18 June 2010

Inspiration, Part 2: Slated For a Workout

We go to a great gym, Pure Austin, that calls itself "The Indoor Gym For Outdoor People." It features amazing indoor amenities, such as an indoor climbing wall and top-notch classes (one of our spin instructors is a Tour de France cyclist). It's also kind of an outdoor gym for outdoor people -- one of our favorite features is the lake that is set up with buoys for a 1/2-mile swim course. (There's also a 1-kilometer running trail around the lake; this is where I Splashed and Dashed last month, and again this week.) Another feature that's better-than-average for gyms is the locker room. Its slate wainscoting and slate floors and walls in the shower area definitely make it more pleasant than the typical gym locker room:


The idea of a mudroom came from thinking about all of the gear we have for running, swimming, and cycling, and how decentralized the storage of these items was in our old place. Then there's how sweaty and dirty we get when we do races. We thought a shower like Pure's would be perfect for rinsing our wetsuits or ourselves when we come home dirty and don't want to have to walk across the wood floors to get to a shower.

You know how you sometimes get used to a particular parking space at work or sitting at a specific seat at dinner? This is the shower I always use at Pure:

We found more interesting slate and added an extra foot to the width of the shower, as well as a tiled shampoo niche and a handheld shower head on a slider bar so it would be more usable for different tasks (it would even work as a dog shower for a future owner). And voila:


Pure's shower floors are 12x12 tiles that the installer had to cut up at weird angles to follow the slope of the shower, but we chose matching tumbled marble in a 2x2 mosaic to avoid that problem (you can see a corner peeking out at the bottom of the picture). And since we were creating a mudroom for ourselves instead of a locker room for the masses, we also planned spaces for laundry (on the right below, with cabinets above), an open wall where we could build in cubbies later for all of our triathlon gear (along the left), and miscellaneous storage in the cabinets at the back left (a tall cabinet for brooms plus another cabinet above it, as well as a base cabinet with four drawers and a nice solid surface countertop).


I originally wanted to continue the slate about four feet up the walls of the mudroom to replicate Pure's wainscot, but we decided against this due to the cost (this slate was actually the most expensive tile we used in the house). In retrospect, carrying the tile up the walls might have made the space feel too much like a gym.

We also wanted a sink in the mudroom for soaking swimsuits, tri wear, and hand-washables, but we decided that a powder room with a small pedestal sink would be more practical than one of those huge laundry sinks. There have been enough times that we've been out running when nature calls us back inside that we knew it would be great to have a toilet that we could get to in a hurry without taking off our shoes to cross the wood. (In case you haven't figured it out, we don't wear shoes indoors. Ever.)

The space is looking pretty blank without the washer and dryer or the cubbies that we plan to build, but we're pretty pleased with how this mudroom is going to work for us...if we ever get to move in.

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