Coleman Residence – Bathroom Detail

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  • Meg

    A great selection of bathrooms to look at and this in detail exercise brings to mind things that I think are essential in bathrooms from a functional perspective to extend on what I wrote about layouts for the design exercise.

    There were quite a few towel hooks which even in hot climates from experience fail to dry towels out sufficiently.

    The Anderson project looked to me like there was no toe kick at the vanity which may make it uncomfortable to use.

    In the Pine street project I noticed what looks like a Philip Starck bath – again from experience probably one of the least comfortable and least hardwaring (bathe two kids in it for a month) baths I’ve come across. I loved the shower and bath positioning though. This is reminiscent of japanese bathrooms and bathing culture where a shower would be taken before climbing into the bath. The drying off are works well (shame about the towel hooks).

    In some of the projects I didn’t see where you’d store much of what you’d use on a daily basis. eg toothbrush, soap, shaver / razor. I’m a big fan of cupboards behind mirrors and even better cupboards with electrics in them so you can recharge your electric toothbrush or shaver behind closed doors. Also higher cupboards are important for the storage of medicines away from children.

    I liked the coloured floor in the Moore Freundlich project although I couldn’t make out what material it was. In Europe we’re still putting carpet in bathrooms sometimes (it’s cozy).

    The bathrooms with lots of storage get my vote. Think loo rolls, cleaning products, spare shampoo, deoderant etc.

    Another area that often doesn’t get much though is storage in the shower – good design should incorporate a place for shampoo etc which can be quickly and easily cleaned.

    I feel like I’m coming from a slightly different angle than the traditional architectural perspective. I’m a business process analyst with an architectural interest and it makes me look at design from a functional point of view.

  • Doug Roberts

    Hi John — very sorry to hear about your father. I hope he enjoyed a long and happy life. My thoughts are with you and your family.

    The Pine Street bathtub/shower configuration is interesting, but may be a bit of a pain on cleaning day. I can’t tell from the picture if there is a second glass divider between the shower and the bathtub. If there isn’t, then you may find it necessary to clean the bathtub as well as the shower even if you only showered all week. If there is, that would help to keep the bathtub clean during showers, but when the bathtub does need to be cleaned access may be difficult.

  • Paul C

    I particularly like the Pine Street bath. I like how the rectilinear forms are repeated on different planes. The shapes of the shower, tub are repeated in the sink, mirrors and light fixture. The shared tub shower arrangement is a great way to accommodate both in a linear space. In the case of the Ridgewood residence and other examples we’ve seen, I have some reservations with respect to the practice of placing windows, especially what appear to be in this case wood windows, in a shower enclosure. Very architecturally appealing however maybe not the greatest from a maintenance perspective. The same thinking to a lesser extent goes for the amount of glass that has become somewhat common place for shower enclosures. Again, very visually appealing and an effective technique to make spaces feel larger when the glass is crystal clear but overtime they can become a bit of a challenge to keep looking that way. Nothing that a shower squeegee can’t remedy I guess. Great examples.

  • Thea

    I thought it might be interesting to bring accessibility into the bathroom discussion. I think it is great to have a beautiful bathroom, but I also think we should be more aware when renovating that we can also make a space more functional. We are an aging population and if we start changing one little space at a time, it will make life a little less stressful later on. I am going to try posting some images of accessible washroom, I stole them off the interest, apologies to the designers.


  • CL

    I’m so sorry to hear about your father. What a tough time it must be for you.

    Re. bathrooms. I’ve been asking everyone that I’ve had contact with since yesterday if they use there bathtub (we never use ours). Aside from the use for young children, the answer was “no” from most people (men, women, various age groups). Most of them said they would prefer to replace their tub with a shower but would be concerned about resale value. I’m assuming that potential buyers would also not use their tub but might also insist on having one for resale value. Funny how we don’t think about what we really need.

    We chose to have a tub in the main bath (no separate shower… the bathroom is too small). My children used that tub until they were 5 or 6 years of age. Now they shower in the master bath when they can (small bathroom… with shower but no tub).

    So should we continue to build large en-suite bathrooms with large fancy tubs??? Also, is there an easy way to convert a tub to a comfortable shower when children outgrow the tub???

  • Amy

    I just heard you on CBC,finally a movement! I am a designer/decorator/kitchen designer in Turner Valley, AB. The amount of track houses that I work in that are huge and very badly laid out is unbelievable! I am always based my design off of Sarah Susankas’ book “The not so Big House”. I am looking forward to seeing more of your projects,thoughts and seminars.
    Amy Brewster Design

  • Terri

    John, thanks for walking us through the design elements in these bathrooms. It’s always very interesting to get your perspective.

    I echo Meg’s concern for storage capability in many of these bathrooms. The project catalogue offered this design that addresses this issue quite nicely:

    This particular plan uses the marble flooring material as the base material of the vanity. The placement of the mirror and glass used give the room a “shinier” or brighter appearance than what you might expect in a dark-tiled room.

    I liked the Pine Street plans’s side-by-side shower/tub, as I thought it would actually be easier to clean–opposite opinion to Doug (above)! It’s the shower that gets the most soap scum everywhere, and if some flies into a tub instead of against a wall, it’d be easier to get rid of (no grout or glass to contend with).

    I know I’m in a minority to prefer a bath to showering (my mediatative, therapeutic time). This preference is why I gravitate to the shower/tub combined, but most shower-power people gravitate to larger-sized showers with benches, etc., making the combo clumsy. On that note, the Ridgewood design, which incorporated the bench into the shower by continuing from the bath’s area is great. I do wonder about that wood-framed window in a shower (or how low that window is, for that matter!)

  • Brad W

    John – My condolences on the passing of your father.