Interior designers William & Wayne use a Capitol Hill condo to showcase sophisticated (even sexy) design trends and tips.

Share story

“S” WORDS YOU MIGHT typically associate with a custom-designed master bathroom: Soothing. Spalike. Serene.

“S” words you never in a jillion years would associate with a custom-designed master bathroom, unless the interior designers were William Kilbourne and Wayne Martin (William & Wayne), and the master bathroom belonged to their cool client Todd Jonker: SOPHISTICATED! SEXY! SCORES AND SCORES OF SIGHTSEERS!

(Also, literally and aesthetically, though not a qualifying “S” word: “bold.”)

Bathroom Design Trends and Tips

“The bathrooms of today are not just utilitarian rooms in a home, but beautiful spaces with intentional design,” says interior designer Wayne Martin of William & Wayne.

And the two sexy, sophisticated, special bathrooms in Todd Jonker’s Capitol Hill condominium serve as models for intentionally creating your own powder-room-powerful impact. Here are William & Wayne’s top bathroom-design trends and tips:

1. Lighting. Light can dramatically augment a room, and LED lighting is perfect for bathrooms. LEDs use light and energy more efficiently and remove the intrusive and stark nature of traditional bathroom lights. Incorporated into mirrors, light bars or recessed sockets, LED lighting, along with lighting automation, helps declutter the bathroom.

In Jonker’s master bath, an outdoor LED sconce installed in the shower provides drama and architectural interest, while reproduction sconces over the vanity add a touch of midcentury coolness.

In the guest bathroom, the main source of light comes from an acrylic panel incorporating LED lighting inset into the wall, which infuses the room with a soft, ethereal glow.

2. Wallpapers and wallcoverings. Modern options for wallpaper and wallcoverings are chic and contemporary, with metallics and bold colors, for example, and featuring incredible materials and textures such as linen, leather, silk and grasscloth.

The best part? These are largely handcrafted and sometimes even hand-painted. Wall coverings are being used in innovative ways not thought of years ago, too. For instance, Jonker’s guest vanity showcases walnut veneer wallcovering under glass.

3. Hospitality moves into the home. The edgy and slightly irreverent style of boutique hotel bathrooms has migrated into home bathroom design. Master-suite bathrooms have graduated from functional to sophisticated havens to relax and restore and get ready for a night out. Think simple materials used luxuriously, saturated colors combined with classic design elements, and just a touch of whimsy to lighten the load.

4. Honoring the restorative properties of water. Bathroom remodelers are investing in “rain-forest showers” to enjoy the experiential feeling of a natural rain shower: multiple shower heads and larger ones with multifunctions — or, mounted shower heads combined with handheld ones for a more immersive experience.Source: William & Wayne

Todd works for Amazon and lives with his partner in a condominium on Capitol Hill. Originally, says Todd, the master bathroom was “very standard condo/apartment fare: a fiberglass shower pan, relatively cheap fixtures — nothing to write home about.”

And then a contractor recommended William & Wayne.

“Todd wanted a premium boutique-hotel look, like W or The Standard — a place overnight guests would be blown away with,” William says.

The designer duo, who have a textile and furniture showroom at the Seattle Design Center, opted for striking blues, shiny silvers and all sorts of shades of gray amid an updated midcentury-modern vibe, William says: flat-panel cherry cabinetry, lots of angles, midcentury-reproduction sconces, “clean architectural lines, letting the materials speak for themselves.”

The large-format floor tile came first, he says, followed by accent-tile options. William and Wayne tell that story well.

William: “Todd was on a budget, and Wayne presented three tile options that fit that budget.”

Wayne: “I knew which one I wanted: the striped tile.”

William: “The striped tile, [Wayne] had behind his back, and then he pulled that out.”

Wayne: “I said, ‘Here are three beautiful options. OK. Now I just want to show you something way out of your price range.’ When he saw it, that’s what he went for.”

William: “Wayne knew it was right, and that he needed to present it at the right time.”

The stripy tiles are superb. And precisely aligned, starting at the vanity, all around three walls of the room.

Even better, says Wayne: “As you walk around the room, they change colors.”

You maybe can see how these materials spoke rather loudly in luring in blown-away overnight guests.

“It always draws a ‘wow’; that’s for sure,” Todd says.

“Todd told us, ‘Everyone thought the master was so cool, they kept traipsing through his bedroom,’ ” says William. And suddenly, William & Wayne had another project. “Todd said, ‘I want a guest bathroom that is so hot, they will stop using mine.’ Our design directive was: Make them stop.”

And now, Todd has two sexy, sophisticated bathrooms.

“In the guest bathroom, Todd wanted the same spirit but didn’t want to duplicate what we did in the master bath,” William says. “So the vanity is two tiers.”

Says Todd: “I had mentioned I liked dark charcoal-color tiles. I remembered seeing them in a restroom in a movie theater once: a wall of slate-colored tile. Now both have a similar color tile.”

Todd says he used to feed the cat on top of the counter in the guest bathroom, to keep its food away from a previous pup.

“Since the remodel, though, that’s a used bathroom,” he says. “The cat’s fed in the kitchen instead.”

Meaning now: There are substantially fewer paws padding through a couple of stylish rooms.