Baths of the Year 2019: Stirring with Style

This rustic and modern Baths of the Year 2019 winner was designed by Julie Smith of Jula Cole Designs
rustic modern bathroom

All photography by Victoria Pearce.

A Mix of Rustic and Modern

When the door was falling off Melanie and Paul Tyszkiewicz’s master bathroom shower stall, they knew it was about time to ask Julie Smith of Jula Cole Design to help them refresh their outdated 1996 bathroom design.

“The mission was to create a modern, eclectic yet warm space that was full of texture rather than color,” Julie says. “We used rustic elements that were handmade but also sophisticated.”

rustic modern bathroom

Melanie knew she wanted an elegant room and had brushed nickel in mind for the hardware. “But Julie presented me with some out-of-the-box ideas, like the matte black, and I loved it. For contrast, she showed me how the polished nickel would look versus the brushed nickel against the matte black and I had to admit it was much more impressive. Julie pulled me out of my comfort zone, but I’m glad she did.”

rustic modern bathroomThe old tile on counters needed replacement. Melanie was torn between granite or quartz to “elevate the level of fancy” and finally opted for quartz.

“I wanted something durable that I didn’t have to keep polishing all the time,” she says. “Plus, I didn’t want to have to worry about makeup stains and the like.”

Melanie liked the original flooring—especially its gray and cream colors. To emphasize those colors, the vanity was given a gray staining that has a brown undertone. The staining proved challenging. Two contractors who were pros at matching colors could not arrive at the desired hue. “So, Julie hired an artist who does murals and art exhibits around San Diego,” Melanie says. “Cassandra Schramm was able to use her eye to figure out what color to stain the vanity and its cabinet doors.”

rustic modern bathroom

The floor plan was not much changed except that the tub was removed to extend the shower. “The glass door is ginormous,” Julie says. “It’s 10 feet high by approximately 11 feet wide. It’s amazing.”

And the luxury shower system with its ceiling rain shower head, a regular shower head and a hand-held shower head—each with its own set of on-and-off valves—is a resort-like perk that Melanie says is Paul’s favorite thing about the new space.

What’s Melanie’s favorite thing? “The tear-drop light fixtures we found. They are unexpected and they add an element of elegance without overdoing it.”


MORE: Get Julie’s tips on Styling the Bathroom, for advice on how to best style, accessorize, decorate and live in your existing (or new!) bathroom spaces.

Categories: design inspiration, Home Design