Before & After: A Designer Makes a Bedroom and Bath Prettier and More Practical

published Jun 3, 2023
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Credit: Courtesy of Kerri Pilchik Design
1 / 3

Despite gut-renovating their entire Park Slope brownstone 15 years ago, Kerri Pilchik’s clients had never made their primary bedroom or bathroom a major priority. “They wanted a ‘grown up’ bedroom and regretted some of the choices they had made in the bathroom,” the designer says of the couple she worked with on this project. From her own perspective, the two rooms just didn’t hang together visually or aesthetically, either. While the bedroom contained a hodgepodge of furniture and had no real design direction, the bathroom, although somewhat adventurous with its green wall tile, had grown a little dingy over the years and didn’t necessarily have the most practical finishes for everyday use. 

Credit: Courtesy of Kerri Pilchik Design
1 / 3

Called in to tackle the 220-square-foot bedroom and 55-square-foot bathroom together, Pilchik was tasked with the goal of making both spaces look more sophisticated while upping their functionality. Specifically, her clients wanted their love of clean lines and mid-century modern design to shine through the redo, and they were looking to increase storage where it made sense. “They also live casually and didn’t want anything precious,” Pilchik notes. “At the same time, they appreciate fine art as well as bold color and interesting patterns and textiles.” For that reason, Pilchik knew she could push the envelope a bit when it came to finishes, as long as the overall design scheme felt serene.

When it came to the general footprint of both spaces, Pilchik decided to stick with what was there, but in the bedroom, specifically, she was far more intentional with placement and orientation of the new furniture she selected for her clients. “Before, the bed was against a wall that had a small niche, so there was space behind a portion of the headboard,” Pilchik shares. “Now, the dresser fits perfectly into that niche, and the bed is on the opposite wall, which allows for artwork above.” This move allowed the bed and the art above it — a painting by Alexis Walter purchased on one of their many trips to their favorite city, New Orleans — to become a true focal point in the space. Pilchik also relocated the husband’s office setup into a corner so it was better hidden and wouldn’t be a constant reminder of work — especially after hours. Larger nightstands from Chelsea Textiles keep bedside essentials and more at hand, while a bench at the foot of the bed provides a place to set clothing or other belongings down temporarily.

As far as color palette and finishes go, the bedroom — as it’s the first room you see out of the two — sets the tone for the bath. Calming, complementary hues from the blue-gray and peachy pink-tan color families prevail. “We swathed the bedroom in a pinky beige grasscloth to add texture and warmth and painted all of the millwork charcoal gray to emphasize its beauty and create contrast,” the designer notes. A few pops of light green from the artwork above the bed were carried into the patterned bedding that sits below it, but on the whole, the textiles — even the printed ones — read as soft and soothing.

The bathroom got a totally new lease on life that centers on a fairly bold tile combo: blue and green patterned ceramic tiles on the walls and deep blue ceramic hexagons on the floor, both of which work nicely with the nearby blue-grays in the bedroom. “They add color and fun as well as being stain- and chip-resistant,” Pilchik explains. “I don’t often have a client who wants a colorful and patterned tile in their primary bathroom, so that was really fun and refreshing.” 

To boost storage in the fairly small bath, Pilchik commissioned a custom designed white oak vanity with large drawers that, on the whole, offers much more utility than the former model (which featured dead space below the countertop). “It floats off the floor, giving the illusion of more space without looking heavy, despite its large size,” Pilchik adds. Although the couple stuck with a glass shower, the smaller door feels much more manageable for cleaning. Brass fittings introduce a touch of sophistication and shine, while peach linens echo the color of the wall coverings in the bedroom. 

Ultimately, this Brooklyn couple couldn’t believe how well Pilchik was able to transform the spaces into something that, taken altogether, is pretty, practical, and personal to them. “The client loves that the bedroom is grown-up and coordinated, but not stuffy or ‘matchy-matchy,’ and they love the new furniture layout which makes better use of the space,” she shares. “They also love the tile color combinations and personality of the patterned tile.”