When the Designer Becomes the Client

Project: Full bathroom and Powder Room Remodel in Melrose, MA (AKA #ProjectShadesofBlue)

Jenni Jacobs, one of the designers at McGuire + Co. Kitchen & Bath, dreamed of renovating the main bathroom in her Melrose home since she and her family moved in over five years ago. Designing for yourself is never easy and never the top priority among a long list of client projects, but after a year of slow planning and decision-making (and maybe with COVID driving everyone a little stir-crazy), Jenni’s vision became reality when Rob McGuire and our team tackled the renovation.

Drawn to blues and neutral-yet-nuanced materials, Jenni wanted the bathroom to feel timeless, layered, and practical. The space needed to function for the entire family, now and as her two young sons grow, so she ditched a bathtub in favor of a walk-in shower, and incorporated plenty of storage in the custom blue vanity, recessed medicine cabinets, and corner shelves in the shower.

For a classic and utilitarian feel, Jenni decided to wrap the entire room in tile, starting with a hexagon limestone floor tile, complete with luxurious radiant heat underfoot, and layering an organic-looking subway tile floor-to-ceiling. The shower floor features a playful, blue-speckled penny tile mosaic that complements the blue vanity, and a mix of brushed nickel and oil-rubbed bronze fixtures add contrast and depth to the room’s palette.

In planning for the main bathroom renovation, Jenni figured we might as well gut the adjoining powder room as well! A vibrant botanical wallpaper was the jumping off point for the design scheme, while a small-scale herringbone mosaic tile on the floor balances the larger print. Being a firm believer that small powder rooms can and should pack a punch, Jenni’s design specified baseboard molding, crown molding, the pocket door and the ceiling all be painted in a shade of blue that highlights the wallpaper. Plumbing fixtures that exude a classic retro style complete the look in the powder room.

The projects were a labor of love, and a great opportunity for Jenni to experience living through a renovation; what we guide our clients through every day! We hope you enjoyed seeing progress and we can’t wait to help make your renovation dreams a reality too.

Photographs by Joyelle West

Melrose Bathroom Remodel Blue Vanity
The custom blue vanity, painted Benjamin Moore’s Ocean City Blue, is a full 24” deep and spans the entire alcove to maximize countertop space for Jenni’s family of four.
Melrose Bathroom Remodel with Blue Vanity and Floor to Ceiling Tile
Jenni wanted the bathroom to feel timeless and utilitarian with a neutral-yet-nuanced palette. Tiling the room floor to ceiling in a soft neutral subway tile adds interest without overwhelming the relatively small space. The same quartz material from the countertop was also used as jamstock to frame out the walk-in shower, creating a cohesive materials palette.
Melrose Bathroom Remodel Blue Vanity
To plan for the future of sharing a bathroom with adolescent boys, Jenni designed a bank of three recessed medicine cabinets above the vanity, so that each family member has ample room for toiletries. Polished nickel hardware on the vanity adds sparkle among the brushed nickel faucet and oil rubbed bronze light fixtures.
Melrose Bathroom Remodel Custom Shower
While the layout of the bathroom didn’t change, Jenni decided to remove a bathtub in favor of a walk-in shower with frameless glass panels and hinged door. The result is a light-filled shower that feels expansive and luxurious!
Melrose Bathroom Remodel
Floating shelves above the toilet provide added storage and an opportunity for displaying artwork and a houseplant, elements that keep the bathroom feeling layered and classic.
Melrose Bathroom Remodel with Blue Vanity Material Selection
Drawn to blues and neutral-yet-nuanced materials, Jenni wanted the bathroom to feel timeless, layered, and practical. A mix of blues, warm white and muddy taupe is accented with brushed nickel, polished nickel and oil rubbed bronze fixtures.
Melrose Powder Room Remodel with Bold Wallpaper
Small powder rooms practically beg for some personality! Jenni selected a vibrant wallpaper from MAKELIKE Designs in varying shades of blues and oranges as a jumping off point for the design.
Melrose Powder Room Remodel with Bold Wallpaper
Why stop at wallpaper?! To fully envelope the tiny powder room, the design specified that baseboard molding, crown molding, inside of the pocket door and ceiling all be painted a soft blue, pulled from the wallpaper.
Wanting to create a playful yet classic feel in the space, Jenni selected a retro-looking pedestal sink, an industrial-leaning faucet with classic cross handles, and a vintage sconce. The white porcelain and shiny chrome fixtures pop against the vibrant wallpaper.

Take a walk-through tour with Jenni, while she explains how this all came together!

If you would like to see what this space looked like before the remodel, please check out our Before and After Gallery, and check out our full photo gallery for this project on our profile at Houzz.

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