November 3, 2014
Coming home to a dysfunctional, tight bathroom was always a disappointment for two medical professionals. “Their biggest concern was that they work long and hard, and they wanted a place where they could just come to relax,” explained designer Lynne Shore of R.I. Kitchen & Bath.
Set in a long and narrow space, the master bath lacked storage, adequate lighting and proper heating. Even though the window boasted a view of the Atlantic near Providence, R.I., it also leaked in cold air.
“Heat was an issue,” said Shore. Radiant heating solved this problem, as it was placed right near the window and on a window bench. “This served two-fold in giving them somewhere warm to sit and keeping the room heated,” she added.
With the heating intact, the core of the design – a Zen-like aesthetic – came into place.
“She wanted something spa-like, and bamboo is very relaxing to her,” said Shore. “We built off of the bamboo in the design.”
The cabinetry for the linen closet and vanity features a bamboo veneer. Harder than oak, bamboo’s water base and its sustainable advantages make it a favorable option. Vinyl wallpaper, textured to imitate bamboo wood, covers the walls.
“You have to go up and really pick at it to figure out that it’s not real,” said Shore. The bamboo wallpaper continues in the shower and backs the tub. The back wall of the shower has a similar bamboo pattern in a vertical format, while a brown-striped tile imitates the bamboo and keeps it uniform.
“The bathroom was long and narrow – that was the big kicker,” said Shore. The team helped increase space by expanding the closet in the outside hallway. With the advantage of high ceilings, “we went more up than out,” she explained. “Storage was so important to them, and they wanted to break the rules and use up every space.”
The tight but extremely organized closet includes a dressing area and can be divided from the bathroom with a verti-glide door.
“It’s not evasive to the design, and it’s very soft and compact,” said Shore. “They aren’t taking real estate, so to speak.”
Besides more storage, the couple each had their own desires for the bathroom. According to Shore, the shower was his domain, and the tub was hers. Complete with aromatherapy, body jets, a handheld and a rain showerhead, the steam shower has both a luxurious and natural feel with its imitation-bamboo tile. Glass basketweave trails from the shower to behind the tub.
The soaking air tub mimics a porcelain feel and offers a self-cleaning feature. Covered in glass, a shelf placed next to the tub accommodates the client’s more specific needs.
“I suggested the shelf for her towels, soap, candles and most importantly, the glass of wine,” explained Shore.
A remote control-operated, sheer blind keeps the bath private but still reveals the view to keep the bathroom open.
“Having the space so long and narrow was really challenging,” said Shore. “Trying to use every space to its nth degree was key to this project.”