The MUST HAVE Item to Cap Off A Master Bathroom Design

The MUST HAVE Item to Cap Off A Master Bathroom Design

February 2018

The tile is laid, glass shower door in, walls painted, and counter tops installed. I bought new towels, mirrors, and lights, and a fluffy black bath mat. I stewed over this design for several weeks, finally ending up with my first choice: white and black color scheme, minimal polished white wall tiles against a busy and whimsical floor tile, all tied together with a fun but modern shower floor tile and niche.

But honestly it still didn’t look or feel finished. While beautiful, it felt a bit cold and dare I say (don’t you dare quote me on this) a little TOO sleek and polished. It needed to reflect my family’s personality and lifestyle. We’re the type of people that have on a tailored blazer and blouse on a video conference call, with llama’s-in-party-hat pajamas underneath.

My style is a bit like a mullet. Business in the front, party in the back.

In summary, I needed to turn my gorgeous sleek bathroom into a mullet. I probably could just end my blog post right here and also file that under the “things pretty much no designer has ever said” category.

Click here to order your free swatches!

Click here to order your free swatches!

My bad. I’m totally spiraling down a hyperbolic rabbit hole. I’ll reign it in.

So I didn’t want to add too much crazy to the design, but the bathroom did need something to make it much more inviting and cozy. And that leads me to: THE MUST HAVE ITEM to cap off a master bathroom design.

A quality, custom window dressing.

For the past four years or so, I’ve ordered my client’s window coverings from a local showroom. But that comes with a big price tag. Recently I had heard of a new all online (which keeps pricing much lower) custom window covering store called Alva. Their products looked gorgeous and I was excited to try them out on my bathroom project (especially since you can get as many free swatches as you want!). I ordered about 4-5 swatches, and then narrowed it down to 3. The two photos below were my inspiration photos.

Minimal, black roller shade inspiration.

Minimal, black roller shade inspiration.

Soft, flat white roman shade inspiration.

Soft, flat white roman shade inspiration.

There are so many different types of window dressings out there. And most people don’t know the difference between any of them (thesis strongly supported by the regular eye rolling back in the head by clients when I bring up their different window options). Case in point: a zebra shade vs. solar shade. Or pinched pleat drapery panel vs. inverted pleat drapery panel. Roller shade vs. roman shade. Wood blinds vs. vinyl blinds. Grommet top vs. ripple fold. Cascade roman vs. flat roman.

Are you asleep yet? Because I could seriously rant on for another 15 minutes, listing the different types and when to use each of them. But I won’t, so you’re welcome.


I’ll just explain why I chose what I did for this space. Since this is a bathroom, clearly I didn’t want drapes. They would puddle down right into my bathtub…which would be downright weird. While privacy vs natural light is typically the deciding factor for what type of window shade in a bathroom, for my bathroom privacy wasn’t an issue since my window has full texture for complete privacy. So for me, the main concern was just aesthetic.

I had to decide between black, minimal, modern roller shade and a soft linen roman shade.

In the end, I decided on the “Optic White” Belgian linen flat roman shade. I really wanted an option that softened the high polished tile right next to it.

To order, I just had to take a few super easy measurements (window width, height), pop them into Alva’s website and submit the order. It was a really quick turnaround of about two weeks and installation took me maybe 10 minutes…by myself! Well. Okay, no it didn’t. I may have sneezed, slipped in the tub and my butt hit the tub faucet. Water pours out. Brett’s leg and foot get soaked. Life moved on. But that fiasco aside, it took 15 minutes. Just trying to paint you guys the full picture here.

Y’all. It completely softened the entire space and gave it a cozy, lux feel. And the fabric is so so so so pretty.

I opted for an outside mount (mount sits on the outside of the window instead of in between) to get the fullest effect of the linen. And while roman shades come in a variety of options in regards to their fold, I chose a flat roman. It’s typically the most modern version of a roman and gives a clean-lined, tailored look.

It’s been a long month. Our wallet is empty. Our house covered in construction dust. But wowee do we have a pretty view from the squatter (that’s a toilet for you fancy folk). I’m still in the “oh my gosh don’t leave a speck of dirt on any surface” post-renovation phase, but that will soon end. Our master bathroom renovation turned out exactly how we’d hoped. Now on to the next project…

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