Venice Beach’s Hotel Erwin Gets a Restroom Remodel

By: Casey Gerber

February 24, 2016

When it comes to designing something as functional as a hotel restroom, Laurel & Wolf Designer, Lucinda Pace knows how to turn up the style to deliver a space that’s truly chic. However, transforming the men’s restroom of the Venice Beach staple, Hotel Erwin into a place where hotel patrons actually want to be was no small feat. With Lucinda’s eye for contemporary design and a desire to capture the essence of the beach, she successfully created a space that reflects the hip look and feel of the rest of the hotel, while adding in a strong dose of edge.

Read on for Lucinda’s Professional Point of View on designing this newly constructed restroom, and get all of the design details below:

Venice Beach’s Hotel Erwin Gets a Restroom Remodel, Laurel & Wolf, erwin3

Photos by Sean Robertson

Since the opening of Hotel Erwin’s rooftop lounge, “High” in 2007, patrons have had to go down two levels in order to access the restrooms, as there were none on the roof. Since this was a new-construction, the structure not only had to adhere to hospitality and ADA guidelines, but it also needed to be approved by the city and the Coastal Commission. Similarly, we wanted to do things as sustainably responsible as possible, so it was a lot of hoops to jump through initially!

Venice Beach’s Hotel Erwin Gets a Restroom Remodel, Laurel & Wolf, erwin2

Photos by Sean Robertson

From the beginning, I recognized the need to design this space for high-traffic use and durability, due to the possibility of vandalism over time. The materials sourced would need to be more or less graffiti-proof and scribe-proof since bar patrons would be using the facilities repeatedly. However, I didn’t want the design to look sterile or recreate the less-than-desirable experience of using a restroom at a state beach.

Venice Beach’s Hotel Erwin Gets a Restroom Remodel, Laurel & Wolf, erwin7

Photos by Sean Robertson

When I began working with the owners and contractors in May 2015, I knew I wanted to keep things clean and modern, but also wanted to update the overall look of the hotel. Once we got the plumbing in place, I began researching unique tile to use in the design. I figured that if I could reflect the feeling of the beach in a contemporary way, I could do so through my choice in tile. In an effort to keep everything close to home, I contacted Arto Brick, a family owned company in Gardena that have some amazing pieces. I found a two dimensional hand-painted tile with concentric circles in beautiful blues and grays, which immediately reminded me of the ocean. This tile became the inspiration for my design.

Venice Beach’s Hotel Erwin Gets a Restroom Remodel, Laurel & Wolf, erwin434

Photos by Sean Robertson

I kept the other finishes clean and simple — white subway tile, honed-gray hex tile for the floors, and Dunn Edwards Carrara on the ceilings. I incorporated hybrid water closets and urinals from Kohler, and designed a troth-style sink with Sloan to keep everything in one place. From the left to the right of the faucets are soap dispensers and a hand dryer, so there’s no need to leave the sink area or use wasteful paper towels when washing and drying your hands. Another feature I really liked was the gobo-style lights that reflect the temperature on the basin of the sink mount.

Venice Beach’s Hotel Erwin Gets a Restroom Remodel, Laurel & Wolf, erwin1

Photos by Sean Robertson

I specified the Insulator Glass Sconce from Elk lighting for above the mirrors. This LED fixture is somewhat iridescent, but reflects a gorgeous chrome finish while keeping things sustainable. The stalls were textured stainless steel, which complement the fixtures nicely. The finishing touches were the exposed wood beams, which I had stained a natural honey tone to include some warmth.

Designed by Lucinda Pace with photography by Sean Robertson. 

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