Spare

See How This Drab Spare Room Became a Moroccan-Inspired Bathroom

Photo credit: Jacob Snavely
Photo credit: Jacob Snavely

From House Beautiful

As with most good designers, Jessica Geller and Virginia Toledo of Toledo Geller begin every project by getting to know their clients as best they can. When they were hired to design a bathroom for a retired couple in New Jersey, Geller recalls, one of the things she asked was “Where are you dying to travel next?” The answer—Morocco—would prove to be the underlying thread for the entire renovation, which consisted of turning a small bathroom and drab spare room into a Moroccan oasis right in their home—with plenty of functional details hidden under the breathtaking design.

The bathroom’s most noticeable element is likely the dramatic arches, which were born of a practical layout concern: “Knowing that she really wanted that bathtub to be the focal point, we thought, ‘okay, well let’s really make it a focal point,” Geller tells House Beautiful. “We couldn’t have it in front of the windows, so we turned it, and we wanted to frame it out.” That led to the graceful arch, which the duo echoed in the shower doorway.

Photo credit: Jacob Snavely
Photo credit: Jacob Snavely

By framing out the bath and shower with arches, Toledo and Geller were able to create designated zones for different needs, making the room hyper-functional. One particularly specific area? A built-in vanity (making use of one of the room’s few windows) for the couple’s daughter, who runs a makeup tutorial channel on YouTube.

Of course, Moroccan architecture often features dazzling displays of mosaic tile, so what better reference than a mix of tiles in the bathroom? Geller and Toledo married zellige, marble, and patterned tiles to add visual interest to the room without going overboard with colors. This mix also has a practical purpose: “We were really careful to choose the patterned