Bathrooms and powder rooms have undergone extreme makeovers.
Function, technology and design have married. The new bathroom is comfortable, luxurious and stylish. The powder room has become a space to make a strong statement. Think sculptural tubs for soaking, ceramic tile with texture or the look of exquisite stone, artistic sinks and hardware that looks like fine jewelry.
Come with us and see what South Florida designers have done to create perfect bathrooms and powder rooms.
The Big Bathroom
Many of us dream of a big bathroom with plenty of room for storage, a large shower and a soaking tub, but making a large space look elegant can be a challenge unless the designer adds architectural magic.
Marc Thee, a member of Architectural Digest’s Top 100 designers and architects, transformed a 365-square-foot rectangular bathroom in east Boca Raton into a feminine, graceful oval with ceiling coffers that follow the redesigned shape of the room. The custom door and cabinets are radius cut to follow the oval shape.
The oval theme was repeated in the nickel sconces, the ottoman, details on the cabinetry and the windows Thee created on either side of the soaking tub.
“When you have such a strong architectural detail, we look to repeat it,” he says. “It is the hook, the repetition in a subtle way. People don’t know why the space feels good. It makes everything cohesive and adds to the flow and adds to the relaxation factor.”
Safe Children’s Bathrooms
Designers have a lot more freedom to be whimsical in a child’s bathroom, but it has to be safe as well as user friendly.
Kendall Marcelle, a Dania Beach designer, kept these aspects in mind when she enlarged a bathroom for girls ages three, five, seven and nine in a Hallandale Beach home. The counter was dropped for easier access and to accommodate a 44-inch trough sink. The girls love butterflies and Marcelle carried the theme from the sconces to the hand-painted images on the walls.
The sink is acrylic and there is plenty of room for them to wash together. The countertop is quartz and the pair of brushed faucets is chrome so mom doesn’t have to worry about water spots. Tile floors are non-skid.
“Practicality is important for the kids,” she says. “They are always at the sink and always leaving water around the sinks. You have to make it kid friendly and the materials have to be conducive to their water needs.”
Perfect Powder Rooms
Even if you don’t want to makeover your master bath just yet, the powder room is a good place to experiment with new materials.
“They are small spaces that are meant to be shown to visitors,” says Coral Gables designer Jennifer Corredor. “You want to make sure they make a statement. They are small spaces and you want the illusion of making everything look larger than it is without too much clutter.”
One of her creative spaces is a powder room on Williams Island. An oval mirror is perched above a space-saving glass cylindrical sink from Vitra lighted by an overhead high hat and a fixture by Philippe Starck for FLOS. A door with a frosted glass panel allows additional light into the room. A granite wall provides drama and is echoed by a granite circular inset on the tile floor.
A powder room she designed in Bal Harbour features a wedge-like sink from Hastings and a Philippe Starck faucet. The walls are clad with glass pebbles and white mosaic tiles.
“My advice is always about space in a powder room,” she says. “Try to use colors and tones that are light to make it appear more open.”
Designers have more interesting choices with bathtubs that look like sculptures and ceramic walls that have three-dimensional artistic affects.
Certified kitchen designer Andrew Fischman used an egg-shaped Aquabrass soaking tub and a wave wall created by large format 3-D tile from Porcelanosa in a master bathroom in Coral Ridge.
“When you find something like this tile, it becomes an inspiration piece,” he says. “It becomes the main focus and you adapt around it.”
Fischman says soaking tubs are becoming more popular as clients seek tranquility in a bathroom that noisy whirlpool jets don’t provide. But more emphasis is also being placed on luxury showers. An Aging in Place Specialist, he designed this shower as barrier free to allow older people easier access.
Kathryn Carbone, a Delray Beach designer, also used 3-D porcelain tile from Porcelanosa in the powder room of a Boca Raton oceanfront condo. More glam comes from a frosted vessel sink from Ronbow and jewelry like drawer pulls encrusted with Swarovski crystals from Miller’s Fine Decorative Hardware.
