Ours is an old-fashioned, hand-built wood burning hearth. But I’m fascinated by sleek, contemporary gas fireplaces I’ve seen on TV — notably on ABC’s Castle — and in magazines. These come in a variety of shapes and widths and can be placed in non-traditional spaces — like the center of a wall. Most impressive is a contemporary bathroom fireplace installed between the bedroom and bath, or in a wall over a bathtub. Because the bathroom remains such an unusual location, a fireplace will upstage even the most dramatic tub every time.… Continue Reading
Ideas for bathrooms from traditional to modern to inspire renovating, redecorating or planning a dream spa.
We’ve seen attractive bathrooms where wooden dressers, tables and cupboards were made over into sink vanities. Usually these are designer powder rooms where expensive antique chests or tables were modified. Any piece of furniture altered for use in a bathroom must be sturdy enough to withstand daily wear and tear, as well as dampness. An Eastlake dresser bathroom vanity, complete with matching mirror, made a handsome addition to renovated attic master bath in Portland, Oregon.
The reno was done as a flip by a company called Chic Design Investments, which showed photos of the project with just a few notes.… Continue Reading
Someone fortunate enough to have, or build, a home where natural stone is a structural component in bathrooms understands the appeal of living with a surface that’s tactile and textured, has integral color, and is as old as the Grand Canyon. Where I live, many stone houses date back to pre-colonial America as I detailed in my tour of Ulster County Stone Houses (though that was limited to exterior views). The maxim is that rooms with stone walls stay cool in summer and warm in winter, subject to efficiency of the heating system.… Continue Reading
In ancient French bath in a manor house retains its antique 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 has a settee, a chair and a privacy screen in front of the window. It also appears to be L-shaped, with additional sanitary facilities out of view (or in another room entirely, which sometimes happens in old houses).
In the days before indoor plumbing, servants would have filled the freestanding slipper tub by hand, using buckets of hot water.… Continue Reading
Bathroom wallpaper can add welcome pattern in addition to color.
If there’s one room in my house that I’d wallpaper it would no doubt be a bathroom. Unless tile is used lavishly, bathroom wallpaper is the quickest way to get visual interest in what’s often a rather small space with oddly interrupted surfaces. The right paper can help unify the look and provide a charming backdrop for mirrors, art and accessories. In a previous post called Powder Rooms Papered, I explored a variety of bathroom wallpaper. Here, thanks N.Y. to designer Tom Scheerer who has used the same Lyford Trellis pattern by China Seas for Quadrille in three different baths, it’s interesting to see how a change in colorway and accessories alters the mood and the look.… Continue Reading
Sculptural freestanding bathtubs add a Wow! factor to any house.
Years ago, when I wanted an amazing focal point for my bathroom, I fell in love with a traditional slipper tub on claw-foot legs. That was one of the few freestanding bathtubs on the market at the time. Long and deep, it delivered an unforgettable spa-like experience every time I sat back for a long soak while looking up at the stars through the skylight we added in the ceiling. 100% bathtub bliss! Today, my choice might be the same. But freestanding bathtubs come in so many styles, shapes and materials there is no absolute answer to the “which is best” question – only options, plus a few basics to keep in mind.… Continue Reading