You know those emails that start with “You have been featured” … yeah, those are our favorite!
Thank you to houzz.com, the premier resource for online home design, decorating, and remodeling inspiration, for featuring our recently completed contemporary, Japanese spa inspired bathroom. We find it most important to share our work, and the journey we took to get there, with our fans and followers!
This particular article features the journey CRx’s owner, Dion Lamb, went on when renovating and adding to his family’s Delaware home in a way that radically transformed its style from traditional to contemporary. For the bathroom, he was inspired by Japanese spa style. Installing a large open shower was the impetus for the design. “We wanted to feel like we had an outdoor shower inside,” Lamb says.
Bathroom at a Glance
Who lives here: Design-build firm owner Dion Lamb and his family
Location: Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
Size: 189 square feet (17.6 square meters)
Designer: Dion Lamb of CRx Construction
This is the view upon entering the bathroom. “I spent a lot of time thinking about the layout,” Lamb says. The jumping-off point for the style was this Houzz photo of a room with Japanese spa-like style.
Lamb laid out the bathroom in a way that would promote a feeling of calm. “I’m a kind of a nut job when it comes to symmetry,” he says with a laugh. Two frosted glass-paneled doors flank the large shower stall, and an ipe wall in the center provides some delineation for the open shower. Lamb used the same doors in other places throughout the house for cohesion. The door on the left leads to a toilet room and the door on the right leads to an outdoor shower.
“We wanted an indoor shower that felt like an outdoor shower,” Lamb says. “And we didn’t want a glass enclosure, we wanted it to be walk-in.” He was careful to insulate the space well, using spray foam insulation in the walls and under the floor. “The open shower heats up really well and isn’t drafty at all,” he says.
“The shower is definitely my baby,” Lamb says. Three shower heads, including a rain shower head and a handheld wand, provide options. Lamb wanted to try out Grohe’s push-button shower controls for himself before recommending them to clients. “Now I’m a huge fan of this feature,” he says. There’s a button to turn each shower head on and off and one dial for temperature control.
Another element the Lambs wanted was to have wood underfoot when showering. Using ipe here helped lend that outdoor feel. The highly durable wood, often used on outdoor decking, is low-maintenance, requiring oiling only once a year. Water runs into a linear drain beneath the wood. The wood lifts up for access to the drain for cleaning.
“I also fully tiled underneath the wood,” Lamb says. This provides the option for a tiled floor if they find they want a change or to appeal to more buyers should they ever sell their home.
New casement windows also help with the outdoor feel. The couple can open them to let in the breeze.
“I stole the idea for this niche wall from a restaurant that had something similar on a dividing wall,” Lamb says. “It was a great way to bring in a design element and break up what otherwise would have been a giant wall of tile.”
He had lights installed at the top of each niche. “I’m really big on indirect lighting and wanted to use as much of it as possible in here,” he says. The lighting helps create a relaxing mood. So do the plants, which bring another outdoor element into the indoor shower.
Lamb also added a tall, skinny recess for bath products. He tiled the walls and the floor in the same large-format porcelain tile. Its pattern resembles natural stone.
The same tile continues from the shower floor to the bathroom floor for a seamless look.
The ipe wall is hollow, providing space to store rolled-up towels. This is an idea Lamb has used with clients before. “We are often taking advantage of every nook and cranny for our clients who don’t have room for a linen closet,” he says. Rolled-up white towels surrounded by dark-stained rich wood also contributes to the spa-like vibe.
Opposite the ipe dividing wall, two wall-mounted vanities provide more symmetry. The vanities are dark-stained maple and the countertops are quartz. The faucets are matte black.
Backlit mirrors and lighting under the vanities provide additional indirect lighting. It’s nice to be able to flip on lights like these when making a bathroom trip in the middle of the night.
Lamb covered the backsplash wall in an elongated subway tile all the way up to the ceiling. “This tile had a lot of subtle color variation in tans and browns,” he says. These hues play off the veining in the countertops and the floor tile.
Lamb hid the outlets inside the vanities to keep the backsplash walls uncluttered. One of the vanities also has a hair appliance pullout inside.
Now, back to those symmetrically placed doors on either side of the shower. This one opens to the actual outdoor shower.
The other opens to the toilet room. Lamb covered the walls in shiplap to add texture. And he repeated the niche idea to hold rolls of toilet paper and other items.
The floor plan shows the symmetry of the room.
Lamb’s favorite thing about the new bathroom is entering it. “We feel spoiled the second we walk in — it feels amazing. We’ve never had anything like this before,” he says. “I’m always building things like this for other people. It’s been six months and we are still thrilled every time we walk into the room.”
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Step-By-Step - Renovating Your Luxury Home In Rehoboth Beach
In this step-by-step home renovation guide, we sit down with the experts to discuss how they recommend solving luxury lifestyle challenges and delivering a dream home. Whether you’re planning a large-scale luxury house renovation, thinking about an addition, or considering an entire house overhaul, this guide walks you through all the stages of a home renovation project so that you’ll have the knowledge and confidence you need to get started.