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After: Spacious, Mold-Free Retreat

Photo by Jill Hunter

Sometimes it's a hidden problem that paves the way for a style transformation. In Karl and Heather Harwood's home, in Katy, Texas, fixing the spare bath's claustrophobic two-part layout was a low priority—until they discovered 100 square feet of mold caused by the room's leaky pipes.

Shown: An open floor plan and fresh white walls add a sense of spaciousness, while checkerboard floors and a claw-foot soaker lend vintage charm.

Before: Tiny Bath, Big Mold Problem

Only after Karl had gutted the room down to the studs did the couple find their inspiration for the room's remodel: an acrylic claw-foot slipper tub, snagged online for half price because of an undetectable factory blemish. Karl bumped a sidewall into the room next door to gain space for the soaker and created a tiled toiletry shelf along the back wall to serve as deck space. A checkered ceramic-tile floor and custom wall trim complement the vintage look. To update the period-style elements, Karl installed sleek conical pendant lights and finished the room with a streamlined vanity, medicine cabinet, and linen tower. But it's the black paneled ceiling and leafy decals that have the couple vying for relaxation time in the guest tub: "It's like there's a canopy of leaves above you, falling to the sides," Karl says. "We love it."

Shown: A curtained tub/shower sat at the far end of the bath, blocking light from the room's only window. Dated earth tones darkened the room.

Sleek Lines

Photo by Jill Hunter

The vanity and medicine cabinet echo the clean lines of the wall trim in a contemporary black finish and provide extra room for essentials. The matching linen tower's open storage keeps towels close at hand without obscuring sight lines.

Vanity, faucet, medicine cabinet, and linen tower: IKEA

Space-Savvy Panels

Photo by Jill Hunter

Custom trim, made with medium-density fiberboard (MDF) sealed on all sides, adds architectural interest without sacrificing the bath's now airy feeling. The secret: a white-on-white scheme for the paneled walls.

Paint: Glidden's Marshmallow White

Setting the Stage

Photo by Jill Hunter

Charcoal-colored grout gives the checkerboard ceramic floors a cohesive look and allows the tub feet to shine.

Slipper tub: American Bath Factory

Tiles: Daltile

Within Reach

Photo by Jill Hunter

A tiled shelf along the back wall keeps toiletries stashed by the soaking tub.

Faux Foliage

Photo by Jill Hunter

Leafy decals bring a soft edge to the corners of white-on-white panels.

Floor Plan Before: Small and Cumbersome

Floor plan by Ian Warpole

A two-part layout and an obtrusive linen closet cramped the small bath.

Floor Plan After: Open and Inviting

Floor plan by Ian Warpole

The footprint got a small boost, but removing the wall that cut the bath in two and swapping the closet for open shelves get the most credit for the bath's new expansiveness.

1. Removed the closet in favor of a new vanity and freestanding shelf unit.

2. Swapped an accordion door for a proper hinged entry door.

3. Opened up the space by demolishing the wall between the vanity and shower areas.

4. Created a focal point by replacing an ugly tub/shower insert with a freestanding soaker and a tiled shelf.

5. Moved one wall 5 inches into the adjacent game room to make space for the tub.