This space has us dreaming of summer escapes to the shore.
Nautical bathroom with wood and painted wall paneling, ship-inspired wall sconces and an angular mirror
Credit: Bryan Graybill

When Bryan Graybill, an interior designer and property developer, bought this home with his husband, they assumed they'd use it as a secondary property. "We thought we'd be here for weekends and holidays, and then we decided to make it our primary residence," he says. 

It's hard to blame them. Their address is in the historic bed and breakfast district of East Hampton, where wide lawns and winding roads are never far from the ocean's salty water. The hideaway they chose, though, wasn't primed for a quick vacation, let alone a longtime stay. "We started our renovations in 2018 and it took about 18 months to finish," Graybill notes. "This bathroom hadn't been touched since the late 1950s, and there was linoleum tiles and asbestos!" 

Graybill knew that the entire bathroom needed to be upgraded, but he didn't want to disrupt its compact size. "Small can be delightful," he notes. "I was inspired by renovations I'd seen in Provincetown, Mass. that work within roof eaves and use wood planking and plaster as durable materials. I also saw a number of projects where mirrors were unapologetically applied into whatever space was available."

With that other seaside getaway in mind, Graybill went about renovating this bathroom with a focus on natural materials, classic finishes, and simple applications. He chose a high-gloss white paint for the walls to help bounce light around, giving the illusion of more square footage, and then mounted a streamlined black marble vanity on the wall for one distinctive focal point. A single shelf underneath provides storage, while the wood accent behind the mirror brings in a certain maritime charm that's underscored by touches of brass. As for that angled mirror, Graybill ensured that it was cut to follow the roofline to showcase its unique placement. 

"We also used wall-mounted taps to save room, since the sink is wide but not deep," he says. 

In all, the bathroom is almost entirely brand new, which isn't unlike the couple's fresh start in the area. And just like them, the space feels like it always belonged there.

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