A bathroom is one of those home improvement projects that you want and need to stand the test of time. Not only will it encounter heavy daily wear and tear, but it’s a room where the essential components are relatively permanent. Few of us would want to re-tile a shower or replumb a new bathtub every few years.
That’s why it’s so important to make choices and selections that feel just right for your individual home, aesthetic, and lifestyle when undertaking a bathroom remodel. In this Project Spotlight, you’ll see an example of a bathroom renovation that really kept an eye to the classic hallmarks of timeless design, solid craftsmanship, and luxurious details.
The goal of the project was to completely renovate a large bathroom. The homeowners felt that the existing built-in tub, shower, and vanities were dated. We removed everything: shower walls and floor, tile floor, tub and tub surround, vanities, all fixtures, mirrors, doors, and exhaust fan. The project also encompassed improvements to two closets just off the bath.
The desired aesthetic was a very traditional, yet stylish master bath. The clients worked with interior designer Brooke Weinert on selections to really capture the classic look and feel that they wanted. The outcome demonstrates just how dramatic the change to an existing space can be, when time is spent in the details. Walking into the room, the claw foot tub and designer tub filler capture your eye. The in-laid vanity doors with clear crystal knobs add a touch of nostalgia and class. The subtle addition of chrome in the plumbing and light fixtures adds to the classic feel.
Cabinet maker Robert Page worked with our clients to design and produce two truly one of a kind furniture style vanities, that while elegant, will stand the test of time both visually and functionally. The tile and marble work speak for itself—classic and elegant. The custom full glass shower opens up the space. We upgraded the heavy shower glass to Low Iron, which eliminates the greenish tint of standard shower glass, allowing the dazzling white of the Carrara Marble to show through. We also included an attic mount fan that allows for a more delicate vent and light than a standard ceiling mounted unit.
“This renovation took place during the pandemic and under Covid safety restrictions and protocols,” says project planner Mark O’Lena. “We had to regroup, and change some of the ways we typically perform our mission. Essentially, adapt and overcome.”
“As a planner we have the opportunity to walk through the project with the client and see the expression on their face when we tour. I am always pleased when the client is pleased, and judging by the reaction, they were pleased. So much so that they have given us the opportunity to work for them again.”
Home decor trends and home decor trends go…
We can all remember a time when shag carpeting or avocado appliances were the height of sophistication. It can be tricky to separate the classic from the trendy when embarking on a home renovation. The last thing any of us want to do is invest in expensive and permanent changes to our home, only to find they’re as passé as popcorn ceilings in a few years time. That is why it’s nice to have experts at the ready who can help guide us to choices that we will want to live with for decades.
Color and pattern are having a real moment in terms of design trends, and we meet with lots of clients who are interested in adding some visual interest to their homes, but are concerned about what might turn out to be “too much” or “too trendy” as times goes by.
Our award-winning Interior Designer Brooke Weinert and architectural representative Christine Raible of Best Tile were kind enough to sit down with us to talk about ways to incorporate color and pattern into our home decor in thoughtful ways that will stand the test of time.
On Color Choices:
Brooke: I like to incorporate color in permanent fixtures (tile, cabinetry, etc.) using more tonal or muted versions of colors that the clients already have in their home. For example, if the clients like blue and have blue in other parts of their home, I’d recommend a slate blue or navy blue tile or island accent. Both slate and navy are shades of blue that are still regarded as neutral “tones” that read blue and bring out blue in other colors close by.
We are less likely to get sick of neutral colors, because they tend to play well with many different colors. I think the stem of the issue of things being trendy and going out of style are when we choose bright tones that draw our eyes’ attention much more quickly. So when we inevitably want a change, a bright blue island is going to make repainting and redecorating much more difficult, resulting in wanting a total renovation.
Christine: With tile especially, because it is so permanent, I try to recommend one showpiece in the space that has color and pattern, whether that be the countertop, the floor tile, or an accent mosaic. Then all of the other parts of the space become supporting roles to that feature. There can be other colors and patterns in the space, but having that one feature helps it to not become overwhelming and too trendy.
On Picking Patterns:
Brooke: I love pattern and texture, and these two often work hand in hand. I think these add a very important depth to a design that can sometimes be overlooked. However, you have to be careful when choosing something with a pattern or texture, to avoid making your space look too busy, and therefore, seem smaller.
