bathrooms were a room specifically used for bathing and the water closet. In the past century, these two rooms came together to form the North American bathroom. If you look back fifty or sixty years ago this new combined room was small, efficient and a space designed to get in and out of as quickly as possible. Now it is a room to luxuriate and enjoy the quiet spa in your own home. It may have something to do with the “ever connected” quality of our wireless worlds, but the value of “alone time” has demanded more square footage for our homes than it did in the past.
The ideal situation is to have a large tub and shower, toilet and vanity where each has elements to make the experience as relaxing as possible. Although sometimes having that amount of space just isn’t possible without compromising size of the surrounding rooms. With this particular client we had to make the choice between a tub and shower in order to ensure that at least one of them provided a luxurious look. Naturally that decision is made together with the homeowner to determine what might suit her best. A shower was the choice. We used the bulk of the room to create a large shower with two rain heads, a hand held wand as well as a few body jets to ease muscle pain. We installed a bench in the shower so that the relaxing experience of the tub could be somewhat replicated as well as providing the practical element of being able to sit to wash yourself.
The strip drain installed in this shower allowed us to use a consistently large format tile on both the floor of the shower and the floor of the bathroom space, so as not to create division and hence keep the room looking large. The strip drain is also slightly easier to install as opposed to creating a funnel shape to drain the water. We also kept in mind that this renovation might well be the last one that she would do, so we planned for the future and installed grab bars and other assisting elements; being able to stay in her home would be more and more important to her as time went forward.
The majority of the color in the room was neutral. This helps create the spa-like experience and also allows her to change the color of the accessories as the trends and seasons change. The different experiences the room offers, keeps the space feeling fresh and interesting from a design perspective for a long time.
The toilet as well as the vanity, while looking to be transitional in style also had a few elements that would allow the room to work for a long time. With the cabinets, I like to install the Hettich slides and not only because they are a very good quality German made product, but the Arci-tech system can support a great deal of weight (almost 200 pounds) which as a result, can handle the bottles, creams, powders, shampoo etc. They are also self cleaning, so the humidity as well as the powders used won’t affect performance. We also installed a mechanical opening system by Hettich, so that she could open drawers and cabinets with the bump of a knee. Not essential currently, but as time marches on, grabbing knobs may become less pleasant on her hands. We selected an elongated, comfort height toilet which provides a little more luxury at the moment as well as being a little less difficult to get up from in the future.
The final result is both a spa-like experience where she quickly gets ready for a day’s work, or evening out, and also a space where she can unwind from the same day’s work in peace, quiet and tranquility .