Service of Interior Design to Achieve a Spick and Span Bathroom

October 27th, 2009

Categories: Blogfests, Interior Design

Bathroom designed by Hale-Williams Interiors

Bathroom designed by Hale-Williams Interiors

For the second of three posts written in conjunction with the 2009 Bathroom Blogfest  [the first ran yesterday, October 26), we asked two prominent interior designers to lend their expertise on how they help their residential clients achieve immaculate bathrooms.

We selected this theme so as to participate in a promotion of the blogfest’s first sponsor. Unfortunately, the postal service didn’t cooperate and the sponsor’s cleaning product, that I was supposed to test and write about, has not arrived.

On to the designers’ important tips:

Florence Perchuk specializes in kitchens and baths. The New York-based CKD-accredited designer recommends that every bathroom have a hand sanitizer adjacent to the faucet. “Most people don’t wash long enough,” observes the owner of Designs by Florence Perchuk, Ltd. who admits she also has one mounted on her kitchen wall.

Florence Perchuk, CKD, Designs by Florence Perchuk

Florence Perchuk, CKD, Designs by Florence Perchuk


Perchuk admits that while they can be beautiful, she’s not a fan of shower curtains because they are unsanitary. “Most hang for years before anyone thinks to take them down to clean them.” She also nixes cheap shower enclosures because soap scum collects in the metal frames and you can’t get it out. “High-end custom enclosures use very little metal. I’m particular about the enclosures I specify because I don’t want to see a mess in a two year old bathroom.”

Grout is a challenge says Perchuk, who nevertheless loves tile. “Sealant can help for a year or two, to help prevent grout from disintegrating and staining.” She marvels at the many people who don’t think of using sealant with tile and warns that you don’t get around the grout issue with synthetics such as Corian and Caesarstone.

From Carmel, Calif., Tom Williams, of Hale-Williams Interiors, notes, “Most interior designers working on a bathroom design consider ease of maintenance and how the elements achieve a clean and healthy environment.” He recommends that you “avoid inaccessible corners and areas that are hard to reach. Moist, warm areas breed mold and mildew.”

You may think his recommendation is obvious–it’s not. Last year in one of the country’s most prestigious decorator showcase houses, I saw a bathroom the size of most master bedrooms with a wall of glass that zigzagged parallel to the wall to make a sculptural shower enclosure. Trouble was, it ended in a dramatic, impossible-to-reach point. On seeing it, the first thing I thought of was, “How could you ever clean the muck that collects in that corner after each shower?” Even with hot and cold maid service, the challenge would be insurmountable.

Williams  [Photo Below, right] and his partner Robert Hale [Photo Below, left] are the authors of the new book, “Starting Your Career as an Interior Designer,” [Allworth Press, Inc.]. They were chosen as the design team to fulfill their project on HGTV’s “Designers’ Challenge.”  hale-williams3

Speaking of service, the focus of this blog, Williams responded to my questions immediately, the night I first contacted him, even though a half an hour before reading my email, his house had been struck by a cypress tree felled by 45 mph wind gusts, breaking a corner of the roof and downing rain gutters.

Back to bathrooms and speaking of blasts of air, Williams recommends a powerful and quiet exhaust fan as a key piece of equipment for a bathroom to remove moist air and keep mold and mildew from thriving.

“In addition, we use baseboard moldings, or skirting boards, to minimize little cracks and crevices where germs breed.  The floor is sealed to the baseboard to prevent dirty mop water from running along the edge of the flooring and seeping into where floor meets wall. The baseboard should be the same as the flooring material.  If you use stone, make the baseboard the same or a contrasting stone or mix of stones.  Rubber flooring can also include a matching baseboard.

“Quartz materials for countertops such as Zodiac and Caesarstone are also a good choice for ease of maintenance and cleanliness.  The material is sealed and easy to clean with everyday household products.  Like granite and other natural stones, they feature few seams in which germs breed and the finish requires little re-application of sealers or special solvents.  These products, a mix of 93% crushed stone and 7% polymers, come in a variety of colors.

“For shower curtains, the expansive selection of outdoor fabrics, generally 100% solution dyed acrylic, is a perfect selection.  These are inherently mold and mildew resistant and come in a variety of colors and soft finishes in fashionable prints, colors and styles that weren’t available a few years ago.  Be sure to line the curtain in the same material and consider using button holes rather than grommets for the hooks to avoid discoloration or rusting.”

What have you found to help keep bathrooms clean as a whistle?

Here’s a list of participating bloggers in the blogfest:

Susan Abbott at Customer Experience Crossroads
Reshma Anand at Qualitative Research Blog
Shannon Bilby at From the Floors Up
• Shannon Bilby and Brad Millner at My Big Bob’s Blog
Laurence Borel at Blog Till You Drop
Jeanne Byington at The Importance of Earnest Service
Becky Carroll at Customers Rock!
Leslie Clagett at KB Culture
Katie Clark at Practical Katie
Iris Shreve Garrott at Checking In and Checking Out
Julie at Julie’s Cleaning Secrets Blog
Marianna Hayes at Results Revolution
Maria Palma at People To People Service
Professor Toilet at Professor Toilet’s Blog
David Reich at My 2 Cents
Bethany Richmond at The Carpet and Rug Institute Blog
Carolyn Townes at Becoming a Woman of Purpose
Stephanie Weaver at Experienceology;
C.B. Whittemore at Flooring The Consumer and Simple Marketing Blog
Linda Wright at Build Better Business with Better Bathrooms

4 Responses to “Service of Interior Design to Achieve a Spick and Span Bathroom”

  1. C.B. Whittemore Said:

    Jeanne, terrific post! I love how you weave in so many perspectives including elemental observations. You are a Bathroom Blogfest gem. Thank you! CB

  2. Eddie Baecher Said:

    As a small time builder with a dozen or so bathrooms installed I have the basic belief that less is more, brighter is whiter, and whiter is cleaner, maybe in a prior life I had something to do with a hospital. Clutter is nice in a living room, or in a den, but when it comes to eating and areas of hygiene I tend to get phobias.

    When entering a house it is easy to smell animals, shower curtains, and the worst of all for me is “bathroom cheese”. My principal occupation for the last thirty years or so is auto collision repair, I am a fairly tough guy, and work with guys pretty much the same, but a nasty bathroom, is just disgusting, and in the shop I am known as the “Bathroom Nazi”.

    Bathroom and toilet cheese is easy to combat, use Clorox, the Germans and French threw it at each other in WW One for the main reason that nothing or nobody survived, the same goes for the old crapper. A light mixture of Clorox and water dose wonders. As far as those nasty shower curtains, toss them in washer with the weekly bed sheets and a sneaker, ya cant go wrong!

  3. Joseph Said:

    You have some excellent ideas for bathrooms. That has been one of the recurring themes in my own life–looking for a way to make our bathrooms and our kitchen look really glorious, even though those rooms are much too small. One of the glories of the Internet, though, is that there is absolutely no dearth of ideas. Right now I have no idea of what I will ultimately do, but I keep hoping I will come up with something really slick.

  4. Jeanne Byington Said:


    Full disclosure: I do not represent interior designers.

    I have hired them for projects in my various apartments and for years have worked with them on client projects.

    Good ones are worth every penny and will actually save you a zillion hours of backing and forthing as well as money from mistakes made. They will help you move your bathroom and kitchen remodelings from your mind to your apartment or home. They are trained to hear what you want, see what you show them that you like and translate the visual to match your lifestyle and budget. If you pick the right interior designer, you will end up with great spaces that are very you–not them.

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