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Past is present from Bathroom Trends volume 2608
Remodeling, like interior design, is about knowing when to stop. However, many of us wonder whether we will be able to recognize when enough is enough. First, it is necessary to separate form and function. A desire for visual change can consume the need for function, and the result is a project that is overdone.
When the owners of this bathroom were looking to remodel, both they and architect Jean Rehkamp Larson understood that the existing layout offered the best configuration.
"The space was already well laid out, and as we weren't making any changes to the size of the bathroom's footprint, it was decided we could better improve the functionality in other ways," says Rehkamp Larson.
Built in the 1890s, the home features a great deal of traditional detail, which the owners were keen to reference within the bathroom.
"The original decor was typical of its era," says Rehkamp Larson. "What we chose to do was balance the Victorian flourish with a more serene feel, resulting in a transitional space that is at once referential and original."
To achieve this, traditional materials, such as marble, and Victorian ornamentation have been combined with a simple color palette to create a bathroom with a timeless aesthetic.
"Playing with the scale and shape of the marble – slab, subway tile and mosaic – and adding metal accents and leaded glass lets the vernacular take on a life of its own.
"The bronze and glass shower enclosure is another example of the dichotomy that is found within the space. As a concept it belongs neither to the Victorian era nor to the modern day, yet a contemporary glass enclosure would have been out of place," says Rehkamp Larson.
"Together with the leaded glass inserts, metal footings and scrollwork, as well as the in-vogue open cabinetry, there is a complementary essence that results in a cohesive whole."
The inclusion of marble is an acknowledgement of the traditional aspect of the design. Its treatment however is purely contemporary, making it a linking element between the two periods.
Jean Rehkamp Larson AIA, project manager – Will Spencer, Rehkamp Larson Architects (Minneapolis, MN)
BainUltra Thermal 55 Oval
Calacatta Gold from Northwestern Marble & Granite
Savoy by Waterworks
Faucets and shower fittings
Julia by Waterworks
Custom enclosure designed by Rehkamp Larson Architects, fabricated by Marlaine Cox Metalworks
Misty Blue honed mini brick tiles; Calacatta Gold Hex marble tile from Waterworks
Calacatta Gold subway tile and mouldings from Waterworks; Gray Owl latex egg finish paint by Benjamin Moore
Eco Promenade by Toto
Custom metal brackets designed by Rehkamp Larson Architects, fabricated by Marlaine Cox Metalworks
Story by Justin Foote
Photography by Brian Droege