INTERIOR DESIGN - Beautiful Baths

A Modern Mix: Glass tile and Calcutta Gold marble keep the palette light.
A Modern Mix
When architect Robert M. Gurney gutted his clients’ 1876 Washington, DC, row house, his intent was to create a clean, minimalist aesthetic while respecting the property’s historic lineage. Its master bath is a case in point. From the bedroom, a crisply detailed bank of oak cabinetry leads into the space. The architect juxtaposed floors and walls in white Calcutta Gold marble—which plays to a historical context—with a long L-shaped stainless-steel sink. Transparent glass tiles echo the simple color scheme. “We wanted to keep the overall palette light,” says Gurney, “and the design timeless but modern.” The sculptural tub, stainless-steel sconces, contemporary faucets and fixtures and sandblasted glass tile in the toilet area—all from Waterworks in Georgetown—reinforce the architect’s vision. These amenities have transformed the once-outdated bath into a veritable home spa. “The shower is basically a water park,” says Gurney, “with a bench, a hand-held shower, two rain showers and a standard shower. You can spend a lot of time in there.”

A Soothing Escape: A spacious retreat with an oversized tub and mosaic floor.

A Soothing Escape
Overlooking rolling hills and pastures in Ashland, Virginia, this new master-bath addition brings luxury and style to a Southern country manor. Architect Doug Bowman and interior designer Jennifer Stoner created a new wing off the owners’ bedroom, converting the existing bath into his-and-hers wardrobes, each of which opens to angled hallways with separate vanities and water closets for the husband and wife. The hallways converge at an archway leading to dual showers and an octagonal room framed in windows.

A hallway housing the wife vanity and water closet.
Here an oversized soaking tub and two chaises create a “light and airy spa-like retreat where the homeowner can come and soak at the end of the day,” says Stoner. The 17-foot-high space boasts a hand-troweled and domed ceiling with a dramatic Currey & Co. chandelier, a mosaic marble floor, granite countertops, a coffee station and heated floors. The owners can enjoy the views of their surrounding farm—or drop the automated shades for complete privacy



 Eco-Friendly Retreat: Ernesto Santalla spa.


Eco-Friendly Retreat
The concepts of green living and health and well-being often go hand in hand. Ernesto Santalla designed a modern bath retreat that embodied these ideals in last year’s CharityWorks GreenHouse—a sustainably built showhouse in McLean,
Virginia, that was sold to a family who toured it.

A cedar-clad tub.


All of the materials, furnishings—and even the art—Santalla selected are sustainable. A centerpiece of the space is the shower wrapped in cedar with a wall of river-rock stones and a cascading waterfall (using re-circulated water) that introduces sounds of nature into the mix. Artwork includes a large abstract piece by Dan Steinhilber made with recycled plastic bags (over the day bed) and a delicate hanging sculpture made by Barbara Josephs Liotta from remnants of black granite hanging near the cedar shower enclosure.

Santalla’s creation illustrates how a spa can fit into any space in a home. “A bathroom doesn’t have to be fully enclosed,” he says. “You can expand the notion of a spa to include a living area with a relaxation space.”

Worldly Opulence: A stone passage separates shagreen vanities framed in custom glass panels.

Worldly Opulence
When a homeowner purchased a McLean, Virginia, residence, he put it on a fast track for renovation. The design team, including architect David Cooper and interior designer William Paley, found inspiration in the many luxe hotel bathrooms their client has visited, and combed the globe for materials of the highest quality that would create a completely unique sanctuary, according to Patricia Tetro, project leader for BOWA, the renovation contractor. Custom elements include lacquered doors from Hong Kong, mosaic tiles from Italy, a travertine tub from Mexico and shagreen vanities from France framed by verre élgomisé panels gilded in platinum-leaf Arabic letters.


A mosaic-tile floor from Italy graces the shower, which opens to a steam room.

From private dressing areas, a stone passage leads past twin vanities toward the tub—which is so large that it had to be lowered into the space by crane. To the left is an open shower with a rain shower and a waterfall shower. Here glass doors open to a soothing steam room with wood slats mounted to the wall and a sculptural bench made of reclaimed timber by Jerome Abel.


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