January 1, 2017
Old Palo Alto, a neighborhood in the prestigious Silicon Valley, Calif. area, is known most for its stunning architecture and innovative homeowners. With neighbors like the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs and Google co-founder Larry Page, any redesigns must be up to par. One 1928 Tudor-style home underwent such a renovation with its master bathroom.
“The goal was to create a space that was not too masculine nor too feminine,” said designer Lindsay Chambers of Los Angeles-based Lindsay Chambers Design. “It should be just a serene, spa-like environment that played homage to the Tudor architecture of the exterior of the house.”
Back to the Roots
The Tudor style originates from English medieval architecture in the early 16th century. It later became popularized in the U.S. in the late 19th century and the first half of the 20th century. With features like steeply pitched roofs; groups of tall, multi-paned windows; and embellished doorways, these homes evoke the idea of affluence and charm.
For Chambers’ clients – a technology executive and a graphic artist – the master bath interior contradicted the luxury of the neighborhood and the architecture. The master bath was not only small but also pink; with rose-colored tile surrounding the tub, which had no corresponding shower, the space was more 1960s than 1920s.
The first step in bringing her clients’ goals to life was to double the square footage to nearly 150 square feet. Originally the architect drew the bath layout in a simple box shape, but Chambers added in a dropped dormer ceiling to reference the Tudor architecture.
A dormer ceiling mimics the steep roofs of the Tudor home with high 45-degree-angle slants and a triangular shape. Rift-sawn white oak panels cover this aspect of the ceiling, and a large white beam centers the two slants of the roof. The walls are painted the same color, but the rest of the ceiling – also done in painted wood beams – is a soft gray.
“The goal was to create a spa-like and transitional bathroom that had clean lines,” said Chambers.
A Sense of Air
It may be the architecture that gives the bath a sense of belonging in the home, but the palette and the materials make sure the design is both updated and luxurious.
Crème marble covers the surfaces, from the square tiles in the shower to the contrasting herringbone-pattern floor tile. A darker gray mosaic tile frames the shower, which is lit by a small window with a classic Tudor-style diamond grid pattern.
“Using light crème marbles and coloring adds a sense of airiness, and bringing in materials and fixtures makes the room feel like a personal spa,” said Chambers, who added that she only needed to draw by hand for this small but elegant project.
Along with the dormer ceilings, the freestanding tub directly under the steeped ceiling adds to the feeling of openness. With towel storage on both sides and a large paned window in the background, the elegant fixture takes the main stage.
“This burnished cast-iron tub was a natural centerpiece for the room,” said Chambers, who added that this was her favorite part of the project. “This dormer area framed the tub beautifully for display.”
Designer: Lindsay Chambers, Lindsay Chambers Design
Photographer: Roger Davies
Cabinetry: Custom Rift-Sawn Oak
Cabinetry Hardware: Restoration Hardware
Gray Shower Tile: Waterworks, Architectonics
Mirrors: Custom by Lindsay Chambers
Paint: San Francisco-based C2 and Benjamin Moore
Plumbing Fixtures: Waterworks
Sconces: Jean De Merry
Shower Floor: Waterworks Aqualinea Spool Mosaic