Friday, March 20, 2009

Divine Bathrooms

I think that I have seen every episode of Divine Design that HGTV has ever aired, and I could safely say that I've seen each of them more than once. In fact, I take an opportunity to rewatch a lot of Candice's shows looking for design ideas and inspiration that I didn't notice the first time around.

During many of Candice's bathroom reno's, I was impressed and in awe, but never took note of the great ideas Olson showed, as I didn't have a bathroom that I was ready to jump into. Now that I am, imagine my elation in finding that HGTV had Candice host her Top 10 Bathrooms! So many great ideas to be had from such a short episode, I had to share some of them with you here.

1. (From Above) notice the panel of wood that matches the cabinetry above the toilet? Candice cut out the area above the toilet, and had this cabinet recessed to provide for toiletry storage. It's flush existence with the wall is a great and clever way to hide those rolls of tissue - AND, ties beautifully into the glass tile. Certainly something that I can think about in my own bath re-do!

Here, in probably what was in one of Candice's most expensive bath reno's, I got a few ideas and saw a few of my own realized beautifully:

1.) The use of tile to create an area rug on the floor is a great way to add an interesting bit of design, that looks completely custom. In my own tiles, I simply used the black and white hex to frame the white hex tiles to get this look, voila, interesting, semi-custom, and so chic!

2.) Curtains. Now, usually this is a place where you see cafe curtains, blinds, or shades ... but Candice went with full length curtains here, and it works. Why? Well the windows here extend to the floor - not something most of us have with curtains in our own bathrooms, and also - the curtains, with their soft folds, work as the perfect juxtaposition against the hard lines of the cabinetry, marble, and glass. Oh so beautiful!

3.) Accessories. Now, here is where we all know that Candice shines. Her ability to put together the best accessories is just amazing. Art, chandeliers, the perfect little bench for rolled towels to perch ... note to self: re think that Asian garden stool.

And here is the same room - at a different angle to establish even more of the accessories notes from above. Beautiful apothecary jars hold sea sponges and soaps, the built in bookcases are actually filled with books, and what better than a television for those long leisurely soaks!

Of course all of the finishes that Candice and her team choose are high-end and absolutely the best. It's hard to imagine spending the amount of money that this bathroom (above) must have cost with the sad state of real estate affairs in my neck of the woods. But it doesn't mean that there aren't inspirational budget options to be had:
1.) White. Nothing says spa-like more than perfectly folded, or loosely rolled white towels. So many of us, at one point or another, thought that those "towels that matched our tile" or the "hand towels that coordinated with the rug" were a good idea. Here Candice shows us that against the wood grain of our cabinetry, white really sends a chic, classic and timeless message.
2.) Finishes. It's so important, in any full fledged re-do, to make sure that your visible finishes coordinate/match. Can you imagine this image if Candice had used an oil rubbed bronze faucet on the tub, and left the chrome finishes on the sinks? Just like cabinetry hardware - switching faucet finishes out to something more modern and matching them consistently around the room - will automatically add that certain panache to your space!

I loved this room for so many reasons. The homeowners were "my people" and the bathroom was just stunning. Candice really played on tones of black, gray, and white here and I can't think of anything that tops the shower/bath room. How cool is that!? So what's to be taken from this great reno?
1.) Keep it simple. Sometimes we can clutter up a space visually with too much going on in the cabinetry detail, the molding of the toilet or sink foot, the tile, the accessories, the colors. This room is a great example of how keeping things simple doesn't mean that they have to be unattractive or outside of that high-end appeal.
2.) Lighting. Oh Chico - what would Candice do without you?! Candice does a great job with lighting - but it's important to note that in this bathroom, and the ones featured above, Candice steps out of the "bathroom lighting" section and puts in real, beautiful sconces and ceiling fixtures that have an appeal so far beyond those available at your local plumbing supply store. So look around the entire showroom when you look for bathroom sconces and ceiling fixtures. No one says you can't hang a chandelier in the middle of the room, or have those beautiful mirrored sconces installed! Go for it!
Now - with that said ... it's an OH SO HAPPY DAY for me, as I've found the perfect alternative to what I had originally found at a bath fixture showroom, in stock, and $300 less than the exact same custom order from Lowes! That speeds up the install and completion of my bath redo tremendously. Also, as things have stalled with the bathroom project until that piece is purchased, I've got my brother on yard duty, helping with the prep for the patio area near the garage.
I'll post updates on all fronts this Monday, you all have a great weekend!