Photo courtesy Studio Grey
Minneapolis-based interior designer Amanda Maday is in the running to win HGTV’s Fresh Faces of Design competition. Fresh Faces of Design is looking for the most innovative designers under the age of 35, and will choose one winner for each of the 10 design categories. Maday’s overhauled bathroom design is one of five in the “Most Unusual Space” category, which aims to find the best design executed in the most interesting of ways. “At first I thought, ‘unusual space—that’s kind of weird,’ but then I realized that I liked it because I don’t like ordinary things; I like eclectic spaces,” Maday says.
The nominated room was a Minneapolis family’s bathroom that was simply too small to fit their needs. Maday agrees it was probably her unusual combination of materials—like cork flooring, patinated metal, and glazed brick—that contributed to her placement in the category, but the ethanol-burning fireplace, connected outdoor patio, and wine bar didn’t hurt. “I tried to create individual areas of privacy so multiple people could be using the space without being exposed,” she says.
Maday is no stranger to the spotlight. The founder and owner of Studio Grey Design has been featured on HGTV and DIY Network’s Bath Crashers several times, transforming even the scariest of bathrooms into works of art. It was one of her Bath Crashers projects that sparked the attention of the network, who urged her to submit to the contest.
Maday, who has 10 years of combined experience as both a commercial and residential interior designer, remains humble even as her work climbs to one of the highest levels of recognition. “To have your work recognized by HGTV is something you can only dream about,” Maday says. “It’s an honor."
Vote for Maday’s bathroom once a day until December 11, and in case all those photos of artfully designed homes inspires you to give your shower a facelift, Maday gave Mpls.St.Paul Home & Design five of her favorite bathroom redesign tricks of the trade:
No. 1: Lighting and dimmers. "I’m a freak about lighting in any space and that’s usually where a chunk of my design budget goes. By grouping lights in zones with multiple switches, you can create different mood levels in your space, turning some on and keeping some off. Face lighting at the vanity is also a must."
No. 2: Function is important. "Whatever items you use on a daily basis, make sure you plan for enough easy access storage for them. Recessed medicine cabinets are a quick solution for smaller items or a floating vanity with an open shelf below allows for larger storage items such as towels or decorative bins."
No. 3: Grout sucks. "It’s a pain to clean—nonetheless keep clean—so less is more in this category. There are many large-format tiles out there nowadays that can be installed on the floors, walls, and wet locations. Porcelain tile is a great option so you never have to worry about sealing the product and it'll last for years."
No. 4: Mix metal finishes. "Just because your faucet is chrome doesn’t mean every metal in the bathroom has to be chrome. Using a variety of finishes can add warmth along with visual interest and instantly look like a true designer space. And this idea goes for every room in your house!"
No. 5: Music or talk radio. "I like jamming out at any time of day but especially in the morning. A good song can help get your day started on a positive note. And it doesn’t need to be a fancy system; buy a Bluetooth shower speaker for less than $50 and you'll be singing in the shower in no time."