Bathrooms, Interiors

The Trouble with Bathroom Design: A Classic Bathroom in Marble and White Oak

Bathrooms are frequently the most expensive per square foot room in the home which is always surprising considering the kitchen’s pricey reputation. Bathrooms have a lot going on in a smaller footprint. From a designer’s standpoint, there’s a lot of work that goes into the design. We create tile elevations for the installers, we call out where niches go in walls and what size they are. We find edge pieces for tiles to finish the outside corners, we detail out benches and think about floor and wall patterns. We select mirrors and sconces that will fit with the space/size of the vanity and the height of the ceiling. And, one of the things I frequently leave until the end, we select grout for all of the tile. Selecting the plumbing that goes in the room is the easiest part of the whole process.

I design and work on a lot of bathrooms. Because of the amount of work that can go into them, they sometimes aren’t my favorite room to design. There are a lot of trades to interact with (electricians, plumbers, stone fabricators, tile installers, cabinet makers – just to name a few). And some trades are fussier than others (I’m looking at you Armando). Here are some photos from a recently completed remodel in Greenwood Village, a suburb of Denver.

A scrumptious white oak bathroom vanity (Photo by Jordan Katz, styled by Kristy Oatman for Laura Medicus Interiors)

We raised this vanity up on legs to make it look more like furniture. Sander & Sons, in Littleton, Colorado, worked with us for the details on this piece and all the other cabinetry in the home. The mirrors and cabinet hardware are from Rejuvenation. The faucets are from Watermark. The sconces are from Visual Comfort. Design tip: if you want a sconce on either side of your mirror, you need to make sure your sink is centered with enough room on either side. The sink bases in this bathroom are 36″ wide.

The beautiful tub surrounded by soft marble. (Photo by Jordan Katz, styled by Kristy Oatman for Laura Medicus Interiors)

The pendant light is from Visual Comfort but purchased locally at Ultra Design Center. The rugs in all of the photos are from Denver’s Shaver-Ramsey. The marble tile was purchased at Denver’s Floor Club. This gorgeous Watermark tub filler was purchased at Denver’s local plumbing supply store – Rampart Supply. When possible, I encourage my clients to purchase from local stores. Even though we work with some big brand names, there are great locally owned businesses that sell most brands out there and are very competitive with the big box stores and websites. We worked with a mix of brass and matte black in this bathroom for the plumbing, hardware and lighting. Some clients are uncomfortable mixing metals and I’ve found that black is a non-controversial metal to mix in with other finishes.

The marble shower in all its glory. ((Photo by Jordan Katz, styled by Kristy Oatman for Laura Medicus Interiors)

This shower is a steam shower – one way to tell is when you see the glass go all the way up to the ceiling and the ceiling is tiled as well. The rule of thumb for steam showers is to never use natural stone or a crackle tile in them because the steam will bring out the impurities in the stone. However, design rules aren’t known for being hard and fast, and this client wanted marble in the steam shower and was willing to seal the tile every three months so we went full in with the marble! There’s a marble bench tucked away on the other side of the pony wall.

Pony wall, for any of you wondering why I’m bringing horses into it, is another way of saying “half height wall”. It was originally used in stables that held ponies (evidently pony stables have shorter walls between stalls). Pony walls are, of course, different than knee walls. A knee wall serves a purpose, like supporting a handrail or a countertop. There will not be a quiz after this, but it’s amazing to me how often I use the term pony wall on a project and I have yet to see a pony on a job site.

A view of the vanity right after the marble countertop was installed.
This will go down as my favorite built-in linen cabinet! I love the glass doors and the inset drawers. This client is very organized and tidy so the glass doors work for her. The rest of us mortals might need a more obscure glass!

“If there’s a magic pony in the story, chances are I’ll read it.” ~ Chris Adrian


4 thoughts on “The Trouble with Bathroom Design: A Classic Bathroom in Marble and White Oak”

  1. Great Post, I love reading about how bathrooms are designed all over the world and how they differ and simular to UK bathrooms. Plumbing, regulation and style differ all over the world.

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