Step inside the bathroom that broke the internet. We catch up with the C. Cook Custom Interiors team to learn more about how the most admired bathroom of 2020 came together. From a burst of homeowner inspiration to the careful work of a trusted craftsman, keep reading for our full interview with brother and sister duo, Colin and Megan Cook!
Meet C. Cook Custom Interiors
Tell us more about your firm, C. Cook Custom Interiors! Where are you based?
Megan: C. Cook LLC is a craftsman-owned residential contractor business in Portland, Oregon, specializing in high quality, custom kitchen and bathroom renovations. Colin’s areas of expertise include design, custom tile work, finish carpentry, and painting.
Why do you love working with tile?
Colin: It’s such a versatile wall and floor covering. There’s everything from man-made products to stone products. The range of options and different ways to lay it out and set it is infinite. It’s a beautiful and timeless product that allows me to be creative. I’m a bathroom geek!
About the Project:
Tell us more about the space– Is there any story behind the project that you want to share? What did you change?
Colin: The house was built in 1911 and has a lot of old Portland charm. Originally, the cabinets and the fixtures were extremely close together and the room felt small, tight, and dark. The walls were covered in wallpaper. We changed the layout and every surface, fixture, and finish (unfortunately- we don’t have before photos).
How did you come up with your Rainbow colour scheme and design? What was your inspiration for choosing the tile colours and pattern?
Colin: The homeowner was inspired by a rainbow-striped fridge she found online from a blog post (click here to see the inspiration!). She then found Fireclay’s colour options and the end result is a gorgeous bathroom adaptation of that painted striped fridge.
How did the installation process go? Did you face any challenges?
Colin: The Fireclay renderings were a helpful starting point but there were many challenges along the way to get to the finished project. I’m the tile installer and the contractor and I work with a small crew and a few subs. I’m also a perfectionist so it was a fun challenge to get everything to line up perfectly.
From rendering to reality:
The walls were uneven so we had to flatten the walls. On the valve wall, there is a 36-inch chimney from the original stove in the kitchen so we had to fur that out so it would accept drywall. There was knob and tube wiring too. As we demo’d, it was cool to see just how many hands had worked in that space over the past 110 years. I’m proud to give the space new life that still honours the original character of the home!
As a perfectionist, how are you liking the end result?
Colin: This bathroom was for one of my favourite clients and this is one of my top 5 favourite projects I’ve ever completed. I get asked to make grey bathrooms a lot so I really looked forward to working on this one each day because it was so different and unique. I would consider doing this design in my own house.
What are your 3 best design tips?
1). Trust in the experience of your Designer or Contractor.
2). If you like a certain tile, consider all the different ways to lay it out and to use it in a space. For example, with subway tile, try to imagine what it would look like vertical, herringbone, stack bond, running bond, or in a chevron pattern.
3). Dare to be bold– Don’t be afraid of colour or a bold pattern.
Surface Studio is the exclusive Australian agent for Fireclay Tile. With a speciality in handmade tile and many years of experience working with Australia’s leading Architects & Interior Designers, we can help make your project dreams a reality.
Contact us on +61 2 9181 1249