I am a huge fan of concrete in bathrooms. I find the smooth surface warm and soft to touch, the subtle differences in color pleasing to the eye. Best of all, there are no seams, no grout – just a smooth lovely surface. It’s even better if you can install a radiant heat under it. Concrete can be poured or troweled in place for floor and wall use. There is also a wide selection of concrete sinks, tubs and shower pans. Many fabricators will adjust the dimensions and can produce custom designs as well.  Good source is

Bath featuring concrete and wood elements, photography Paul Ryan Goff.















Bath featuring concrete walls and floor.














Detail from a bathroom designed by Michaela Scherrer.


A few weeks back I wrote about bathroom windows, and shared with you some amazing bathroom designs featuring incredible views.  What is second best to having a window in your bathroom?  Of course: a skylight.  Any type of natural light, even from above, is a welcome enhancement to a space.  Moreover, skylights, if used in a smart way, can create dramatic effects within a room.  Below, some examples.

Keiji Ashizawa Design

The bathroom of the Sky Garden House in Central Tokyo by Keiji Ashizawa Design floods the tub area with natural light.  Photo by Daici Ano.

Dan Brill Architects

The large skylight in this bathroom by Dan Brill Architects provides a solid amount of daylight.

Nicolas Tye Architects

The skylight plays a leading role in the Long Barn Studio bathroom by Nicolas Tye Architects.


When we think of treatment of bathroom surfaces first material that comes to mind is tiles. More adventuress designers and clients are venturing into wood, textured stones and even board formed concrete.

There are two things that really appeal to me in the two bathrooms shown below. The first one is respecting the character of the space and complementing it in a very simple way. The second one is the celebration of the material used, exploring its inherent beauty.

Bathroom in a Julian King designed house in Greenwich, CT.





















Bath in a Mill Valley house, designed by Quezada Architecture.























Pebbles were in Vogue some years ago. They have pretty much disappeared from pages of magazines and design books, but once a while one comes across a lovely space that features pebbles. The key is to use them in a clean fashion either on wall or floor, and contrast them with smooth surfaces of modern fixtures or large tiles. Many manufacturers carry variety of pebble tiles. Some of them are: NY Stone, Nemo Tile, Porcelanosa and

Bath in Palo Alto featuring a wall of white pebbles, designed by Gustave Carlson Design.




















White, glossy stacked pebbles.















Bathroom featuring flat pebble floor, designed by Sheahan + Quandt Architecture & Interiors.























Bali Pebble Tan from Nemo Tile.


























Gray stacked pebbles from














The Minimalist bathroom build-outs in Chelsea that I wrote about last week are moving ahead.  As usual, progress is slower than expected, but precision is priority.  “Measure twice, cut once” is ever so important if you are talking about tile.

Minimalist in Chelsea 1

The extra-large medicine cabinet was installed in the first bathroom.  Tiling of the shower walls has begun.

Minimalist in Chelsea 2

The plywood next to the medicine cabinet will be covered by a mirror.  The medicine cabinet door will be mirrored, also.

Minimalist in Chelsea 3

A detail of how the cabinet connects to the wall below.  The little indentation in the cabinet will be taped, plastered and painted.  This way the cabinet side and the wall below will create one smooth surface.

Minimalist in Chelsea 4

Moving on to bathroom number two.  The blue accent wall tile is being installed.

Minimalist in Chelsea 5

The area above the sink will receive a flat mirror.  The medicine cabinet is installed on the side wall.

Minimalist in Chelsea 6

Precision is especially required at external corners.  Here, a detail of how the tile will be wrapped into the window opening.

To be continued…


Here are four clever ways of creating beautiful and functional bathroom storage out of four different materials and using four different techniques. The first one up is a simple niche with sleek steel shelves – pure elegance. Second one is made entirely out of corian – ideal material where water resistance and smooth white finish is desired. The third one features niches simply framed out of gypsum board and painted – no special, expensive materials or installation required. Last but not least is a lovely full height wood cabinet sporting clever dowels for toilet tissue storage.

Bath in NYC loft by Deborah Berke & Partners Architects featuring steel shelves.



















This bathroom storage unit features a couple of open shelves and closed cabinets above and below the washbasin maximizing the usable space. It is entirely made out of white corian. There is one unit on either side of the washbasin.























Dramatic white negative spaces create storage niches.




















Clever dowel system for storing toilet tissue.























There are two bathrooms currently under construction in the same building in Chelsea, NYC.  They are both based on the Minimalist 2 design, and both are customized as the layouts differ from our Basic Package.  Both will have shower stalls instead of bathtubs. The apartments are really small and we imagine that young professionals with no kids will live there, so a shower seemed like a sensible choice.  Both bathrooms will have floor mounted toilets instead of wall mounted, as the bathrooms were already under construction when we came in, and we wanted to minimize the plumbing changes.  This is where the similarities end, since each bathroom has a different layout and we carefully adapted our Basic Design to the unique conditions of each space.

Below are some construction progress photos.

Minimalist 2 in Chelsea_01

The first bathroom, with rough-ins prepared for plumbing fixtures.  The black material on the walls and floor is liquid applied waterproofing. The open corner with brick visible beyond is the framing for a large mirrored medicine cabinet.

Minimalist 2 in Chelsea_02

The shower stall waiting to be tiled.

Minimalist 2 in Chelsea_03

The shower pan base will steel receive waterproofing where the lead shower pan was installed and covered with compound.

Minimalist 2 in Chelsea_04

This is the second bathroom.  The tiling of the shower stall has already begun.

Minimalist 2 in Chelsea_05

There will be a niche in this shower, where shampoo and soap can be placed.  In the first bathroom the window sill can be used for this purpose.

Minimalist 2 in Chelsea_06

The tiling of the side wall in the shower has commenced.  The wall surface next to the shower stall will be covered by another layer of greenboard so that the tile and wall surface will be flush.

Minimalist 2 in Chelsea_07

The waterproofing of the shower stall is protected while the workers are tiling the walls.

Minimalist 2 in Chelsea_08

This wall will receive the blue accent tile.

Minimalist 2 in Chelsea_09

An opening in the wall is framed to receive the medicine cabinet.

To be continued…