Private Places

Published on: July 22nd, 2009

Universally, bathrooms and closets are some of the more personal spaces in a home: where we practice our daily rituals, where we prepare and pamper, where we cleanse ourselves of dirt and dirty laundry.

And as opposed to the sacrosanct coziness in a bedroom or the accessibility of a kitchen, bathrooms and closets are all about function and utility. These oft-overlooked rooms are the carrots and peas of the home. But there’s no reason the basics need to stay behind closed doors.

Here, Yellow Scene showcases a few of our favorite bathrooms and closets in the area—a mixture of awe-inspiring design, functional and organizational beauty, and large spaces dedicated to nothing but clothes, shoes, ties, belts and hats.

modernoasis1_p49modern oasis
The farther you venture into this historic-home-turned-modern-bachelor-pad, the more you are bathed in its simplicity and a sense of retreat.

Past the living room, up the stairs and down a hallway, you will find sanctuary: the master bath, clean and simple with royal blue glass tiles, silver fixtures and rich fir cabinetry. It’s a serene space, modern and crisp, that balances nicely with the historic façade of the contemporary renovation.

“It’s a contrast between old and new,” architect EJ Meade of Arch 11 said. “It’s warm colors. It’s simple. Really, it’s visual calmness.”

Highlight: The view—the bathroom’s windows provide lovely mountain views, and the mirror captures those vistas…surely making shaving a luxurious experience.

focalbath_p51the focal bath
Inside this rustic, timber-frame mountain home, the bathroom is an elegant central point.

“We knew that this was one of the most important rooms in the house. It’s where you start the day,” said Arcadea Architecture’s principal architect David Biek. While the house near Gold Hill is bathed in “old-world” feel, Biek and interior designer Donna Pocci worked to make the bathroom a more refined, tranquil space. The bathroom is airy and bright—with a skylight that brings in sunshine from both the east and the west—while still paying homage to its rough, wooded surroundings. Cabinets and the walls are anagrae wood, and the polished granite tub-surround extends into the shower to create a bench. The timber is old growth Douglas fir and gives the room hints of the rustic tendencies in the rest of the home. “In rustic bathrooms, you either feel like you are in a national park lodge or it doesn’t feel like it’s a part of the home,” Biek said. “We wanted to find a balance.”

Highlight: This bathroom is also practical. One of Arcadea’s goals was to create plenty of storage space in the room. The mirrors double as cabinets, there are numerous drawers and the closet is only separated by a sliding door.

urbanloft1_p53
the urban loft
EJ Meade’s philosophy on bathrooms is all about challenging expectations—and it’s evident as soon as the lights come on.

“When you step inside, any preconceived ideas about how you bathe or how you do your morning rituals is changed,” said Meade, the principal architect at Arch 11, standing in the hallway in a deluxe downtown Boulder loft that he designed. He flicks on the powder room light. The small space erupts in an easy glow: light shines from the top and bottom of zebra wood wall panels making the floor, which is covered in green glass tile, seem to radiate. It has a very “in the woods” feel contrasted with the modern white sink, which juts out from under a backlit mirror, and the cylindrical toilet.

“So much so that you don’t even know how to flush the toilet,” he continued.

Just feet away, the master bath is also indicative of Meade’s shock-and-awe dictum (as well as his love of hiding light sources). The bathroom and shower walls, including the only curved wall in the loft, are covered in multi-colored glass tile. A solar tube hangs above the tub, offering natural light during the day and electricity-generated light at night. And the gleaming countertop/sink and mirror are lit like a Vegas nightclub.

“See, even brushing your teeth becomes an event,” Meade said.

Connected to the master bath is the master closet, which is comparable in size to the bedroom nearby. The closet is lit with a solar tube and has a sitting space—as well as countless shelves and space for hanging; there is also a built-in dresser.

Highlight: The polyester resin sink/countertop (shown above), which was custom-crafted by a surfboard-maker, is not just beautiful and beautifully crafted, it’s surprising without being overdone.

sweetsuite1_p55
sweet suite
it’s not an illusion: There’s actually a TV in the mirror. It’s just one perk in this glorious master bathroom/closet combo.

Sitting in the large, bubbling bathtub, soakers are blessed with wonderful views; the travertine-tile radiant floor is decorated with tiny fossils; the shower has multiple shower heads and charming tile work; and the muted colors bring the outside in. The bathroom connects into a closet that would make most apartments jealous. The java-stained oak shelves provide a decadent amount of space for the couple’s clothing and shoes, and the granite countertop, which matches the countertop in the bathroom, is a usable surface for folding clothes. Down the hall, the workout room is accompanied by a sweet little bathroom with simple back and white porcelain tile, a pedestal sink and an ultra-modern-looking steam shower. The house near Mapleton also holds a main-level powder room drenched in rich colors—floor-to-ceiling glass tile in the colors of plum, rose and apricot—and a milk chocolate-colored cast-iron sink.

Highlight: What can we say: we’re suckers for watching the Food Network as much as possible, so the mirror that miraculously displays Bobby Flay (or The Simpsons, as seen above) is probably the coolest thing ever.

freshsuite2_p57
fresh & suite
Bruce and Cherilyn Lampert have filled their spacious home east of Boulder with wonderful bathrooms—each with its own style and personality, decorated with glass and porcelain tile and rich woods.

But the star is the master bath: It’s a large space with a portrait window overlooking the fields of Boulder County and a picturesque organic farm. With vibrant, coral-colored glass tile throughout the room; large facing mirrors and sinks; Diano Reale marble countertops; Italian tile in the shower, which doubles as a steam shower; and bamboo cabinetry, this bathroom is comfortable and open with a definite luxurious feel. The bathroom is connected to a large, u-shaped closet, filled with baskets, shelves, drawers and hanging space. It’s a well-organized space with more than enough room, yet it never feels overwrought.

Highlight: The best part of this bathroom and closet duo is the size and layout. The Lamperts have plenty of room to have their own space, and there’s never a worry of
feeling crowded.

uberorganizedcloset2_p59
uber organized closet
A closet is a closet, right? Shelves, hangers, dirty clothes in a ball in the corner. No, totally wrong.

There are an array of types—big and spacious, small and simple, and then there is the insanely well organized (a source told us these types of closets are saved for those with “anal-retentive sensibilities”). Chrissie Manley of Closet Tailors showed off one of her recent projects: a closet so well organized that it actually doubled the homeowner’s storage space. The custom-built closet was tailored to the wants and needs of Manley’s client—even down to the amount of clothing. “I can make you a killer closet without even ever talking to you, but really, it comes down to what you want,” Manley said. This closet is filled with hanging space—different heights depending on if the space is for dresses or shirts—shelves for tops and shoes, drawers and baskets.

Highlight: It’s not hard to figure out. This closet is a perfectionist’s dream…to please those anal-retentive sensibilities.

See more photos of these bathrooms and closets on our Flickr page.

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