February 21, 2014
Inside a traditional home in a traditional neighborhood, one bathroom stands out from the rest. “The owners wanted to do something that nobody else has,” said designer Rick Goldstein of MOSAIC Group. “Little by little the client, an artist, is transitioning this home to a contemporary interior.”
In the space where this master bath now sits, there once were two bathrooms and two closets that now are a master suite. “They wanted a lot of storage, very clean lines and nothing showing or sitting out,” said Goldstein. Tall cabinets on either side of the bathroom give the couple each a side to themselves to allow everything to be put away. “The way the pictures look is how austere the house actually is,” he added. “It is impressive.”
The main element of this ordered look is the shower, which slices through the entire bathroom. “That really became the organizing element of the whole space,” commented Goldstein. Inside, there are also his and hers sides. “He and she could not agree on the type of showerheads and controls they wanted, so they each got their own,” he added. The steam shower also boasts iPod-controllable sound and a floating bench.
“This was the most fun of the whole bathroom,” said Goldstein. The floating bench appears to pierce the glass of the shower and come out into a small dressing area. Adjacent to shelves meant for towels, the bench boasts a contemporary, spa-like feel. “I took a bench seat, which is typically very heavy and bulky, and made it very delicate,” Goldstein explained. “You could have a party on that bench.”
To keep the luxury of the bench inside a steam shower, Goldstein offered a tip. The shower is tiled and waterproofed behind that tile, so when the steam unit turns on, condensation forms on the ceiling and begins to drip. “When you’re in the shower, you don’t want cold water falling on you,” he said. To avoid this, slightly slope the ceiling toward one side so the water rolls down and drips off at the low point. Build the bench where the ceiling is the highest so the condensation drips off the opposite end.
Made of a vertically patterned, dark marble, the massive shower wall at the low end of this slight slope is the basis of the entire palette. “The bathroom’s not terribly colorful – a lot of black and gray,” said Goldstein. The floating vanity stands by this with countertops made of absolute black granite with a leathered finish. Going up the wall as a backsplash, the granite also bevels back toward the cabinetry about three inches. “The idea was to keep it light, open and airy and to give it a three dimensionality,” he explained.
Above the vanity, two pendant glass lights soften the dark countertops and the porcelain-tiled floors. “Otherwise there’s really nothing soft in this bathroom, except for the little sitting couch,” Goldstein said. The couch meets the neutral color scheme and goes with the contemporary feel.
“I like the couch because it gives a place for someone to sit and makes it seem more like a luxurious spa,” said Goldstein. “People spend more time in these spaces. The bathroom isn’t just utilitarian anymore.”
Rick Goldstein designed a contemporary bathroom with a luxurious, clean-lined feel. Here are a few ways he achieved his design goal.
• Use large cabinetry with simple lines to provide ample storage and a clean look.
• Keep the palette simple and calm.
• Have at least one element to soften the harsh lines.
• Use a variety of textures to balance out similar colors and patterns.
• Install mirrors to make the room seem larger.
• A sitting area gives a spa-like feel. Consider a chair, bench or couch.
• A floating vanity and/or bench help to lighten the space.
• Take advantage of natural light.
This steam shower had the ultimate package. Here’s how it was done.
• Build sound into the shower. Kohler’s Moxie or another iPod-controllable device is recommended.
• In a steam shower, slope the ceiling to avoid condensation from forming and dripping down in an unfortunate spot.
• A floating bench adds lightness and a modern look.
• You can always have more fixtures if the clients cannot agree.