Transitional Teal

A colorful Clayton bathroom becomes fit for its tween occupants.

By Jamie Siebrase
Photography by Anne Matheis


When two Clayton homeowners broke ground on a major addition in the early 2000s, they left the original master bathroom untouched, repurposing it into a children’s Jack-and-Jill. But a decade later, as the room’s young occupants approached tween-hood, it was time to bring a dull, outdated space into the colorful 21st century.

When Dana Dunbar of Lorrien Homes came to the scene, he wasn’t the least bit deterred by the room’s archaic archtops, plaster walls, tired fixtures and ancient plumbing – the seasoned builder is familiar with “the typical 85-year-old home in Clayton,” he says. 

So, Dunbar “took the place down to the studs,” adding modern wiring, plumbing, exhaust fans and a second sink for shared space comfort, connected to the first by a limestone countertop. And, while function took precedent, the homeowner happily notes, “We were still able to weave in fun and unique elements.”

Most fun: the unexpected, vibrant palette. Dunbar credits the original builders for that because the entire color scheme was built around a beautiful stained-glass window thoughtfully preserved through construction. Designer Tom Manche of Tom Manche Interiors took a bold Sherwin Williams teal to the wall, then suggested lime green for an accent, which appears in painted cabinets and interchangeable décor. 

Given the ages and gender of the homeowners’ children, the lively combination, which is bright without being overbearing, works. Adds Dunbar’s wife and business partner Diana, “The great thing about these colors is that they will remain relevant, even as the girls get older.”   

To balance daring hues and add texture, Dunbar incorporated geometric charcoal tile, and lined the custom-poured shower floor with gray pebbles. Frameless glass was non-negotiable. “You don’t want shower walls to enclose a small space,” says Dunbar. “When you walk into the bathroom, you want to look right through the shower to the other side of the room -- that makes the room feel longer.”

Storage, too, helps maximize space. Some of the charming, original built-ins were preserved, and to create extra storage, Dunbar added clear-finish custom maple cabinetry by Duane’s Cabinets Inc. Recessed bins with curio shelving freed floor space and became a design element when Manche proposed painting the overhead structures lime. For convenient sink-side cabinets, Dunbar borrowed from kitchen design, using drawers that pull out at a 45-degree angle for discrete, small item storage. Finishing touches like the satin-nickel knobs and pulls give the overall look a transitional feel likely to stand the test of time. “Today,” the homeowner says, “This is definitely the nicest bath in the house.”   


Design/Construction: Lorrien Homes, 314-852-9080
Interior Design: Tom Manche Interiors, 314-993-2700
Custom Cabinetry: Duane's Cabinets, 636-583-8294