22 July 2009

More modern baths

I'm turning into the busy designer guy all of the sudden. Believe me when I tell you that this is a most welcome development. I don't want to put a hex on anything I have going on now, but I'm coming out of the worst two quarters of my career. Go figure, I did the least amount of business I can remember but the business I did do was the best I've ever produced. There's a lesson there somewhere and some day, not today, I'll go back and figure out what that lesson is.

But in the meantime, I have a lot of work to do. Woo hoo!

I presented another lavatory design as part of a much larger project the other day and I like the direction it's headed in. This is yet another modern design for a small-ish powder room. There's a separate water closet so the primary part of the room is a rectangle that's only three feet wide and six-and-a-half feet deep. Since it's a powder room there's no real need to store anything in there so I want to keep it as open as I can.

Here's the actual lavatory I'm specifying. It's the Block from LaCava. This lavatory will hang on the wall directly with a mirror right above it. I'm looking for an oval mirror about 30" wide and 18" tall. Anybody have a source? I've drawn the shape I want, now I just need to find one.

The wall behind the lavatory will be covered from floor to ceiling with either this glass mosaic,

or this one. Both patterns are from Mirage Glass Tiles in New York.

I know I want a translucent glass tile because I want to make this powder room feel larger than it is. Between the seriously pared down lavatory and the translucent glass on the wall, this room's going to feel like it's ten feet deep instead of six-and-a-half. The floors are going to be wide plank, clear maple. Again, my goal here is to be expansive and light while staying true to a contemporary aesthetic. I say I'm well on my way. Boy oh boy is it good to be busy.


  1. Love the serene blues and the horizontal hung mirror echoing the shape of the lav.
    I've always loved these blues and find it convenient that there seems to be so much available right now in these colours.
    I worry though, particularly with the current popularity of mosaic glass, that they may become dated looking.
    What's your take on this apparent 'trend' of mosaic glass in residential kitchens & baths?
    (Keeping in mind that in my little corner of the world glass mosaic is just starting to "find its way to the people" )
    Meanwhile, I'll just enjoy soaking in all the watery blues my Piscean heart can take.

  2. Hey Susan, you have the vision thing! The mirror I drew and need to find has the same radius as the sink. That they'd have the same radius wouldn't be obvious immediately but it would satisfy my need to bury symmetry and forced perspectives in my projects.

    Oh course the current crop of glass mosaics are a trend. The proof of their popularity is the astonishingly low prices of most of them. Inexpensive finishes are usually the first ones to go.

    But even with that said, everything looks dated eventually. It's unavoidable. What's considered to be traditional and timeless never is. It's not possible to keep right now out of a design. It happens with cars, with clothes, with homes and with interiors.

    Somebody may buy a reproduction pedestal sink and use beadboard on the walls of a bathroom thinking that things like that are timeless, but they're not. They are in fact a traditional style as seen through the eyes of the 21st century. After all, a truly traditional bathroom is an outhouse out back and a galvanized tub pulled into the kitchen to be filled with hot water from the stove.

    So even though it's a trend, the best way to ensure that trends age well is to design them well. Trendy designs that are thought through and that display some real creativity and cleverness tend to last.

    So in ten years this powder room will look out of date. There is nothing I can do to stop that and it will happen regardless of the style of the room or the finishes I use. However, the best thing I can do for my client is to design this well enough so that in ten years some one will look at it and say "nice design" even if the finishes aren't currently on trend.

    That's my take on it at any rate.

  3. Paullllll...say no to the second tile option!! The first is more imaginative and original!! Have you considered using large format tiles behind it instead? A different look but might work well with the simplicity of the lacava sink. And, work with your desire of making the room appear deeper. Takes a good installer though!
    Have the mirror made. I design my own mirrors and have great craftsmen who can make it and often less expensively. Clients love it and they like telling their friends they had a mirror custom made!:)

    I agree about the popularity of mosaic glass. I am over it but people still like it. I like larger format or the different sizes as your first picture illustrates. There are lots of cool materials, just have to find the right one for the job. --cheryl

  4. I like that second tile! Not as much as the first, but I do like it. It's not photographing very well and that's a pretty extreme close up. It's made from 8mm squares of back-painted glass. I like it because the scale's so small and if I have to do another horizontal offset I'm going to scream. I have some back-painted 4x12s and another idea I have is to set them vertically instead of the expected horizontal. We'll see. This is a design that still evolving to say the least.

    Can your mirror guy make rounded shapes? If so, I may want to talk to him!

  5. Actually it is a girl and she is a welder. She makes some pretty cool stuff for me and can do rounded shapes. But, not sure the finish would be as sleek as you probably might want..she has done some very modern countertop supports though and had painted with an automotive finish...looked good but in a mirror the welds might not be able to be hidden that great. I have another guy in Gulf Breeze that does some great and think they can do a more refined material. Depends on what you want.

    I agree on the offset...but, I like large glass tiles..like 14x24 ..artistic tiles makes some...just did a fireplace out of them and it was kinda cool! But, vertilcal is always good application! What about circle mirror tiles??? ooooh....might be good looking! But, prob not with the floor...I am doing this in my own bathroom...somewhere. I love circles!!--cheryl

  6. Love the concepts and elements that you are proposing. Am anxious to see the finished project. Anticipating it will be spectacular!

  7. Cheryl, excuse my assumption that your mirror guy was a guy --I hate when I do that and I need to stop making assumptions about gender. But you made me thing of something. Mirror tiles actually built into the wall rather than an actual mirror borders on the brilliant. Wow.

    Brenda, I can't wait to see this one either!

  8. Pau:

    I love the bathroom design you proposed. Do you have final pix? My hope is that you went with the first tiles--that's my kind of design!

  9. Thanks Sherri. Believe it or not, this one's still in the paper and pencil stage. This powder bath is a small part of a much larger project and we ought to start it some time in the next couple of months. Extreme Home Makeover is a lie! These things take a year to plan and execute!


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