Bold Bathroom Strokes

Our clients requested a guest bathroom that would function for guests of all ages and abilities, with one rule: not to make those older guests feel their age! We drew up the initial floor plans and elevations and provided design oversight during the construction of this gut renovation.

We were fortunate in that the doorway widths were already 36” wide, four inches wider than the required width for accessibility. Levered door handles allow for arthritic hands (as well as for a small child) to easily operate. The vanity also has “D” handles and is the recommended ADA accessible 34” height. 

A warm red (warmer colors are easier to see as we age and call immediate attention to the space) was chosen to contrast against the black honed granite countertop as well as the neutral floor tiles. The countertop finish was chosen for its non-reflective qualities in that it’s easier on the eyes than one that might be polished. 

The stain and water repellent wallpaper is a commercial grade faux silk paper that is acceptable for areas with high condensation.

We chose a polished ivory snake-skinned designed wall tile that softly glimmers and also contrasts against the dark honed granite as well as the finish on the faucets that is a “vibrant titanium” which casts a soft contrast against the backsplash. To create symmetry and balance we added two energy efficient LED crystal sconces that reduce the need for the bulbs to be replaced. These sconces and all overhead lighting are controlled by rocker switches, preferred by aging hands. 

We specified a comfort height toilet that requires low physical effort. It uses an AquaPiston flushing technology (a 1.28 gallon flush) which saves up to 16,500 gallons of water per year. 

In order to make this space feel much larger, we chose a neutral oversized tile, one with a textured, non-slip finish. It is rated to have a high slip resistance potential and low probability of slipping. 

We removed the existing bathtub (one that was difficult for older guests to access) and added a universally accessible zero entry shower. It includes a fixed shower head as well as an adjustable height hand held shower head that extends your ability to bathe independently, an activity that can have a demonstrable impact on preserving emotional wellbeing. It is also equipped with an anti-scald device and a grab bar. The shower entrance is large enough to fit a walker should the need arise as well as a slip resistant bench. We repeated the snakeskin tiles throughout the shower.

The two pieces of modern artwork on the wall are reflected in the mirror and balance the bright hue of the vanity. And below that artwork you’ll find a grab bar…disguised as a towel bar!

Would you ever think that this bathroom is designed with universal design and aging in place principles in mind? Not by the looks of it!