How We’re Designing the Upstairs Guest Bathroom in the Mountain Fixer
We are closing in on the finish line for the mountain house bathroom design plans. As expected, we ran out of time and had to order materials for this one, so there is no I Design, You Decide for the upstairs guest bath, but the good news is that I feel very confident in this design. This bathroom was designed while I was installing the Portland house and I gave the art direction to Julie on my design team and she executed a GREAT design. Let’s break it down.
This room had a massive closet, so big it made you uncomfortable and everyone who walked in said “Wait, why?” Originally, we made this a powder bath with a walk-in closet so it could be a guest suite, but then you guys suggested we make it a full en-suite with a shower. As someone who loves using pretentious words like “en suite,” I said “weee” and gave it a big thumbs up.
As a reminder, here is where this lady lives in the house. It’s on the second floor, behind the kid’s bath…
Originally, it was a huge 5′ 6″ x 9′ 6″ closet, but we decided to give the bedroom a reach-in closet and instead make this a full bathroom. We love our friends that much.
We put in a pocket door as you can see and installed a new window in the shower because I want as much natural light as possible at all times.
For materials, we created a new version of the refined-rustic-California-cabin-Scandi-chalet-contemporary insanity that the rest of the house is now attempting to reference (which we love). We have a mix of leathered stone, black wood, handmade tile in a matte finish and brass.
Kohler’s black Purist might be my favorite line and finish. It’s really a “can’t go wrong.” I think that if your home leans more modern but with a classic twist, you can trust this faucet. I’ve had it in brushed gold, polished gold and now the matte black.
The vanity has this “I’m country but modern” feeling that felt charming for the cabin vibe but we are modernizing with the faucets. I think this combination is actually what will make this bathroom full of good tension.
All those elements get thrown into the bathroom like this:
The overhead shows the layout and, of course, that gorgeous floor that I now want EVERYWHERE. The reason we have that cabinet is that the DTV Prompt‘s panel (more on that in a sec) and components need to be housed somewhere so we are installing that to give it a home and create some extra storage.
We used a 1″x8″ matte white tile from Pratt & Larson, the Portland-based company we used throughout the Portland project. We love a good skinny tile and Julie created a pattern that we have now dubbed “The double stacked staggered.” Since the size of the tile leans more modern to help balance it out and bring a more traditional feel, we double stacked then staggered it (get it?) to give a new twist on the classic subway tile. We’re wrapping up a post for later this week all about subway tile patterns, installations and what works best where, but this kept things a bit more modern here.
We kept the orientation of the tile vertical everywhere except the niche ledge wall to break up the pattern a bit and give some subtle interest. In the shower, we wanted to do a new take on the niche (possible future post coming soon) and were inspired by some of the boutique hotels using a ledge instead of the standard inset box. By doing this, we had to move the glass for the shower six inches more for code which came a bit closer to the vanity than we had originally planned on.
Since the glass was now closer to the vanity edge, we opted for a pendant instead of sconces on either side so we could still have a properly sized mirror and we fell in love with the Brass T Pendant from Allied Maker. It is so simple and yet so gorgeous, I mean look at her, c’mon.
To help soften up the space, we added some black leather pulls (with brass detailing, like these from Etsy) to Kohler’s Tresham vanity (which we’ve used numerous times in this project and we love because the interior is customizable and the design works so well with so many styles). There are a lot of straight lines in this space, between the tile, vanity, countertop, etc. so we threw a circle mirror over the vanity—it’s all about mixing those shapes. The material on the mirror is still TBD but will probably be wood or brass.
For right now, the plan is to do a single panel glass with a black metal frame for the shower. Although I have been warned by my contractor, several times in fact, that people always complain about how cold they are and if that is the case we can add a door to it down the road. But that’s why we have the DTV Prompt in this bathroom, which is SUCH a cool system by Kohler. Here are some of its highlights:
You can set the exact water temperature you want (this is particularly helpful for kids so the temps are kept a little lower to prevent scalding). Also, we did a little research, and evidently, the ideal bathing temperature for healthy adults is about 112 degrees Fahrenheit. That makes the water hot enough to wash away dirt and bacteria, but not so hot that you’re damaging the outer layer of your skin. So if you’re a rule follower, you can set the DTV Prompt to 112 every time and shower knowing you’re not unknowingly boiling yourself.
It has a “warm-up” mode that pauses the flow of water when it hits your programmed temperature and then lets you know when the shower is ready. In a state like California where water conservation is ALWAYS a concern, this is huge. It also has a “pause” mode in case for whatever reason you need to run out of the shower for a minute (well, two, because that’s the max it’ll pause the water and hold your water temp steady) to grab a new bottle of shampoo or whatnot.
This one goes out to anyone who has a house of LONG shower-ers…there’s a countdown mode that you can set how long someone showers, which works well to manage water use and time. Set that timer for five minutes (or whatever feels best for your family) and that’s that. Oh, and if you have a hard time getting going in the morning and have ever half fallen asleep in the shower only to be jerked awake by your sudden thought of OMG WHAT TIME IS IT, I’M LATE, this might also be your best friend/save your job. Gotta get out of the shower by 8:06 am to hit the rest of your morning time benchmarks? The DTV Prompt’s got your clock-watching back.
Back to that cabinet that covers up the DTV Prompt panel (the digital readout unit itself is actually quite sleek at about 3″ wide by 7.75″ tall by 0.75″ deep, but we had to cover the mechanism). You might be thinking why not keep that white so it doesn’t stand out as much? Well, good question, but we think the black helps to tie it together with all of those beautiful Purist fixtures in the space.
Julie designed this cabinet to hide the DTV components but I also love the additional storage and while the exact finishes might change, the overall design is perfect and I think adds a lot to the room.
For this one, there is no “deciding” because well, we had to a few weeks ago in order to not push the entire project back.
But I’d love to hear your thoughts. Do you believe in a “double stacked stagger?” and how do you feel about us changing the orientation of the tile? I personally think it’s a really safe but interesting risk. Since it’s in the same color and tile, just a tweak of the direction is not something that screams 2018.
As always let us know your thoughts, comments and concerns in the comments. xx
*This post is in partnership with Kohler but all words, designs and selections are our own. Thanks for supporting the brands we love that support the blog.