On paper, there wasn’t anything amiss with the old master bathroom in the Merritt Island, Florida, house that is now the HGTV Dream Home 2016. It had plenty of square footage, loads of storage, two (yes, two!) showers, two sinks and a jetted tub set into a huge window. But the ’90s styling was all wrong: The walls wore an unfortunate shade of peach, the rustic wood floor competed with shiny faux-stone ceramic in the bath area, and a glass-block wall dated the whole design.
So when it came time to reimagine the master bath—this is the first HGTV Dream Home that’s a renovation rather than a new build—lead designer Brian Patrick Flynn started from scratch. He knew he wanted to repeat the Hamptons-by-way-of-Key-West theme (and the whitewashed wood floors) that radiates from the main level while making the space notably different and echoing the serenity of the waterfront property.
His solution? All white.
Down came the orange walls, glass blocks and, yes, both showers, and in went storage, a tub and a shower—all white—in more practical spots.
“The building plan called for a freestanding soaking tub separate from the huge shower,” Flynn says, “so it made sense, proportionately, to have the tub centered in the room and also centered on the French doors, so you can see the view outside while bathing.”
Soft white and seashell-smooth, the egg-shaped molded-stone Roman soaking tub sits in the very center of the space; a floor-mounted Tesla tub filler anchors the bath as the room’s showpiece. Soaking not your style? A glass partition separates the tub from an oversized walk-in shower loaded with HydraChoice body sprays that feel intense while actually using less water than standard sprays, thanks to H2Okinetic Technology. The shower also proves the luxe, all-white look doesn’t have to come at the expense of your budget: The tile is classic, inexpensive subway tile, but laid in a herringbone pattern (and finished with white grout), it only looks pricey. A bonus: The tile’s sheen acts as a mirror for natural light beaming in from the new balcony’s French doors, bouncing all those Florida rays around the room.
“Natural light is everything in rooms where you get ready in the morning, and I kept that in mind when designing the master bathroom, so that the space would remain bright, light, open and airy—and also so that skin tones would read true to their values,” Flynn says.
Next, Flynn united the two sinks—which had been positioned on opposite sides of the bathroom—in a single vanity area, dividing them with a storage column to give each person his or her own space. Below, white shaker-style cabinetry dons chrome hardware; chrome-and-white combination repeats above with mirrors wearing beachy whitewashed wood frames, and a simple-yet-graphic white penny tile backsplash let chrome, hands-free Tesla faucets shine. White-and-gray Quartz countertops help connect the chrome to all that white.
“I think that all white in wet spaces like bathrooms and kitchens is a wise investment since it will never go out of fashion. Plus, literally every other color in the spectrum can be used as an accent,” Flynn says. “To keep all white from falling flat, just make sure you introduce rough and smooth textures, reflective and dull surfaces, a good mix of different shapes, and also play with scale. With all those elements in check, the white will have more depth.”
Following his own advice, Flynn used a light hand with final details. He used teal accents—a rattan chair, a cluster of candles, a few towels—sparingly so they appear super bold. And the finishing touch is the crystal-bead chandelier that dangles over the bath, reaffirming the soaking tub as the room’s focal point, and the space itself as a subtly opulent getaway-within-a-getaway.