The Bathroom Renovation You've Been Dreaming Of

This house, which was built in 1928, originally had three baths and seven bedrooms on the second floor. Homeowners Magnus and Vanna Krantz have only two children and didn’t need so many bedrooms, so they reconfigured the upstairs with four baths and five bedrooms, to make it more functional for them. The green-tiled bathroom they converted into their master bath had not been updated in 27 years. Vanna decided it was time.

When Krantz was decorating her master bedroom, she chose a gray-and-blue palette. She wanted the master bath to flow from that, so she chose blue and white for that space. 

She took on the project herself, with some help from design associate Gina Librandi at Artistic Tile in White Plains.

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Shower Wall (Feature)
Eden Thassos Polished Waterjet Mosaic, $100/sq ft (special-order only) Outlined with Azul Cielo Baccello Molding, $19.40 each
Artistic Tile
65 Tarrytown Rd
White Plains
(914) 422-0041


Shower Floor
Little Satch Mingus
Grey Gloss Glass Mosaic,
$38/sq ft
Artistic Tile
65 Tarrytown Rd White Plains
(914) 422-0041

When taking on such a project, Librandi says the first task is to determine what you like. Many homeowners may have a hard time deciding what they want, she says, but everyone has a personal style. “You got dressed this morning. You said you wanted to wear that today,” says Librandi. “Same thing applies to tile selection.”

The goal was to create a symmetrical room that was pleasing to the eye, functional and had window seats. There is also a ton of storage space, thanks to the symmetrical design philosophy.  

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“We could have changed it to have more storage in the closet, as opposed to the bathroom, but because symmetry was important to us, we thought it would look nicer with the window seats and cabinetry,” says Krantz. “I can see people sitting in their walk-in closets, getting ready, but we actually sit on those window seats and have our [clothes] right there.”

The cabinets were custom-made; New Concept Painting finished them. 

Another unique feature is the large shower, which is the focal point of the room. The shower has all the bells and whistles, including a steam function, as well as beautiful design elements, such as a stone background called Azul Ciel (aka “blue sky”). Mosaic details are composed of the same, with lines of another polished marble called Crema Marfildone on a background of polished Thassos marble. The two panels were added as the “jewelry” of the room. Krantz did not put in a tub. 

“[I could have put] one of those beautiful soaking tubs where the shower is, put the shower where the toilet is and played with the configuration,” she says. “But I think the shower is more important than the tub, because [before] this home we had a Jacuzzi tub, which we used five times in 10 years. [It] was just another thing to dust and lay wet gym clothes on. The window seats are used continuously by either the kids, the dog, or for putting something down. They’re genius.”

When undergoing a large renovation such as Krantz’s, trust your gut and do what makes the most sense to you and your family. If you don’t use a tub, don’t put one in your bathroom. 

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“What I’ve experienced is that people rip out bathrooms and kitchens after 15 years anyway,” says Krantz. “So you might as well build it for yourself.”

Rainshower Rustic 210 in Chrome, $599


4” Mantova Showerhead WI0123 in Polished Chrome, $244
Visit for retailers


Towel Bar
Empire 24” Towel Bar in Polished Chrome, $142


Single-Function Anti-Cal Handshower 1101/8E in Polished Chrome, $139
Visit for retailers

Shower Wall
Azul Cielo 12”x12” Polished Field Tile, $35/sq ft
Artistic Tile
65 Tarrytown Rd
White Plains
(914) 422-0041

Another tip is to work with people who are experienced in their fields and leverage their knowledge. In this bathroom, Krantz was encouraged to add heated flooring because of the size of the space. She was used to a much smaller bathroom and didn’t think it was necessary, but she’s glad she added it. 

She also says to hire people who know how to install tile, especially intricate panels, like the ones in her shower. There is an art to installing these precious pieces, and the experts from Artistic Tile are experienced in doing so. 

The Krantzes now have a beautiful and serene bathroom that functions exactly as they want it to. 

The lesson here: Whether you hire a professional team to make over your bathroom or you go it alone, do your research and trust your instincts in terms of what you want, and you will end up with something you love. 

Bathroom Tips

• Gina Librandi, design associate at Artistic Tile, says the two biggest mistakes homeowners make when renovating a bathroom is underbudgeting and selecting price over quality. 

• Always splurge on the “jewelry” part of the room, Librandi says. The jewelry in this bathroom are the tile panels in the shower. If not a panel, go for a chandelier or a grand mirror. Just choose something that makes the design come alive. 

• Save on the field tile or the background. “The bulk of any bathroom is the shower walls/floors,” says Librandi. “Choosing a less-expensive field tile or working with your design associate to keep within your budget can help keep you from getting rid of your special pieces.”

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