David and Danielle Hulton are a young, tech-savvy Seattle couple living in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. David is the director of security applications at Pico Computing, and Danielle is the owner of Ada’s Technical Books, a shop nearby selling technical “geeky” books.
The existing bathroom in their condo was original to the building. It had been badly damaged by a water leak inside the walls and mold was growing. They needed a complete gut, so cabinets, materials, fixtures, and even large portions of the walls were removed.
The one thing the Hultons wanted to keep was a family heirloom, an antique Japanese vase. They wanted to incorporate the vase into the design of the bathroom somehow. They not only wanted a place for it, but they also wanted the vase’s colors to work with the colors in the bathroom’s materials. So essentially, we designed the bathroom around the vase.
When planning the new space the priorities were: adding storage, making the space feel larger, and making it eco-friendly.
Because it was in a one-bedroom/one-bathroom condo, we needed to be very strategic about storage. At less than 53 square feet, the bathroom required us to be creative and plan out every detail.
We recessed the upper mirrored medicine cabinets into the wall as much as possible. So while the cabinets protrude from the wall by only 6”, their total inside depth is somewhere around 12”, adding capacity without encroaching over the vanity too much.
Down below, we added toe-kick drawers in the base cabinet in order to maximize every single inch of space to the floor. A small garbage can will fit inside the low drawer next to the toilet.
In the shower, there is a recessed niche for storing toiletries. Outside the shower, we stacked towel bars 2-high for more hanging space.
The cabinet above the toilet performs a variety of functions: Its open shelf is sized to perfectly display the vase; the open cubbies are excellent for rolled towels; and the enclosed, mirrored section conceals the extra toilet paper.
PERCEPTION OF LARGER SPACE – A tall, menacing cabinet to the left of the sink was removed to create more of a sense of openness, and the new upper medicine cabinets were faced with mirrors wherever possible to further give the illusion of depth. The glass shower door also makes the bathroom feel larger. The countertop continues over the back of the toilet to create a long horizontal line.
ECO FRIENDLY – Being eco-friendly was also very important on this project. The countertop slab is a product called Trinity. The material is local to the Northwest and made of recycled glass and low-carbon cement. The mosaic backsplash and accent tile by Oceanside, and is also made from recycled glass. We customized the blend of colors and textures to achieve the right look. The couple re-used their low-flow toilet. The cabinets were custom-made locally. Here are some additional design solutions implemented in the Hulton bathroom:
EASY TO CLEAN – The wall-mounted faucet and under-mounted sink makes the countertop super easy to clean.
LIGHTING – There was already a soffit in the ceiling, but that soffit was extended across the bathroom. The extended soffit not only gives the space a more streamlined look, but it now houses mini recessed lighting above the vanity. In addition, the under-cabinet lighting provides a soft glow for late-night trips to the loo.
SHOWER CONTROLS – The shower controls are on the opposite side of the tub from the shower head, so that the residents can reach in to turn on the water while standing outside the tub. This way they can make sure it is the right temperature before getting in.
MOISTURE CONTROL – With mold, mildew, and water damage being such a problem in the original bathroom, we didn’t take any chances this time. We installed tile all the way up to the ceiling in the shower so that water couldn’t splash the walls. The contractor also installed an extremely quiet exhaust fan that automatically turns on when it senses any moisture in the air.
Overall, the clean lines and modern fixtures give this bathroom a sophistication and elegance.