When refurbishing the existing attic in his home, a Seattle-based architect sought to revamp the older area to provide more light and storage space, without disturbing its carbon footprint. With the help of neutral-colored elements, accented by a wall of brightly colored mosaic tiles, the dark space was transformed into a well-lit multifunctional suite.

The top level of the 1,750-square-foot home — which now consists of a master bedroom, oversized office and bathroom — originally included an outdated bathroom with a clawfoot tub. Along with providing more light and space, one of the main goals was to remove the clawfoot tub and replace it with an expansive shower.

An abstract mosaic tile pattern from Artaic’s SPLASH! Collection was used to create an accent wall on the shower’s facade. About 35 square feet of 3/4-inch vitreous glass tile from the series, in “Carbonation Tangerine,” was used to compose the
24- x 8- x 80-inch vertical element.

“We were drawn to the tile’s unlimited possibilities, robotic assembly and simple installation,” said Gavin Smith, homeowner and project manager and senior associate at Perkins+Will in
Seattle, WA. “We looked at a variety of tiles, but felt this tile made a unique statement with color and pattern.”

The white- and orange-colored tile design, inspired by the spontaneous movement of water, complements the all-white walls and floors throughout the 14- x 8-foot bathroom. “Artaic was really good to work with,” said Smith. “We worked with them to switch out a couple of colors and they sent a sample board of the pattern.”

An easy install

After designing the new bathroom, Smith enlisted the help of local
professional, Dan Krey, to aid with the install. Using Custom Building
Products’ thinset and grout, coupled with the WonderBoard® Lite
Backerboard, Krey was able to complete the shower install by himself in
three weeks.

“The most difficult part was layout and adjusting the thickness of the wall, while maintaining reveal to the drain and curb,” said the owner of Precision Stone in Kirkland, WA. “However, everyone liked the finished tile work.”

The airy space, which incorporates four overhead skylights, took about six months to complete and now serves as the heart of the home. “My wife and I have really enjoyed it,” said Smith. “We now have a lot of light and lots of storage.” 

Private residence

Seattle, WA

Architect: Gavin Smith, Seattle, WA
General Contractor: Ainslie-Davis Construction, Inc., Seattle, WA
Tile Supplier: Artaic, Boston, MA (SPLASH! Collection)
Tile Installer: Precision Stone, Kirkland, WA
Installation Products: Custom Building Products, Seal Beach, CA (modified thinset and grout, WonderBoard® Lite Backerboard)