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A Master Suite Makeover That's Pure Bliss

DECEMBER 10, 2019
Photo credit: All photos by Vivian Lin

It's not every day you come across a master suite that has all the built-in elements of a European-feeling hotel guest room. Like a freestanding bathtub by the window. Inside the bedroom. This unusual quirk was one of the many reasons Emily Vartanian, the mastermind behind Stiletto Beats, and her husband decided to purchase the ranch-style fixer-upper and make it their first home.

Several months after the couple started remodeling, however, Emily decided she wanted to bring in an interior designer. She needed a little help reimagining the bedroom, with its bright, open layout and soaking tub, and the adjacent master bath. And given her busy schedule, she needed to collaborate with someone online, so she reached out to us.

We enlisted Decorist Elite designer Lauren Martin, whose contemporary approach to open floor plans and unique layouts made for the perfect match, and who was eager to partner remotely with Emily. "I was excited at the challenge of making the most of a bedroom with an exposed bathtub in it," she says. "My main concepts were built around maximizing the room's modest square footage by creating the illusion of natural light, height, and open space." To bring her vision to life, she brought in a curated mix of stylish and affordable finds from Bed, Bath & Beyond, Cost Plus World Market, and Artfully Walls, which resulted in a master suite makeover that reflects Emily's elevated boho style. 

Come behind the design and see how Lauren transformed the master bedroom and bath into a blissful oasis.


minimalist master bedroom by lauren martin

The first order of business was deciding on a bed and where it would go. "Layout was essential since the room's shape was a little challenging," says Lauren. The answer was a canopy bed that would instead draw the eye upward and away from the room's long and narrow size. "I chose to place it along the wall which had the longest expanse, creating an illusion of more space and a bigger square footage room," she says.

The placement then presented a second challenge. It now stood in front of a large window. To make it feel more intentional, Lauren centered the canopy bed with the window and added ethereal linen drapery "to soften and warm up the area." It now frames the window beautifully and provides a light and airy backdrop that accentuates the headboard and canopy frame. 

To carry through the elevated approach, she hung up evocative photo prints, a desert landscape along with a camel portrait, on the walls for additional focal points at eye level. 


chic bedside table decor

With limited square footage, every piece of furniture made an impact. Lauren also needed to be budget-conscious, so she was intentional in choosing well-designed, multi-functional pieces that maximized storage throughout. "Emily's main design wishlist was to have stylish pieces that were modern yet slightly bohemian inspired," she says. "Keeping the space light and bright while providing enough storage space was also key." 

Factoring all this into her design, she chose tall and compact black nightstands with drawers and raised legs, which have a modern minimalist appeal, and topped them with hammered table lamps that add a boho vibe. As a way to anchor the entire bed area, she brought soft focus to the floors with a richly textured neutral rug designed by Joanna Gaines.


indigo and dyed textiles and bedding

"I'm always a fan of soft, working neutrals and adding layers of color in smaller doses," says Lauren of the overarching color palette, which consisted of stone blues, light grays, and crisp whites. She brought this mix of cool neutrals to the bed with comfy pillows, a linen duvet, and a gorgeous denim-hued blanket. They're balanced out with bursts of warm rustic hues, as seen in the beautiful photo prints and bath furnishings nearby.


freestanding bathtub in bedroom

Similar to the bed area, the freestanding tub is backed by a large window that lets in tons of natural light, which was dressed with linen sheers again. "It served as the perfect backdrop for a dreamy soaking station," she says of this luxurious spot which she warmed up with vintage side tables and a modern wicker chair


pretty ladder towel rack

Lauren was also attracted to the symmetry and amount of space surrounding the tub, which "made it easy to warm up while keeping the overall feeling uncluttered and airy." To cozy up this corner, she leaned a eucalyptus-wood ladder for hanging towels and robes. "When you're working on a budget, implementing pieces you won't get bored with or tired of quickly is key," she points out.


dreamy master bath and shower

To create a cohesive design scheme across the bedroom and adjacent master bath, leafy greenery was brought in along with a vintage rug that reiterates the global colors and overall boho aesthetic. "I approached designing the space very holistically. I let the two areas be as they were, one for sleeping and one for bathing, without trying to separate or divide them definitively," she explains.


stylish bathroom sink vanity

For a captivating focal point, graphic abstract art is showcased on the sink vanity. In a pristine white bathroom, black-and-white art makes for a clean-lined accent that adds just the right amount of impact. It's also a great option in a space where you want to minimize visual clutter to emphasize the light and an airy, open vibe. 


industrial mirror with classic art on sink vanity

Vintage accents in the form of vessels, trays, and vases along with cacti and fresh flowers also provided a bit of bright, textural contrast. "The highlight of my final design for Emily's space was the finishing details," says Lauren. "Unusual artwork, soft indoor plants, and vintage finds transformed her space and elevated all the larger elements and furniture pieces." 


Decorist Elite designer Lauren Martin and Emily Vartanian

While natural materials inspired many of the room's pieces, that is most apparent in this tub area with its mix of modern and vintage finds, including a brass floor mirror that reflects light and opens up the room even more. It's an added touch of eclectic-boho flair that relates to the rest of the room. 

"Architecturally speaking, Emily envisioned her bedroom much like an open-concept hotel suite that's airy, relaxing, and filled with thoughtful, luxurious touches throughout," says Lauren (above, left). "Working with a modest amount of square footage, we went outside the traditional bathroom 'box.'" And that's not something you come across every day.


Feeling inspired? Explore more of Lauren's work and start a design collaboration with her today. Or check out our Design Services to see how we can help you with your home project!

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