The bathroom has evolved from a failed functional space to a stylish retreat that merits an entire business of design professionals. Each year that the National Kitchen and Bath Association challenges designers to come up with eye-catching inventive interpretations of today’s bathroom. I had the privilege of fulfilling with the award-winning designers at the ceremony held throughout the 2013 Kitchen and Bath Industry Show in New Orleans in April, in which we all talked about the inspiration for his or her entrances. Listed below are a couple of of my favorites.
Best Toilet (complete)
Made to emulate a posh boutique, this bathroom took not only took the top award, Best Toilet, but also very first place in the Large Bathrooms category.
Interior designer Shea Pumarejo of Younique Designs in Helotes, Texas, calls her winning bathroom “The Forward Fashionista.” She drew inspiration from her stylish teenage customer’s shoe and handbag set to create an area that feels as if you’ve stepped right into a Beverly Hills boutique.
A hand-cut stained glass wall using a hand-drawn pattern of ribbons in red, silver and white overlooks a fiery red serpentine hand-blown sink and tap by artist Jim McKelvey. “I love the way the light plays off the various textures of glass to give it a 3-D impact,” Pumarejo says.
Cabinetry: custom by Michael Edwards; dressing table: CR Currin; countertops: custom Thassos marble from Stone Pros of Texas
The dressing table itself has been custom made using a fuchsia metallic end and Swarovski crystal pulls that were replicated to get the towel holders, toilet paper holder and closet drawer pulls.
Swarovski crystal pendant lights flank a white lacquer baroque-style mirror.
Faucet, fittings and sink: custom blown glass by Jim McKelvey; floors: Thassos Marble; shower tile: Pantheon; glass mosaic: Mixed Up Mosaics; bathroom: Kohler
Within the closet Pumarejo backlit the pink acrylic open shelves using LED strips to emphasize her customer’s shoes and handbags.
Lighting: AXO Lighting
Pumarejo’s bathroom design captures all the whimsy, style and youthful elegance of her customer. “I actually must have fun with materials on this project,” the developer says.
“So frequently we have homeowners who want to keep the design safe, as not to offend any potential buyers for resale,” she adds. “This homeowner actually wanted the space to be customized only for her”
First Place: Powder Room
This space marked the second win at the competition for designer Elina Katsioula-Beall, who also won first place at the tiny Kitchens category.
Her Out of Africa–inspired powder area infuses natural components like wood-lined walls, a leather-like dressing table and a chiseled limestone counter to appear as if it was made out of materials native to the area.
Cabinets, dressing table: Serrao; countertops: Vicenza limestone; taps, fittings: Watermark
Slate flagstone flooring generates an earthy allure. Notice that the curved-front vanity wrapped in faux leather and branches used unconventionally as towel holders. What you won’t notice is your toilet tank, which is hidden beneath the wall.
Sink: Kohler; bathroom: Toto
Niches showcasing African American art and artifacts give the space a museum-like quality.
First Place: Little Baths plus the People’s Select Bath Award
Leslie Lamarre made this double-award-winning space to get a little girl to grow into but not outgrow. The pink walls and white cupboards and rock keep the room just womanly enough without overdoing it.
Faucets, fittings: Newport Brass; light: Restoration Hardware; faucet: Toto
The rock mosaic pattern on the shower wall reproduces on the base of the seat. This built-in nook works well for the customer to try on clothes or one day do her nails in, giving the room additional functionality.
Stone mosaic circular medallions dress up the tub walls and complement the Carrara marble vanity counter.
Bathtub: Americh; shower enclosure: custom, Burlingame Glass; floors: Richards and Sterling; bathroom: Toto