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Right Place, Right Time

Seaside Design bathroom

The homeowner first saw the dresser, in its original state, last summer in Cahill’s storage space and didn’t think much of it. As Cahill refurbished the dresser, she found the perfect green/gray quartzite for the new vanity’s countertop. She noticed a dash of yellow in the stone and immediately thought of the homeowner, whose living room features yellow couches. When the homeowner attended an early opening of the shop this spring, she spotted the piece sitting in a corner. “My whole body started to smile,” she says. “I told Bridget, ‘I see a streak of yellow in it,’ and Bridget said she knew I would notice.”

From there, the three-year-long wait for a bathroom redesign came to an end—but the task to build an entire bathroom around a vanity was not simple. “The size of the vanity would not have worked in the homeowner’s bathroom unless she added square footage to the space, but I had a sense that, together, we would make that happen,” Cahill recalls. The homeowner was willing to sacrifice a 3-foot bump out into her garage to allow the 5-foot-by-8-foot bathroom to be transformed into an 8-foot-by-8-foot accommodation. The expansion allowed all of the homeowner’s wishes to be granted. It is now home to a 4-foot-by-4-foot walk-in shower, the 50-inch vanity, and a stacked washer and dryer.

The trick, says Cahill, is “In smaller bathrooms, a cohesive quality can help to create a feeling of more space.” Knowing that the vanity was the most important bathroom feature, “it was important that everything surrounding the vanity play off of the color and style of it,” Cahill says. “I selected neutral colored floor and shower wall tiles that wouldn’t distract from the character of the vanity, and added a decorative glass tile (in the shower) that consisted of the same colors as the countertop, highlighting the complementary relationship of the two materials. This balance of neutrality (the gray/white palette) and drama (the White Macaubus quartzite countertop/glass accent tiles) created the cohesive quality I was aiming for.”

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