Taking the plunge
Jen Renzi -- Interior Design, 1/1/2003 12:00:00 AM
With a beautiful-people clientele and a breezy, chic decor, Philadelphia restaurant Trust is no dive. So what inspired Gary Farmer to model the rest rooms on a swimming pool? "The idea hit me when we broke a hole in the floor to the lower level," says the designer, who converted the former bank building into a patiolike space featuring terrazzo floors, indoor-outdoor furniture, and even a greenhouse for wine storage.
The concept for the subterranean loo, located in the bank's onetime vaults, takes cues from David Hockney's paintings. A stainless-steel staircase akin to a pool ladder descends into a unisex antechamber rippling in shades of blue. Walls, ceiling, and even the underside of the trough sinks are faux painted in a kitschy waterscape. Flower-print and striped deck chairs and rubber trash cans that resemble beach bags rest on ceramic floor tiles digitally printed in a wave pattern. Farmer even scoured catalogs for wall sconces that recall their swimming-pool counterparts. (Actual pool lights, he discovered, don't work on dry land.)
A variance was required for the his-and-hers primping space, which offers access to separate men's and women's facilities rendered in a frothy white-on-white scheme. "The architectural review board wasn't too thrilled—a lot of eyebrows were raised," says Farmer. Officials may have thought he'd gone off the deep end, but his instincts were clearly spot-on. Patrons love sipping drinks in this impromptu watering hole.
STOOLS (BATHROOM): KARTELL THROUGH DESIGN WITHIN REACH. MAKE-UP MIRRORS: CONAIR CORPORATION. TILE: DAL-TILE CORPORATION. CURTAIN: STAPLER DRESS 'N DRAPE. SINKS, FITTINGS (ANTEROOM): KOHLER. TILE: IMAGINE TILE. SCONCES: BESA LIGHTING THROUGH ARCH STREET LIGHTING. LAWN CHAIRS: TARGET STORES. DECORATIVE PAINTING: DIANE MESSINGER; LYNN PRINCIPE. GENERAL CONTRACTOR: CURRY CONSTRUCTION.