In any successful relationship, you have to go down a long winding road with many twists and turns, uncertainties of which path to take, and various ups and downs before you feel ready to settle down and live happily ever after. But when it’s right, you’ll know and you’ll fit together like two puzzle pieces. Or like two peas in a pod. If you read my first post about how to find your perfect bathroom match, you’ll understand this analogy (yes, that means go back here and read!).
So last time, I showed you the ugliest bathroom in the world. And pretty much, you all agreed that it really doesn’t get much worse. People have tried to show me pink flamingo wallpaper or avocado green tile…but no one has topped our black, mauve, and army green mosaic floor with the etched glass shower door. In case you need a refresher, here you go!
We had a lot of problems to solve in the original bathroom: it was dark, it was cramped, the proportions were off everywhere, and we were dealing with a black toilet. With the help of Lynn, our Kohler designer from Kohler Bathroom Design Services, we fixed every one of those problems. Lynn recommended that we write a list of what was and wasn’t working, so we knew what to address in our meeting. (As you can guess, there wasn’t much that WAS working, so it was a long list of grievances!) And now, friends, we are living in Shangrila! Every time I go to take a shower or brush my teeth, I feel like I’m in a fancy hotel (sans the tray of mini toiletries).
The convenience of the design video meetings meant that Michael and I could be in our respective offices – so it was really easy to meet. We could describe and collaborate easily about our bathroom design needs and then balance the solution and potentially the trade offs with our project budget.
When Lynn shared the photorealistic renderings, it was like being transported into a future version of our bathroom. It made our final choices so easy – we were able to tweak little things to really get a great sense of how it would feel IRL.Plus it made it really easy to communicate the final vision to our contractor.
Are you ready to take a look-see? Let’s take a little tour, shall we?
When designing a tiny bathroom with a sliver of a window, the last thing you do is build a dark shower chamber and line the walls and floor in black tile. We knocked out that closed-in shower (in the previous owner’s defense, he built a steam shower in the early aughts when the norm was to make a boxed-in shower room), and that immediately made the bathroom breathe. Even in this messy, construction zone, I could already see the change.
STEAM SHOWERS ARE AMAZING!
Since the bathroom is small by architectural standards, we decided to do away with the tub and create a more elongated stand-up shower…but adding a steam feature (thus the luxury hotel feel). Here’s my favorite feature of the steam unit: there is a little port in the steam valve that allows you to drop in essential oils, so if you have a cold and want a eucalyptus steam, it’s so easy to attain. When you build a steam shower, you have to tile the ceiling (this was new to me, but made total sense) because of the moisture. You also have to enclose the entire shower very tightly to trap the steam in. When we had our frameless glass walls and door built, we designed a vented window so the steam could release.
It’s amazing that our shower is still about the same size in width as it was, but the fact that it’s a glass wall from floor to ceiling made all the difference in how it feels while inside. Our design consultant helped us place all of the pieces of the shower to make it as elegant and streamlined as possible. I knew I wanted the WaterTiles (the horizontal shower jets) for days when I don’t wash my hair.
Lynn introduced us to the DTV+, a digital showering system. It’s amazing…each family member can have his or her own profile with their target shower temperature already set. My 9-year-old son Oliver loves a 106 degree shower, while my 7-year-old daughter Sommer hovers around 98 degrees. My shower is set to use wall jets, while my husband’s is just the overhead. The digital interface tells you when the shower has reached your temperature so you will never hop into a freezing cold shower again!
WE LOVE OUR TOILET!
Moving counter-clockwise, let’s take a look at the toilet. We indulged and got the Veil intelligent toilet. From the outside, it looks like a regular toilet; but regular it is not! It’s the envy of all of our friends, and the entertainment of every child that visits our home! Aside from the fancy bidet features and the seat warmer (I never knew how much I wanted this), its slim and stream-lined design fits so perfectly in this tight spot. The tankless design allows it to recede from focus, but once you walk up to it, it sure grabs your attention. The lid raises as you approach, it flushes as you walk away, and at night, it has a light so you don’t have to disturb your slumbery bathroom visit.
When it came to adding light fixtures, Lynn suggested flush mounts for the ceiling in a line down the length of the bathroom, and sconces on either side of the mirror. As hard as we searched, we never found any that we loved more than the ones she chose for us…the Precision Cylinder Sconces from Circa Lighting, and the matching flush mounts. The fixture finish matched the Kohler fixtures beautifully!
VANITIES, MIRRORS, AND SINKS…OH MY!
Our sink area got so much more spacious because we were able to elongate the bathroom a smidge by bringing the door out into our hallway about 18” (we couldn’t widen the room without having to redo the plumbing or cutting into our living room). We wanted to add a little warmth into the design with some natural wood tones, so we opted for the Jute Vanity in the Walnut Flax finish. The vanity has a power strip inside, so we can charge toothbrushes, razors, and plug in any hairstyling tools that we need. We have plenty of drawer and cabinet space because we have so much space in our Catalan medicine cabinet. It’s mirrored both inside and out, and has adjustable shelves that hold all of our products.
Since space is at a premium, Lynn suggested that we mount the Purist faucet and handles to the wall, which never would have occurred to me. We kept our sink on the smaller side also to maximize counter space.
Bathrooms can be tricky spaces to design, and using the Kohler Bathroom Design Service was such a great use of our time and money. I can firmly say that we have a match made in heaven!