A Better Bath From fixtures to flooring, towels to rugs, design leaders in the LCDQ offer big inspiration for the smallest space.
Like our Kitchen Confidential feature, we wanted to round up the best ideas, inspiration and product to refresh the bath. Whether you are starting from scratch, planning a major renovation or simply freshening the space for spring, consider this your go-to resource to help you realize a beautiful new bath.
The Basics of Bath
Like any big design project, there’s a lot to consider before any hammers fall. We looked to Sherle Wagner International, a premier maker of fittings, fixtures, hardware, lighting and wallpaper, for some savvy tactics. “A well-designed bath begins with a thorough examination of your daily ritual,” says Darrell Dorsey, West Coast Sales Director. This extends to how much counter space you’ll need, what kind of lighting you like, and the balance between storage and style.
When it comes to avoiding pitfalls, Dorsey says don’t cut corners on the foundational pieces. “Don’t skimp on plumbing fittings and lighting,” he advises. “Bathroom remodels are already expensive endeavors, and cutting corners on fittings and lighting saves you little when you consider the overall costs.”
When it comes to selecting materials and design, Sherle Wagner International creates a wide array of looks. Their fixture styles range from classic and timeless to glam and edgy. Finishes abound from polished nickel and antique pewter to satin brass and Flemish patina. Surfaces can be made of marble to onyx to semiprecious materials like Rose Quartz and Malachite. “We have always been about luxurious elegance,” says Dorsey. “We love all of our finishes but our Platinum and Black Pearl finishes are so current, elegant and divine.”
Some trends playing out in 2018 include statement mirrors and lots and lots of texture according to Dorsey. “Rock crystal levers are one of our standout looks and also onyx and rose quartz basins and baths.”
Waterworks has long been the gold (or burnished nickel) standard for chic, timeless bath looks for years. (Just flip through any shelter magazine; their products fill the homes of tastemakers, designers and celebrities.)
Co-Founder and SVP of Design Barbara Sallick shared some or her top tips and design details she’s excited about right now.
“Plan the space very carefully,” Sallick says. “In the bath, everything is attached to the wall or floor and once installed, there is no changing your mind.” She also recommends paying close attention to the faucet, which she calls the “jewelry of the bath.” Sallick advises that you should base it on more than how it looks with the sink. “Make your decision not only on how it looks and feels in your hands,” she says. “But also how it aligns with the design of the space and adjacent spaces.”
What’s a common mistake to avoid? Sallick says layer with caution. “Too many textures and finishes are never a good choice,” she says recommending you save something for the next bath. Admittedly classically oriented, Sallick is less about trends and more about authentic natural beauty. “I am always an advocate for natural stone and handmade ceramics,” she says. “I appreciate materials that are authentic and require no intervention to make them beautiful. No matter what your choices, the space should feel timeless and balanced.”
Restoration Hardware bath collections echo the brand’s commitment to timeless updated classics with a simple, luxurious vibe. For a neutral moderne look, their Graydon Double Vanity takes inspiration from the refinement of 1930s Paris. Clad in rich shagreen-embossed leather, its sumptuous finish is accented with tapered feet capped in metal.
For a master bath with plenty of glam, RH’s Hudson Metal Double Washstand takes it’s cues from the last century to inform an open back sink in marble or quartz with matching storage shelf outlined sleekly in polished nickel, aged steel or aged brass.
Darrell Dorsey sums it all up by saying all of this proper planning, honest expectations and quality finishes will ultimately give you what you deserve “to pamper and surround yourself with beautiful things.”
Tile is back in a big way for the bath and Tabarka Studio, a recent addition to the LCDQ, is creating some of the most stylish tile, stone and hardwood around for the kitchen and bath. From hand-painted tile to textured stone and parquet with brass inlay, your bath look is only limited to your imagination.
Creative Director& Owner Meir Zenati feels the bath is a great place to play with design. “Given the varying surfaces at play in a bathroom, it's a wonderful opportunity to incorporate layers of texture and color,” he says. “A patterned tile can give life to shower walls or your floor, while natural stone or subway tile temper personality and create balance with clean lines. It’s all about choosing where you want to lead the eye and your desired focal point.”
But what to choose? Zenati gave us a few ideas on creating a fresh look that feels current. “Cement is here to stay, it’s a clean crisp favorite among designers and homeowners alike,” he says. Tabarka’s terrazzo cement collections compliment their terracotta and natural stone offerings via a balance of minerality and dimensional color. For making a small space appear larger, Zenati recommends an expansive infinity floor. “It creates a natural flow fusing the lines of the shower door with the rest of the space,” he says. “Patterned cement executes this well, as does natural stone like that of our oversized blue stone brick.”
Looking for a classical or modern stone look? Dimitri Agraphiotis, President of Compas Stone has great ideas for getting it right. “Each stone has its own personality and language that has to be taken into consideration,” he says. “It will impact the final design.” Agraphiotis advises that the light and distribution of elements in the space should tie together the functionality and beauty of the bath.
To help your design stand out, Agraphiotis likes their Nebulous Grey and Breccia Venere, two stones that “take baths away from the current trend of endless generic Calcuttas and white marbles on steroids.” These materials create what he describes as a more tufted and harmonious, natural aesthetic. “It’s more in keeping with the idea of the bath as a personal sanctuary.”
A Bigger Splash
“Baths are often painted white or neutral tones, but they are actually a great space to add color or pattern,” says Erik Runner, Color Consultant and Showroom Manager, Farrow & Ball Melrose Place. “Baths are often smaller and lacking in natural light so people choose to paint them neutral tones in the hope of creating light and space, however this can often create quite a dull space lacking in character.”
