In an ancient house, a bath retains its atmosphere.
How charming and quintessentially French is this unfitted bath in an updated manor house in Champagne? Of course, it could be Sweden or Belgium too. Styled to look cozy, the room appears to be L-shaped, with additional sanitary facilities out of view (or in another room entirely). In the days before indoor plumbing, servants would have filled the slipper tub by hauling buckets of hot water by hand. Today, the issue would be mostly about staying warm in front of the huge window — a screen is helpful in blocking drafts, but not entirely. The enormous blue armoire provides a clue to the scale of the space. That ceiling must be 15-20 feet high — at least three or four times the height of Louis XV settee (the back is likely 3-feet high.) What’s distinctive though, is the watery blue patina on the cabinet which legions of chalk-paint ladies would be brandishing their sanding blocks to achieve. Nor could the provincial quality be more picturesque. So while this is an updated bath, it’s far from modern. There’s a nod to practicality with the paneled oval mirror but the sensibility from an era when dressing was a production, and candlelight ruled, has been preserved.