Look at our bathroom now!

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For this modest-sized bathroom in their Mentor home, Monica Guhde Rosa and Shawn Rosa, of Guhde Flooring America, tapped into their inner design acumen to incorporate budget-friendly modern touches. (Photography by Benjamin Margalit/Margalit Studio)

By Patricia Nugent

As Platinum Sponsors of the Lake County YMCA Dream Home over the past two decades, Guhde Flooring America has donated most of the flooring and tile in each celebrated home.

And while the bathrooms in this year’s home are over-the-top exquisite, Shawn Rosa and Monica Guhde Rosa want people to understand they don’t necessarily need limitless square footage, a team of interior designers or a sky-high budget to make their own dream bathroom come true.

As sales manager and office manager, they work with clients to create dream spaces and help them put their own stamp on their home, no matter the size.

Dual DYI Bathroom Reveals
To best explain what can be accomplished in a modestly sized bathroom footprint, Shawn and Monica were kind enough to invite us into the charming Mentor home they share with their three adorable children, ages 8, 10 and 12.

Like most 1967 colonials, the Rosa family’s features a full master bath and full kids’ bathroom on the second floor.

“Renovating the kids’ bath became imperative when our son came downstairs holding the soap dish in his hand that was supposed to be mounted to the wall,” recalls Shawn, laughing. “At that point we discovered that not only was the unit just glued onto the wall, but also that it was leaking. So we had to gut it.”

Exploring the possibilities for this five-foot-square space meant creating visual focal points, such as an accent wall of vertically laid glass rectangular tiles in shades of gray, black and white, sinking a shampoo niche in the wall and finally defining the space with a horizontal border of the same skinny rectangular glass edged with sleek aluminum along another wall.  

“We wanted to put something different together, using traditional flooring and tile products, but with a twist,” says Monica. “Any of the old rules about not mixing tile sizes, shapes and orientation have gone out the window. Now it’s considered sophisticated to feature a mix.”

The master bath presented an even smaller square footage challenge, and the finished renovated bathroom is a four-by-four-and-a-half-foot feat.

A new glass-doored shower lends a clear view of the breathtaking tile work along the back wall.


“We opted for a dark horizontal plank tile for two reasons, to add drama, plus it also makes cleaning easier,” says Shawn.

“And we accented the planks with tiny vertical rows of square glass mosaic tiles. They are the same tiles we used in the shampoo niche, which runs almost the whole width of the shower to make the space seem larger.”

Putting a spa-sized showerhead on a slide bar also reflects cutting edge design.

“It’s great for kids, pets and days when you don’t feel like washing your hair,” she says.

The large plank tile flooring, in a paler contrasting shade of gray, comes in the jumbo size of 12-by-24-inches.

“People say big tile in a small bathroom is a no-no,” she says. “But that’s wrong. Bigger tile actually opens up the space.”

Another interesting trick of the trade is Monica’s inspiration of taking the medium pool blue-gray wall color up to cover the ceiling as well.

“It makes the space seem more continuous, less chopped up,” she says.

Is Glass Soon to be Past?
The two put together a funky mix of glass and natural tiles for the wall mosaics.

“Glass is here to stay,” reports Shawn. “About once a week someone asks me if glass tiles will be out of style in a year or two. I say the colors, shapes or finishes might change, but glass is here to stay.”


Guhde Flooring America is located at 1880 Mentor Ave., in Painesville Township. Hours are Monday and Thursday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; and Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Call 440-639-1990, or visit GuhdeFlooringAmerica.com for more information.