Behind the Design

Modern Loft Bathroom by Design Bar Detroit


Client: The client is a young professional that recently relocated to Detroit. She is well-traveled and leads a minimalist lifestyle. Bonus: In her free time, she is working on developing her own all natural, simplified skincare line! She approached us after seeing our work on Instagram.
Project Brief: Our client came to us with a unique vision that she coined "60's Italian Dystopia". She also has a childhood love of terrazzo so, integrating this material somewhere into the design was a must-have.

Detroit Design Materials Palette
Detroit Bathroom Design Rendering


Collaboration: The design was truly a meeting of the minds between us and the client.  It's not everyday you get a client with such unique inspiration and who is willing to get experimental! It was a fun challenge to pack that amount of creativity and vision into a 40 square foot space. We went through a few iterations of the design; one that swung more retro, one with a color-filled tile accent wall, and one with a patterned concrete-look ceramic tile. We ultimately landed on this neutral direction with a mix of classic and unique materials. The only pop of color in the space is the floating shelves which, could easily be switched out to another color or a neutral if our client eventually finds herself wanting a switch-up!
Overarching goals: Keep all plumbing fixtures in place, update and modernize the bathroom while translating the client's unique concept into 3-D space.
Create a design that is contextually relevant to the style of the rest of the loft unit.
Minimize/relocate storage to encourage a more minimalistic lifestyle and routine.
Create a relaxing environment with deeper soaking tub.
Challenges faced: There can always be a few extra hurdles when working on a loft unit: demo/loading/unloading via elevator, wet sawing of tile had to take place in unit, plumbing/HVAC tied into units above and below inhibits changing those locations too drastically.
We collaborated closely with the project's detail-oriented contractor to ensure that the geometric tile accent wall was brought to life as close to perfection as possible!

Initial design concepts

Initial design concepts


Changes: The bathroom was taken down to the studs and given all new fixtures and materials. A switch out of drab builder-grade materials to create a bright, highly custom, modernized master bathroom with increased lighting functionality (addition of recessed cans, illuminated mirror, and accent sconce all switched separately to provide flexibility).

Custom Features: One of our favorite features is the geometric tile accent wall that we created using classic 4x4 tiles; some of which were cut on a 45 degree angle and finished off with a piece of chrome Schluter strip, resulting in a retro meets futuristic aesthetic.



A total of 5 months from our first design meeting to completion of construction



  • Accent wall tile: Daltile

  • Shower surround tile: I COCCI by Fioranese Ceramica sourced through Olympia Tile/Beaver Tile

  • Floor tile: Virginia Tile

  • Shelves: Blu Dot

  • Plumbing fixtures: Rubinet

  • Trim: Schluter Systems

  • Sconce: Dutton Brown

  • Mirror: Miseno

  • Sink: Duravit

  • Tub: Jacuzzi

Design Bar Detroit