The Four-Stage Interior Design Project

The discussion in this chapter is focused on the design process, from idea to product. We have emphasized the completed design. However, the design proc­ess can also include project management, including construction supervision and installation coordination.

A four-stage approach to the design process is commonly used by interior de­signers, who may also be bathroom designers. The four-stage interior design project includes both the development of the design and management of the project, and is similar in many ways to the discussion of the design process and design programming presented in this chapter. However, review of the four-stage interior design project is another way to examine and expand our understanding of the design process.


• Program design and analysis: The firs...


Activities and Relationships

This section is the crux of the design program. Focus on the various activities that will take place in the bathroom and what is needed in the design to support them. You may want to group ac­tivities together into centers. For example, teeth-brushing, hair-combing, and face-washing all have similar requirements and could be grouped together as part of the grooming center. Form 3: Checklist for Bathroom Activities and Form 4: Bathroom Storage Inventory are designed in sections by centers so that you can collect activity and storage information in an organized fashion.

Since the focus is on the activities taking place in the space, the emphasis is on who is doing what. Organize the activity information into a user analysis chart. (See Table 10.1 for a sample user analysis chart...


Goals and Purpose

Can you briefly describe the goals of a design project? Think of this part of the design program as the overview. It should include a specific description of the client(s), the type and scope of the project, the budget, and your role and responsibilities in the project. Include the major criteria for the bathroom design and any unique aspects of the project. Most of the information can come from Form 1: Getting to Know Your Client and Form 5: Your Client’s Bathroom Preferences found in chapter 5, "Assessing Needs."

You might want to share your goal statements with your client to determine that you have inter­preted the project correctly. The statements could also be included in your contract.


Objectives are used to operationalize your goals...


The design program

Let’s imagine that you have just completed an exciting meeting with your client. Lots of ideas were shared back and forth. Enticing possibilities for a grand bathroom design were explored. You are eager to sketch, pull out material samples, and develop your thoughts into a new design. Ready to go? What, start by writing a design program? No, you say, let’s just go straight to the design. You can incorporate the client’s needs as you go along.

If you skip the design program, how will you know what to design? Design programming is an important and necessary part of successfully completing the design process...


Putting It All Together

Design is a process—but not a neat, tidy, linear process. Moving from the idea, or the wish, for a new bathroom to the finished product involves much going back and forth, checking and rechecking. A bathroom design involves a dose of inspiration, a spark of creativity, but mostly a lot of hard work.

This book has presented a considerable amount of information about bathrooms, what to include and how to arrange the space. It has emphasized how to gather information about your clients to help focus your design to meet their needs and desires. This chapter will help you figure out how to organize this wealth of information and translate it into an actual bathroom design.

The first part of this chapter discusses the overall design process, how to move from an idea to a complete design...


Utilities and Infrastructure

Several pieces of hydrotherapy equipment will require extra water heaters, either larger tanks or on-demand heaters. Extra support in the floor may be needed to handle the weight of the equip­ment, especially when filled with water. Electrical service will need to be planned to accommodate the heaters and pumps. Extra plumbing and electrical requirements may call for extra wall and floor space. Access panels for maintenance and servicing of equipment should be planned. These and other considerations are discussed in chapter 2, "Infrastructure Considerations" and chapter 7, "Mechanical Planning."


A variety of lighting will be needed in the spa area to support different activities. General indirect lighting should be provided for the safe use of equipment and for dressing...




FIGURE 9.28 Controls are placed within the steam room.

Courtesy of Mr. Steam



FIGURE 9.29 Prefabricated saunas can fit into the home spa area.

Courtesy of Helo


FIGURE 9.30 A sauna layout should consider bench height and depth, ceiling height, and floor clearance.

Based on Human Dimension & Interior Space by Julius Panero and Martin Zelnik, 1979, Watson-Guptill Publications p. 254



Vichy Shower

This system provides hydrotherapy from an overhead shower rainbar with several showerheads. The user lies in a wet spa bed while a therapist administers the shower treatment. Handheld show­erheads might also be used to pin-point water pressure on specific areas of the body...


Courtesy of Kohler Company

FIGURE 9.23 Colored lighting In a bathtub

Courtesy of Kohler Company



There are many types of massage treatments and body works that are used to help clients to relax, reduce pain, and tone muscles. The specific type of massage will depend on the massage therapist and the needs of the client. Although the bath designer will not need to know all of the types of massage treatments, it might be helpful to be familiar with a few of the techniques.

• Cranio-sacral massages focus on the head and neck area to loosen tight neck muscles.

• Deep tissue massage releases tension in deeper muscle layers by using slow strokes and finger pressure on contracted muscle areas.

• Feldenkrais massage is a clothes-on massage that helps with sports injuries and tension.

• Reflexology is a massage based on a ...


FIGURE 9.22 Hydrotherapy tubs can use jets, air, or a combination. Courtesy of Aquatic


FIGURE 9.22 Hydrotherapy tubs can use jets, air, or a combination. Courtesy of Aquatic

backrest, doors, controls, and lighting. Infrared heat can be used for warm-ups for athletes, physical therapy, or massages.


Color often has personal associations that lead to color preferences for certain spaces and activi­ties. Various shades, tones, and intensities of blue and green are often considered soothing and are used in spa areas. Reds and yellows are considered warm and more active. It is important to talk to clients about their color preferences and associations.

Chromatherapy describes colored lights that are thought to influence the user’s mood. Different colors have different effects...


Courtesy of Kohler Company Thalassotherapy

This is a long-term treatment of seawater in baths, showers, and mud wraps. The premise is that the body absorbs the minerals from the seawater through osmosis. Thalassotherapy is supposed to help clear out the blood and keep the body in a balanced state. It might also be used as an in­halant to aid the upper respiratory tract. In a seawater bath (balenotherapy), the water is heated to 93°F (33.9°C) for optimal skin treatment.

Cleansing Steam

Steam baths offer a way to cleanse and relax at the same time. In a steam bath, the humidity reaches 100 percent and cleans out the body’s pores. A lukewarm shower follows the steam bath to add to the relaxing experience. Or a cold shower can be invigorating...