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Kitchen, Bedroom and Bathroom Design
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Cornwall Bathroom Design Ideas
 
It's the little things that make a bathroom great.
 

Bathrooms are busy little places. Unless you live on the space shuttle, you won't find a density of fixtures, wires or plumbing anywhere in your house. Bathrooms must also reconcile contradictory design elements. They should be as waterproof as a changing room, yet be as comfortable as a living room. These basic requirements can make a tall order for any designer.

Fortunately, bathroom design can be exceptional. Bathrooms can cost a lot, but with a bit of thought and less money, you still should be able to get a good bathroom. To find some ideas, I took an unscientific survey among architects, designers and builders. The results are mixed regarding cost, but I hope all these projects give you food for thought for your next bathroom project.

SHOWERS WITHOUT BOUNDARIES

When clients requested a shower without a curb and a door, Elliott and Elliott had to work out details that would confine water. A well drained floor with a substantial pitch is the cornerstone of the design (photo right). A fixed 9 ft by 4 ft screen of acid-etched tempered glass blocks the spray. The shower's interior walls are covered with 1 and a quarter inch thick granite. Without a full enclosure, the shower throws small amounts of water on to the floor, but usually no more than a normal shower.

  Bathroom-Design-Cornwall
 
Cornwall Estate Agent
 

CONTINUOUS BACKSPLASH

Without careful detailing, small bathrooms can seem cramped. One way to make a small room seem larger is to make the eye move around the room. To give a half-bath some visual interest, Sarah Susanka came up with an idea that extends the lines of the countertop backsplash around the room, much like a chair rail (photo right). Although made of tile in this example, the backsplash can be made of wood. This continuous line around the room is an effective means of breaking up a space; the room is divided visually into into upper and lower halves, an arrangement that lends itself to contrasting paint or material schemes.

  Bathroom-Design-Cornwall
 

A SLATE TOWER OF SHOWER

When the great wide open calls, you have to go there. Or factor it into the design. The owners of this house spent a good deal of time in the outdoor showers on Hawaiian holidays and liked the feeling of openness. When it came time to remodel their master bathroom, they asked Linder Jones to incorporate this feel.

The shower monolith (photo below) is covered with 1 and a half inch thick slate over a plywood box bolted to the floor. Knee walls of concrete and glass block on each side of the shower keep the splash factor to a minimum. Custom doors by BZ Design, open to a private garden.

 
Kitchen-Design-Cornwall
 
Kitchen-Design-Cornwall
 

WATER PACE FIREPLACE

During a extensive remodelling of a farm house, the architects were transforming the study into a bathroom and the existing bathroom into a walk-in wardrobe. The study's fireplace was in the middle of the wall and would be expensive to remove. A pain to cover the fireplace was discarded, so they decided to incorporate it into the new bathroom (photo above). In addition to a new tile border, the architects had an artist paint a design onto the wall above the fireplace.

 

CUSTOM SINKS

WC's are often small because they need only contain a toilet and a sink. The choice of toilets is fairly limited, so any leeway in design comes from the choice of sinks. If you can find someone to make a sink, you have even more choice (photo right). Boston metal smith Henry Miller designed and produced this small stainless steel sink that also saves space with an integrated towel rack.

  Bathroom-Design-Cornwall
 
Cornwall Estate Agent
 

CUSTOM MEDICINE CABINETS

Medicine cabinets that match the trim details of a bathroom are often overlooked in houses. David Edrington rights that wrong in a number of different ways. In this house, for example, he used the chair rail on top of the wainscot as the bottom of the medicine cabinet (photo right), giving it a window-stool-like appearance. The frame and panel door has a mirror for a panel, which is protected from behind with a piece of white plastic laminate. The doorknob matches those on the other bathroom cabinets, and the 1 X 4 trim around the cabinet is the same as that bordering the door to the room. Note the nickel plated butterfly hinges. Small butt hinges would have worked just as well here, but they would have seemed out of place.

  Bathroom-Design-Cornwall
 

SHOWER ENCLOSURE WINDOW

Showers can be dark and dismal as a cave. In-shower light fixtures are fine, but there's nothing like natural light, at least according to architect Keith Moskow. His solution to the problem was to install a window in the shower wall. Although he typically places the window in the exterior for the view, he used a small window in the interior wall of his own bathroom (photo right) for the same effect.

But what about water damage to the window? Moskow's shower window is a fixed light that is reversed; the side meant to be exposed to the exterior is facing the inside of the shower. Moskow has also had good luck using casement windows with sills reconfigured to a 1-in12 pitch. It's also advisable to use exterior grade paint and / or clear varnish to protect the wood.

  Bathroom-Design-Cornwall
 

A TOWEL RAIL AT THE EDGE OF A WINDOWSILL

In the midst of building a house, John Abram's and a business partner were designing fixtures and realised there wasn't much room for towel bars in the bathroom. One likely place was below the window, but the placement was too low. As they were looking into the room, job foreman Billy Dillon passed by and said, "We can just make the sill wider and cut a slot in it for the towels." As it turns out, the solution was nearly as easy as he made it sound. They widened the sill to extend 3 and a half inches beyond the casing and cut a 2 inch wide slot in it (photo right). Screws concealed by plugs at each end of the sill keep the ends from cracking at the weak points.

  Bathroom-Design-Cornwall
 

A VANITY THAT FITS THE SPACE

Because this powder room is narrow, Stephen Bobbitt originally chose a pedestal sink. But that meant less storage. Also, the clients were keen on using a custom-painted sink bowl. Instead, Bobbitt designed a cabinet with a shallow 18 inch depth and a curved front that takes up less room than a standard vanity (photo right). The pilaster motif and the slate tile top are details drawn from cabinets in the nearby kitchen.

  Bathroom-Design-Cornwall
 
Cornwall Estate Agent
 

A HIDDEN SOURCE OF AMBIENT LIGHT

One of the hardest things to do is light a bathroom. Sometimes you need a lot of light, but sometimes you only want enough to navigate a path to the toilet. You certainly don't want to get into a staring contest with a light fixture at 3 am. While house-hunting, Nancy saw a detail (photo right) that solved a handful of problems all at once.

In a small bathroom with a cathedral, partition walls separate the toilet, shower and sink vanity. A 4 ft long fluorescent fixture mounted atop each wall is high enough to be hidden from view but bright enough to cast good ambient light over the room. Equipped with a daylight-balanced fluorescent lamp, the fixture is economical to operate and casts a warm coloured light.

  Bathroom-Design-Cornwall
 
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