October 20, 2014
After returning from Europe, the homeowners arrived home eager to transform their master bath into a vision of the luxury they experienced on vacation. With a 1950s, California ranch-style home with which to work, designer Jimmy Reed of Rock Solid Tile stepped in to embody the glamorous holiday in their own home.
The 1958-dated California ranch was built in a style invented by architect Clifford May and made popular in post-World War II America. Although this type of building typically plays on California sunshine with floor-to-ceiling windows, this home still had a compartmentalized layout, a dark stall shower and low soffit ceilings in the bathroom.
“The original layout was hardly a design,” said Reed, “but it was the norm in the 1950s and 1960s.”
With this in mind, the owner hoped to open up the space give it a spa retreat-type of atmosphere. After gutting the existing room, Reed expanded the bath to incorporate a new soaking tub and take advantage of the views of the Pacific Ocean. While the owner’s aesthetic preferences were for a modern spa, Reed wanted to “combine that with my constant source of inspiration – the beauty and movement of the Pacific Ocean,” he explained.
Finished in blue lacquer, the floating vanity establishes a sense of lightness and echoes the nearby ocean. Wave-like, stainless steel handles add to the effect.
“We wanted to do a floating vanity, but we also had to fit it between the tub deck and the shower area,” explained Reed.
The team achieved the floating illusion by connecting the three areas with the vanity and framing it all with the same Calcutta gold Italian slab marble. Characterized by a white backdrop with streaks of gold and gray veining, the marble covers the shower bench, tub deck and countertops, as well as the room and shower floor.
“The owners are used to luxurious and exotic vacationing, and I think we were able to give them a little bit of a vacation right here in their home,” said Reed. “The openness and modern European crispness we achieved is quite reminiscent of their most recent journey.”
Covering the wall behind the vanity and glass shower, an unusually narrow glass tile mosaic has an iridescent finish that gives it an electric appearance.
“The [tile] is the most prominent and striking material we were able to use,” said Reed. He designed the linear tiles that feature an irregular surface that creates the illusion of constant movement.
“The combination of the special finish materials, the additional space that we were able to get and the new layout makes this a completely unique escape,” he added.
Custom Cabinetry: Jim Doolittle of DooPoco Enterprises
Cabinetry Blue Lacquer Finish Custom: Lisa Donohoe, Londubh Studio
Glass: Oceanside Glasstile- Rock Solid Tile, Inc.
Countertop: Stoneville USA
Tile: Westside Tile