Designing a room is all about achieving Goldilocks-style balance: not too hard, not too soft, but juuust right. So the very notion of an all-beige bathroom completely covered in hard surfaces might sound … off. That is, until you lay your eyes on this bath, which is exactly that: stone from top to bottom. (OK, not the floor, but it’s not wood, either.)
Kristen Thomas, the visionary behind Greenwood Village, Colorado-based design firm Studio Thomas, designed the bathroom for a family in the Denver suburb of Parker. The multiple-room project features two kids’ baths, including this one for two boys.
“The family wanted it clean, and we wanted it full of texture,” Thomas says. Ultimately, the bathroom is both: A combination of hard surfaces in varying textures gives the space its austerity.
Why does it work so well? “The color is monochromatic, but the textures are different,” Thomas explains. “Nothing is competing with each other.”
In other words, when you mix textures and colors, you’re forcing the surfaces to fight each other for attention. But staying within the ecru-taupe color family means different textures work together to define spaces while maintaining a unified look.
Thomas walks us through each surface:
“The back wall is split-face stone. It’s a little 1-by-2-inch tile that comes on 12-by-12-inch sheets. It is small pieces of stone split in half, and that break is what you see. You can’t grout split-face, so it can’t stand in a wet zone. The texture really stands out against the slick hardware and the mirrors.”
“The floor is actually tile. It’s meant to resemble wood, but it’s ceramic. And we kept it a little dark so it will hold up for the boys. We ran it in a running bond pattern to lengthen the room.”
“The shower is a linear stone. It’s clean, simple and pretty monochromatic, but the shape lends another new texture.”
“The shower pan is a mosaic of honed natural stone. I always used honed stone, as opposed to polished, in shower pans; you don’t want anyone to slip!”
“The countertop is natural stone. Everything else in the room is a little cooler, but this particular stone brings in a little warmth and connects to the warm wood accessories.”
Together, the surfaces strike a balance between rustic and modern, Thomas says. They may be hard to the touch, but their organic shapes and character visually soften the room.
“Play with texture!” she advises. “Stick with a monochromatic color palette, and don’t be afraid to use different shapes and sizes.”