THE ROBB RESIDENCE
Children Running, Oak Trees, and Joy
In our illustration of the Rob residence, the bathroom was so fun and so challenging. The home itself is in the beautiful rolling hills of California just outside of Los Angeles and was built in 1940. The home has all the original architecture. I’ve designed their addition, which is a very small bathroom.
The home is on a raised foundation with a very large basement underneath. There is a beautiful sprawling oak tree, which are protected in the state of California, very close to the home. Also close by is a separate covered structure for outdoor dining with beautiful kitchen area. So my space was very defined for me. I had to stay 5 feet outside of the oak tree.
When designing the architecture we often design from the interior out. In this case because the yard and covered patio were right next to the addition, I did not want it to feel like a large box. To achieve a softer architecture line seen from the exterior I angled the addition, creating a bay window like room. The interior feels like you’re in a bird house and the color palette a pale green, pale gray, and white so that it accents and frames the oak tree that will be just outside the three windows.
On the small bathroom project at the Rob residence, we had a lot to discuss when it came to where the towels were going to hang because used a pocket door. When using a pocket door you sacrifice wall space that might be used for hanging objects due to the hollowness where the pocket door slides into. Small spaces should have the same flooring material as to not break up the flow and make the space seem smaller. My client wanted the shower floor tile to be different than the flooring tile. I knew this would break up the floor making the space look smaller and choppy. To solve the flooring design restraints and still have the shower be tiled we chose tiles that are same style and color but different sizes, which is always a winning combination. Remember that in spaces, especially small spaces, using same colored materials of difference sizes or finish (mat vs shiny) will keep it clean and crisp looking.
When we angled the bathroom, I was of course cutting the square footage away so the sink will be a very custom small sink with cabinetry underneath. These will be custom and narrower than the typical 2 feet of bathroom counter and cabinet space. We are going to recess in areas that are not being used structurally for sheer wall and create built-in shelving. I plan on hanging a mirror strategically on the wall that will reflect the beautiful oak tree.
When creating this book originally, I thought that the bathroom could be cold and called the solitude room. But then I had many discussions with women who said their young children followed them into the bathroom. It brought back very fond memories of when your child would come in and rightfully so. Our children should freely be able to roam around our home. Way too often we set boundaries for children, walls that they can’t play in and things they can’t touch. I’m not sure that we should have so many rules, but one thing I know for sure is if you want to create a creative individual, you need to respect the day to need a space.