Well-designed bathrooms are the perfect marriage of form and function, beauty and brawn, pretty and pragmatic. These three bathrooms are just such spaces, offering retreats from everyday life—and making the ordinary extraordinary.
2010 BATH OF THE YEAR: HIS AND HERS
Design idea: The overall goal for this bathroom, an add-on to a 1980s house, was to create a spa for the owners. On the must-have list: a bathtub for two and access to a private lounging area. The key for the space was to honor him and her without making the look too masculine or feminine. To that end, this is a room full of contrasts: dark slate floors and walls, white Carrara marble counters, a white high-lacquer custom-designed vanity, and an asymmetrical armoire of deep-stained dark wood and white lacquer. All of the sleek horizontal lines are softened by the ornate white chandelier from Liesl Lighting in Denver.
Delightful Details: This spa bathroom is far from stark because of details like the crystal door pulls on the armoire, the plush lamb’s-wool rug, the ladder towel rack with thick white towels and the classic George Kovacs mirror lights played against the chandelier.
Tips From the Pros: The simplicity of this room is akin to a little black dress: it’s timeless, classic and never boring because of the accessories—the metaphorical string of pearls. The “pearls” in any room can be fabulous hardware, gorgeous rugs, classic light fixtures, even a single perfect piece of art.
Design Details: Wende Watson, Wende Watson Design Studio, Denver, (303) 638-3659
Design Idea: This space can be summed up in four words: simple, clean, elegant and soothing. The bath, part of a major home remodel designed by Watson & Co., flows from the home’s overall aesthetic—traditional with a contemporary twist. In this space, the homeowner wanted holistic design rather than an amalgamation of design parts. Off-white walls play off white cabinets; rare granite counters (called Silver Moon) pick up on the gray-streaked white marble floors. Wainscoting continues from the rest of the house; glass sconces seem to melt into the walls; and nature, rather than art, catches the eye.
Delightful Details: In a room as quietly composed as this, details are subtle. The custom-designed end cabinet is set on seven-inch tall curved legs, adding an airiness that is complemented by the glass cabinet doors. Situated at an angle, the tub allows for maximum floor space. If there’s one detail that speaks louder than all others, it’s the ceiling light fixture—picked out by the homeowner—which is a nod to traditional design.
Tips From the Pros: Want a room that whispers? Stick with one neutral color and use it and its close relatives throughout—on trim, cabinets, floor and walls. Accessorize in the same color. (The homeowner originally bought dark gray towels but found them so distracting, she switched to white.) Use mirrors and glass to reflect the neutral palette and create interest without adding another hue. (The ones featured here are from Black Tulip Antiques in Denver; so are the chair and footstool.) Don’t have the patience or money to order a custom-built bathroom cabinet? Buy a small chest or credenza; if necessary, add legs; paint it the same color as the rest of the room; add a granite or marble top; switch the doors to glass—and you have a unique piece.
Design Details: Jennifer Rogers, BKC Kitchen and Bath, Englewood, bkckitchenandbath.com
Design Idea: A second home for avid skiers, this newly constructed house embraces an old Western mine vernacular. The master bath continues the theme with reclaimed fir timber and trim, reclaimed (and de-splintered) pine cabinets and travertine floors paired with plaster walls the color of an old rawhide lamp shade. The long narrow space is broken up by the repetition of trusses, and by an antique window grate that separates the toilet from the Kohler tub.
Delightful Details: The Rohl country faucets and the rusted-iron sconces and hardware pull the room together, but the unique antiques make the space. An old turquoise shutter, discovered in Taos, N.M., became the frame for a mirror at one end of the room. Why that particular color? To accent the hints of turquoise and coral on the Roman shades over the tub and in the Oriental rug in front of the vanity. The antique window grate lends privacy without blocking light.
Tips From the Pros: Scour flea markets, estate sales and architectural outlets for one-of-a-kind pieces that help create this look. (Asian, East Indian, Native Indian and ranch artifacts work nicely in Western-themed homes.) Find new uses for old items. Just as a window grate became a room divider and a shutter became a mirror frame, an old door can become a wonderful coffee table, an old window frame can accent a tall wall, and old pots can make great candleholders. These unique pieces—used in unusual ways—keep a room from looking like it was carbon-copied from a catalogue.
Design Details: Lynne Barton Bier, Home on the Range, Steamboat Springs, homeontherangeinteriors.com
HIS AND HERS INTERIOR DESIGN Wende Watson, Wende Watson Design Studio, Denver, (303) 638-3659 CONSTRUCTION Coggeshall Construction, Denver, (303) 777-0894, coggeshall.com CABINETRY Colorado Rails & Custom Woodwork, Westminster, (303) 501-6678, colorado-rails.com IRONWORK Emmett Culligan Design, Denver, (303) 433-1412, ecd-co.com SEAMLESSLY ELEGANT INTERIOR DESIGN Jennifer Rogers, BKC Kitchen and Bath, Englewood, bkckitchenandbath.com BUILDER Monarch Design-Build, Englewood, (303) 355-1778, monarchdesign-build.com ARCHITECTURE Kirk Stathes Architect Inc., AIA, Denver, (303) 321-8611, kirkstathes.com GO WEST INTERIOR DESIGN Lynne Barton Bier, Home on the Range, Steamboat Springs, homeontherangeinteriors.com
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