Maximizing form and function, interior designer Julia Goodwin used our Wave in Nautical to make over this petite San Francisco bathroom. Julia, who has used Fireclay in many of her projects and has even visited our factory, talked to us about her process, this dreamy bathroom and of course tile.
First off, can you tell me about about yourself and your firm?
Julia Goodwin Design was started in 2008 after I returned to the Bay Area from Los Angeles. Having grown up here, I wanted to start and grow my Interior Design business where it felt most natural — around the people, the homes, and the community I grew up with. There really is no place like it.
My projects range from new construction to remodels and decorative. No matter the size of the project, I want the end result to feel collected, lasting, tactile, inviting, and well balanced. I also always try to include a bit of the unexpected. Above all else my designs need to reflect the personality of the client.
Throughout the design process, I encourage my clients to take risks, even in small doses. Above all else, I want them to take a deep breath, to relax, and to have fun with it. I recommend to never worry about what everyone else is doing or whether they veer off course from their original design. Design should never be overly serious — the finished home is where my client will live, laugh, make memories, and should feel most comfortable. (Ps. Julia has a blog too: My Manicured Life and you can follow her on Instagram here for more design inspiration!)
I know you've worked with our tile before, what are some of your favorite colors/shapes?
I really love the depth of color that is available; even a simple subway pattern has a richness to it that I can’t get anywhere else. When it comes to shapes, I’m constantly drawn to a hexagon as it’s so versatile.
The hand-painted tiles also have a wonderful feeling to them. There is an opportunity to be as creative as you like with the number of pattern and color options available. Having had the opportunity to visit the Fireclay factory and even a chance to try my own hand at painting the tiles, I know how hard it actually is to create each tile. The detailed work that goes into each piece will never go unnoticed.
Image: Julia Goodwin
Can you tell me about this home? Is there a story behind the project you'd like to share?
This home belongs to a young couple that were not afraid of taking risks and showcasing some personality. Their home features some bold choices with paint and patterns, so it was fun to play with shape options. Shades of blue are the most requested by my clients, but the unique shape of the wave tile keeps the space feeling interesting. Since the bathroom already had height, we decided to place the tile horizontally to trick the eye so that the bathroom appears wider than it actually is.
What type of look or aesthetic were you and your client's going for in this bathroom?
Since it’s a small bathroom, we didn’t want to overwhelm the space, but at the same time we wanted to have fun and take a risk. The wave tile provided us that exact opportunity. The tile shape combined with the color choice, Nautical, allowed the space to feel soft and inviting while introducing an unusual shape that wasn’t overly in-your-face.
How involved were your client's in the design process?
My clients were great to work with as they wanted to be very involved. A collaborative environment ensures that everyone wins in the end. It is important to me that my designs reflect the client and meet their wants and needs while feeling natural to the home’s aesthetic.
What made you go for Nautical?
This shade of blue has a beautiful undertone; it’s not too dark, not too light, it’s simply a soft-yet-rich shade that draws you in.
How about the Wave shape? Were there other contenders?
We started out by playing with shapes and colors, but the wave was the winner by a landslide. It is easy to see why.
How did the installation process go? Did you face any challenges?
It’s a hand made tile which means no two are exactly alike, and that also is what makes them beautiful and unique. With this in mind, it was important to consider grout size and color. We went larger with the grout size in order to keep the tiles from creeping in closer together in some parts and not in others. The grout color allows for a nice contrast that makes the shape even more noticeable.