September 20, 2018
Having a space in the home that echoes a favorite vacation spot or luxury hotel is a common request from clients today. For Hollywood, Calif.-based designer Christopher Grubb, his clients not only asked that their new master bathroom echo the resorts they loved but also had a modern and clean style.
“These clients wanted something that felt spa or resort like,” said Grubb. “Being global travelers, they hoped this would become their in-home getaway.”
Needs and Challenges
Before the designer came into the picture, the master bathroom was in need of an update. It was too compartmentalized, and there was not enough storage for the clients’ needs. There was also a fireplace in an impractical location.
“By removing the fireplace, we were able to bring in additional windows for natural light,” said Grubb, explaining that one of his challenges was introducing more light into the space. “To expand on the newly open feeling, we had a unique solution for the bathroom entrance: use stacking sliding doors with glass inserts that could be fully closed for privacy or stacked to create a dramatic opening.”
Using AutoCAD, the designer laid out the rest of the floor plan with the windows in mind. He decided to center the tub under the main window, extend the large vanity across another wall and have the shower share the third wall with an additional storage area. This arrangement left plenty of open floor space in the center of the room.
“These clients wanted the bathroom large enough to get couple’s massages in the space,” explained Grubb.
With the ideal layout in place, the clients looked to the designer to introduce the aesthetic they wanted: modern with a global inspiration.
“One of their favorite countries to visit is Asia,” said Grubb. “They are especially attracted to resorts and spas that have an Asian Zen feeling, but they also wanted something that had contemporary elements and didn’t feel too thematic.”
To do this, he custom created the long vanity that went along an entire wall of the bathroom. Two dark wood cabinet doors on either side of the vanity have a square pattern and geometric hardware that look distinctly Asian; the vanity itself is topped with marble countertops, vessel sinks and wall-hung plumbing. The center section of the vanity is lowered to accommodate functional drawers and features a dark wood countertop for contrast.
“By keeping this lower section and adding a wood top, it gave the impression that the sides – with the stone top – were independent from the center,” added the designer.
A backsplash of three-dimensional cream tile and modern sconces emphasizes the contemporary nature of the bath without overshadowing the vanity’s Asian influences. The wood in the mirror frames echoes the unique entrance to the bath; behind the stacking sliding doors and on the bathroom side, an artistic wall of bamboo seems to grow from the floor to the ceiling.
“The bamboo material adds a touch of whimsy and nature in the space,” said Grubb.
No spa resort is complete without a glamorous bath and shower area. The designer decided against a freestanding tub and instead built a quartz deck around the chromotherapy-enabled tub and framed it with tiles reminiscent of the flooring. The front of the tub is curved to contrast the square shapes in other parts in the bath – like the floor tile – and emulates the curved top of the nearby window.
The shower was raised and is accessible by steps to create a variation of height in the room. Inside, Grubb customized an open bench meant to look like a piece of furniture. Intricate black-and-white marble wall tiles add interest to the glass-enclosed shower, which boasts a showering system with steam capabilities.
“The harmony of the various materials, such as the chiseled limestone walls, glass and marble mosaics and the graphic quality of the custom millwork, creates a sense of softness, texture, warmth and the timeless look,” said Grubb.
Designer: Christopher Grubb
Photographer: Scott Mayoral
Countertop, Flooring & Shower Walls: Walker Zanger
Shower System & Tub: KOHLER
Tub & Vanity Plumbing: Altmans