Throughout the design and build process for the Ronald McDonald House Stanford’s, Where Hope Has A Home Project, one of the most challenging spaces for me was the diminutive bathroom. Knowing that some resident families will stay at the house for more than 30 days, I wanted to provide as much of a home-like feel as I could in such a tiny footprint.
I knew going into this that I’d want to tile the shower instead of going with the standard issue shower-surround. A shower surround to me is impersonal, almost like a motel. Tile adds a depth and richness that I felt the families deserved. It was also important to me that the residents have storage, so despite the sink being a mere 24″ wide, I designed a floating cabinet to hold toiletries, extra t.p and anything else that may need storing away. My fantastic carpenter Shane Evans built the custom cabinet out of walnut, with gorgeous rounded edges and perfectly grain-matched wood. Though it’s a very small detail in an otherwise large room, it’s my most favorite piece! (better pictures on their way!)
I knew immediately that I wanted to go with Kohler fixtures for the bathroom. Visiting their Kohler, Wisconsin facility a couple of years ago, underscored for me their commitment to the environment, quality-design, forward-thinking products and community service. What could be a better fit for such an important endeavor?
I chose Kohler’s Purist Collection for its beauty, streamlined design and ease-of-use. Modern and yet totally approachable, Purist was just what I wanted. After contacting the company to see if they would be willing to participate, they generously donated not only all of the gorgeous sink and shower fixtures, but also the towel bars and toilet roll holder! Installing all the fixtures and accessories from the same collection kept the bathroom looking cohesive and added a touch of luxury I could not have accomplished otherwise. My heart overflows with gratitude for their involvement and helping making my vision a reality.
From the start I envisioned doing the shower in porcelain tile with a reclaimed wood look. Staying true to my aesthetic for the space, I felt a laid-back luxe would give the tiny bathroom a sort of California beach vibe that could make getting ready each day a bit more enjoyable.
Like most designers, once I have an idea in my head, there is nothing else that will supplant it. Searching through endless photos of porcelain, wood-look tiles was daunting. Nothing felt right. Everything was either too dark or too faux or just too TOO. Finally, I discovered Crossville, Inc. and it was a match made in heaven! Their large-scale, porcelain, Reclamation Collection not only fit the soft, beach-style feel that I was going for, their stunning mixed pattern and lovely colorways enabled me to keep the space light and bright. In another show of love and generosity, Crossville agreed to donate the needed amount to my room, proving that their large hearts are equal to their awesome product lines. I could not be happier with the outcome!
As a final touch, I commissioned two hand-illustrated pictures of California wildflowers from the lovely and talented Katie of @katieandrosegardening, (who I had been happily following on Instagram), that added a cheerful touch of the beauty commonly found covering the hills surrounding Palo Alto, CA – Lupine and Shooting Star. Also featured in the photo are the insanely luxurious Coyuchi towels the company gifted to the space.
As I stand back and think about all of the phenomenal vendors who had a hand in making the room I designed come to life, I am humbled by their commitment to the many families and their precious children who will be occupying these spaces in hopes of overcoming nearly insurmountable odds. It is with a joyful heart that I can say at least their stay in the new wing of the Ronald McDonald House will be one in which many came together to give the a little respite.
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