Compact elegance

A shower with clear glass walls, doors to the exterior, and green slate tiles transform this bathroom

BEFORE:

The tub and opaque sliding shower doors cut the room in half. There was no connection to the adjacent side yard, and the room lacked visual drama.

AFTER:

Designer Christopher Grubb installed a shower enclosed by clear glass walls. He also replaced the small window with glass doors, letting in much more natural light and giving the owner a direct route to the garden hot tub.

To achieve an elegant contemporary appearance, Grubb covered the floor and walls with green slate tiles set at a 45° angle.

"In an older house, the lines of the ceiling and floor usually aren't perfectly straight," he says.

"Putting the slate at an angle helps hide uneven construction. It's less noticeable than when the tiles line up in a conventional grid." The tile is interrupted by a black granite "chair rail," because, says Grubb, "an entire wall of tile could feel too overwhelming. The granite breaks it up."

A mirrored wall gave the owner more tile and granite for his money. Running almost seamlessly from floor to ceiling and wall to wall on one side of the room, the mirror is both decorative and practical.

"It's much less expensive to cover a wall with mirror than with slate tile," Grubb says. "Here it reflects a wall of slate, and you get a built-in full-length mirror."

Grubb selected a black toilet because he feels that fixtures in small rooms should blend in.

"White would scream 'Look at me!' Here, black fades into the background and relates to the chair rail," he says. Indeed, the toilet almost disappears.

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