A group of designers in our firm is working on a bathroom with a great window. The room is large and has a window above the bathtub area. There is a strong need for privacy and the floor and lower walls are covered in hunter green tile. The style is very contemporary, but has a cold feeling when you enter the room. We are having trouble agreeing on a window treatment that will add warmth, provide privacy and maintain the contemporary style. Please offer some suggestions on ways to solve these problems as well as how to add warmth to the floor surface. Answer: Tile is a beautiful addition to any bathroom, but does have a few disadvantages: cold to the touch and view. The room definitely needs texture and warmth to create a comfortable feeling; therefore, I would select fabrics with texture, either in a pattern or solid color. You should avoid smooth, shiny surfaced materials such as chintz, as they will only add to the problem of a cool feeling.
A soft, yet contemporary style of treatment such as a gathered or pleated valance over a pleated shade with blackout lining is one possibility that will serve all purposes of softness, warmth and privacy. A Roman shade with blackout lining is a second choice for a different look, depending on your client's preference. Either shade could be inside mounted, if there is enough depth to the sill, to accentuate any wood moldings if desired.
The floor can be warmed by an area rug with skid-resistant backing. Choose something with a tassel fringe or soft pattern to add excitement to the room's decor. Finally, dress the walls in a subtle wall covering, a faux finish or soft marbleized design created with special painting techniques or wallpaper. For the finishing touch, add a floral arrangement on the counter with personal accessories that bring out the personality of the room.
The hunter green tile will set the mood of the room, and by choosing lighter colors to accent, such as neutrals or soft shades, you will soften the strong impression made by the dark color. The warmth created with fabric and texture will make the room more inviting and comfortable, while your use of color pattern and texture combined in the proper proportions will give you a successful design.
Editor's Note: This is a continuing series of articles written by Sharon L. Anderson which will answer some of the many questions we receive at Draperies & Window Coverings, as well as questions Anderson has encountered in her own business.
Sharon L. Anderson, Associate Member, Interior Design Educator's Council (IDEC), has more than 14 years experience as a commercial and residential design professional. She has taught numerous courses at colleges and universities throughout Southern California and is a published author and frequent public speaker.