Kitchen & Bath Design News

OCT 2014

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

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• Designer: Julie Palmer, president, Charlie Allen Renovations, Cambridge, MA October 2014 | 35 Size of Space: 5'x7' Design Goal: These clients wanted a frst-foor bath that was as close to a full bath as possible to serve the needs of an aging mother who was living in the home. Design Solutions: The small space didn't al- low for a tub, so Palmer opted for a pre-fabricated, angled shower. The clients had acquired an inventory of antiques, and they wanted to highlight at least one piece in the bathroom. "This small piece ft per- fectly," says Palmer, who adds that, in this particular space, it is a better option than a built-in. "It can be a temptation in a small bath to put in lots of built-in storage. But that can take up a lot of room, and it can end up feeling a little closed in. We certainly could have included a built-in here that was taller than the antique piece we used, and that would have provided for more storage, but it would have overwhelmed the room. Storage is a key for small baths, but you want it to be on scale with the room." Additional Small Bath Design Tips: Incor- porate elements from the rest of the house. Heat is also important, in particular radiant heat or a radiator that is recessed into the cavity of a wall. Recessed built-ins, especially above a toilet, can gain extra storage space when needed. "Keeping things neat and tidy is key in a small bath," she says. "The more you can put away, the cleaner the bath looks, and therefore, the bigger it appears." Small Bath Myths to Dispel: You need lots of storage. "A medicine cabinet and/or an over-the-toi- let cabinet can provide all the storage really necessary in a bathroom," she says. "An adjacent closet for tow- els and other items is fne, since we really don't need that much to be stored in the physical space. A hook on the door allows you to bring a towel into the space when you need it. If no closet is available nearby, a basket on the foor for towels tucked under a wall- mounted or pedestal sink works well." 'Must Haves': Palmer recommends a pedestal or console sink. "Vanities take up a lot of space," she says, "especially visual space. While the footprint for a vanity and pedestal may be similar, a pedestal is light and airy, which helps the space look larger. You can always add a basket on the foor, or a recessed cabinet to make up for any storage space that is lost by not having a vanity. "But don't buy a pedestal or console sink that is too small," she cautions. "Make sure it has enough deck space to function. Choosing a wall-mount faucet can give you more room on the sink ledge." Proper lighting is also essential, according to Palmer. "The brighter the room, the less cramped it feels," she concludes. • Designer: Ivonne Ronderos, principal, DKOR Interiors, Aventura, FL Size of Space: about 350 square feet Design Goal: Since this space is a cabana bath- room, Ronderos collaborated with her design team to give the space a connection with the outdoors, as well as make it feel soothing, "as one might imagine a spa would feel," she says. Design Solutions: They designed the tile to give the illusion that this small bath was larger than it actually was. "By wrapping the foor tile into the shower, up the shower wall and onto the ceiling, we created an effect that made the bathroom feel wider," she explains. "Rather than break up the sink and shower areas, we combined the two. Only wrapping a portion of the ceiling is important, otherwise, the ceiling will feel too 'heavy'." The other challenge associated with this par- ticular bath was how to address the window above the toilet, which only allowed for a 12"-14" wide mirror. "With the ledge-wrapped carpentry piece that looks like a reverse 'C' – which also follows the path of the material that is wrapped in the shower – we encased the mirror and window to give the illusion that the vanity area is longer," she explains. "Additionally, since there was no space on the sink for accessories, this ledge became the perfect place for the soap pump, etc. Using neutral tones in the small space also helps it feel larger." Additional Small Bath Design Tips: If the vanity area is small, extend the mirror beyond the sink space to enhance functionality, as well as broaden the feel of the space, she suggests. Ad- ditionally, neutral tones and accent tile on a wall that is not disrupted by a door or large architectural element will 'enlarge' the room. "This way, the ac- cent color is on the 'visually' largest wall," she says. "Wrapping a material, whether it is tile or even just a paint color, is always fun and out of the box," she continues. "But again, it is important that the wrapping has a purpose and isn't a full wrap so the space does not get claustrophobic." Adding a unique design element to the space allows guests to focus on the element rather than the size of the space. "But, like all designs in any space, the key is restraint!" she stresses. "If all ele- ments in a space compete, they won't get noticed. One or two design elements that complement each other will be more impactful than fve design ele- ments…quality over quantity." Small Bath Myths to Dispel: Not every- thing has to match exactly. "There's a fine line between pieces complementing each other and matching," she explains. "For example, in this bath we introduced diferent tones of green from the accent wall, rather than using the exact color. This actually creates more depth and interest. We achieved the same efect with the variety of taupe colors through the tile, accent color and wood ve- neer tones." 'Must Haves': Get creative with storage, she en- courages. "Use hidden/concealed storage as much as possible," she says. "The less clutter, the larger the space will feel." For baths that require a shower curtain, use an extra-long curtain and hang it near the ceiling, she advises. "Just like the great trick with drapery, the curtain starting at the top of the ceiling will make the space feel more grand," she says. "Finally, use larger scale tiles on the foor to create less grout lines, which will clutter up the space." Photo: Alexia Fodere Photo: Shelly Harrison Photography

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