The Best Bath of the Year: 5 Ways to Get it for Yourself

From Margaret Everton on August 16, 2010 in Seattle

How Seattle designers snagged the 2010 Bath of the Year Award

seattle bathroom shag rug

Don’t read this if you have any tendency to jealousy. Especially don’t read it if you have ever wanted a bathroom that looks, feels, and acts like a five-star spa. Only read on if you want to find out how one Seattle couple living on Bainbridge Island did it, and pick up a few lessons along the way.

The bathroom is an odd size—6’ x 24’—but to the design team of architect Matthew Coates, it was a challenge worth pursuing. He got to know the owners, discovered their having lived in Japan, their love for “authentic” and “meditative,” their passion for sustainability, and a desire for coziness and comfort. Coates had his orders, and he got to work.

seattle bathroom cabinets

Oh, by the way, the bath you’re about to read about chalked up a humdinger of an award. It now has the prestigious distinction of being the 2010 Bath of the Year from Seattle Homes & Lifestyles. That’s bragging rights if we ever saw it.

seattle bathroom shower tiles

Now, find out four ways that the Matthew Coates and local designers (like the Seattle interior design firm All in the Details), achieved the stunning beauty of this award-winning bath.

How they did it:

#1 – Outdoor view. A little glance out the window is like a glance at a stunning and masterful portrait from a master artisan. This portrait is a live one—Puget Sound and distant Seattle. It changes with the season and infuses the bath with tons of natural light and a whole lot of green.

#2 – Texture galore. Water provides its own medley of playful, serene, energetic, and peaceful textures. To imitate the natural and legion textures of water, the designers infused the spa-like space with a variety of textures. From the dreamily-soft shag rug to the silky-smooth touch of the wood-paneled walls, to the sharply-glistening accents of the stainless steel fixtures, the bathroom offers eye candy at every turn, simply based on the integrative approach of a multi-textured surface.

#3 – Eco-everything. Satiating luxury doesn’t have to be antagonistic toward green living and eco-friendliness. This bathroom surely isn’t. From the Forest Council Certified woods to the eco-fiber towels, reused water that flushes the toilet, recycled shower tiles, the bath space is affected with green touches.

#4 – Simplicity. Those who have a love for the luxuriant may experience the temptation to go overboard when it comes to design features. Scale it back. These professional designers knew that the best beauty is restrained beauty, simplicity, and minimalism. The clean lines and Asian overtones of the bath reflect that beauty and create an “Oh, wow!” impression.

#5 – Comfort. Let’s not forget the creature-pleasers. After all, this bath was designed for the comfort of mankind, namely its owners, Ed and Joanne, who use it every day. Rather than install the old-and-boring traditional whirlpool tub or Jacuzzi, Coates ordered an Ofuru tub—a special Japanese soaking tub used for relaxation, warmth and meditation. It’s for more than merely getting clean. This tub provides the perfect solution for the untraditional atmosphere of the bath.

seattle bathroom landscaping

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