Your Bath: Create Calm With Natural Materials
Wood, Pebbles and Stone Give Your Bath a Soothing Look and Feel
I'm a freelance writer and design enthusiast who believes the best design is collected, not decorated, and that homes should always be as comfortable and functional as they are chic. In addition to writing for Houzz, I work as the Head Copywriter for Layla Grayce and Zinc Door.
I'm a freelance writer and design enthusiast who believes the best design... More »
A bathroom should make you feel refreshed and clean, and it’s important for the décor of the space to reflect that sense of calm. My last two ideabooks covered bathroom accent walls and tiling; now let’s go over some tips on capturing a fresh feeling by incorporating natural elements into the bath. Whether it’s a reclaimed wood wall or a trail of stones weaving through your tile, these organic forms will ground the overall space, add texture and work with almost any style. Plus, whenever you bring the outside in, you can’t help but feel a little rejuvenated.
Liberate the stones. If you’re considering stones, think about leaving them loose. It’s a dynamic way to punch up the organic feel, and you can’t beat the textural effect. If you’re unable to replicate the flooring feature of this bathroom, simply throw loose stones in a chic bowl or clear vase to score the feel.
Ground your contemporary look. This bathroom could have really upped the ante of its contemporary aesthetic with clean-lined panels flanking the vanity, but the stone helps this bathroom come back down to earth.
Create a focal point. Stone walls are immediately eye-catching, so consider them for a focal point in the bathroom. Especially if the space is funky or small — a focal point distracts the eye from awkward ceilings.
Enhance the calm. I have an inkling it was hard to feel anything but relaxed in this bathroom even before the stacked limestone went in, but the natural element certainly helps to boost the vibe. More often than not, an organic addition only adds to a soothing aura; it rarely takes away.
Mix and match. Loving limestone? Can’t take your mind off wood? Throw 'em both in there! In general, natural textures complement each other and happily co-exist. Note how the designer balanced scales in this bathroom by choosing checkered wood in a larger scale than the limestone tiles.
Repeat the use. If you’ve got a stone wall, consider using the same stone application elsewhere in the bathroom. Repeating elements throughout a space results in a unified look the eye will appreciate.
Don't forget the cabinetry. Walls and floors are not the only place for a touch of the outdoors. Consider finishing your cabinets with a wooden face. The texture alone will do wonders for your bathroom, allowing you to keep the rest of the space neutral and light.
Think outside the box. The stone wall probably caught your eye first, but take a look at the sink pedestal. It’s fashioned from salvaged wood from a 200-year-old barn: probably not the first place you’d consider sourcing your sink. Only goes to show that creative design is truly limitless!
Designate a smaller space. Stone tiles can be expensive, so instead of going all out, apply them to one designated area. You still score the organic feel without emptying your pockets. The backsplash above the vanity is a great call. It’s where your eye is most often focused while in the bathroom, so give it something enticing to look at.
Line the shower. Natural materials can be tricky to use inside the shower due to wetness, so often the shower feels a bit cold in comparison. Warm it up by flanking it with wooden cabinetry with a rich, textured stain. You’ll love the look and the storage.
Add just a hint. Sometimes a touch of the organic is all you need. This stripe of stones is a unique accent to the flooring, and almost seems to lead you from the tub to the sink.
Capture the view. If adding organic elements inside the bathroom isn’t in the game plan, then consider making the most of your wall space by adding oversized windows. The view itself will relax you.
Ideabook published on May 23, 2011.
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