Health, Connection, Balance and Beauty

The San Francisco Decorator Showcase is one of the Bay Area’s premier design show house events, featuring the work of top designers and raising funds for the San Francisco University High School Financial Aid Program. Over its 35-year history, the Showcase has been held in architecturally significant homes throughout San Francisco featuring rooms that range from tastefully elegant to wild, wacky and whimsical. The designers and artisans who donate their time and resources for this event create fantastic spaces that inspire, seduce, challenge and sometimes confound the senses.  The site for this year’s Showcase was Herbst Manor, an 8,000 square foot 1906 Georgian mansion that was transformed and reimagined by 24 talented design firms from around the Bay Area.

The show house was full of beautiful spaces, but there was one room that stood out for me as the defining, awe-inspiring moment in the tour. The master bathroom created by the design firm Siol (pronounced she-ohl) under the direction of Jessica Weigley and Kevin Hackett offered the perfect balance of innovative design, superb artistry, craftsmanship and natural beauty as a testament to the “sacred ritual of bathing.”

The design team at Siol was inspired by the human need for health, connection, balance and beauty, with the goal of creating a modern bathroom that meets the needs of daily use, but also provides a vessel for reflection. The team came up with a brilliant floor plan with a central, open shower that is surrounded by zones for bathing, cleansing and drying. The floor plan includes multipurpose, sliding wall screens that provide privacy for the shower and toilet chamber and are beautiful works of art as well. The cleansing and drying area in the front of the space takes full advantage of the cityscape view, while the rear bathing area is a meditative environment centered in front of a beautiful living wall comprised of baby’s tears, spearmint, woodland fern, French lavender and other plant life.

The fixtures and furnishings throughout the bathroom have simple, sculptural qualities that create the feeling of a private art gallery. The color scheme contrasts bronze and ebony with a background of white. The vibrant green living wall in the rear of the space is the perfect counterpoint to the neutral colors used in the rest of the space. The total effect is one that is nurturing and sensual, exactly what a bathroom should be.

These are the design ideas that can be adapted from this Showcase bathroom to your own home:

Put a fresh, modern spin on the style of your bathroom, even if you live in an older home.

Explore unconventional floor plan options.

Design the shower as an integral part of the space.

Choose fixtures with simple, clean lines.

Create an interesting canvas with a neutral color scheme in contrasting colors.

Introduce color with plants that thrive in a humid environment.

These ideas can be executed at all budget levels and will help to transform your bathroom into a space inspired by health, connection, balance and beauty.

For more information: Siol Studios, www.siolstudios.com; SF Decorator Showcase, decoratorshowcase.org

Jim Tibbs is the creative director of HDR Remodeling. If you would like to learn more, please read his blog at hdrremodeling.wordpress.com or follow him on Twitter at @HDRre- modeling1.