The drain is a necessary evil in a bathroom. Round, perforated, and omnipresent, it’s a nuisance but nonetheless vital. For this Austin, Texas, bathroom, Alterstudio found a clever way to keep its function while making it less conspicuous. “It’s a stainless steel pan that’s dropped down about 3 inches,” architect Kevin Alter says. “It still has a regular round drain, but it’s covered with smooth river rocks.” There is a slight slope to promote drainage, and, the architect adds, the whole setup is easy to clean.

Entrant/Architect: Alterstudio Architects, Austin, Texas Builder: Crowell+, Austin Interior designer: Kathy Spinks Interiors, Austin

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Austin, TX.