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6 Gorgeous Portland Bathrooms

Great design can pop even behind closed doors.

By Amara Holstein September 18, 2018 Published in the Design Annual: 2018 issue of Portland Monthly

Emerick Architects

An unused storage room becomes a capacious master bath (also pictured at top) in this Southwest Portland midcentury modern, thanks to Emerick Architects. To complement a corner spot overlooking trees and hills, the design focuses on interior calm and serenity to let the natural surroundings shine. White Caesarstone counters rest atop a walnut vanity, a cutaway window lets sauna-goers gaze outside, and a sculptural tub affords perfect views. The pop of teal in the corner cushions and pretty brass Schoolhouse Electric light overhead add flourishes to an otherwise neutral palette. As Melody Emerick says, “We wanted to make this a retreat—with great views.”

Bright Designlab

Accessible design can also be drop-dead gorgeous, as this bathroom proves. In an early 1990s house ensconced in Forest Park, with views to Mount Hood over the canopy of trees, Bright Designlab worked with designer Hannes Wingate to create a vision of an Austrian castle in the forest. “There’s also an air of glamour to the space, while still reflecting the landscape,” says Leela Brightenburg of Bright Designlab.

Deep green tile from Marrakech Design lines the wall behind the custom Calacatta sink and counter. Oiled white oak shelving holds towels and accessories, and unlacquered brass faucets and fittings from Waterworks “let entropy happen,” says Alissa Pulcrano, also of Bright Designlab. “It’s like a reflection of time. You see the aging and patina of the marble and brass.”

The house also beautifully allows for the aging of its owners. The sinks are open underneath, with space for wheelchairs to slide in. Handlebars and grab bars provide security in the walk-in shower. Doorways were widened, and thresholds were taken away. And the Apparatus Lighting fixtures glow with a flattering light—always a plus, even in a fairytale castle.

Sakura Group

“It’s a traditional Japanese bathhouse look with modern touches,” says Taka Nakagawa, owner of local design-build firm Sakura Group, of this remodeled Mt Tabor second bathroom. The design team installed an extra-deep tub from Jason International, with a boiler system that constantly circulates and reheats the water to maintain desired warmth. A sliding Shoji screen custom-made by local craftsman David Law covers the window; the walls, floors, and ceiling are lined with smooth western red cedar; and accents of white and paler wood lighten the mood. The result? A little slice of Japanese soaking heaven in the Pacific Northwest.

Jessica Helgerson Interior Design

“We took our cues from the existing woodwork in the house,” Jessica Helgerson of Jessica Helgerson Interior Design says of this remodeled 1930s Tudor. Craftsman Eddie Murphy specified the rings per square inch on the Doug fir used for the custom cabinets and paneling throughout the master bath, so you can’t tell the old from the new. Waterworks faucets and Apparatus Studios lights gleam against the elegant wood backdrop, and the scalloped edges of the Pratt & Larsen floor tile are tiny frills on the hem of this quietly understated space. Every choice, says Helgerson, “just needed to be right for the house.”

Bright Designlab

A 1960s boomerang-shaped house in Healy Heights was in total disrepair when Leela Brightenburg of Bright Designlab bought it. “I had the opportunity to play here, since I was designing for myself,” she says. Brightenburg started with the bold concrete floor tiles from Cement Tile Shop, which accentuate the funky lines of the master bath. The rest of the black, white, and wood palette stays clean and crisp: an extra-deep custom sink by Coulee Concrete abuts a white cabinet, both of which rest on a length of white oak. Lambert and Fils lights “add the jewelry on top,” says Brightenburg, along with a wall-mounted brass faucet by Brooklyn-based Watermark Designs. 

Osmose Design

For this Pearl condo master bath, “the mood is ’60s Pop meets tramp art,” says designer Andee Hess. Custom sconces by LightLite are individual glass tubes set into an aluminum holder; the wallpaper is a Brunschwig & Fils plaid; and the custom vanity by Cascade Contracting is multilayered pieces of plywood cut like alligator teeth, then painted a color Hess calls “military avocado.” A vintage black marble vessel sink smirks above the black granite countertop as the final touch.

Wild Walls

Vanillawood Swirls The dark purple waves of this custom Black Crow Studios wallpaper provide a perfect counterpoint to the swirls of the Lincoln Calacatta marble vanity and cloudlike light floating overhead.

Bright Designlab B&W Packing a small powder room with a powerful visual punch, a diverse assortment of faces stares down from a wallpaper called “All of Use” designed by the homeowner’s friend Geoff McFetridge. 

Vanillawood Pink The color is what designer Kricken Yaker calls “an homage to girl power”; the wallpaper is from Flavor Paper, with an image of Andy Warhol hidden in a 1955 print of a crowd in Rome. The mirror is from French company Petit Friture through Vanillawood.

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