Tuesday, August 5th, 2014
Featured Company: Patricia Motzkin Architecture - Location: Berkeley, CA - Project Type: Residence - Project Name: Tanner-Soule Bathrooms
Photos by Mark Luthringer, luthringer.com
By Risa Seidman
Any room in a house can show off its designer’s creative chops—even a bathroom. Or, in Patricia Motzkin’s case, two bathrooms. Motzkin’s clients hired her to remodel both their master bathroom and powder room in a way that would reflect their love for modern design yet still mesh with the 20th Century vintage feel of their Berkeley home.
“In the master [bathroom], the clients desired a luxurious, light-filled, serene space,” Motzkin says. Because of the original bathroom’s limited space, Motzkin had to reconfigure the layout of the entire room. Expanding the bathroom into the master bedroom allowed for more storage space and a larger window to let in ample daylight. The new space now features a large soaking tub beneath the window, a glass-enclosed shower, and custom cabinets. One of Motzkin’s favorite elements of the redesigned master bathroom, though, is the glass wall tiling. “It’s sophisticated, textured, reflects light, and is extremely elegant,” she says, “with a Deco-like quality that’s reminiscent of days gone by yet fitting in a contemporary setting.”
For the powder room, Motzkin took a more dramatic approach. “The clients wanted a surprising, contemporary, small space in which they could display their contemporary art,” she says. The now bronze-painted powder room boasts a video alcove behind the toilet and a "gun mirror," whose frame is made from revolvers and ammunition. Due to the powder room’s limited square footage and sloped ceiling, Motzkin had to take special care when preparing to remodel it. “Every inch had to be carefully claimed and planned to create a space full of surprises,” she says. “It’s a surprisingly rich project, yet harmonious, with all elements carefully balanced.”
Juggling two very different design projects under the same roof might intimidate some, but Motzkin’s close attention to detail and proportion helped her execute the remodels with ease.
Patricia Motzkin does her fair share of remodels, including one notable project that features a floating staircase, implemented with the help of Copper Iron Designs. “The successful execution of the stair had everything to do with Patty’s vision,” says Copper Iron Designs president Andrew Bradford, “and our collective brainstorming with the engineer and the collaboration with the glass artist.”
For James Pennington-Kent, project manager with McCutcheon Construction, the most interesting element of the Tanner-Soule bathroom remodels was Patricia Motzkin’s ability to transform both into “wonderfully contrasting yet balanced spaces.” The master bathroom incorporates a variety of awkward spaces into a “beautiful, wide-open white [room] with lovely fixtures and tub,” while the powder room provides a striking contrast with copper-colored walls and a custom mirror over the sink. “This powder room has a delightful, dark feeling, which provided a charming balance with the large, white master bath,” Pennington-Kent says. “Together these two bathroom remodels increased the value of the home immensely.”
After 15 years of working together, it’s no surprise that Randall Wilson of Randall Wilson and Sons—a high-end residential cabinetry and furniture-making company—and architect Patricia Motzkin have an excellent working relationship. “Patricia is unusual for designers these days because she is incredibly thorough and thinks everything through,” Wilson says. “Her designs are fully developed when they come to us; she doesn’t set any inadvertent traps in her designs. Working with her is relaxing.”