June 22, 2017
For homeowners in Tucson, Ariz., often the best place to be is by the pool. One custom home build here needed to have direct access to a bathroom from the pool, but the client also wanted the space to double as a guest bath.
“Serving double duty as an en–suite, these guest accommodations needed to have every possible amenity for a memorable and inviting stay,” said designer Lori Carroll of Tucson, Ariz.-based Lori Carroll and Associates. “The list of requirements included safety, efficiency and durability, followed closely by unique design elements to create a sleek, comfortable look.”
Since this bath would be used several months out of the year for pool guests, materials had to work for wet rooms and be easy to clean.
“The challenge was also giving the pool bath a light, airy feel with a simple color scheme and bright accessories,” said Carroll, who used AutoCAD Architecture to complete the project. “The design choices basically needed to satisfy the client’s requests for a beautiful bathroom that was welcoming to guests.”
She started fulfilling these requests by installing a gray porcelain tile floor. The material not only is durable, it also is slip resistant and has minimal grout lines. Suitable for wet and high-traffic areas, this glazed stoneware material was originally designed for commercial use but is also ideal for this busy setting.
“Characterized for withstanding wear and tear, this product is cleverly described as ‘a contemporary twist on natural wood,’” said the designer, adding that the flooring features a subtle wood-grain design. “The metallic finish on the tiles is further proof that materials best known for their technical qualities have a visual impact as well.”
The porcelain tile was also used on the walls, where it is a lighter gray than the flooring but still features the same wood-grain pattern. For an even more cohesive look, the tile continues into the shower. The only interruption is an accent wall in the shower, which is covered with a mosaic of penny round tiles. Designed in black, gray, white and tan colors, the penny rounds add warmth and a refined pop of metallic color to the bath.
“Here, an animated wall of glass, metal and porcelain is simple yet stylish, bringing subtle contrast to the ashy shades of gray,” said Carroll. “Even though the color tones are neutral, the penny round mosaic creates an interesting effect.”
Light and Modern
Along with being durable and easy to clean, the bath needed an airy design and a contemporary style to fit with the rest of the home.
“Slab doors with solid, flat panels and no frame were the obvious cabinetry choice,” said the designer. “Crafted by laminating layers of wood together and covering them with a wood veneer applied to the outside, this charcoal gray, engineered, Italian white oak cabinetry is beautiful, easily maintained and offers a warm contrast to the cooler elements in the room.”
Visually opening up the space, a floating vanity was used for the cabinetry. A white, geometric sink complements the sleek cabinets, and minimalist hardware adds a polished, modern touch to the piece. A white quartz countertop rounds out the contemporary design.
“Engineered stone surfaces combine nature with technology and offer the same non-porous performance of porcelain,” said Carroll. “There is no need to wax or seal this.”
The Pampered Guest
This high-traffic bath also needed to make each guest feel indulged and welcomed, and designing additional privacy is one method to do this. Functioning as both a statement piece and a room divider, a custom-cabled shelf divider sections off the toilet from the main part of the bath. This saves valuable space in the bathroom and maintains the open feel.
“Along with concealing the toilet, the divider’s clean design, carefully chosen materials and colors becomes an incidental focal point in the bathroom,” said the designer.
Another way Carroll incorporated a luxurious appeal is through the shower, which includes a bench and a unique showerhead set.
“Showering technology continues to evolve, and guests using this bathroom are in for a real treat,” she said, explaining that the Hansgrohe set mixes water with air for plumper, lighter and softer droplets. “It’s the perfect way to start the day or refresh after a swimming and sunning at the pool.”
Designer: Lori Carroll, Lori Carroll & Associates
Photographer: Jon Mancuso Photography
Cabinetry: Stone River Studios
Flooring: Imola Ceramics
Shower Fixtures: Hansgrohe
Sink Faucet: Hansgrohe
Wall Tile: Imola Ceramics