Kitchen & Bath Design News

OCT 2013

Kitchen & Bath Design News is the industry's leading business, design and product resource for the kitchen and bath trade.

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Small Bath Design Ideas Designer: Scott Haig, CKD; Bay Area Kitchens; Houston, TX Mark Russo; Mark Russo Kitchen & Bath Design; Iowa City, IA Designer: Size of space: 5'10"x7'11" (tub area); 5'10"x5'1" (vanity area) Design theme: The homeowner liked the idea of large tiles, "and she fell in love with this metallic tile," says Russo. She also wanted the new master bath to be congruous with the connecting master bedroom that had been updated. "This material choice can imply a contemporary aesthetic, yet still sit inside a 1980s home," Russo notes. Design goal: Russo was challenged to create a spa-like area that was more user friendly. "The idea was to give them a major upgrade in a room that was easier to use, and with materials that were easier to maintain," he says. "She liked the idea of a private spa area where she can close the door and retreat." Design challenges: The previous space included two long, narrow rooms. The homeowner still liked the idea of a separate vanity area, but the space was less than 6' wide. When Russo moved the tub from its former position along the back wall to its new location, he was left with a narrow space that served little purpose, so he turned it into a walkway/shower. 'Small space' design solutions: Russo essentially combined the tub and shower, while maintaining their separate identities. "I didn't want a hard partition separating the shower area from the toilet," he says. "It formalizes the bathroom, plus there just wasn't room. So I added a small, vertical receptacle at the edge of the shower for a curtain that can be pulled across to the knee wall to keep the toilet area dry. Everything else in that area, including the tub and window sill for the large picture window, is waterproofed." The designer also incorporated a bench into the tub apron that provides seating when desired. The barrier-free shower foor also ofers an aging-in-place feature, allowing wheelchair accessibility. In the sink area, Russo added two narrow windows and a foating vanity, both of which help the room feel larger. To eliminate space needed to swing a door, Russo added pocket doors to separate the vanity area from the tub/ shower and from the adjacent closet, and removed the door to the bedroom. Small bath design tip: Include something out of the ordinary. "I approach bathrooms as a place where people should have visual fun," he says. "Baths should be surprising, and I want my clients to be just as surprised, and proud, of their spaces years after a remodel." 44 | Kitchen & Bath Design News October 2013 Size of space: 48.5 square feet Design theme: The bathroom is part of a ranch-style home built in the late 1940s. It needed to be updated quickly and efciently, while adding a bit of elegance. Design goal: The small space serves as the master bath, shared bath with the homeowner's daughter and guest bath for a family who entertains large groups of family and friends weekly. "I needed to reallocate the space to make it more usable," he says, "…to squeeze every ounce of useful space out of the existing tight envelope while allowing fnishes to express some sophistication and character." Design challenges: The project began with a mysterious water leak into the basement. "It developed into a complete demolition, which included removing a 'surprise' 3"-thick concrete pad that was poured over the wooden subfoor!" Haig also had to work within the confnes of a budget that was as tight as the space. 'Small space' design solutions: Haig removed a cumbersome utility closet, which opened up the space for a larger vanity that replaced the tiny sink vanity. It ofered additional storage as well as countertop space, both necessary elements for the homeowner who is a beautician. Relocating the toilet as well as the entry door enhanced functionality and ofered some privacy. The designer also rotated the tub 90 degrees from a dark corner, relocating it toward the natural light of the existing glass block window. One judicious splurge was the mosaic glass tile in the tub/ shower. "We wanted to make it elegant, while keeping the budget in mind," he says. "The tile makes a statement and adds refnement to the space, without overwhelming it. It's important to not overdo, or underwhelm…to use one element to evoke a sense of space so it isn't just utilitarian." Decorative shelves between the tub and vanity ofer additional storage. "Corners are difcult, so we included some shelves, trying to use every square inch of the space," he says. Small bath design tip: Don't overwhelm with elements. "Subtlety goes a long way toward making a strong statement," he says. "Details can be more important in a small space because they're more noticeable, and they're all within reach. In larger baths, you have room to walk around. In small baths like this one, you're in the midst of everything immediately when you walk in the door."

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