This Black and White Bathroom Is a Geometric Showstopper

The elegant clawfoot tub is a bath lover's paradise.

SuzAnn Kletzien Chicago bathroom
Dustin Halleck

This Chicago homeowner thought she wanted a white bathroom, but one photo changed her mind. That picture was the elegant black-and-white Bath of the Month in CQ’s June 2016 issue, and when she saw it, she immediately grabbed the phone and called its designer, SuzAnn Kletzien.

SuzAnn Kletzien vanity in bathroom
"There is such a thing as too much,” the designer says. “The Kohler fittings and Lucite drawer pulls from Etsy are simple but sculptural.”
Dustin Halleck
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“That project gave her the courage to go beyond basic white — she was immediately drawn to the contrasting hues,” Kletzien says. Never one to replay a look, the designer stuck to that alluring palette but mixed classical elements, like picture-frame trim on the walls, mirrors, and glass doors, with statement-making flooring and dining room–worthy lighting that will inspire your next renovation.

SuzAnn Kletzien Chicago bathroom jacuzzi
The jacuzzi before Kletzien worked her magic.
Courtesy of SuzAnn Kletzien
SuzAnn Kletzien Chicago bathroom tub
“My client wanted a claw- foot tub, and I wanted to go modern, so we compromised by going black!” Kletzien says. Sanford claw-foot tub, Signature Hardware. Hermosa tub filler, California Faucets.
Dustin Halleck
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In the original space, the built-in Jacuzzi — once a “must-have” luxury item — was in a dark hole between two walls. Kletzien ripped that space apart and put in a dainty claw-foot tub. “Instead of adding solid walls back in, I enclosed the shower and water closet with etched glass to allow light through and provide privacy,” she says. “It instantly brightened the room.”

One of the few things Kletzien kept: the layout. To make things symmetrical — and keep costs down — she customized vanities around the existing centrally located plumbing lines. “What looks like four drawers is actually one huge drawer on heavy-duty sliders, with a lot of creative dividers to maximize storage,” she says. In the water closet, she nixed laborious paneling for a colorful, unexpected art wall.

SuzAnn Kletzien Chicago bathroom shower
The dark and dated vanity and shower before Kletzien gave it a bright, modern refresh.
Dustin Halleck

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SuzAnn Kletzien Chicago bathroom shower
Designer SuzAnn Kletzien chose Hampton Carrara marble from the Tile Shop to line the shower. The floating bench and vanity countertop are in Panda White marble.
Dustin Halleck

There are two dynamic patterns in this space: natural Panda White marble, which has a crisp white background and dramatic waves of black, on the vanities, and Liaison, a Kelly Wearstler mosaic for Ann Sacks, on the floors. “When you use bold patterns — especially in a large format — all of the other elements need to be supporting players,” Kletzien says. “Carrying the floor mosaic into the shower and water closet expands the entire room, whereas adding in a different material would have made it feel choppy.”

“Lighting is essential, so why not make it amazing?” Kletzien says. “It’s the first thing you see!” The modern brass-and-quartz fixtures from Emporium Home took a little “client convincing,” she says, but in the end, they add contemporary edge to this space. Placing sconces directly on the mirrors, rather than above them, gives the fixtures a three-dimensional effect.

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See more stunning bathrooms:

This story originally appeared in the February 2018 issue of CQ.

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