A small bathroom revisited!
As in most cases, the idea of renovating a bathroom brings along a number of questions before you are ready to… take the plunge. Which overall result are we looking for? Which materials to choose? How to do it? Take one of our clients who came to the store exploring the various products offered at La Tuilerie. She didn’t have fixed ideas on which products and materials would be adequate for her bathroom renovation. She was a bit at a lost for ideas. In our conversation, two things were coming back again and again as she talked about her project. She wanted a bathroom that would convey a feeling of relaxation, something that would be spa like. And she wanted her bathroom to have a feeling of space within its small surface of 85 square feet. Here are some important points to keep in mind when you want to deal with these conditions and are looking for a similar objective. An interesting challenge, but an attainable goal!
Integration of natural elements
In order to create a bathroom with a spa like atmosphere, first and foremost is the need to integrate into it some natural looking elements. At the same time, another consideration comes from the fact that a bathroom is by definition a space where humidity is quite present. Using wood, which is typical of a spa, would not really be appropriate in this case. This is an important consideration. Before atmosphere and look is a foremost factor: the health one. No compromise here. It has to be at the top of the list for the benefit of users on a daily basis. From this, we had to look for a fresh angle, going for materials that are impervious to humid conditions.
The good news is that there are now wonderful products such as porcelain tiles which reproduce wood in a stunning fashion. For our client’s bathroom, I focused first on the main wall. It would have to stand out. By covering it with porcelain tiles with a fantastic wood look we would get the spa feeling she was looking for (Beige Isla Camel tile 6 X 24 at $3.99 per square foot at La Tuilerie).
Plus, by installing these tiles in a staggered pattern, we would avoid a symmetrical look which would not work well in a restricted space. That wall was to be the dominant note that would convey its overall look to the whole bathroom, accentuating that all important natural feel to the place. These porcelain tiles come in many colors, giving you the opportunity to create your own space according to the specific conditions of your bathroom and your own taste. To reinforce that natural look, I suggested beautiful stone sinks for the vanity (natural stone sink at $299.00 per unit at La Tuilerie). These quite unique pieces of art give the distinctive serene look our client was hoping for in her bathroom. You now get the feeling you are out in the natural world. It is a sensation of total relaxation. The unique signature of these stone sinks will impress her friends for sure!
The geometry of space
Working with the geometry of a small space in an appropriate way is the key to get to the end result. One look at that rather small bathroom and your eyes see that whole space. The shapes have to be harmonized in order to give the bathroom a simple, finely tuned look that has to be all smoothness to the eye. To that end, I chose a cabinet/vanity with flowing, pure lines with glass inserts. Its transparency translates into a peaceful feeling. It is also free standing, avoiding any of the “heaviness” of another type of cabinet with too strong a presence that jumps at you. Even more so, it made it possible to cover the whole visible floor with ceramic tiles, enhancing space and lightness.
Since the room was quite square, we were also able to choose large tiles with fewer joints to further enhance that feeling of space (Luxury Blanc 18 X 36 at $5.99 a square foot at La Tuilerie).
Another benefit of these large pale tiles and their fewer joints will be the ease of cleaning of that surface. As a matter of fact, these joints are so small as to give the impression that they are almost non-existent. As for decorative elements, it was again important to keep things simple. Just a few shelves and some carefully chosen objects would suit that new bathroom with its serene feeling.
Coloring the space
To create a space that inspires relaxation, as in a spa, choice of colors is an important consideration as well. Pale colors were required here in order to further lightness and clarity. For our little bathroom, darker wood effect porcelain tiles for the main wall were to dictate our choice of a light color. I suggested opting simply for… white. We wanted to make sure that the space was lightened up to make it look as large as we could. Pale adjoining walls would also make the darker tiled wall stand out for maximum effect. That would also work wonderfully for the two stone sinks. As a final thought, a few decorative touches in green would support the feeling of nature and life we were looking for in our small bathroom.
All in all, I can add with confidence “mission accomplished”. By integrating natural elements and lines – that geometry factor – that were kept unbroken and simple and the use of light colors, this small bathroom has now an authentic spa feeling and look. The wood-like porcelain tiles of the main wall make a somewhat bold statement while the large ones used for the floor make the overall visual impact work really well. In a case like this, the result is bound to make guests a little bit envious! And, if you have similar conditions, it certainly will contribute to that relaxing atmosphere in your home, the one you are precisely looking for.
You can meet Marjorie at La Tuilerie Outremont on Mondays and Tuesdays to discuss ideas and get assistance. Other designers are also on hand on other days.