Project Spotlight: A Vintage Splendor Bathroom Reveal
A surprisingly serene blend of wave-inspired Handpainted bathroom floor tiles and glazed thin Brick shower walls make Annette Vartanian's master bathroom reveal unforgettable. We're sharing all the project details on today's blog.
First, a bit about Annette:
Can you tell me a bit about yourself and what you do?
I’m Annette and I’m addicted to vintage! I’m the editor of the lifestyle blog
A Vintage Splendor where I share guides, tips, and inspiration for buying vintage and integrating into your home and wardrobe for unique style. I also own a digital marketing agency, Splendor Digital, and we develop digital strategies and branded content for fashion and lifestyle brands.
Can you tell me about your home? Was this bathroom a part of a bigger remodel or renovation project?
Our home is a beautiful 1959 mid century modern ranch in Pasadena, CA. We purchased from the original owners and have been slowly updating the home over the years. In the 70s, the original owners of the home added a rec room complete with avocado shag carpeting above the garage which we decided to convert into a master suite: bedroom, bathroom, closet and office nook. It's a 600sf space so we really wanted to maximize the space and create a nice little sanctuary for ourselves.
What type of look or aesthetic were you going for?
We wanted the luxe look of a high end hotel with the feel of home. Much like the other projects we've completed in our home, we wanted to stay true to the aesthetic of the house, but also wanted something modern that fit our lifestyle. Alan and I both wanted a space that was soothing since we start and end our day in the bathroom.
How did you come up with your color scheme and design of this bathroom?
I knew I wanted to play with patterns and colors for the space and asked my friend, Dee Murphy, to help me pull together a mood board. We started the process by looking at all of the options on Fireclay and we both immediately loved the Uni Mountain Tile and San Gabriel Brick. I found the teak vanity and selected a black marquina marble top which we knew would complement and balance out the pattern on the floor and the textured brick on the wall.
The most important design element, however, was to have a barrier free shower! It really elevates the whole aesthetic of the bathroom.
What made you choose San Gabriel Brick for the walls?
What drew me to the Brick was that each piece is unique and is textured, so it would add a bit of interest as opposed to a standard tile. The San Gabriel Brick is actually Alan's favorite color, so when I saw it, I knew it was the perfect choice for the walls.
I enjoy taking baths so I wanted a color and pattern that would be soothing on the eyes and I can confirm after many baths in our new bathroom that it is in fact the perfect hue for a bathroom.
How about Uni Mountain in Black and White Motif for the floor tile?
Since I'm a print lover a simple tile even in an interesting cut wasn't going to be enough. I love the two toned print of Uni Mountain and that it mimics serene ocean waves.
Tile Shown: Uni Mountain in Black and White Motif
Any tips on mixing patterns and color?
When it comes to my wardrobe, the more color and patterns the better! I apply the same rules to interiors as evidenced by my maximalist design choices. I always recommend sticking to a complimentary color palette so the final result is visually interesting without being too busy.
How did the installation process go? Did you face any challenges? Did you work with a tile installer or contractor?
We had a general contractor for the whole project but hired our own tile installer whose work we'd seen and loved. He's meticulous and we knew the brick install wasn't going to be a standard sheet tile install process so we opted to spend more money for better work.
When the framers finished their work, we realized that the flooring in the shower portion was flush with the rest of the bathroom floor which would have been a drainage nightmare.Alan spent an entire day dropping the subfloor, fixing the framing, and prepping the flooring in time for the hotmop and then all the waterproofing. Yes, this is the reason you have a GC but sometimes it's faster if you work all day and night to get it done yourself! I think the tedious work at the last minute was well worth it.
You used our tile in your kitchen too, any tips on working with handmade tile that you'd like to share?
For starters, always go with Fireclay Tile. Honestly, the Fireclay Tile team is incredibly helpful and wonderful to work with and the finished product is better than what you expect. I do think it's important to find an installer who can work with handmade tile.
Tile Shown:Small Diamonds in White Wash
Some installers only have experience with tiles that come in sheets, so installing tile one at a time is difficult. With the San Gabriel Brick, our installer matched up each tile as he was installing to ensure that we'd have clean lines once the grout was applied.
How is it designing for your own home? Lessons learned?
Alan and I absolutely love renovation projects. Does it cause stress at times? Yes! But when we look at the before pictures of our home, we're really proud of how far we've come in restoring our home. I definitely think it's a great idea to live in your home or space for a bit before you decide to undergo a major renovation. Until you live and use a space, it's difficult to remove or add walls that are meant to make your home more usable and livable.