We at Five Acres Furniture are excited to feature the D'Angelo Bathroom Vanity as our first project on our new Blog! This will be our forum to show a bit of insight into how we work and the products we produce. Here is a bit more on this project.
To start this project Joe and I had a few preliminary conversations and emails discussing inspiration and design ideas along with the size and space constraints they were working with. We then meet up one evening at the Spot Coffee in Williamsville near Joe's office to go through the details. I was really excited about the opportunity to work on a project of this size and design quality. Here's what Joe and Lauren had to say about the project.
What was your inspiration for the design of the bathroom?
After moving into the house and using the existing bathroom for some time, Lauren and I became so frustrated with using a poorly functioning bathroom, that we were ready to make a change. When the existing plumbing gave out, due to a frozen pipe, we decided that we were going to go ahead and re-imagine the whole space. We wanted a newly renovated bathroom that would start our morning off in a great way. We were looking for a spa-like retreat that used a variety of materials and textures to create a comfortable environment. Mixing the material palette between wood, glass, metal, natural stone and tile, instead of over-using ceramic tile on multiple surfaces, moved our finished bathroom away from a sterile and sanitary feeling, to a more peaceful and calming atmosphere. Using a warm toned wood as a focal material within the renovated space to compliment other colder stone surfaces was an idea we had from the beginning. And, in doing so, brought a specific look and feel into the space that resonated our personal style preferences.
What made you decide to go with a custom built vanity?
When working within the confines of an older home with limited space, we looked at many options to try to utilize the square footage as best as possible. Ready made solutions from big box stores always seemed like a compromise that would leave the renovated bathroom with a one size fits all feel. A custom wood vanity allowed us to get exactly what the new bathroom needed to function the best it can. We also knew that a custom piece of furniture from Five Acres Furniture would be a piece of woodworking art that would make the finished product uniquely ours. Shawn and I met at a local Spot coffee to discuss our ideas and needs, and after our initial consult, I felt extremely confident that he was the perfect craftsman to help us realize our ideas.
What design elements were you looking for in a vanity?
Designing a custom bathroom vanity afforded us many opportunities and design freedoms within the constraints of the space that wouldn't have otherwise been available to us. We were able to take advantage of what would have otherwise been dead floor space between the existing window and the vanity,by recessing a portion of the cabinetry. Making that cabinet recess not only allowed us to avoid modifying the existing window frame, but it also allowed enough space to install a heated towel rack under the window--a great addition to the finished bathroom. With the vanity filling out that corner of the bathroom, we were also able to add a significant amount of counter top area. Making things much easier in the morning while getting ready. Because this vanity was a truly custom piece of woodworking, we were able to really take advantage of adapting all of its aspects to the ideas we had about the finished bathroom. With Shawn's help, we altered the overall height of the cabinets, from the standard, so we could add wall mounted faucets and vessel sinks that were at a comfortable level. We used a thicker Carrera marble top to add a proportional profile that we desired. And, we made the toe kick lower and deeper so the finished alder wood vanity hovered over the dark slate floor. Customizing the layout of the doors and drawers was a huge advantage in having the vanity built custom. The addition of the lower large drawers greatly increases the vanity's storage capacity. Likewise, the small center drawers are the exact size and location we need to keep things moving efficiently in the mornings.
What was your favorite part of the design and build process?
The most enjoyable part of designing our custom bathroom vanity with Shawn was the focus on the finished details. It was great working with him on selecting unique types and grades of wood, and finding the perfect pieces of alder wood with the right tones, grain scale, and knot locations. The attention to detail he had, meant every aspect of the finished product was discussed and analyzed. Using a high build matte finish on the wood, at Shawn's suggestion, made it so the natural character of the wood offset other glossy surfaces within the bathroom. This also makes it easy to wipe down with a cloth so it can be cleaned and maintained. Shawn added an aluminum inlay into the face of the cabinetry and metal pulls on the doors. This was another example of adding detail to contrast the different materials within the bathroom. However, I would have to admit, the best part of the design process was seeing the finished vanity in the completed bathroom. It was the keystone that unified the space.
What advice would you give others thinking about remodeling their bathroom?
A renovation of an existing bathroom is one of the more complicated projects a homeowner can take on. Laying out a functioning space, while taking into consideration plumbing, electrical, and all the fixtures necessary is no easy task. Having someone like Shawn to glove-fit a custom vanity into the renovated space made the project progress smoothly and more successfully. A great bathroom that functions the way you desire will make getting up and getting ready each morning an easier and more enjoyable task.
If you would like to learn more about creating a custom piece of furniture for you home please feel free to say hi at firstname.lastname@example.org. If your interested in seeing more of my work you can follow along here where I post sneak peeks and updates from my current projects.
Owner: Joseph and Lauren D'Angelo
Architect: Joseph D'Angelo, AIA
Vanity Designers: Shawn Faulkner and Joseph D'Angelo
Contractor: Tom Enright Contracting
Photographers: Shaw Photography Co. www.shawphotoco.com