What does your home say about you? Just like the clothes we wear, our living spaces are an expression of ourselves and the bathroom is no exception. After playing it safe with what she thought a typical adult's home should look like, designer Banyan Bridges remembered who she was really designing for, herself and her family, and created an incredible color block bathroom that's pure Banyan.
Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and what you do? How did you get your start?
I am a muralist and a designer with a deep love of graphic, bold design. I live with my husband and three kids in a 70’s fixer-upper, complete with orange countertops and yellow patterned linoleum! I’m having a lot of fun helping this house find its best self.
I started out just creating in my own space. When we first moved into our last house I painted all the walls grey and filled my home with neutral decor, trying to be “mature” and “grown-up.” One day I looked around my house and realized that nothing in it reflected who I was as a person. So, using leftover paint, I painted my first mural! I slowly found my artistic groove and have since been filling my home and others with color! I can’t even describe how empowering it feels to see myself reflected in my home. When you surround yourself with bold design you live a bolder life!
Can you tell me about your creative process? What phase do you enjoy most?
I looove coming up with a new design. I love starting a project while the inspiration is fresh. I feel like there’s always a hairy in-between phase where either your project stalls for a bit (our hiccup here) or the initial vision just isn’t quite right. There’s NOTHING like the moment where you see the project finally start coming together. It feels synergistic seeing all of the individual elements come together and create something that’s so much more than the sum of the parts. It’s magic!!
Where do you draw inspiration from?
Everywhere! Especially color. I’m obsessed with good color palettes. My upcoming kitchen renovation is entirely inspired by a color palette I saw on some running shoes. Inspiration is everywhere if you’re open to it!
Let's talk about your home. Is there a story behind it? Was this a remodel or renovation?
This home was my first renovation, taking it from a 1980’s remodel (complete with pink and blue carpet). It has been updating it and helping the home’s personality shine.
You ended up selling this home--did this inform any of your design decisions?
No! We expected to live in this house for the next 10+ years and were ALMOST finished renovating the primary bathroom when we stumbled on a fixer-upper from the 70’s with a killer backyard. We had to jump on it. It broke my heart to leave this bathroom behind. I was able to shower 3 times in it before we moved and they were the most glorious showers of my life!
I don’t know that I would have adjusted my design for resale. I know the trend is to install all grey, white, and neutral for “resale value”, but there’s a market for people who want a home with some character and soul. I say to install the funky tile!
Let's talk about this colorful bathroom! What was your point of inspiration here?
Here I really loved playing with the weight of the different colors by varying how much of each color showed up. Four Mandarins, two Mustard Seed, three Magnolia, etc. It was a fun way to create a pattern on the floor and a different application of the 2x8 tiles. The color blocking in the shower felt like something I would create with paint, and I couldn’t resist!
Tile Shown: Mustard Seed
Tile Shown: Magnolia w/ Black Patine
How do you go about choosing all your finishes?
Usually, my finishes are strategic choices made to help balance the rest of the space. In this room, I chose Matte black finishes to really pop against the colors, the layered mirrors to help balance the bold colors, and the color blocking in the shower. The light fixture and the mirrors all have curves to balance the straight lines of the tiles. Throw in some wood to pop off of the blue tiles and baby you’ve got a stew going on!
What made you choose this rainbow of colors?
Honestly, I think I just had to use as many as possible! Whenever I’m designing a space I usually start with a color palette that sparks some fire. For this space, it was the floor tile. How many colors do I have here? 9? I just loved the way the blues paired with the oranges and the green. And how rich it feels!
Then adding the Magnolia and the way it cuts the richness… I don’t know how to describe it other than it just feels delicious.
Any tips for going bold in the home?
Start small! Start with art, pillows, decor, or my go-to, PAINT! Paint is such an inexpensive way to make a large impact on your space, and if it turns out that you don’t love it or you get tired of it, it’s such an easy change to make!
Lastly, what tile would you love to use in future projects?
I think it’s more about HOW I want to use it! I’ve been seeing it everywhere I look lately. I want it as my sink basin, wrapping the curve inside of a round tiled bathtub! I love the idea of an island with tile wrapped up on the sides and onto the countertop. I’ve been scheming about making some curvy outdoor bench seats, tiled in some gorgeous colors. Handmade tiles are art in themselves and it elevates any place you use them, so essentially I just want to tile everything!!