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Serene Bathroom Dressed in Silver

A gracious bath offers a soothing escape from the hustle and bustle of family life 

Written by Amy Elbert

Quiet me-time is a precious commodity, particularly for a mother of three kids under the age of 7. After a nonstop day of feeding, dressing, carpooling, and chasing little ones, there’s nothing as soothing as sinking into a warm bath—alone.

That was Laura Schneidau’s thought when she and her husband, Patrick, built their new Houston home. Constructed with a growing family in mind, it features durable materials and a functional layout. It’s kid-centric—except for the master bath retreat.

“That’s the intent, anyway,” Laura says with a laugh. “Of course, it doesn’t always happen that way when you have 6-, 4-, and 2-year-olds.”

The bath is part of a master suite wing with walk-in closets near the bedroom. “This is separate from the kids’ rooms, and I wanted it to function like a true master retreat,” she says. “I wanted it to feel comfy, sophisticated, and grown-up.” 

The shower alcove is lined with subway-style tiles featuring beveled edges that create shadow and dimension. Honed Carrara marble from Daltile in a basket-weave pattern on the floor continues into the shower stall. The Brizo showerhead detaches from the wall mount and doubles as a handheld shower.

Before construction began, designer Marie Flanigan tweaked floor plans to lengthen the room, creating a 9x21-foot space with 10-foot-high ceilings. “We were able to bring the room out an extra three or four feet in length, which really added a lot of drama,” she says. “We added the barrel-vaulted ceiling because it is such a long room. When the sunlight comes in and lights up that ceiling, it’s gorgeous.”

Lengthening the room also allowed Flanigan to set off the bathtub in a windowed niche fronted with a paneled archway. Bath walls are paneled with picture-frame molding painted white. “We didn’t need a tile backsplash because the bath is primarily used by the mother. That keeps the look clean,” Flanigan says.

The tub is set into a windowed niche at the end of the room, creating an intimate retreat. “The homeowners wanted a classic, timeless space that could be like a spa getaway,” says interior designer Marie Flanigan. The vintage-style tub filler from the Michael S Smith For Town collection from Kallista and BainUltra’s oval-shape “Ellipse” tub complement the historic architectural details of the home.

The paneling, marble countertops and floor, and the recessed cabinet-door styles are respectful of the Colonial architecture of the house as well, the designer says. Scalloped cabinet bases and varied countertop depths and heights add interest and furniture styling to the long, narrow space.

Individual vanities are on opposite sides of the space, and the toilet is enclosed in a separate room, ensuring privacy when more than one person is using the bath. “It’s such a large room and multifunctional. We wanted to make sure there was privacy,” Flanigan explains. 

Kohler’s “Cimarron” toilet is set into a separate room next to the shower.

Laura’s vanity has a French antique mirror flanked by polished-nickel sconces. “The mixture of antique elements layered with more modern items was a theme throughout the project,” Flanigan says. “Even the wallpaper is kind of a modern take on traditional. There is sort of an abstraction to the branches that gives the design a clean, more contemporary feel.”

The “Joffrey” mirror from Lam Bespoke hangs above one of the sink vanities. Custom cabinets have furniture-style scalloped detailing on the door fronts and bases. The vanity stool is covered with an ivory ostrich leather and trimmed with nickel nailheads. Fabricut’s “Fellas” white linen was made into Roman shades accented with decorative gray trim from Samuel & Sons.

The Calacatta Luccicoso marble countertop drops to a height of 30 inches next to Laura’s sink to create a dressing table matched with a stool covered in an easy-care ivory leather. An east-facing window above the dressing area offers natural light, which is augmented by sconces, a chandelier, and recessed ceiling lights.

The marble tile floor in a large-scale basket-weave pattern and Roman shades in a slubby white linen add texture and warmth to the room, contributing to the spa-like feel. Lights are on dimmers to adjust for morning grooming or evening soaks in the tub-.

“The space is very relaxing,” Laura says. Maybe when the kids are older, she’ll enjoy even more of that well-earned me-time. 

Photography: Ryann Ford
Produced by Donna Talley

Interior designer: Marie Flanigan, Marie Flanigan Interiors, 2525 Driscoll St., Houston, TX 77019; 979/574-9686,
Builder: Cronin Builders, P.O. Box 27183, Houston, TX 77227-7183; 713/524-3723,

Bathroom, toward bathtub—
 (“Twiggy”/Silver #5003340): Schumacher,
Cabinetry (custom): Cronin Builders,
Cabinetry hardware (“RK Int’l Hardware 15/8-inch Cylinder Knob”/Polished Nickel #RKI-63121):
Cabinet and trim paint (“White Dove” #OC-17): Benjamin Moore,
Flooring (“Large Basketweave Honed Carrara Marble with Gray Dot”): Daltile,
Marble tub surround (Calacatta Luccicoso with Ogee Bullnose edge): Pacific Shore Stones,
Bathtub (“Ellipse 7240,” undermount): Bain Ultra,
Tub faucet with hand shower (“For Town by Michael S Smith Bath Faucet Set with Handshower, Lever Handles” #P22707): Kallista,
Roman shades (“Fellas”/Bone #2423702): Fabricut,
Trim on Roman shades (“2-inch Gresham Tufted Braid”/Linen #977-42571-10): Samuel & Sons,
Art on tub surround (by Donna Talley): owner’s collection.
Table next to tub (faux bamboo): discontinued.
Small etched glass on table: Plush Home, 713/522-5230.  

Bathroom, vanity area—
Cabinetry (custom): Cronin Builders,
Towel barrobe hook: Newport Brass,
Sink (“Vintage Undermount Bathroom Sink” #K-2240-0): Kohler,
Countertop (Calacatta Luccicoso Marble with Ogee Bullnose Edge): Pacific Shore Stones,
Faucet (“Miro Widespread Lavatory Faucet”/Polished Nickel #1600/226): Newport Brass,
Mirror (“Jeffrey Mirror”): Lam Bespoke,
Sconces (“Bryant Sconce” with Natural Paper Shade, by Thomas O’Brien); chandelier, seen in mirror (“Bryant Small Chandelier” #TOB5002, by Thomas O’Brien): Circa Lighting,
Vanity bench (custom); fabric (ostrich leather in ivory): Marie Flanigan Interiors,
Marble tray on vanity: Plush Home, 713/522-5230.
Shower tile (“Harvest”/Cotton 3x6-inch subway tile): Materials Marketing,
Shower floor (1x1-inch honed white Carrara marble): Daltile,
Showerhead: Brizo,
Shower controls: Newport Brass,
Toilet (“Cimarron”): Kohler,