This second decade of the 21st Century has become something of a gilded age, at least where bathrooms are concerned. Gilded walls – so very Klimt – are gaining acceptance, particularly in powder rooms where a little goes a long way. Until now, price has been an obstacle, but that has quietly changed. The diva of all gold bathrooms may well be the one designer Michael S. Smith created for a Fifth Avenue apartment in New York [top]. Inspired by Armand-Albert Rateau’s iconic 1920s bath for couturier Jean Lavin, Smith has called it a “bath as a piece of jewelry.” Around the tub he used a mix of gold, white-gold, and rose-gold Davlin tiles by Ann Sacks. The mirror dates from the 1940s and once belonged to the American decorator Rose Cumming. My opinion: Gold-on-gold-on-gold is gorgeous but gaudy in a strictly 1-percent way.
In a full bath renovation, a hand-painted mural by Peter Costello depicts cherry blossoms on a silver- and gold-leafed accent wall. The graceful branches soften the otherwise hard-edge modern spa with its freestanding egg-shape tub and popular marble-mosaic floor. Using a tall brass tub-filler faucet, sculptural in its own right, is a nod to the golden theme. My opinion: Tasteful and elegant use of gold leaf and gorgeous in its restraint.
Let’s talk over the top as only Miles Redd can do: Custom peacock-feather “wallpaper” in a small Brooklyn townhouse powder room. An antique, gilded Georgian mirror hang diagonally in the corner above the tiny Waterworks Henry sink. But…this wall covering isn’t paper. It’s a collage of actual peacock feathers on a gold background with a door painted in Benny Moore Gulf Shores to pick up the turquoise. My opinion: Super chic as long as the glue holds or no one gets picky.
The gold colorway of Osborne and Little’s Asuka wallpaper casts a tranquil mood in this bath by Jessica Lagrange. The sink is vintage and towel bars were sourced at Decorator Hardware & Bath in Lincolnwood, Ill. My opinion: So delicate and feminine it almost begs the issue of being gold. Love the subtlety.
The buzzy geometry of the pattern in this Italian powder room by designer Roberto Bricchi belies the material. While it looks like wallpaper it’s said to be lacquer over gold laminate (smalto su lamina d’oro). The gold vessel sink, vanity and mirror heighten the overall effect. My opinion: I love this look though I cannot imagine gold laminate and find the thought just a little bit Dubai.
Shut the front door. This concept bath by IKEA – so glitzy it’s difficult to even see – won a prize at a recent home show in Canada. The budget retailer’s Vanity Mosaic Gold Mirror tiles (1/2 x 1-1/2 inches”) priced at $9.50 per sheet (1.2 square feet) is dizzyingly affordable and pretty much redefines the phrase “bang for the buck.” My opinion: This tile risks turning everything it graces into Liberace’s house. If you can stand a golden reflection every morning go for it.
(Source: Michael S. Smith, houseandhome, hb, JessicaLagrange, RobertoBricchi, decorhappy)
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