August 7, 2023
Spanish Style Bath Gets an Update
In the early 20th century, architect Richard Requa was the leading practitioner of the Spanish Revival style in San Diego. Characterized by clay tile roofs, smooth stucco exteriors and massing that ranges from simple horizontal boxes to multi-story asymmetrical structures wrapped with terraces, the look remains popular throughout Southern California residential neighborhoods.
When the owners of a 1930 Requa home approached Alyce Lopez, founder and principal designer of San Diego-based The True House to redo the primary bathroom, they had a clear notion of what should guide the project. “The clients’ goal was to honor the architecture of the home while introducing a more modern aesthetic,” Lopez said.
The floorplan of the 170-square-foot Spanish style bath was singular. The irregularly shaped room had several angled walls, a sloped ceiling, a walk-in shower, a separate water closet enclosure and a linen closet. Access to the bath also presented a problem: located on the third floor of the house, it could only be reached via a spiral staircase.
“Carrying materials and the bathroom tub were extremely challenging with that stair,” said Lopez. “There were numerous touchups that had to take place after the renovation was completed.”
Replacing a couple of pedestal sinks, the new custom double vanity extends across two walls. To maximize its size and storage capacity while incorporating the two basins, plumbing lines had to be rerouted. The same was done to accommodate a modern freestanding tub near the window.
The materials palette remains true to the architectural style of the home. Lopez used a high-fired, glazed terracotta tile throughout the room to introduce dimension and texture to the space. “We discovered a new local tile manufacturer that was able to provide us with authentic Spanish tiles for this project,” said the designer, noting that utilizing this resource helped keep the project on track, as other elements of the bath were delayed in delivery, owing to the ruptured supply chain.
Lopez is delighted with the finished project. “Often times, bathrooms feel cold, but we wanted to honor the old-world Spanish style by bringing in plenty of warm textures and elements,” she said. “I really love the warmth we brought to the experience of the renovated bath. The roman shades, custom gallery wall and walnut-stained rift oak inset cabinetry are details that really welcome people into the space.”
Designer: Alyce Lopez, The True House
Photography: Rich Mino, Mino Pro Media
Cabinet Hardware: Abstract Designs
Cabinetry: San Diego Custom Cabinets
Faucets & Shower Fittings, Toilet: Kohler
Flooring: Walker Zanger
Lighting: Visual Comfort
Mirrors: Pottery Barn
Tiles (wall & floor): Tierra y Fuego
Window Treatments: Fabricut