“They wanted a very clean modern look, but she also wanted to have her glamour moments that she could show off to friends,” Carbone says.
The 10-by-16 foot master bathroom also includes other trends such as the overhead rain shower with LED lighting, deep drawer storage and a clean spa look.
“When your space feels very clean, your mind is clear,” she says. “It gives you an ability to think and be more open to new ideas. Too much stuff clutters the mind.”
HOW TO GET THE LOOK AT HOME
By Charlyne Varkonyi Schaub
SELECTING OPTIONS FOR A BATHROOM DESIGN CAN BE CONFUSING UNLESS YOU DO SOME RESEARCH TO NARROW YOUR CHOICES. HERE ARE SOME TO CONSIDER.
Gone are the days when a vanity had to be a simple wood or laminate cabinet. These days the offerings are as elegant as a fine piece of furniture, such as this Santa Cruz vanity with matching three-panel mirror. It features a single basin console with chrome plated base and glass shelf, two operable doors of American maple and a quartz top. Faucets and hardware are separate. Suggested retail is $4,648 for the vanity and $699 for the mirror. Available at Allied Kitchen & Bath, 616 W. Oakland Park Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, 954-564-1611, alliedkitchenandbath.com.
One of the popular options in upscale bathrooms is the sculptural soaking tub. This iconic Sabbia tub designed by Naoto Fukasawa fits the trend perfectly. It is constructed of Cristalplant, a solid surface material that is non-porous and easy to clean. Suggested retail is $12,665. Available at Boffi Studio Miami, 3800 NE Second Ave., Miami, 305-571-8216, boffistudiomiami.com.
One of the best ways to enhance a bathroom is with beautiful glass tiles to accent a single wall. Margot, a jewel glass water jet mosaic designed by Sara Baldwin for New Ravenna Mosaics, is created in a leaf pattern that fits perfectly into South Florida’s tropical style. Installations are custom. Available at Ceramic Matrix, 3308 W. 45th St., West Palm Beach, 561-681-6810, and 1250 Wallace Drive Suite N, Delray Beach, 561-353-1449; Earth Elements, 3000 N. Federal Highway, Suite 10, Fort Lauderdale, 954-990-8017, ceramicmatrix.com.
There is no limit to the glam factor, especially in powder rooms, where guests are sure to visit even if you don’t do house tours. Lalique, a company known for its sculpture of fine crystal, has teamed with atelier THG to create crystal bath fixtures. Papillon’s features two elegant butterflies (starting at $6,259). Naiade plays delicate crystal images of a mythical woman against gold finished handles (starting at $4,645). Available at Next Plumbing Supply, 1839 Old Okeechobee Road, West Palm Beach, 561-689-9060, 15751 SW 41 St., Suite 800., Davie, 954-217-8200 and 710 S. Powerline Road Suite A, Deerfield Beach, 954-421-3212, nextps.com; Farrey’s Lighting & Bath, 1850 NE 146th St., North Miami, 305-947-5451, farreys.com.
Hardware has become more decorative over the years, but Edgar Berebi has taken the category to a level worthy of Tiffany’s. The collection deserves the moniker “jewelry for the home.” Each piece is created in 24-kt. gold plate or burnished silver. Some, like the Waldorf Collection shown here, are also encrusted with Swarovski crystals. Can you imagine these as earrings and bracelets? Prices upon request. Available at Allied Kitchen & Bath, 616 W. Oakland Park Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, 954-564-1611, alliedkitchenandbath.com.
The Aqua Décor Estrella Pedestal sink features a rectangular pedestal design with a Euro-style finish and a single-hole faucet. The high-gloss acrylic construction is waterproof, anti-aging and easy to clean. The vanity with coordinating mirror is $799 at Bath Trends, 355 W. Oakland Park Blvd., Wilton Manors, 954-533-5176, bathtrendsusa.com.