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The Makings of a Modern Bathroom

Writer Meg Fox  |  Photographer Burke Multimedia  |  Designer Alison Nifoussi  |  Location Fair Haven, NJ

This remodel works all the angles to craft a clean, timelessly chic aesthetic

Removing a cumbersome Jacuzzi tub allowed space for a large, luxurious glass-enclosed shower and separate his-and-her vanities in the modern, light-filled bathroom. High style quartz and porcelain tile surfaces offer ease of maintenance.

Not a detail was spared in the remodel of a Fair Haven bathroom that Alison Nifoussi designed for homeowner Carolyn Glassman. The existing bath — plagued by an “old school Jacuzzi tub” the homeowner no longer used, a single vanity and a confining stall shower — was prime for a makeover. “This was a full gut,” recalls Nifoussi, principal of Tweak Interiors in Little Silver, New Jersey.

Removing the bulky Jacuzzi/tub created more space to meet two of the homeowner’s objectives: an enlarged shower and separate his-and-her vanities. Nifoussi says Glassman wanted a more modern space that is light, bright and easy to maintain with quartz and porcelain tile surfaces.

Dual vanities are covered in Bianco Statuario Quartz “mitred to a 3-inch thickness and waterfalled on either side of the vanity to act as legs,” Nifoussi says. The same thick quartz continues up the wall to frame the mirrors.

Round concave brushed knobs on the vanity’s simple slab drawers are “playful in shape yet still sophisticated and dressy,” designer Alison Nifoussi says. Each vanity is topped by 3-inch-thick Bianco Statuario Quartz.

Round concave brushed-brass knobs that resemble furniture hardware were carefully selected, Nifoussi says. “Playful in shape, yet still sophisticated and dressy, they were placed on simple slab drawers to let them as well as the quartz vanity tops and legs shine.”

Long linear sconces with four exposed bulbs — mounted vertically on both sides of the mirrors — call to mind a Hollywood-style vanity but are “done in a modern application,” the designer says. LED lighting strips, strategically placed under each of the vanities and inside the shower niche, “give off a very soft glow so as not to blind you with light in the early or late hours.”

A careful balance of mixed metals — satin brass hardware, living brass shower fixtures, graphite sink fixtures, blackened brass sconces and a matte black shower frame — “add a layering effect and create interest,” Nifoussi says. “The way they were sprinkled thoughtfully throughout the space is one of my favorite details!”

The roomy shower is surrounded by a custom glass enclosure with a black metal frame divided into thirds. Inside, 24-by-48-inch porcelain tiles provide a seamless look. “We went clean and simple here since the drama was the large porcelain textile patchwork design on the bathroom floor,” Nifoussi explains. Shower fixtures in a living [unlacquered] brass finish, “show the most beautiful patina and continue to change over time,” she adds.

Shower walls are wrapped in 24-by-48-inch porcelain tile. “To provide a clean look we ran it seamlessly into the shower niche, which was designed to extend the width of the shower and is LED lit for added drama,” Nifoussi says.

“The overall style of the bath has a masculine feel, but is equal parts feminine,” Nifoussi says, citing elements such as the black-framed shower, blackened sconces and carbon-finished faucets that “offer a sleek and urban vibe.” Balancing those features are the warmth of the floor pattern and brass accents that add a touch of glam. Layered with details, the result is a warm yet modern and clean space that is timelessly chic.