Thursday, July 29, 2010

Piecing It Together

Back to our latest bath renovation. The last time we looked in on it, the demolition was complete, new framing, plumbing and wiring all in. Most of the material selections have now been made, and the pieces are coming together.

Deciding on a logical order for the work to progress is generally a fairly simple process, but in this case it's a little more complicated due to some elements that won't come in for a while, and other elements that should happen somewhat "out of logical order" due to their unusual nature.

One pretty easy decision is to install the flooring material. Cabinetry, base mouldings and toilet will sit on top of it, so it should almost always happen first.

18" square Travertine was selected for this floor. There will be both traditional and somewhat more modern elements in the finished bathroom, so the large stone tile was a logical choice. The stone is both "old-world" and timeless, and the size creates more of a contemporary look. The tiles were installed in a staggered pattern to further the timeless feel, and since the tiles were justified (or rectified, depending on who you ask), they could be laid with very small--1/16"--grout joints.

Once the floor tile was in, we could begin to make final color choices for the walls, cabinetry, etc.

And so the "pretty" begins!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Lighter and Brighter

Here is another design idea that appeared recently in one of Expert Advice submissions to the St. Pete Times!

Exposed brick can be beautiful in the right setting. But there are instances where a brick fireplace or a brick wall can seem somewhat heavy or forbidding.

This room had been completely refurbished, but when you stood back to look at it, all you could really see was a dark brick fireplace. It almost seemed like a "black hole" in the living room. By painting it the same color as the trim in the room, it suddenly fit into the room decor as a complement rather than a single focal point. It also brought appropriate attention to the built-in cabinets on either side.

Swallow your fear! Brick painting is a little tricky because of the texture, but a good, long-nap roller can help. All masonry should also be primed using a special primer in order for the paint to adhere and cover properly.

It might be just the thing to lift the spirits in the room!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

As in all renovation projects, the beginning elements of the work are more nuts-and-bolts than anything, but you have to start there! With a careful design approach, the new plan will show you where plumbing needs to be moved, lights, outlets and switches rewired and relocated, and old walls removed and new walls added as needed.

In this bathroom, the toilet is moving to the other side of the room to allow space for a longer vanity and storage cabinet. The original jumbo-sized shower area allows space for the relocated toilet, and a tub/shower area. All-in-all, a much better usage of space.

We are also adding additional can lights into the ceiling to more appropriately light the bathroom, which will make the bathroom both more pleasant, and more efficient.

Though it will remain a pretty traditional bathroom layout, what is going to make this bathroom truly special is the finishes. The choices have now all been made, and I think they are exciting! There are still some challenges ahead, and we are counting on some careful color decisions to pull it all together.

I'm looking forward to "solving" this final puzzle.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Making Sense Of It

Currently, I'm helping a client with a full bathroom renovation that she's been waiting for a good long time! The bathroom was functional, in a generic sort of way, but the over sized shower stall barely allowed space for the bare necessities--sink and toilet--and certainly didn't provide any storage opportunities. Okay, I'm going to say just wasn't pretty!

After a considerable amount of back and forth, give and take in the design, we're ready to get started! But as always, lots of work to do before the "pretty" starts to happen.

Out with all the old! By removing the large shower area, we're giving ourselves ample space for a tub/shower combination, and still plenty of room for the toilet area.
This will leave the other wall open for a lavatory-vanity combination, and include a tower of upper cabinets for linen and accessory storage. And since this client is an artist in her own rite, I promise there will be lots of other surprises in store!