7 - 01 - 2010
As a design / build team, my husband and I are tasked with nearly every project we do to design bathroom spaces that are highly functional and test the senses in beauty and uniqueness. Whether it’s new construction or a renovation, bathrooms come second only to the kitchen in importance to a home’s value.
We began repurposing old European sideboards and buffets years ago as bathroom vanities for master and powder baths. We were always trying to replicate the look of an old beautiful antique so we just started using them. At first, this concept gave our trim carpenters and plumbers fits, as they couldn’t understand what we were trying to accomplish. They only saw that we were about to destroy a beautiful antique. Today we have mastered the techniques needed to quickly take an old table or French or English buffet and make it a wonderful vanity….complete with a marble or granite countertop, a sink and beautiful faucets with running water, and yes storage space underneath.
What makes a bathroom functional?
We start with a great shower space and size – as beautiful as free-standing tubs are – what we all use every day is a shower. The shower needs to be large, have multiple shower or spray heads and always, always an adjustable slider bar for one of the shower heads. The showers needs to have plenty of “out-of-site” shelves and niches for all the bath products we use today. Benches to sit on and a shelf for shaving legs is a must.
Tankless Hot Water Heaters – never ending hot water for showers and the soaking tub.
A separate water closet for the toilet is preferred when space permits. Vanities and mirrors need to be designed in such a way to allow for comfortable and adequate functionality of the space. Makeup vanities or tables are a luxury we like to add.
What makes a bathroom beautiful?
The most important element is the design you achieve with the use of tile and stone. Today’s combinations, size, color and texture of tile and stone are literally unlimited…so designing a beautiful shower today has never been easier. We like to mix the size and shapes of the stone we use…we want people to walk into the bathroom and feel compelled to touch the material because it is so interesting.
The finish of the fixtures is another important element. Fixtures help define the personality of the room – from traditional, European or contemporary – the choice you make will definitely help put your stamp on the room. We love to use polished nickel it has a warm luster and classic look that never goes out of style.
Frameless glass enclosures for the shower add beauty and function to the shower. We love to use arched doors and sometimes put a design etched into the glass on the door for added interest.
Mirrors and lighting are critical to the overall feel – we try and find unique mirrors and sconces that harmonize together to give a unique design and ‘wow’ factor. One of our favorite treatments is to hang an antique or reproduction mirror on a mirror along with the sconces. This treatment is much more beautiful and interesting that just hanging up a mirror and having the sconces coming out of the wall. We always hang a chandelier over the tub preferably with the tub being in a niche or alcove in the room – this brings a lot of elegance to the space.
Freestanding soaking tubs will make a statement in any bathroom. Again, today’s options on tubs are limitless and this is another element that dictates the style and feel of the bathroom design.
Finally, little details like the art, rugs, towel hooks, and trays to keep things organized all add up and provide the finishing touches to the space. We created dozens of bathrooms from large master spa-like areas to the tiniest bathroom you can squeeze into – but we still follow these principals and it always works for us.
Details – here you see them at work…these elements add to the beauty of this wonderful bathroom.
In this bathroom we used an old Swedish buffet as the vanity, and Michelangelo marble in the shower - we found a vessel sink in the same marble. Antique Swedish iron sconces from A. Tyner Antiques, and two large framed black ammonites play off of the black in the Michelangelo marble.
We like to incorporate “head knocker” cabinets into our bathrooms and water closets…who doesn’t need the storage – and we always make it a design statement at the same time. And tile…how about this fabulous light green onyx cut into subway tile….this is a wow!
This is an example of a vanity designed and built as an old dresser. We added our furniture finish to it, with special hardware and polished nickel faucet this area makes a classic statement.
We love to use subway tile – and we love to use carerra marble cut into subway tile! This beautiful powder bathroom has all of the design elements….beautiful vanity, vessel sink, gorgeous mirror and light fixture….timeless elegance.
This large master bathroom has it all – we had enough space to incorporate a special niche created from antique columns. This tub by Waterworks is everyone’s favorite! I kept the palette soft and Swedish!
And remember even the tiniest bathroom can be fabulous – use every inch – and don’t miss one single detail – they all add up!