Writing about style, design and all things that catch my eye!

Perfectly imperfect and casually luxe; these are a few of my favorite things.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A tale of two bathrooms.

My favorite ever clients are close friends, the duo consisting of talented local filmmaker SJ Chiro along with her technology focused husband Farayi Chiro. Smart, busy people who a few years later still have fresh, modern looking bathrooms. Much like the difference between disparate cities yet without the upheaval of a Dicken's novel (unless you call remodeling "the winter of despair,")  these rooms are completely unique in style. To start with, we have the family bath:

Farayi Chiro is originally from Zimbabwe. As a nod to his culture, Shona stone sculptures from Zimbabwe decorate the wet area. In the dry area hangs a framed travel poster for Vietnam from the 1950s, part of SJ’s grandfather’s (a South East Asian Anthropologist) collection. Frosted glass windows sit at the height of the soaking tub on two sides, and two skylights let in lots of natural light, contributing to the benefit of healthful relaxation for the whole family. This family bath features both a sauna and a traditional Japanese soaking tub-- hand crafted by the Alaskan company Sea Otter Wood Works as well as a large walk in shower covered in glass tile along with large glass paneling helps separate the “dry area” (vanity and toilet) from the “wet area” (sauna, tub and shower). 

This area is further separated by a custom sliding door, designed to resemble a Japanese Shoji screen. A natural color scheme in overlaying browns and grey highlight the wood and stone tones. The owners also stipulated that they would like a footbath in the shower. All four members of the family are students of karate and sometimes ‘little feet’ are all that need washing before heading to the dojo! This room was the most designed and redesigned room in the remodel. The owners had a very specific idea of what they wanted from this bath, and their persistence paid off.

Moving down the hall to the master bath...

Designed with the subtle yet elegant glamour of Hollywood in the 1940’s in mind, the master bath of the Chiro household evokes a quiet calm. There’s a nod to the beauty of the past showing through-- in the slightly updated subway tiles on the walls of the shower, the matching rectangular American Standard sinks at the custom made Bamboo vanity, plus the Hansgrohe chrome fixtures in the shower. This room is outfitted to stand the test of time. Combined with modern amenities like heated tile flooring by Emil (‘Vintage Wood, Scandinavian’), the long, narrow room feels wider than it is due to the placement of these tiles which echo the lines of planked wood flooring.

The natural light pouring in through windows (which are placed high enough that no window treatments are needed) highlight the soft tones of the room. With a backdrop of pure, snowy white tiles and soft blue walls, this light bounces off of the glass accent tiles (color ‘cloud’) giving them a hint of green. The linen closet is made of the same bamboo cabinetry and has a pass-through opening in the hallway on the other side of the wall.  
Right about now, I'd like a little sauna time along with a soak in the Japanese tub, how about you? 
All of the really good photos are courtesy of Bellen Drake.  Architect: Tom Morris of Morris Architects Inc., Contractor: Toepfer Construction Co.


  1. I love the amount of culture and history that went into design these bathrooms. Great material choices as well!

  2. Thank you so much for your wonderful comment, Kristin! I do think the materials will look in vogue for many years to come!


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