From the June/July 2015 Issue:

Bright Spot

    Writer: Judy Jeannin | Photographer: Wing Wong | Designer: Robin LaMonte, Associate Member ASID |

A small, dated bathroom gets some fiery accents as well as accommodations for aging in place

Article Photo
enlarge | Interior designer Robin LaMonte updated a small master bathroom with accents of red, the owner’s favorite color, and reddish orange. Previously, mint green tile in the shower and gray tile covering the rest of the walls dated the room.
Barbara Lawrence was tired of her tiny, outdated bathroom. It was, after all, original to the 1953 house. “The construction was so strong and everything functioned,” she says. “The big mistake I made was putting in a vanity. It was overwhelming. It felt so dark in there. “

When she decided it was time for an update, Lawrence placed a call to interior designer Robin LaMonte, owner of Rooms Revamped in Marietta, Georgia. Before LaMonte headed south she had helped Lawrence and her husband, Allen Laskin, with other updates on the Somerset home. Because LaMonte was familiar with Lawrence and her home, they all decided she could handle the job remotely.

Lawrence had no interest in expanding the bathroom, which measures 5 feet by 9 feet. “It is only a bathroom. I don’t need a big space,” she says. What she did want was a lighter, brighter room that would function well going forward.

Red is Lawrence’s favorite color, so that was to be a key component of the design. LaMonte found a dark cherry vanity with a glass countertop in the bold shade. There was just one glitch. The countertop turned out to be what Lawrence describes as a rusty orange, not the red shown in the sales brochure.

Although it was unexpected, Lawrence loves the orange, which she describes as a beautiful, rich color. The mosaic accent tile LaMonte chose for the shower features a variety of reds that integrate with the orange.

Article Photo
enlarge | Sold as a unit, the sleek cherry vanity and matching wall cabinet (opposite) provide ample storage in a small bathroom. The colorful glass countertop and the round, above-counter sink add visual interest. The old cabinet housing the sink provided ample storage but was dark and dated.
Other Enhancements
The rest of the room is done in light beige to make it seem larger. A rimless shower also enhances the visual space. The vanity and matching cabinet provide ample storage.

A strong proponent of universal design, LaMonte felt it was important to make the room suitable to aging in place. “As we get older let’s prepare for when we need it,” says LaMonte, an associate member of the American Society of Interior Designers.

She added a bench, grab bars and a hand-held shower to make it easier to bathe, should Lawrence need them. She did. Shortly after the room was completed, Lawrence had surgery on both knees. “I had no trouble getting in or out. The grab bar and the bench made it very safe. I didn’t have to worry ahead of time,” she says. “I never thought I would say that I am so happy about my bathroom, but I am.”

Adds LaMonte, “It is her private gem.”

Judy Jeannin, a regular contributor to Design NJ, is a Hillsdale-based writer.


Interior design, Robin LaMonte, Rooms Revamped in Marietta, Georgia; vanity and cabinet, Vanico Maronyx in Terrebonne, Quebec, Canada; tile, Daltile in Dallas.

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