The trends for bathrooms it seems, is that they keep getting larger and larger with huge walk in showers, steam rooms and even spa lap tubs. Gone are the large whirlpool tubs that take forever to fill up, they cool off quickly and in most cases, hard to get into safely. In comes the large walk in showers….walk in, as in no door, just walk in to one end with usually 2 or more shower heads, body sprays, benches, niches and even full length windows.
I don’t think I would miss a shower door actually, and this new trend in showers makes the most of one whole wall in a bathroom. I was fortunate to have designed the tile layout for one such shower in a master bath, and I knew I wanted something dramatic….not that this huge shower with full length glass windows wasn’t enough drama, I wanted more..
The builder uses Cambria Quartz products for his countertops, islands, and fireplace surrounds, and since I had to choose the colors for the vanity top and threshold to the shower, I went to the showroom to see what pattern would best fit with design palette I was working with. While in the showroom waiting for the salesperson to come, I noticed they had the Cambria mascot, a dragon, inset like a mosaic into a piece of Quartz. My aha moment, there was the drama I was looking for…a mosaic of some kind in the shower. I was jittery from excitement to discuss the possibilities with the salesperson…yes, they could do it…they have never done one in a residential install before…I would just have to supply the template…..whoa-what? I would have to make the template? I was thinking of a 5’8″ tree with leaves on the entrance wall all in different quartz patterns…a mosaic that will be showcased, and not inexpensive, and I have to draw it? All of a sudden my jitters burst like a balloon!
I couldn’t get this idea out of my head, and once something is in my head and won’t leave me alone, I know I have to find a way to make it work. Step in my artistic friend, Amy. I called Amy up and described the idea and she was ready to try. Oh, did I mention, we were on a deadline too, the showroom needed the template asap for they had to put it into production in order to get it finished to be installed before the opening…no pressure here!
I cut down several large cardboard boxes that I had in the garage and drew a simple outline of a tree and a simple leaf pattern to use. I’m not good with scale, so I knew Amy would be able to help me with that. We spread out the cardboard on Amy’s living room floor and she did her magic, scaling the tree to the perfect proportions. Then there were the leaves- drawing them then cutting them out so the template would work. I decided on 3 different Quartz patterns to make up the leaves and the tree. After several attempts of figuring out which color would go where with duplicate leaves, we had our template ready. That template was like gold…being oh so careful not to rip it, bend it or loose any of the leaves.
After dropping off the template to the showroom, the cutter had me go back into the design room while he scanned the template into his computer. There it was, up on the screen, and we sat and tweaked a couple of the leaf placements and it was set to go into production. Once I signed off on the design, out on the factory floor they have these huge machines that are cutters run by a computer. They lay the large slab of quartz on top of the machine, then the cutters cut out the pattern in the quartz from the template design. The machine not only cut out the tree design into the large slab of quartz, but it also cut the tree and leaves from different colored slabs of quartz so the those pieces fit into the outline shape in the large quartz slab like a puzzle. All inlaid as one piece when finished. I have never been so nervous about anything like this for a long time-you know how you envision something in your head, and pray that it will turn out the same? Well, I was praying up until the last leaf was placed in the shower wall. There went that burst balloon feeling again only this time it was the breath I had been holding for hours as they carried the slab up a flight of stairs with 4 guys, passing just painted corners and newly installed doors to the Master bath.
Hallelujah! It fit perfectly and looks amazing! Did I say, ah-may-zing? Oh yes!
I picked the field tile and floor tile to be subtle and soft to not compete with the star of the room… the tree. The tree is tucked on the entrance wall of the walk in tiled shower and a glimpse can be seen from the full length windows to the shower. I picked a tree for the mosaic design for it was universal and most people like trees plus it wasn’t something too specific…just simple…and amazing..ha!
It definitely was something unexpected, which I love to do…it was something that Cambria had never done before, and now they can say they have, which I’m glad, and it is a special unique detail for the homeowner to enjoy, which is most important.
So, from the reactions of thousands of patrons who visited this show home, I think many people like having a tree in the shower, wouldn’t you?
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