Runner likes a bold hue, such as Farrow & Ball’s Hague Blue, Brinjal, or Vardo that create “a dramatic, cocooning look that’s full of character.”
For the coming season, a combination of colors is springing up as well. “It’s not about one color, but two,” says Runner. “This trend reveals a move away from limiting walls to one color or restricting trims to white. We’re also noticing people using wallpaper more freely, which include baths. If you want to get really creative, hang stripes horizontally to make an unexpected statement.”
Let There Be Light
When it comes to lighting options from minimalist to maximalist, it’s hard to beat Remains Lighting. Valerie Thomas, Director of West Coast Operations has great ideas and advice on illuminating the bath space, whether you want a subdued statement or a show-stopping centerpiece. “Both bold or classic chandeliers are sought after statement pieces in the bath,” says Thomas. “Chandeliers like our Janus and Vesta are graceful and sumptuous. Where there is not enough space for a full chandelier, something like our Vesta Flush Mount offers a similarly distinctive focal point.”
The key, according to Thomas is balancing the artful with the practical. “Bath lighting now needs to be a combination of both,” she says. “Well-balanced wall lighting facilitates putting on make-up or a skincare regime. While luxurious decorative fixtures provide a retreat from the daily hustle and bustle. Because there are fewer accessories or furniture in the bath, the quality of the hardware and lighting really comes forward.”
A Softer Side
With all of the hard surfaces in a bath, it’s key to have a plan for the soft goods such as towels, shower curtains, and rugs. Serena & Lily is a natural for these items that can work in a space, classic or preppy to modern and minimalist. Lydia Cullen, PR & Trade Manager shared her tips on selecting accessories.
“In the bath, a little luxury goes a long way,” she says. “This can start with the towels. Our bath towels are loomed from the world’s finest Turkish Cotton.” These are an easy way to elevate the everyday.
Whatever your style, Cullen advises that a great starting point is to go for a look that feels “crisp, clean and airy—a place where you can unwind and relax,” she says.
A perfect example? “The look of our Cotton Percale Shower Curtains achieve this look,” says Cullen. “Our new Oxford Stripe Shower Curtain has classic yarn-dyed stripes to give the sharp material a bit of depth, and a fresh palette to brighten things up a little.”
For 2018 and beyond, Cullen attests that the focus for designers and clients is quality. “From the materials we use to the techniques used to produce them, we’re loving the bigger emphasis on materials, techniques, and attention to detail,” she says. “You want product that is timeless and can live on from season to season.”
It used to be that floor coverings for the bath were limited to small bath rugs that were, well limited. No more. Today, designers are creating styles as chic as the rugs in your bedroom or living spaces.
James Gelini, West Coast Sales Director at Elizabeth Eakins Inc.—known for their effortless, elegant textiles—gave us the lowdown on selecting the right rugs here. “Using real furniture in the bath is a good technique to help elevate the space, and rugs are no exception,” says Gelini. “I recommend using a rug you like that isn’t necessarily a conventional choice for a bathroom.”
When choosing materials, Gelini advises to think about durability as well as design. “We always encourage using natural fiber rugs throughout the home for both their durability and environmental benefits,” he says. “Wool is a great material because it’s naturally water repellent. And cotton rugs feel great under your feet, plus they’re machine washable.”
Making sure the scale is spot on is key. “As with any room, choosing the right size rug is important. If it’s too small, it may feel like a bath mat,” says Gelini. “Too big and it will seem out of place.” His foolproof tip? Use blue painter’s tape to map out the size on the floor before selecting a rug.
For spring 2018 and beyond, Gelini suggests their Tisca Collection, which works in any room including the bath. “There are 26 different weave structures and 96 colors to choose from, so the options are practically endless,” he says.
Color goes a long way in setting the tone for your bath look. “Go with a vibrant color to add some character to the space,” says Gelini. “Or choose a simple neutral for a calm, spa-like atmosphere.” Whether your bath is diminutive or spacious, choices are always good. “There’s no square foot minimum for made-to-order goods, so we can weave the perfect rug for your space no matter what size you need,” says Gelini.
LCDQ Bath Design Address Book
Sherle Wagner International
(Luxury Bath Fittings, Accessories, Hardware, Lighting)
839 N. La Cienega Blvd.
(Faucets, Fittings, Surfaces, Furniture, Lighting, Hardware, Cabinetry)
8431 Melrose Place
Renaissance Design Studio
(Architectural Hardware, Fixtures, Lighting & Millwork)
972 N. La Cienega Blvd.
(Hand-painted Terracotta, Terrazzo Cement, Oak Parquet, Natural Stone)
912 N. La Cienega Blvd.
Farrow & Ball
(Paint and Wallpaper)
8475 Melrose Ave
Elizabeth Eakins Inc.
(Natural Fiber Fine Rugs, Fabric and Wallpaper)
8550 Melrose Ave.
Hollywood at Home
(Fabric, Wallpaper, Rugs, Lighting, Objets d’Art, Ceramics, Lamps)
703 N. La Cienega Blvd.
Serena & Lily Design Shop
(Furniture, Bedding, Rugs, Décor)
8422 Melrose Ave.
(Rare Antique Marbles and French Limestone, Custom Bronze Faucetry)
845 N. La Cienega Blvd.
(Furniture, Lighting, Fabric)
822 N. La Cienega Blvd.
Lighting, Furniture & Accessories)
8620 Melrose Ave.
(Custom, Made-To-Order and Antique Lighting)
808 N La Cienega Blvd
(Hardware, Furniture, Lighting, Textiles, Rugs)
8564 Melrose Ave.
(Faucets and Fittings, Surfaces, Lighting, Hardware, Cabinetry)
8431 Melrose Place
Design Within Reach
8612 Melrose Ave.