Motionspace Architecture + Design

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The powder room in our Capitol Hill Basement Remodel was featured in an article on


Bathroom Remodels: Two 1980′s bathrooms


Seattle and Kirkland Bathroom Redmoels

While many of our projects are larger jobs like new single family homes, or second story additions, once in awhile we’ll take on smaller jobs like these two bathroom remodels.  We started the design process by identifying problems that needed to be solved and understanding our client’s goals. Both of these clients needed more storage space but also wanted to increase the functionality of the space while creating a modern and warm atmosphere.

To gain more storage space we designed the vanity in one of these bathrooms to continue into a blind corner so larger items (like that 24 pack of toilet paper from Costco) can fit under the sink. In the other bathroom, additional storage space for smaller items was needed close at hand. We took advantage of the large wall space above the vanity and broke that down into separate wall mounted medicine cabinets flanking two mirrors. In the vanity below, drawer space was maximized by making the cabinet under the sink as narrow as possible.

Often the first thing that is noticed when entering a bathroom is the tile work. In both bathrooms we choose to accent one shower wall with a particularly special tile. Other tiles were chosen for the vanity back splash, the bathroom floor, the shower floor, and the shower and/or tub surround. TIP! When choosing bathroom tile, there is a fine line between creating a sophisticated appearance and creating something that looks more like a tile showroom. If too many different tiles are chosen that do not coordinate with each other it can quickly start to look like a tile showroom. Try to limit the number of different tiles to about five in a bathroom, and some of these should be similar to each other (like the shower floor could be a smaller version of another adjacent tile).

To see more images and read more about these projects and twenty four other projects visit our project gallery.


Take a Risk with your Bathroom Tile


When choosing tile for the bathroom I find that many people are so afraid to make a mistake they end up settling on basic white.  While a basic white tile has its place, it’s best installed on the walls, not on the floor where it will show every bit of dirt.  But if you must have a white tile floor, consider adding a pattern that incorporates white and one or two other colors.  For older homes, a hex tile is a great solution.  You can order a custom pattern like this (or create your own)  from Dal-Tile, which is available nationwide.  One thing to watch out for: the tile patterns are assembled by hand, and there are sometimes mistakes (like a white tile where there is supposed to be gray).  You can fix this in the field, or leave it and accept it as part of the hand created look of the tile.

Photo of Tile Pattern


Hot Colors for 2010


The hot color for 2010 is supposed to turquoise, according to Pantone .

Pantone 2010 Color of the Year|
But I would say the colors I’m seeing that you might actually want to use in your home are natural colors especially colors similar to those from natural materials and raw fabrics. I’m also seeing light purples and grays coming in (here is a good example page on West Elm, which tends to track color trends well): .  For prints, I’m again seeing nature based prints like this . You could do something like this in a wallpaper for an accent wall. If you want to mix styles with some funky vintage furniture, then you might consider a funky vintage print wallpaper too.

Gray’s tend to be popular during recessionary times, and I’m definitely seeing them make a strong comeback. And back to the turquoise . . . okay, a turquoise accent might be fun – but an entire room, probably not.

posted under Architecture (General), Choosing Colors, Interiors | Comments Off

Grout Colors for Pebble Stone Tiles


My friend and contractor Rod McLamb at Spyglass Building Company and I have been discussing pebble stone tiles from Costco, which run about half the price of our local tile shops.  Since these tiles have a relatively wide grout joint, it’s important to choose the right grout color.  Typically my experience is that a grout color that is darker than the pebbles will look better than a lighter color.  A darker color will recede into the background and let you focus on the actual stones.  When the grout is significantly lighter than the stones, it tends to accentuate their shape, and almost ‘flatten’ them, making them look slightly fake and ‘cheap’. Since the grout plays an important part in the appearance of stone pebbles, my recommendation is to have the tile setter create a sample prior to grouting the actual installed pebbles.

dark grouted pebble stone tiles

Dark Pebble Stones with Dark Grout

Dark Pebble Stones with Light Grout