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Laurie Gorelick on Eco-Chic Bath Designs

Laurie Gorlick InteriorsLaurie Gorelick is an interior designer based in Natick, part of the Greater Boston area, here in Massachusetts. Her firm, Laurie Gorelick Interiors is a full-service interior design studio providing residential and commercial design services. Laurie was gracious enough to take time out of her busy schedule to chat with me about how she got her start, what factors homeowners need to consider when redoing their bathroom and the latest in eco-chic products.

Laurie GorlickQ: Please start us off by telling us a little bit about your background… how did you get started in the interior design industry?

I’ve been doing design work on my own for 11 years. Before becoming an interior designer, I had been an attorney practicing employee benefits law in New York City. But motherhood, the uncompromising demands of big law firm practice, and a move from New York to Boston made me rethink my career.

My father had been in the apparel business, so I had grown up with a taste of design. A friend in New York was going to design school, and when I saw the types of projects she did, I thought interior design was something I could really enjoy.

To start, I enrolled in an evening continuing education class to see what the profession entailed, whether I had talent and if I enjoyed it. And, as it is said, “the rest is history.” I went back to school part-time to study interior design while my children were small.

Towards the end of my schooling, I started working for one of my instructors who had an interior design firm on Newbury Street. And when I graduated, I started my own design firm.

Q: When starting a bathroom renovation project, what is one of the most important elements of the design that clients generally overlook?

There are so many choices for tile and surface materials nowadays that I think they become the focus when clients start a bathroom renovation project. But fixtures are equally important and can become the focal point in the design. Take, for example, a beautiful standalone bath tub or integral sink and vanity. More importantly, spatial and plumbing constraints can dictate the type and style of fixtures that can be used which can alter the design dramatically.

Q: As a LEED professional, what are some of the more environmentally friendly products or materials that home owners should consider for their bathroom?

There are so many options today for incorporating sustainable materials in a bathroom renovation. Many afford the look and durability of natural materials at an equivalent cost.

Some wonderful counter-top materials are Icestone made from recycled glass, non-toxic pigment and Portland cement.

Icestone

Paperstone, made from 100% post-consumer recycled cardboard bound by an organic resin.

Paperstone

Bio-Glass is a relatively new product, which has a translucent quality and is made from 100% recycled glass.

Bioglass

For tiles, one of my favorite products is Oceanside Glasstile, which is also made from recycled glass. Oceanside makes beautiful mosaics in a variety of colorways, patterns and finishes.

Glasstile

For cabinetry, bamboo is a renewable resource that can be used in place of hardwood or laminates. I’ve also seen reclaimed teak recycled into bathroom cabinetry.

Reclaimed teak cabinetry

Finally, there is even a tub made from recycled sheet metal that is shaped especially to use less water but give the same experience as a luxury soaking tub.  It’s called the Sozo Tub by Diamond Spas, and it’s shaped with sloping sides to minimize water consumption.

Sozo Soaking Tub

Stay tuned for Part II of my conversation with Laurie Gorelick, which will be posted tomorrow. And, if you aren’t already, follow Laurie on Twitter.

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