How to make your biffy spiffy

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - HOMES - CON­NIE OLIVER

MOST of us can only dream of hav­ing a bath­room this large, but that aside, there are some great dé­cor touches in this room that can be trans­lated into even the small­est bath­room.

In Jan­uary 2008 AXOR® by Hans­grohe un­veiled its new­est col­lec­tion from De­signer Jean-Marie Mas­saud. These are the items fea­tured in this amaz­ing bath­room. The Axor Mas­saud Col­lec­tion en­com­passes the de­signer’s or­ganic ap­proach to de­sign.

“For Jean-Marie, the feel­ings and needs of the in­di­vid­ual are al­ways the fo­cus in his work,” ob­serves Axor Brand Man­ager Philippe Grohe, who worked closely with Mas­saud on the new col­lec­tion.

“His fas­ci­na­tion with mod­ern man’s quest for an el­e­men­tal con­nec­tion to what is es­sen­tial and nat­u­ral is mir­rored in Axor Mas­saud — a sym­bio­sis be­tween na­ture, man and the space in which he lives.”

The or­ganic lines and earthy ac­ces­sories in this room were in­spired from nat­u­ral el­e­ments like wood and stone. The ex­quis­ite tub and ves­sel sink in beau­ti­ful or­ganic shapes, jux­ta­pose the mod­ern lines of the shelf-style chrome fix­tures, bal­ance nat­u­ral and mod­ern styles beau­ti­fully.

I’m al­ways in­trigued at the ideas de­sign­ers have and use in their show rooms. Usu­ally, it’s the sim­ple ac­ces­sories that catch my eye, not only for their beauty but for their unique­ness and what I call the “doable” fac­tor. Mean­ing, most peo­ple could af­ford to repli­cate a sim­i­lar idea in their home.

That’s doable

For ex­am­ple, I love all of the curvy and a-sym­met­ri­cal shapes in the space in­clud­ing the tub, sink, can­dles hold­ers, “boul­ders” and ce­ramic ac­ces­sories. These shapes are the ba­sis for an earthy, Zen space. While we may not be able to af­ford the de­signer sink and tub we can cer­tainly make our rooms more or­ganic in na­ture by adding ac­ces­sories with sym­bi­otic shapes with tex­tu­ral fin­ishes. It’s fairly easy to find sim­i­lar items like the can­dle hold­ers and ce­ramic con­tain­ers but note how this de­signer has dis­played them. In the back­ground on the left there is a lima bean-shaped ce­ramic con­tainer that has been placed in­side of a square glass ter­rar­ium-styled con­tainer. This is a very unique way to mix two de­sign styles and to make an av­er­age ac­ces­sory re­ally unique. This is def­i­nitely a doable idea. You could even use a fish bowl and fill it with river stones, sand and can­dles or what­ever suits your fancy. Even the bar soap is round rather than square; doable. The glass tum­bler on the sink faucet “shelf” and the bud vase on the tub faucet “shelf” have curved lines. An­other easy ad­di­tion to any bath­room. Near the bath­tub is a large, low dark wooden bowel filled with white sand. This is an­other Zen as­pect that is eas­ily repli­cated. Use a con­tainer that you have on hand. A wooden tray, a trio of small cube shelves (with a sim­ple base glued to the bot­tom) or shadow box pic­ture frame set on its back could be filled with sand and used for the same pur­pose.

Is that doable?

The in­ter­est­ing fab­ric cov­ered “boul­ders” in the mid­dle of the floor are a lit­tle harder to repli­cate. While vis­ually in­ter­est­ing this idea would not be prac­ti­cal in a small space or in a house­hold with chil­dren or pets. Let’s face it; they’d be kicked around like soc­cer balls. How­ever, you can repli­cate the essence of this idea by adding a sim­i­lar sized gar­den stone (prefer­ably with an in­spir­ing word on it) to one corner of the room if space al­lows. An item like this adds to the nat­u­ral feel of the space and the Zenin­spired spirit of the room. An­other idea for a larger bath­room would be a col­lec­tion of two or three small, round ot­tomans which would give a sim­i­lar, more prac­ti­cal fo­cal point. The tall wooden sculp­tural items in the back­ground are prob­a­bly not some­thing you could eas­ily find how­ever they were used for their height as well as their form. An urn of tall, nat­u­ral grasses or twigs would do the trick. Tall, slim wooden carv­ings could work as would a sim­i­lar shaped plant like bam­boo or cac­tus. It’s re­ally about the form in this case, not nec­es­sar­ily about the ac­tual item.

Con­trast­ing lines

This room has a sharp con­tract in lines. There are many square el­e­ments that are bal­anced with the soft curves of the ac­ces­sories mak­ing for an in­ter­est­ing mix. The straight lines of the ac­tual room, the hor­i­zon­tal blinds, the square shelv­ing and plat­form and lines of the wooden floor could be seen as be­ing ‘cold’ if not for the lovely round tub, sink, tubu­lar light­ing and or­ganic ac­ces­sories. The de­signer took this into con­sid­er­a­tion even when choos­ing the ac­ces­sories. All of the curvy, nat­u­ral items are bal­anced with the hard lines of the room but were fur­ther en­hanced by adding square pic­tures, empty frames and a large, rec­tan­gu­lar mir­ror which you can see on the left side of the pho­to­graph. The empty photo frames are great ac­ces­sories that are easy to find and to paint or fin­ish to your own taste.

Just be­cause your dream room seems out of your reach, that doesn’t mean you should scrap your en­tire dream. Take the el­e­ments from your in­spi­ra­tion room that speak to you and add them to your cur­rent space us­ing items that are af­ford­able and ideas that are doable.

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