Welcome to Second Nature, a Q+A series with Jute founder, Ali Davin, that explores all things healthy living, with a fond emphasis on that thing she does best—interior design.
There’s a reason it’s called a primary bathroom—it should be the most stunning one in your home, as well as a place where you can indulge and escape. And while everyone has a slightly different vision, designing the ideal room comes down to prioritizing the features that are most important to you.
With some careful planning and a focus on functionality, you can create a space that feels deeply luxurious and truly special. Here’s how to personalize a primary bathroom.
Ergonomics are particularly important in the bathroom because it’s a room with a very specific function. When I bought my home, the primary suite had two huge walk-in closets and a smaller bathroom with only a shower. It was really important for me to have a soaking tub, so we grabbed square footage from one of the closets to create a more spacious bathroom with a separate water closet.
Sewage pipes can make things complicated, and in this case, we couldn’t move them, so instead we built a wall around the toilet. I had to do a lot of space planning in terms of feng shui—every time you have a drain, it symbolizes the draining of energy and money, so ideally, you want as few pipes as possible, and you want them placed toward the perimeter of your home versus in the middle.
The only existing window ended up going in the water closet, so we added an operable skylight in between the bathtub and shower—without that, there would be no fresh air in the room. I’m planning to use it like a window and leave it open most of the time. It puts a nice amount of light into the space while you’re bathing.
I bought it off the floor from a showroom in LA—I sat in several until I found the one that I wanted. Patricia Uriquiola, an architect I really admire, designed it for Agape, which is an Italian brand that I love. I also bought in-stock plumbing fixtures from Waterworks. It cuts down on the lead time, obviously, but in-stock items were manufactured a while ago and have already done most of their off-gassing in the warehouse, so they’re better for the air quality in your home.
I went with a pretty, purplish Calcutta marble throughout the room. We used slabs in the shower, then the same marble for the shower floor, countertops, and backsplash, and there’s a marble mosaic in a hex pattern we used as well.
Yes, you need to counterbalance all of the materials, so instead of a stone or tile floor, we did hardwood. We used the same oak as elsewhere in the house and did oak planked doors and a white oak vanity. It adds warmth to the space, which people tend to overlook in bathrooms.
We had limited space to work with, so I had to choose between two sinks and no counter space or one sink and more counter space, which is ultimately what I prefer. There are hanging drawers for storage, a shelf below for towels, and a single mirror. There’s no medicine cabinet—I wanted the space to feel clean. Thankfully there was still enough space in the other walk-in closet to add a linen closet and additional bath storage.
We chose these whimsical sconces to flank the vanity—I designed the vanity itself to be more minimal because the sconces are so unique and draw your attention. I’m really excited about the heated towel bar though; it’s my favorite thing when you vacation in Europe. It makes the space feel just that much more luxurious.
Proper plumbing infrastructure helps set up your bathroom for better flow, functionality, and feng shui.