Forget loud, overworked and oversized. This modestly sized Millcreek bathroom proves clean design and simple details can soak a space in calm, comforting and ultra-cool style.
By Brad Mee, Photos by Scot Zimmerman
When architect Warren Lloyd describes this modestly sized master bathroom as quiet, he doesn’t mean it’s silent. He’s referring to the space’s absence of clutter, its lack of excessive space and dearth of unnecessary detail.
“A quiet room calms you visually and emotionally,” he says. That’s exactly the effect the bathroom has on its owners who relish its thoughtful mix of simplicity and style.
With its ideal eastern orientation and elevated, slot-like windows, this Millcreek-area bathroom is awash in cheery morning light and soft natural light throughout the day. “The windows are unconventionally high, offering plenty of light and views of the mountains without sacrificing privacy or requiring blinds or window coverings,” Lloyd explains.
He and interior designer Susan Taggart made the most of the light using a palette of calming classic marble and cool blue accent tile. “The space resonates with people because it’s clean, simple and more interesting than plain-white subway tile,” he says.
Glass and reflective finishes accentuate the room’s light and visually expand its space. Enclosing two walk-in closets, frosted glass barn doors flank a short hallway leading into the bathroom while, like mirrors, reflecting its colors and light. “They visually connect you to the space from the very start,” Lloyd explains. A glass wall and door similarly encloses the room’s simple yet stylish shower and neither consumes visual space nor obscures the shower’s interior tile pattern. “The door had to be essentially invisible,” the architect says.
In the corner of the space opposite the shower, Lloyd and Taggart positioned a built-in, tile-clad tub rather than a freestanding model. “It’s easier to clean around than a freestanding model, allows for a better-sized tub and fits the simple geometry of the overall room,” Lloyd explains.
Providing the primary statement of drama, a quartz-topped, walnut-faced vanity appears to float on the main wall of blue tile carefully selected by Taggart. “It was important to the experience of the room that the tile expanded across the entire wall, even below the vanity and into the shower,” Lloyd explains.
Segmenting this blue wall or any of the three remaining walls, each clad in brick-stacked marble tile, would have undermined the room’s simplicity and spacious feel. The use of busy towel bars rather than basic hooks would have done the same. “Hooks are nice design elements that don’t clutter walls,” Taggart says.
Simplifying makes a lot of sense and results in a better space, Lloyd explains. “Whether it’s because of a budget, downsizing or getting to the core of a room’s function, it’s always a win to reduce the unnecessary.” And for the homeowners, who are thrilled with their modestly sized and thoughtfully designed bathroom, theirs is a win celebrated every day.
Interior designer Susan Taggart and architect Warren Lloyd