Baths of the Year 2020: This and That
The organic and natural nestle next to industrial chic in this year's winner
This year’s winning bathrooms, judged by Ashley Goldman of The Gold Hive, Tatiana Machado-Rosas of Jackson Design & Remodeling, and Linda Medina of Linda Medina Interior Design, are filled with style surprises, including an up-and-coming material rarely seen in this interior space.
The art says, “contemporary.” A stone wall and wood table say, “rustic.” A hammered brushed-nickel trough sink, a metal mirror and faucets with gear-like wheel handles say, “industrial.” Even so, the conversation in this powder bath is not argumentative. Rather, it flows.
“We bought this house 20 years ago; it was a spec house,” Jody Hansen says of her and husband Bruce’s Poway home. “It was custom but all the interior bathrooms were the same—same sinks, same materials, same faucets. It was as though the builder asked himself, ‘What same white things are going to work in every bathroom?’ The powder room didn’t have any personality, so we told Margaret [Margaret Dean of Design Studio West] that we wanted more wow factor and drama and asked her what she could come up with that was different.”
For a small room, Margaret came up with a lot.
She custom designed a mirror with a solid, handmade feel that looks like it could have had a previous life as a gate, window or fireplace screen. A metal blank panel at the mirror’s top makes it asymmetrical, which creates even more of an edge to the design. She added a wall of stone that, directly visible from the hall as you enter the room, conveys the room’s natural feel from the get-go while at the same time showcasing texture. She installed pinpoint LED spotlights to cast a light that skims down the earthy surface enhancing its Tulsa Cream cladding. And she designed a wall-to-wall wood vanity that contains a trough sink, industrial faucets and hidden drawers.
“The vanity top with the dressers, that was a little more challenging than I thought it was going to be,” Margaret says. “I was trying to do invisible drawers, spanning from wall to wall. But what happens when the wood contracts and expands? How do you hang it on the wall? It was 600 pounds for that thing. I had to really plan. It was an interesting process for me and so rewarding.”
The vanity’s unusual color and grain pattern bridged the creaminess of the old floor with the grays in the made-over bathroom. This solved a major design obstacle because removing the flooring was not an option.
“A lot of design decisions went around the sconces,” Jody says. “They are from Ochre in New York. I knew that I needed those sconces in my life at some point and this was the perfect opportunity. They were going in—no matter what. They look like tear drops, and it appears that the light is originating from the very base of the tear drops, but it’s not. I always feel that lighting fixtures are the shoes and purse of the bathroom—the great accessory.”
Margaret melded the couple’s personal aesthetic of divergent elements, fitting all the pieces together to create a harmonious whole.
She, Jody and Bruce couldn’t be happier with the way it all turned out.