crossposting - visual clutter and small bath - trim?

elphaba_gwOctober 6, 2012

Question about design. I would like your opinions about visual clutter in a small bath. I posted this also in the bathroom forum but I think my questions are more about design than about the bathroom itself.

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). Which 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.

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.

What I think I'm coming around to is a decision not to use the pebble tile but to sill have a horizontal strip that consists of the 2X4 subway tiles only. Both large and small tiles are same color/hue, FYI.


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Annie Deighnaugh

When I was reading your post I thought your space was small, (like your knees hit the wall when you sit on the pot) but looking at the plot, it really is a nice size. I would definitely use the pebble trim and if you like it so much, can you use the river rock for the shower floor as well? It looks wonderful and there was a study done awhile back that said walking barefoot on stones reduces blood pressure.

Just make sure you place the trim strips where they will show as they are expensive so you don't want to hide them. Typically you don't have them run along the middle of the room which is what your sketch shows. If you are running them into the shower too, then it's a lot easier for the tiler if the border runs where the fixtures don't connect through the wall.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 8:14AM
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I think it will be beautiful and not busy at all. If you don't do it, you'll regret it forever. In fact, the pebble is perfect for a bathroom.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 8:49AM
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I agree with the designer. A curbless shower with large format tile begs for self control in the other elements of the space. You are looking for zen calmness, barrier free physically and visually.

The pebbles IMHO are too random for the space.

Find a nature photo of a stream with river rock and add the zen that way.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 2:28PM
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It depends on other things as well, but I think this is a very nice use of pebbles as an accent (although there's a lot else I don't care for in this photo). Click for larger image. If you want modern and zen, you don't want borders that are boxed in, for sure.

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

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 2:42PM
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