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A Bleak to Sleek Bathroom Remodel

Stepping into this airy, sun-dappled master bath creates an instant feeling of calm. With its soothing gray color palette and striking Italian marble, there’s no sign of its former life as a cramped space stuck in the past with wall-to-wall carpeting. “They wanted to create a look that was very spa-like and Zen,” says Aptitude Design and Build President Matt Mierek of the homeowners, “and also something that, from a design standpoint, could stand the test of time.”

Aptitude’s team worked closely with the homeowners to define a style that would inspire serenity. The natural starting point? Pinterest. “After we get a general idea of what [the homeowners] want, we’ll have them go on our website or Pinterest or Houzz and start picking out bathroom looks that they like,” Mierek explains.

With no shortage of home design inspiration to be found online, though, a guiding hand from Aptitude’s insightful experts is key. “Most of the time, the looks they choose are very different. But once we have an idea of what they like, we take all that information and really pinpoint it—so it’s not overwhelming, and we can help them choose one that has the look and layout they want, and also fits with the style of the rest of the house.”

The result is a custom, cohesive design that flatters the home as a whole—all while acting as a relaxing retreat from it.

The existing bathroom layout was plagued by two major issues—the carpeting and an unnecessary wall that sequestered the toilet and made the entire space feel claustrophobic. “We took that whole wall out to open it up, which allowed us to make the shower bigger and move it further toward the window,” Mierek explains. “It just makes everything feel more open and airy.”

Adding to the airy feel, Italian marble in the now-expanded shower is a key part of the design, bringing a bit of brightness and levity to the space—but it was actually the result of a late-stage flash of brilliance from the Aptitude team. “Originally it was going to be a lot more gray—even the wall tile in the shower was gray,” Mierek recalls. “It was really muted. So we came up with the idea of using Italian marble in the shower and making it a point of interest.”

The result is truly striking. “You’ve got that sleek, clean-looking gray floor leading up to the shower, and it really pops out,” Mierek notes.

Keeping the color palette neutral allows the homeowners to personalize the space and swap out accent colors over time, and it provides the perfect backdrop for one notable centerpiece: the statement light over the freestanding tub, an on-trend touch that really makes the space shine.

“We like to do things like that—things that are a little out of the ordinary [that] can always be changed for a small cost in the future,” Mierek says. This bold piece shows a flash of personality without compromising the longevity of the design as a whole, since it’s among the easiest elements to customize.

With the help of Aptitude’s team, this bathroom remodel was completed in just four weeks and was seamless—in this case, literally. “My favorite thing—and we’ve been doing a lot more of these lately—is the zero-entry shower,” Mierek says. “The bathroom floor goes right into the shower and you don’t have a curb or anything—it’s a really small detail, but it just gives such a clean, cool look.” Just one more reminder that the little things make a big difference in this luxurious, modern bathroom renovation.


Residential Client


St. Louis, MO



220 sq/ft


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A Master Bath Remodel

Recent Project