Remodeled during phase one of a whole-house project, this first-floor bathroom was designed to serve, during phase two, as the primary bath for guests and the owners' two young children. The owners, who like to entertain, wanted the space to please their kids and still provide an adult atmosphere for dinner guests.

Cool, light colors and finishes leave the room "nice and bright for children but also maintain a level of elegance," says project manager John Southard, of Plath and Co., San Rafael, Calif.

A white birch shelf also helps the room serve its dual purpose. Separating the vanity from the bathing area, the shelf creates a partially enclosed space above the sink in which guests can freshen up without looking at bath toys.