Seeing Double

High shine and mirrored surfaces amplify the reflective effect of indoor and outdoor showers in this H3K Design remodel.

Lisa Marie Hart Home & Design, Real Estate

Designed for a woman who loves to take baths, adores the color orange, and wanted her sprawling midcentury home to evoke old Hollywood glamour in a modern way, this bathroom defines the word “custom.”

The homeowner commissioned H3K Design to reimagine her entire residence, which was built in the 1960s as a show home by Glendale architect Clair Earl. Although Earl’s series of three properties on Laverne Way didn’t turn him into an architectural superstar in the desert, the original outdoor-shower enclosure, topped by decorative concrete block, gave the designers at H3K a vintage-fabulous starting point.

Inside, natural light floods the room and gets magnified by expansive glass windows, chrome fixtures, and an oversize mirror layered over brushed stainless-steel tiles.

The custom high-gloss white vanity cabinet features vintage hardware from the home that H3K had re-chromed.

“The main goal was to bring the outside in,” says Howard Hawkes, co-founder (with partner Kevin Kemper) of H3K Design in Palm Springs. “But in looking at the space, we realized that it was a great opportunity to carry the tile motif through the large plate glass window and expand the visual space — just like a mirror would do. And, of course, the indoor and outdoor showers on either side exaggerate that even further.”

The bathroom had to be completely remodeled to achieve its current look. H3K removed the dropped ceiling, moved the closet (originally part of the bathroom) into the large master bedroom, walled off the toilet, and brought in a freestanding soaking tub fit for a starlet. “The windows and sliders were there,” Hawkes says, “but we changed them out to meet today’s standards, and we installed clerestory windows to pump up the architecture of the house.”

Maison a l’Orange, as the house is known, is an ode to the French homeowner’s favorite hue for a happy mood. Though they toned down the use of color in the bathroom to provide a serene master-bath experience, H3K worked in an orange Lucite vanity tray and an orange drum-shaped outdoor stool. The metals, from chrome and steel to gold and copper — seen in elements throughout the home — also shine in this tranquil space. Here they pair with a high-gloss white cabinet and high-gloss Porcelanosa floors with slip-resistant coating.

“The biggest thread through the house is the use of the hexagon shape,” Kemper adds. “The hexagon not only appears in tile work but also in the driveway concrete, the fire pit in the backyard, and mirrors in a guest bathroom. Obviously, all the hexagon tile in the bathroom picks this theme up very well.”

Some of the best midcentury remodels preserve a vintage element that has always been there. To that end, this bathroom update incorporates the original hardware with a fresh chrome coating, infusing an authentic something new into the owner’s old Hollywood aesthetic.

Side-by-side showers offer an indoor or outdoor experience. The hexagon-shaped brushed stainless-steel tile is from Porcelanosa, as is the gleaming floor tile.