January 14, 2015

The stage of the design process when I select the bathroom fixtures sets a marker for the style direction of a project.  It is a key element that in my eyes can make or break a project.  If they are chosen well they will elevate a room and if they are not, they can lower the quality of the space.  

And, it is not always the high budget options that are my top choice.   It is about looking at the overall concept for the project and matching the fixtures with the design objectives, the users of the space and the atmosphere that I am trying to create.

I draw on my training in art history, fine art and design as my guide to know what selections will achieve the desired effect.  To select the fixture I analyze the scale, proportion, height, the finish and the ease of use.   

An example of my devotion to "getting it right" might be my choices from this master ensuite.  The house was built in the Deco style of the 30's and when it was purchased it included an awkward 1970's addition.  To  return it to the glamour and drama of the 30's I chose black marble and black painted glass as the main materials, and a caramel and black colour scheme. The element that set this off was unlacqured brass.  To my dismay I could not find anything that I thought was acceptable budget wise or style wise, except from a company that only produced  chrome fixtures.  When I inquired about the brass finish they indicated that they could not supply it but that the original finish under the chrome was brass (as are a lot of fixtures).  I decided to purchase the fixtures and have them de-plated.  It was a lot of extra work as they needed to be taken apart, de-plated, and then re-assembled, but for me I never doubted that it was the right decision butI don't recommend that you attempt this without a skilled qualified professional designer.  For me it was important to get it right.  A photo below shows you the finished bathroom.

The Ensuite with the brass faucet.

The Ensuite with the brass faucet.

For sourcing,  one of my favourite "go to" suppliers is Waterworks Studio. They have been in the business since 1925, and their expertise, service and innovation are why I keep going back.  A few years ago, the owner of Waterworks, Barbara Sallick, spoke to the Toronto design community  - I still remember the inspiring presentation at Ken Metrick's Gingers Bath Centre.  I felt a kinship with her passion for "getting it right" and seeing as I do that taking the time with every element in a design project (and especially the faucets) is well worth the effort.  

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The Waterworks website shows their diverse product range from faucets and fixtures to accessories and surface materials. With a variety of classic and modern designs, they have a product for any project I am working on.

Take a look at this onyx bespoke master ensuite I designed featuring Waterworks plumbing fixtures:

The faucets complement the custom walnut vanity and the 1920's glass sconces. (Photography by Ted Yarwood)

The faucets complement the custom walnut vanity and the 1920's glass sconces. (Photography by Ted Yarwood)

The Waterworks pewter tub and fixtures is the centrepiece of this bathroom. The pewter finish is a foil to set off the onyx walls and floors. One of my signature elements in my work is to add unexpected drama and warmth which here is achieved  with the full length silk curtains and the antique shell chair.   (Photography by Ted Yarwood) 

The Waterworks pewter tub and fixtures is the centrepiece of this bathroom. The pewter finish is a foil to set off the onyx walls and floors. One of my signature elements in my work is to add unexpected drama and warmth which here is achieved  with the full length silk curtains and the antique shell chair.   (Photography by Ted Yarwood) 

This Waterworks open sink pedestal  gives our client's powder room  character and the clean lines and  white marble appeal to both the husband and the wife - so not too feminine or masculine but the perfect mix.  (Photography by Ted Yarwood)

This Waterworks open sink pedestal  gives our client's powder room  character and the clean lines and  white marble appeal to both the husband and the wife - so not too feminine or masculine but the perfect mix.  (Photography by Ted Yarwood)

This Ensuite designed for a teenage boy is masculine but not boring -  inspired by the British Raj, this ensuite has a "clubby" feel to it.  The  key elements are the patterned green, custom floor tiles and coordinating marble top, the textured cane vanity, the Waterworks Astoria  Faucet and another one of my signatures - a pair of vintage sconces.  The result:  a bathroom that has no age limits!

This Ensuite designed for a teenage boy is masculine but not boring -  inspired by the British Raj, this ensuite has a "clubby" feel to it.  The  key elements are the patterned green, custom floor tiles and coordinating marble top, the textured cane vanity, the Waterworks Astoria  Faucet and another one of my signatures - a pair of vintage sconces.  The result:  a bathroom that has no age limits!

In keeping with my philosophy of matching the design to the  person, this Ensuite design for my client's daughter was developed to appeal to her "girly" personality and her interest in fashion.  The pretty pink marble top with the clean,  white vanity is surrounded by floor to ceiling mirrors that hide storage for her make-up and accessories.  Any girl no matter what age would love this!

In keeping with my philosophy of matching the design to the  person, this Ensuite design for my client's daughter was developed to appeal to her "girly" personality and her interest in fashion.  The pretty pink marble top with the clean,  white vanity is surrounded by floor to ceiling mirrors that hide storage for her make-up and accessories.  Any girl no matter what age would love this!

Another wonderful Waterworks product; the Julia Wall Mounted Faucet, which fits perfectly with this vintage washstand that I retrofitted with new brass legs and the floating sink.

Another wonderful Waterworks product; the Julia Wall Mounted Faucet, which fits perfectly with this vintage washstand that I retrofitted with new brass legs and the floating sink.

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AuthorTheresa Casey