Allie Mann’s 1966 split-foyer home in McLean needs work. But that’s OK. She bought it “knowing that it needed a lot of work and that’s what I do, so it was a great opportunity,” says the senior designer for Case Architects & Remodelers.
With two young children—Ava, 5, and Sophia, 2—one of the first projects on her punch list was the girls’ bathroom, which also pulls double duty as the powder room when they entertain guests.
“I wanted it to be nice for them, but also fun for our guests,” she explains of the vision.
The result is a sophisticated yet whimsical space that offers plenty of kid-friendly features.
The custom vanity, bought pre-painted in denim blue from Minnesota-based Crystal Cabinets, sets the stage.
“Blue is so hot right now, I don’t think it’s going anywhere in five or even 10 years,” says Mann of her color selection.
The dark blue—which is mirrored on one wall with Sherwin Williams 6537 Luxe Blue paint—feels rich and welcoming for adults, but also masks any wear and tear and “hides the love and TLC it’s received,” as Mann puts it, of the tiny fingerprints, toothpaste spills and bath time splashes it stands up against.
High-end faucets and plumbing—including a Kohler faucet from the Margaux collection in polished nickel—adds more sophistication, as does a marble herringbone floor meant to “elevate” the look of the entire room. Mixed metals, including sconces by Circa and a gold mirror, round out the elevated touches.
But while appealing accents abound, there are plenty of kid-friendly features hiding in plain sight. Subway tile (here it’s given a modern update with a larger-than-usual 4-inch-by-16-inch size) was installed in the shower, of course, but also along the back wall behind the vanity. With two young kids in the learning-to-brush-their-teeth stage, Mann says, “We tiled the whole back wall because it’s easy to clean.”
Mann also installed a new bathtub that is 20 inches deep (versus a standard tub of 14 to 17 inches) because “it contains splashes better, and the girls like it for bubble baths.”
In addition, Mann added 6 inches of space to the original vanity length and two drawers for when the girls are older and need more storage.
And a Pottery Barn shower curtain backorder ultimately changed the look of the room. Mann originally had her heart set on an intricate pattern, but “it was backordered to infinity.” She ended up hanging a simple blue-and-white-striped shower curtain from Wayfair that she kept even after her original pick was available.
Mann says her goal for the small space was to stand out with “bold use of color. We wanted it to be a statement, but fun too, and this is a nice juxtaposition of white and blue.”
“I like to design spaces that are going to be well loved and well lived in. If your style is more modern, we’ll make that work for your more modern home. If your style is farmhouse chic, we’ll make it work for farmhouse chic, but I want to really make sure the pieces are timeless, quality and meant to be well loved and well lived in for my clients.”
“Not having the bathtub for two small children for the duration of the project was very challenging,” says Mann. “It’s something I didn’t factor in. But we knew there would be a bit of growing pains while we did it.”
Favorite Feature of the Room
“I love the mirror,” says Mann of the gold-brushed mirror from Uttermost that hangs over the vanity. “It literally took weeks upon weeks of just staring at things in the space. We had to drill the holes for that mirror into the tile. It was a commitment. It’s going to stay there.”