July 24, 2015
For one Los Angeles family, contemporary design fit right in with their Beverley Hills neighbors but had the potential of feeling too cold.
“There’s that fine line in contemporary design that they were nervous about,” said designer Christopher Grubb of Beverly Hills, Calif.-based Arch-Interiors Design Group Inc. “It was about coming up with a palette of gray and taupe that resonated with them.”
“Adding” Space in the Bathroom
For this new-build home, the clients hoped for a master bath with separate his-and-hers vanities. Although the footprint was large, the space allotted for the master bedroom left barely enough room for this idea.
“We had to come up with a smart way to accommodate separate vanities,” said Grubb. “And in creating those vanities, we didn’t want something that looked store bought. We always want to make something that’s unique to the client and very special.”
Since Grubb has his own line of vanities, the C.G. Collection, he took the opportunity to create a potential sample of one he could add to his line. The twin vanities have white-gloss doors and a contrasting dark alder wood surround. The wood element includes additional drawers, complementing the storage of the vanities and the nearby linen closet. A reveal between the gloss cabinetry and the white Caesarstone countertop helps open up the space and connect with the freestanding tub.
“We love that this horizontal sense coincided with the tub being in the same line,” said Grubb, adding that the tub was placed perpendicularly between the vanities to create a sense of separation. “We like the fact that the tub is horizontal and the reveals are horizontal, giving you a sense of looking out to the view.”
This oval tub helps break up the straight lines and squares in the room, which is further contemporized by the 12-in. by 24-in. taupe porcelain tile floors. Keeping with the linear scheme of the floors and the rest of the space, Grubb incorporated a mosaic tile into the shower that complements the colors of the floors. A bench for the steam shower and a niche in Caesarstone contrasts the mosaic and connects back to the countertop on the two vanities.
“When a client asks for his-and-hers vanities and there is limited space, you have to develop that with them to show what you’re going to achieve that will work best,” said Grubb. “This solution resonates with them, and that’s my favorite part of this space.”
Bringing Similar Elements to the Kitchen
The sense of being separate but together also needed to exist in the kitchen and great room space. Having a palette of warm gray throughout, Grubb was able to easily include some of the same materials and tones across both spaces.
“The family room has a mosaic on the fireplace that is similar in tone to the cabinetry, so that was a way to get a sense of the palette of these warm grays in both rooms,” said Grubb. “We didn’t use a completely different material in the fireplace, since we definitely wanted you to walk in and feel enveloped in the warmth of the both the kitchen and family space.”
This warmth comes from a mixture of thermafoil-finished lower cabinets, which have a gray wood grain look, and the contrasting white-gloss upper cabinets. Two tall cabinets finished in the thermafoil flank the stove for extra storage space and help emphasize the extra height in the room.
The blessing and challenge of the high ceilings also brought in the opportunity for two unique pendants. Crafted with white, linear tubing and chrome detailing, the fixtures help bring that area of the room down while adding interest to the room.
“We liked the motion in them,” said Grubb. “It was something unexpected and a conversation piece.”
The sparkle of the pendants illuminates the island below, which is covered in Calacatta gold marble. The white background of the stone complements the upper white-gloss cabinets, and some of the gray veining complements the cabinetry. The waterfall edge of the island also felt more like a table – inspiring Grubb to leave the island at 36 inches instead of 42 inches. With the thermafoil-finished cabinets underneath, the result is a furniture-like piece that blends with the rest of the kitchen space and the home’s warm, gray tones.
“To make a contemporary but warm design, it’s about finding something with a neutral tone that resonates and to not be afraid of unique materials,” said Grubb. “It’s easy to contrast white with dark, but you have to really adventure into materials to give something very special to the space.”
Designer: Christopher Grubb
Photographer: Greg Weiner
Contractor: Asaf Glazer / Crown Royal developers
Backsplash: Metallic glazed porcelain mosaic
Cabinetry: Custom / Funtime
Cabinet Factory: Uppers – White gloss finish, Lowers – Wood grey grain finish
Light pendants over island: Possini
Countertop: Caesarstone – Blizzard White
Floor: Porcelanosa – Town Arena Nature 24×24
Hand Held Shower: Artos Westover / Safire flexible hand shower with slide bar
Light pendants over vanities: Possini
Light sconces above sinks: George Kovacs Shower head: Danze
Shower Mosaic: Soli – Haisa Marble
Tub: Americh – Contura II6632
Tub Filler: Artos Westover / Safire floor mounted tub filler
Rain Shower head: Danze