Design:

The Beauty & the Bathroom: Jenna Lyons

Words by Sacha Strebe.

In an always-on culture, there’s no denying self-care is of critical importance, but separating the necessary from the marketing noise can be challenging. So, when we want to go beyond the hype to the source of true wellness and healing, there’s one place we always turn: our bathrooms. It’s here where our self-love rituals take place, where we set aside precious time just for us, to reclaim our rest—it all starts with the space around us.

One person who recognizes the inherent connection between beauty and design, is Jenna Lyons, co-founder, and CEO of the beauty brand, LoveSeen. In her SoHo loft, she created a veritable sanctuary to retreat to (aka self-care central) surrounded by her favorite things—Calacatta viola marble fused with unlacquered metals, of course—talk about swoon! Lyons’ bathroom embraces that perfectly imperfect aesthetic she’s known for—a reflection of her approach to fashion, beauty, design, and life, too.

As she told Athena in Live Beautiful;

“I’ve never felt comfortable looking perfect or being perfect; my taste is weird, and I couldn’t make a perfect room if I tried.”  

Read on to learn more about Lyons’ rule-breaking style and how her design process informs her approach to beauty and self-care, and vice versa.

What was the main goal/design direction for your bathroom? 

I had the privilege of traveling to Europe a lot for my job and I found myself in some of the most beautiful Italian homes and hotels. I was blown away by the bold use of marble and how surprisingly warm they felt. Sweeping book-matched swirls of color, marble so intricate it almost felt fake. I had never seen anything like it growing up in Southern California. I wanted to create a space that felt like it could hold anything. Someplace that felt far away from the peach strip malls I grew up with.

Tell us about the design process. 

I worked with the most incredible interior design firm, Meyer Davis. Gray Davis took my scraps of imagery and scribbled pencil drawings and created something even more special than I could ever have imagined. He is a literal magician.

What is your approach to beauty and how did that inform the design of your bathroom? 

I am not a fan of staring at a toilet which is why you may notice there isn’t one—the toilet is in its own little room behind the bedroom. Because of my love of products, I went bonkers on the medicine cabinets. Yes I know, they are enormous but worth every unlacquered brass cent.

Your bathroom has sparked a Calacatta viola marble craze and made it one of the most “pinned” images in Pinterest’s history. What drew you to this material?

I really had no preconceived idea of what I wanted other than I wanted an active, dramatic, and borderline ugly piece of stone. I also needed 12 slabs to cloak that bathroom in order to book match the shower, tub, and vanity. I remember visiting the marble yard and watching them pull out massive slabs to review far overhead. If you have never done it, go—just for the experience—it’s the most incredible show in town.

When the viola came out it was… I mean, it just was. I still wake up every morning and swoon over it—no pun intended!

“I love a ritual, I love a masque, a long bath, trying every new shade of lipstick I scooped up. I love the quiet indulgence and the purposeful break.” 

— co-founder and CEO, LoveSeen, Jenna Lyons.

What is your favorite thing about the bathroom design and why?

I love the feeling of the wood floor under my feet. I love feeling warm, almost hot most of the time. The floors, tub, and shower are all lined with NU heat to keep them toasty during the winter. The wood floor is a continuation from the bedroom which makes the entire space feel connected.

Which area of the bathroom do you spend the most time in?

Definitely the vanity—have you seen my medicine cabinets? I literally have the entire Violet Grey website in my bathroom. It’s heaven.

How do you like to spend your time in the bathroom?

As I get older I find more joy in the ritual of face time—not the phone kind! My favorite routine is first dry brush (thank you Heales—I didn’t even know this existed.) soaking in the bath with a masque on, showering, exfoliating—everything! Then Italian mama style body oil… then NuFace for 20 minutes. Examine my pores for another 20 minutes. Then make-up, the Love Seen IRIS lash, a shirt buttoned down to my belly button (anyone who knows me, knows this to be true!), pants—yes!—glasses, and out.

“As I get older I find more joy in the ritual of face time—not the phone kind!” 

— co-founder and CEO, LoveSeen, Jenna Lyons.

Jenna’s top tips for designing a practical yet pretty bathroom

1. Think about how you live. I was consulting on a project recently and I asked the client if they used an electric toothbrush. They said yes but it was clear that their medicine cabinet was not going to have sufficient height for it nor a plug to leave the base inside. Those details are important. No one wants to spend thousands of dollars on a beautiful bathroom and then stare at their electric toothbrush on the new countertop.

2. Watch your sightlines. If your bathroom door sits open all the time, what do you see? Do you see the toilet? Do you see a bathtub? Do you see the laundry bag? Really try to look at your sightlines and be religious about keeping them clean and thoughtful. Make your design gestures count—put them in your line of sight as you walk into the room.

3. Don’t skimp on what you touch—you touch the faucet, the doorknobs, the light switch, and the toilet seat, and if you have to have one, the shower curtain—spend your money there. Tile can be inexpensive, you can find tubs and toilets that are affordable, but don’t skimp on the faucets—you touch them multiple times a day. Get a nice wooden toilet seat, please. If you have a shower curtain, get glass. And if you can’t get glass then change that thing often. For your light switch, get something purdy. Rejuvenation has beautiful ones, Forbes and Lomax, or Buster and Punch. And get good hardware for that door. Every time you put your hand on it, you will thank me.

Shop Jenna Lyons' Go-To Lashes!

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