Project Reveal: A Modern Tuscan Retreat

When the team at Ampersand Living was tasked with redesigning this primary bedroom and bathroom, they quickly identified a point of inspiration. Taking style notes from their clients’ travels to Italy, they created a modern Tuscan retreat that brought a warm European aesthetic to their Southern California home. The project involved a bathroom overhaul as they completely reimagined the space to include a floor-to-ceiling marble shower surround that’s an absolute thing of beauty. Principal Designer, Julie Dillon graciously shared further details into the project with images captured by James Furman, and we’re honored to take a step inside.

Custom grooved vanity | Design by Ampersand Living

Design: Ampersand Living | Photography: James Furman

A Modern Tuscan Primary Bedroom + Bathroom

Tell us about this project and the scope of work involved.

This project was a primary bed and bathroom overhaul set in San Diego, CA. While the bedroom received a heavy facelift—including refinishing the original hardwood floors and adding built-in seating—the bathroom was a complete gut job.

Tuscan inspired bedroom with woven sconce | Design by Ampersand Living

“Every touchpoint was about giving this couple the Tuscan retreat they desired.”

Modern Tuscan inspired bedroom with sliding door | Design by Ampersand Living

What were some of the key pain points for this project, and how did you problem-solve with design?

After collecting exercise equipment and ill-fitting furniture over the years, the bedroom design felt mismatched. Similarly, the bathroom was dark and lacking function in various spaces. It was not an inspiring place to be. We wanted to give both spaces a clear focus.

Talk to us about the initial inspiration and the process of honing your vision?

Our clients’ last anniversary was held at an exclusive Tuscan retreat that they hoped to revisit. Of course, with the pandemic circumstances curtailing European travel, we were tasked with creating a modern and authentic Mediterranean space in their own home. We wanted a space where these jet-setters could retreat to every day of the year.

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Freestanding tub with brass plumbing | Design by Ampersand Living

Can you describe what went into designing the key spaces within this project? 

We immersed ourselves in the mindset of what the Italian villa life would be like, pulling inspiration that embodied a Tuscan aesthetic. 

In the bathroom, it was all about maximizing light and creating flow while incorporating organic textures. Practically, that also meant working with the constraints of limiting roof and ceiling lines. The vanity was re-oriented, the tub freed up, and lighting added and modified to exhibit a better living experience.

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Floor-to-ceiling marble shower surround | Design by Ampersand Living


Any favorite details to share?

The floor-to-ceiling marble shower surround is definitely a showstopper. Plus, the unlacquered brass faucets brought a spectacular patina and authenticity to the space, and the custom groove-paneled millwork on the cabinets gave it a uniqueness that we love.

And while not one expense was spared, every single styling element was part of bringing the serene, vacation vibe home for this beautiful and gracious Southern Californian couple.

Bedroom seating nook with olive tree | Design by Ampersand Living
Double sink vanity with marble counters | Design by Ampersand Living

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