People often ask how I, as a designer, choose materials/ colors/ finishes or a style for a particular job. While inspiration can come from anywhere, most often it comes from my clients themselves. I like to get to know my clients while developing a space for them. It helps to inform my choices and to tailor a personalized space that is sure to please my clients.
Such was the case with a recent guest bathroom remodel. My clients, a couple with grown children, love to vacation on Maui as often as their schedules will allow... and this sparked an idea. In my mind, I saw a bathroom that would pay homage to the idea of a tropical island getaway, and remind them when they are here on the mainland of why they love going to Hawaii. They loved the idea, so I chose materials that bring to mind volcanic rock and island stones, bamboo wood tones, and the warm blue of tropical waters.
But before we go any further, let's see what the bathroom looked like when I first saw it.
Stylistically, the bathroom was like an archeological dig. Their home was built in the 1950s (pink sinks and shower), but the bath had last had a facelift in the 70s (earth-toned foil wallpaper). While it was still functional, there were many things that made being in the bathroom subliminally uncomfortable such as the enclosed shower stall with a lowered ceiling height, and a heavy looking soffit threatening to drop on anyone standing at the vanity. These architectural elements only served to compartmentalize the space, making it appear smaller.
There was no choice but to gut it all and start from scratch. Since this is a guest bathroom, we chose to install a single sink which allowed us to buy more vanity storage and counter space. Keeping Maui in mind, the use of natural wood, Mother-of-Pearl shell mosaic sconces mounted on a framed mirror, sand-colored granite, water-y toned crackle glass tiles, and ocean-colored ceramic crackle glazed door and drawer hardware achieves the feeling of being at a spa resort in the tropics.
The new glass-enclosed shower was clad in a tile with a rock-like pattern reminiscent of split bamboo, while a crackle glass "waterfall" cascades down the hardware wall.
The shower floor is lined with pebbles from Island Stone; the same material is featured in a "rug" on the mossy green floor of the bathroom, which is now a constant comfortable temperature thanks to under-floor radiant heat.
Clean-lined shower and sink hardware give the space a tranquil sense so my clients can feel as if they are vacationing in paradise everyday.
Inspiration is never far away. Look at the things you love and you are bound to find a style direction!