Need opinions about visual cutter and horrizontal trim/strip

elphaba_gwOctober 5, 2012

Question about design. I would like your opinions about visual clutter in a small bath.

My bathroom being remodeled is fairly small. It is 84 sq ft if you exclude the footprint for the washer/dryer stack which I think will be included inside the bathroom (with loover door on front). Also, 84 sq ft includes a relatively large 5X5 curbless shower which dominates. This room is the hall bath in a small house (1900 sq ft).

So...I talked to a designer recently who I paid on an hourly basis. I found her very good at helping me make decisions and also at making me aware of some options I hadn't thought of. It didn't surprise me that she is encouraging me to think about minimal "visual clutter" because of the small space. She agrees that there should be good design of course but limits should be maintained regarding number of colors used and amount of extraneous trim.

This last part about the trim is what I'm struggling with. She likes my simple neutral 12X24 gold calacatta porcelain tile for most of the wall (i.e. field tile to the ceiling). She likes the taupe porcelain plank tile I have chosen for the floor. She doesn't like the horizontal trim I was thinking about that would be a 14 inch wide horizontal strip around the walls of the room. The strip was going to be created by layering together 6 inches of 2X4 calacatta porcelain tile sandwiched between 4 inch layers of pebble tile. All very neutral. No color contrasts.

Problem is I LOVE the pebble tile. When I put together the few pieces I have to form this trim, I think it is gorgeous. (Of course this doesn't take into account the grout that will be a significant part of the pebble tile installation).

One of the options she has suggested is a shower door that is frosted/etched with some kind of simple artistic motif. I REALLY REALLY like the idea and have been comimg up with symplified drawings of a tree, etc. for the motif. She said it won't be very expensive.

But problem is that the horizontal pebble trim and the shower door with an etching seem like they will create a lot of visual clutter together.

Final info is that the bathroom will have a fairly contemporary, (almost) minimalist style with a wall mounted toilet, and wall mounted vanity (5 ft with light beech stain). I haven't decided about countertop color. But contemporary style means it won't blend in with the rest of house very well since house is 75 years old and mostly has an eclectic style but some modern West Elm furnitur and some vintage.

So I was thinking maybe the visual clutter of the pebble tile would be a good thing by breaking up some of the minimalism and make it more eclectic?.

My main concern is the fact that I LOVE the pebble tile, it speaks to me. I don't want to regret not using something I love (which doesn't happen that often).

See diagrams for whole bathroom and my sketch of what a basic wall would look like (apologize quality of diagram is poor). Most of the walls will have medicine cabinets or niches or shower fixtures or a window.


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For me this feature would be too large for the room. It also creates a situation where you have a sliver of field tile at the ceiling. A lot of it will also get lost behind a patterned shower door, behind the vanity mirror, etc. I think your designer is correct. What if you did a band of it on the shower floor or something?

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 1:29PM
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That is what I was thinking... go to the floor. To me, pebble tile belongs on the floor anyway.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 3:19PM
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The problem with those trim strips is that they slice the room in half, interrupt the visual flow and unless you have a large bathroom they make the room look tiny. Even if they are similar tones, you have floor, wall, pebble and small marble all in that tiny space.

If you are gonzo over the pebble tile, how about a VERTICAL panel of it behind the shower controls, about 2 feet wide and floor to ceiling, and maybe run it down onto the floor a bit.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 5:03PM
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Yes, I had posted this in your thread in the decor forum. I'd like this better if the shower pebble and the wall pebble were the same colors, but I agree with the others that the fenced in horizontal pebbles are the opposite of zen:

Tropical Bathroom design by Orange County Interior Designer Grace Blu Designs, Inc.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 5:27PM
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I love the "tile scarf" look - a vertical stripe running ceiling to floor - or else a framed "picture" of tile. I'd put it on the wall next to the toilet, opposite the sink, and maybe make it two feet wide. A wide stripe will give you plenty of glorious pebble tile - you'll be able to see the pattern - and it will reflect in the mirror as an attractive backdrop. I wouldn't put it in the shower, because I wouldn't want to rub up against it (or have to clean it so often!).

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 6:49PM
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