Color Considerations

by Kacey Larsen

Artwork is often inspirational, but it isn’t every day a piece of art influences the color palette for a home. A young couple in Carlsbad, Calif., appreciates art, design and bold colors, so when Sol Quintana Wagoner, senior interior designer at Jackson Design & Remodeling, San Diego, began working with the clients she took inspiration from one of the couple’s favorite paintings. And that inspiration became particularly apparent in the completed master bathroom remodel.

“I was inspired by the colors in the artwork and took the tone of the blue and the yellow – colorful but modern colors – to use as the starting point for the palette of the master bathroom,” Wagoner says. “The client wanted to paint every single wall different colors, but I said “Let’s not do that. Let’s go with color in pieces like cabinets, countertops, tile and work with that.” “

The result is a periwinkle blue vanity, lemon yellow oversized wall tiles and hand-blown glass pendants that stand out against the neutral walls, flooring and bathroom fixtures. However, neutral did not mean boring, Wagoner explains. “I like to work with color and texture together,” she says. “In a space as colorful as this, a design challenge was to balance the elements so they are exciting and interesting without being overwhelming.” As an example, the walls surrounding the open shower are comprised of 12×24-in.-wide tiles in a texture reminiscent of mid-century patterns to give the space character while not detracting from the space’s other colors.

Another more subtle use of texture involved the strategic dispersal of matte tiles within the arrangement of the yellow oversized wall tiles. The other glossy tiles create a very shiny and reflective space, which Wagoner wanted to tone down while still maintaining the integrity of the artistic element.

“[The mixture of matte and glossy tiles] is something you probably would not notice, but the effect is such that you will feel it,” she says. “I feel like when you integrate a room with the overall design of a home you don’t need it to be all open but you need to bring, for example, some pieces of a consistent color or texture so maybe you don’t realize it but your brain is really making some visual connections.”

Cohesive spaces

The master bathroom is comprised of two spaces – the vanity, sink and linen closet in one space and the bathtub, shower and toilet in another – that can be separated for privacy. Wagoner’s design ensures the spaces flow with one another and incorporate elements seen throughout the rest of the home. The yellow oversized wall tiles are the most obvious inclusion in both bathroom spaces, appearing above the vanity and behind the freestanding bathtub. The flooring in each space is the same Silver Beige Veincut Limestone material cut into planks for the vanity area of the bathroom and surrounding the toilet, and then narrowed into a smaller tile for the sloped floor of the open shower.

Though a more subtle sharing between the spaces, Wagoner made sure the design filled the entire master bathroom with natural light. “It was important to maintain the openness of the design, so the wall where the tub and shower are I put as many glass panels as the structure would allow,” she says. “Because there is no door from the master bedroom, we wanted a little bit of a divide for where the toilet is but the sink area was so dark I didn’t want to put in a wall. So I put in those [Shoji-style doors] so you can maintain light throughout the space.”

It was a conscious decision on Wagoner’s part to have the Shoji-style doors and the glass panels have black trim to be consistent with the black used throughout the house on all windows and doors. “The black trim theme acts as a design detail that unifies the spaces and becomes more like an architectural detail,” she says.

Over the course of the remodel, walls were opened and plumbing was relocated to accommodate the vision for the space. One element that could not be changed without huge expense was the existing beams revealed during construction. Instead, Wagoner integrated them into the design by converting them into architectural details that looked intentional.

Artistic functionality

Functionality balanced with an artistic attitude was essential to the design of the master bathroom. Niches in the shower area provide practical storage solutions, but one of the niches is made from decorative acrylic to provide a restrained creative element. The linen closet in the vanity area and a shelf next to the freestanding bathtub were built with the same wood to, again, integrate the spaces, provide contrast and yet serve the needs of the homeowners.

Wagoner ensured that the periwinkle vanity would be providing suitable storage for her clients in addition to the pop of color. “The large vanity drawers were customized to fit around the plumbing, maximizing the space and creating a generous amount of convenient storage,” she says.

A storage solution for the husband, who is too tall to comfortably optimize the medicine cabinet mirrors above the sinks, an innovation solution was designed: mirrors that roll up and down so they can be set at an ideal height for grooming. The inside of the medicine cabinets are outfitted with electrical so the homeowner’s items are still readily accessible, can removed from the countertop and be charging while being stored. Another incentive of the mirrors rolling up is that hand-blown, decorative pendant lights could be included in the space without fear of being hit by a medicine cabinet door. While functionality was a driving force behind the medicine cabinet mirrors, Wagoner explains that a side benefit was she “wanted the large horizontal mirrors in the sink space to emphasize the existing natural light.”


Call-out/ Side-bar: The master bathroom project has received three awards for Jackson Design & Remodeling: Qualified Remodeler’s 2014 Master Design Awards Gold for Bathroom More Than $75,000; 2015 National NKBA Large Bathroom – Third Place; and a 2015 National Chrysalis Award.

Company Information:

Jackson Design & Remodeling

San Diego, Calif.


Project Information:

Daring Style Master Bath

Carlsbad, Calif.

Square footage: 142

Cost: $85,000


Product Information:

Sink vanity: DeWils

Countertops: Caesarstone

Tile: Arizona Tile, Oceanside Tile and Porcelanosa

Lavatory: Mirabelle

Faucet and toilet: Kohler

Tub: Victoria + Albert

Bath filler: Kohler

Medicine cabinet: Robern

Accessories: Kohler

Lighting: LBL Seguro pendants


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