, of course, we changed out all of the finishes and plumbing.”

Proof that the black wainscoting adds dramatic detail.

Thomas Kuoh

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While the new bathroom design sure is functional, the decor details are what really make it special. Black wainscoting was added and designed to be higher on the wall than normal to give a “strong and sophisticated statement.” Every exposed wall surface was covered with marble tile, which Corine says adds to the luxe feel, but also makes the shower less visually heavy.

Light Fixture in Bathroom by Corine Maggio
The light fixture is just another piece of “jewelry” for the bathroom.

Thomas Kuoh

Lighting and plumbing were the “jewelry” of the space, with Corine mixing metals. “I love mixing metals. There’s something very stiff and uninspired about having all the same metal throughout a space,” she explains. “Mixing metals, when done right, can have an effortless feel that is also more dynamic and interesting. It also helps you appreciate each item on its own instead of it all just blending together.”

Pink Stool in Bathroom by Corine Maggio
The pink stool adds a dash of “femininity” to the space.

Thomas Kuoh

And because the colors and finishes of the space were very masculine, Corine added small touches, like the glass lighting fixture and pink stool, to help bring some balance to the space.

It’s no surprise that the owners love the stunning bathroom. “I’m so happy that they get to have this beautiful experience when just going through their everyday morning routine. They have great taste and value nice things and I feel like this space really reflects that,” Corine says.