Classic Black & White Bathroom Inspired by Gramercy Park Hotel

Home Inspired

One of the most incredible sources of inspiration when crafting a home is travel, and the beautiful spaces we get to stay in while we’re on a journey. It only seems appropriate that many of us want to recreate those looks and feel good vibes in our own homes. That’s exactly what inspired today’s bathroom, […]

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One of the most incredible sources of inspiration when crafting a home is travel, and the beautiful spaces we get to stay in while we’re on a journey. It only seems appropriate that many of us want to recreate those looks and feel good vibes in our own homes. That’s exactly what inspired today’s bathroom, designed by Alanna Dunn and Reena Sotropa of Reena Sotropa In House Design Group.

“The initial inspiration for this bathroom renovation came from a trip our clients took to NYC. During their trip they stayed in the Gramercy Hotel, and fell in love with the classic black and white aesthetic of their hotel suite.” Alanna explains. Upon their return to Calgary the duo contacted Reena Sotropa In House Design Group for help with renovating their “builder basic” master ensuite into a crisp, clean and high contrast space. Take the tour below and read about the challenges the designers experienced, along with their tips for mixing and matching tile.


Design: Alanna Dunn and Reena Sotropa of Reena Sotropa In House Design Group | Photography: Phil Crozier

Were there any challenges you experienced when designing this space?

For this particular project our office provided both the design and the construction management of the renovation. Luckily the home is only three blocks from our office because I was there almost every other day from beginning to end of construction! A general challenge throughout the whole project (including design) was the small size of the bathroom. The overall room is only 8’ wide and 10’-7” deep, Reena and I actually came up with 11 different plan options before landing on the final floor plan. Given the tiny footprint of the space scheduling trades became a bit of a juggling act as there was really only room for one person to work in the space at one time.

One of my main construction obstacles was executing the “marble niche” detail. After our clients selected the most beautiful Newport Brass plumbing fixtures we knew we wanted to make them one of the main features in the space. We designed an oversized niche detail to frame the brass fixtures. The back of each niche (there are two in total, one on each end of the shower) is a 30” x 60” slab of marble. The marble acts as a beautiful visual interruption to the large expanse of subway tile, and gives a bit of added emphasis to the plumbing fixtures. However in order to pull off this detail, I had to coordinate a TON of small details between trades to ensure the access points for plumbing were cut into the marble slab correctly.

This space is loaded with gorgeous tile. What are you tips for mixing different tile selections to create a cohesive look?

I am a self-proclaimed tile addict – haha! I particularly love designing bathrooms that pose opportunity for both floor and wall tile! A few tips for mixing different tile selections to create a cohesive look would be:

  1. Create visual balance by pairing large tiles against small tiles. Varying scale creates interest without conflict between patterns.
  2. Use grout lines to create or minimize pattern with tone on tone tile selections. Switching between white or charcoal grout would create completely different looks on the exact same installation.
  3. Pair patterned tiles against plain tiles to balance your graphic punch.
  4. Be aware of the inherent patterns of natural stone and be sure to factor that into composition. Although many natural stones come off completely neutral, some more bold stones can come off chaotic and should be used strategically.
  5. Be strategic about where your tile transitions occur. Not all tiles are the same thickness, so changing tiles on different elevations is always ideal.

Design: Alanna Dunn and Reena Sotropa of Reena Sotropa In House Design Group | Photography: Phil Crozier


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