First published November 6, 2017
A longtime client who I have been working on investment properties with for years was ready to remodel his master bathroom. I typically don't do a bathroom here and a room there, but he is the exception since I have known him for so long and we speak the same design language. Plus the bathroom he and his girlfriend had been living with in their super cool pad on the Venice Canals was a joke.
The small space was broken into even smaller private water closet with dedicated sink and main vanity-tub-shower area. The tulip tile did not fit with the modern zen aesthetic of the rest of the remodeled house. Oh, and my client INSISTED on a freestanding tub which made me want to cry. How the heck was I going to squeeze that in?
It took swapping out the toilet and tub locations to be able to demo out the wall in between (you can see the jog where it used to be). This gave us the clearance to do a 72" tub, barely. And build a pony wall to give the toilet privacy and support the new custom floating vanity.
From the beginning I know I wanted to use black lava rock basalt in this bathroom. Its heavy and porous and pretty hard to work with so only on the backsplash wall and inside the steam shower. The other tile had to be easy to work with ye feel modern and naturally compliment the stone. I found the answer with Mosa tile from Walker Zanger. It comes in 3 different hues for each color way so you get a naturally random effect.
A design moment that occurs in the small space is running the same bond tile pattern from the floor up the wall to kiss the ceiling. It creates a dramatic accent for the freestanding tub to be framed against.
Another major style infusion was the custom designed wall mounted walnut vanity cabinet with trough sink. Originally we had ordered a drop in sink but when the plumbing supply company royally dropped the ball, it gave us an opportunity to create an custom sink integrated into the extra thick 6" countertop. Which was totally the right move for this bathroom.
The last elements to bring the bathroom from ordinary to extraordinary was specifying extra luxe wall mounted plumbing fixtures from Lacava and Brizo. It made a big difference in bringing this bathroom to the next level.
There were some concerns about the bathroom feeling too 80s and dark with the black tile. Balanced with the white painted walls, the large white tuba and thick white countertop I don't think its an issue at all. I think its an impeccable example of modern design in a small space.