If you’re hoping to do an accent tile to incorporate a pattern in your shower, for instance, you want the patterned portion to distinctly stand out from the rest of the wall tile. So you don’t want to choose a wall tile that has a lot of movement and variety, because it will compete with the patterned tile and become difficult for our eyes to process.
One thing that I think is often forgotten when choosing a patterned tile is ensuring that the pattern works well with the style of the home and stays in tune with the design style. I’ve seen so many Houzz images where there’s a gorgeous traditional white kitchen with a bar area that has an accent patterned backsplash that looks like it belongs to another house. We don’t want that!
Another way I like to incorporate pattern/texture is switching the installation format of the tile. This is a fun way to play with a “classic” tile and make it a bit more fun. I love when we have clients who come in saying they “hate subway tile”, and then we show them the many ways that it can be installed and they look at it in a whole new light.
Trends that Aren’t Too Trendy:
Brooke: Trends I’m seeing include the incorporation of a color, either in the backsplash or island. I’ve also been seeing a lot of accent backsplash behind the ranges again, mainly carrying the countertop up as the backsplash behind the range only. I’m not sure if it’s because people have been stuck at home for so long and want a change, but it seems like a lot of clients are wanting to express themselves with brighter tones and bolder patterns in their homes than they had pre-Covid lockdown.
Christine: Glazed ceramic wall tiles are very popular and I feel they are also very classic and timeless. There are so many options and you aren’t stuck to just the traditional white subway tile. These tiles come in a range of sizes from 2×8 to 4×16 and many other sizes in between. They also have a range of colors, patterns, and glazing. Adding a glazed ceramic tile with variation in the glaze is a nice way to add a little pattern and interest without making the space too busy.
Adding a mosaic as a vanity backsplash in lieu of a traditional 4″ quartz or granite backsplash is a fun way to add a pop of color and pattern behind your sinks. Accenting the back of the niche in your shower with an accent tile also adds a subtle pop. Powder rooms are the perfect place to play with color. This is the space that your guests most often use and they are a separate space from other spaces so you can really play with patterns in there. I often used patterned porcelain tiles or stone mosaics with variation in these spaces.
Check out some examples of color and pattern trends in our projects below and consider adding a pop of visual interest to your next project. With Brooke and Christine’s expert guidelines in mind, there are plenty of ways to spice up your space in a timeless and elegant way.
They say good things come to those who wait. When it comes to big home projects, sometimes patience is an excellent virtue.
In this Project Spotlight, we’ll take you behind the scenes of a major kitchen renovation that the homeowners undertook at just the right time for them, and in doing so, achieved the exact result they were hoping for, with no compromises.
We all wish we could snap our fingers and make improvements to our homes whenever the mood strikes, but in reality, home renovations require careful thought, budgeting, and flexibility.
These clients knew their kitchen needed a major overhaul for several years before they committed to a remodeling project. But rather than do things piecemeal or have to make budgetary concessions, they elected to wait, save funds for their project for a longer period of time, and begin work at a time when an interior renovation would be less disruptive to their lifestyle.
These clients had done a mudroom and laundry renovation project with us years before. The kitchen renovation was next on their list, to completely overhaul the core areas of their first floor living space.
While the kitchen layout stayed roughly the same, the wall between the family room and kitchen was widened greatly, to create the open cooking/gathering area that so many homeowners desire. Now when family meals are being prepared or guests come over, there’s no sense of being isolated from one another in separate spaces.
In addition to new cabinets and countertops, upgraded lighting and refinished floors, new appliances and a spacious kitchen island were added. They also chose a new stainless steel Kohler Prolific sink with built in compartments for cooking accessories and drying racks for maximum efficiency. Now the clients can cook and entertain with ease.
The homeowners were able to undertake this project when it worked best for their own timeline, and the renovation took place over the winter, when interior projects are often scheduled.
For the clients, their patience in waiting to renovate their kitchen has paid off. Rather than having to make sacrifices in budget or timing in order to have it done fast, they were able to achieve their dream result by doing their major renovation just once, at just the right time for them.
They are loving the new connected feel of their kitchen, and being able to make everyday memories together in their home.
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