I have made a little discovery, which is probably old news for some of you. We had a problem with our en suite shower, which a new shower head didn't solve. The plumber mentioned a new or an extra pump. As we are renting the house, this is nothing we have to worry about but let's just say I was intrigued. Suddenly I was thrown into a bathroom world I had no idea even existed. On the website of Mira Showers I came across digital showers. A digital shower with buttons to increase or decrease the temperature and flow, that even warms up while you're still snoozing? Shower pumps? Where has this been all my life?
Maybe I simply haven't noticed this in interior magazines. For about 6-7 years I haven't done any bathroom renovations, and I must admit that when I'm reading these magazines I tend to skip articles with images that look too modern for my taste (usually such images are used to introduce the latest bathroom equipment). In bathroom design I go for the warm look and I need some wood - no spaceship looking bathrooms for me!
All this made me think that if a warm, old-look style is what you are after there is no need to sacrifice modern comfort in your bathroom:
• You can still design it the way you want it and let the latest technology work to your advantage, without your bathroom looking cold or sterile.
• Basically, it's only a question of finding the right colour palette (soft, muted tones) and materials (wood, tiles), and a solution to hide or keep the focus away from any equipment that looks too modern, if nothing else is available.
• Don't be afraid to choose wood flooring. In fact, I believe wood flooring is underrated in bathroom design. (I once had wooden floorboards and I loved it.)
• If it's a small bathroom, think of installing a sliding door to get the most out of the space.
The bathroom in the photo above once belonged to Jenna Lyons of J.Crew. It was the en suite one in her former Brooklyn townhouse. I think the herringbone wood flooring gives it such a character. I also like the use of neutral colours and the exposed shower pipe gets my consent.
If that shower room upstairs were mine I would use this opportunity to transform the space with old-style wooden floorboards, concrete-something, a dark colour on the walls - perhaps black and one earthy plaster wall as in Jenna's old bathroom - and definitely a digital shower.
1: Melanie Acevedo for Domino magazine, November 2008 | Also appears in the book Domino: The Book of Decorating, p. 165