Home Tour: Tiverton

A condo’s master bathroom goes from sterile to stunning


About 10 years ago, Brendalee and Michael O’Hara decided to downsize from their large home with acreage in South Tiverton to a nearby 55+ community. “Once the last child graduated high school, we began looking for something a little smaller,” says Brendalee. Originally Michael was not big on his wife’s plan of moving into a condominium, but everything from the unexpected tranquility to the water views on that first visit quickly won him over. “We love it,” says Brendalee. “One-level living to age in place with no yard to take care of nor outside maintenance to tend to!”

One thing that wasn’t so perfect was the master bathroom: an oversized space outfitted in beige that leaned toward looking institutional. Who better to infuse a bit of color and warmth than Johnston-based interior designer Michelle Lee Parenteau? 

Parenteau’s first impression was that the bathroom looked sterile. “Their shower was 36 by 36 inches and they had a huge built-in jacuzzi tub taking up a lot of space,” she says. “My clients really wanted a free-standing soaker tub and a makeup area.” To accommodate the wish list, Parenteau completely demoed the room to reconfigure the area in a more useful way; she was also sure to infuse touches that connected with the coastal location and her clients’ adoration of the seaside and color blue.

With a blank slate, Parenteau brought in the freestanding tub, along with a large shower with a built-in bench. For the makeup area, an elegant wraparound vanity was installed with a matching linen cabinet. Parenteau painted wide “nickel gap” shiplapped walls a bright cobalt blue, and for flooring, selected wood plank tile in a natural tone to keep things user-friendly. Accents like mango wood-wrapped frames on the mirrors over each sink and a wood drum light fixture above the tub serve to soften hard lines and add texture. “Every bathroom needs a little bling, so a round crystal LED mirror, which reflects the water view, was hung at the makeup area,” says Parenteau with a smile.

“Carrying the blue of the gorgeous Sakonnet River and Mount Hope Bay into our home has been a dream come true!” says Brendalee. “I grew up in a Victorian-style home and that influence from my mom, coupled with my love of traditional style and desire for a beachy retreat, is incorporated throughout our home. The view makes me smile every single morning when I open my eyes.”


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