Saturday, January 11, 2014

Bath Tubs Are Out - Sort Of

The New York Times reports that Houzz did a survey about the hottest bathroom trends. The title in the Times is "The Rubber Ducky Has Hit the Road".

Wet rooms are being requested more and more - the tub is actually inside a shower or wet room within the bathroom

Houzz reports:
• More than four in ten leaving a tub out of the master
• Homeowners split on privacy for the throne
• Rain showers skew young, hand showers skew older
• Frameless glass is the clear choice
• Loving light from skylights to LED shower heads
• It’s all about the upgrades

Just the shower please - no tubs allowed

I said I never wanted to do bathrooms or kitchen for my clients. I said I just love to do the pretties ha ha. But I just finished a major bathroom project involving combining two bathrooms, and turning the old master bedroom into a dressing room, and creating a new master bedroom and connecting hallway.

White marble rules the day

The bathroom has all the bells and whistles noted by Houzz. It was definitely a tough love learning experience for me, and my clients were patient and took the journey with me. My contractor did a 99% great job. He came in on budget. but the project took way longer to execute. And a few minor finishing touches are still being remedied. All in all I am proud of the job, and the clients are very, very happy.

Bath design by Valorie Hart - This is a phone pic of the first shower and bathroom I ever did for a client - The glass doors were not installed when I took the photo

So now I am doing three bathrooms at once. A powder room and master bath for one client, and the master bathroom for another. Both are "soft" renovations, as opposed to the total gut job I did as a bathroom design virgin, though there is plenty of demolition work going on in the current projects.

Another shower instead of a tub

Jeff Lewis has both tub and shower

Jeff Lewis shower

The first client with just the master bath renovation (they have a second bath that will get done later on) had me remove the dated jetted tub and put in a large shower.  I am keeping the vanity, having it painted, and adding a new marble top, with two new sinks and faucets. A new wood floor is being done in the adjoining master bedroom and walk in closet (replacing worn dated dirty wall-to-wall carpet), that will continue into the master bath. Besides the bathroom, I am doing a soft renovation in the kitchen (new back splash, new counter tops, paint, new sink and sink base cabinet, replacing dated dishwasher and refrigerator with some nice second hand finds, and I removed an island that was ugly and did not work in the space).

A shower and a freestanding tub are luxe - I love this old claw foot tub and the wood floor

The second client with the two bathrooms, is enlarging and updating the shower. We ripped out a fiberglass shower and a 1990's jetted tub in the master bathroom. They have opted to also do a beautiful freestanding tub. This bathroom will have a short privacy wall separating the throne, and again the vanity is being saved and painted, and updated with a marble top, new sinks, and faucets. A hideous soffit light above the sink has been removed, along with the glued on mirror. Sidelights and antique mirrors will be added instead. The floor is wood and original to the house, and will remain. This bathroom has a skylight.

Another old claw foot tub - Love the over-the-top chandelier

Classic subway tile with gray grout, black tub, wood floor, and  note brass fixtures are hot again

The second client has also a powder room that is getting new sink and toilet, a new mirror and side lights, and a paint job. Both homes have just been purchased, and I am doing this work before the home owners move in. I will be doing up the whole house for both clients, including repainting the entire house and selecting furnishings, etc.

I love this Henna Lyons bathroom, mainly for the old herringbone wood floor, and  the beautiful photograph by Melanie Acevedo

The second client is doing an entire first floor renovation that includes moving a kitchen, putting in new floors throughout an entire first floor, and yes doing over another bathroom! I am trying to get their second floor move-in ready, as they are not opposed to living upstairs in the house while the first floor renovation takes place. We are painting the entire 3500 square foot house, and furnishing it too.

So what do you think? Are you replacing your tub with a snazzy shower? Or do you have room for both?

The NY Times in the Market Ready column also had a realtor and architect weigh in on the subject in case you are thinking of upgrading to sell your house:
Q. Would our master bathroom be more appealing to buyers if it had a tub that was separate from the shower?
A. A bathroom with a separate tub and shower usually communicates one thing: “luxury,” said Patty La Rocco, an associate real estate broker at Town Residential in New York. That’s because “it indicates someone spent more time and money on the details,” she explained, resulting in a higher-end look. And that’s a good thing when you’re selling your home, she said, because “people will pay more for luxury.” The only exception “would be if you really don’t have the space for it.”

All marble bathroom from Veranda Magazine

When all my projects are done, I'll share photos and tips and shopping sources, and contractors too.
In the meantime I want to thank fellow designer Donna Russell for encouraging me to take the proverbial plunge into doing bathrooms.,and I want to thank those first special clients for appreciating and understanding the learning curve.

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  1. GORGEOUS! Capital G GORGEOUS!!! Linda of the WB

  2. are busy! I think it would be a blast to design kitchens and bathrooms and I'm sure you are doing a wonderful job. I like the sneak peek you gave us. Very pretty. I like a bathtub in a bathroom but I have taken 0 baths in the last 40 years...I bet...maybe longer. I like a shower....I always have...I just feel way cleaner. So....I could live without a bathtub easily.

    My masterbath is small and has a tub shower combo. I however use the smaller even still guest shower...cause its more convenient. I have totally thought about redoing my master bath making it way nicer and bigger but it would involve taking out two closets...which could be done but then I'd have one closet in the house. 1...that is 1 closet....that does not seem doable. But oh...I'd love a bigger bathroom! Loved all these examples. I can't wait to see the results of all your work. HOpe you are taking lots of pics for a future book!

  3. Valorie, this is so interesting, and definitely let us see more of what you're doing. I love your work!

  4. Can't wait to see the finished projects. So glad you are staying busy with some interesting projects. Kitchens and baths are hard ones and a designer very specifically needs to understand a bit about construction unlike doing a living room and concentrating on beautiful furnishings and fabrics. I am certain that you are up to the task and your projects will be beautiful.

  5. Great bathrooms are my weakness and there are definitely some awesome ones on here I need to add to my pinterest collection. By the way is your doggie a Cavalier? We have 2, they are the best!


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