Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Budget Bathroom Makeover

We're starting a bathroom makeover project in Boston's South End for a client who has both a small budget and space. Join us as we go through all the steps to transform this chilly relic from the 70's into a stylish, inviting home spa. Modest as the bath is, above is the magnificent view from her living room window of the Christian Science 'Mother Church' dome seen floating through the trees.

Sherry, our client, and I began talking about this project over a month ago after I did some renovations, makeovers and staging (styling a house to show it for sale) in the unit downstairs. Her original idea was to do a total renovation, but when the estimates came in that was clearly out of the question - the plumbing alone killed that plan.

The approach I suggested was to leave all the plumbing in place, change cabinets and fixtures, adopt an elegant, unified color scheme, use some high end touches in places where they'd make the most impact and to accessorize.

The role of a designer is to help the client discover the design. This involves, above all, lots of listening and asking questions. Sometimes leading questions. Then making helpful suggestions and offering options based on what you're hearing. It's pretty much like therapy. Only then are you ready to 'design', and the client's already done most of the work for you. Again, as in therapy.

Most projects at this point involve producing a drawing. This is an essential step that can seldom be skipped. This project is sufficiently simple that it doesn't need to be drawn. A few dimensions jotted down to take shopping are all that's required. Had we gone with the original plan, however, there certainly would have been a complete scale drawing(s) showing all the details.

With the design determined, we selected a color scheme. Sherry wanted to use her existing deep brown bath linens, so we used them as the basis of all our color selections.

... To be continued.