This week I am pleased welcome Suzanne Tucker, friend, fellow Board member of the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art and preeminent nationally known interior designer to The Perfect Bath. Her new book, The Romance of Design, has just been released. Below is Suzanne’s post:
Romance, for me, is a deeply soulful aspect of a house, and a major contributor to its charm, livability and sensuality. We are all sensual people and I believe we should live in spaces that speak to that fact – homes that entice and delight our senses, rooms that pamper and comfort, spaces that sooth, rejuvenate and restore. In no room is this more important than in the bath.
A few years ago, I was ensconced in the design of a magnificent ridgetop Italianate villa in the Montecito hills. The master bath positioning takes best advantage of an eastern exposure, filled with morning light. The bucolic nature of this room with the breathtaking views of the gardens, the Santa Barbara foothills, the coastline and the Channel Islands trumps any work of art and is the best possible prescription for serenity. By bleaching the hand-hewn wood ceilings, I was able to emphasize a lighter organic element and enhance the quiet, neutral color palette. This bath has a generosity of space and, with luxurious appointments such as the heated marble floors and a skylit shower, invites one to linger.
I love placing the unexpected in every room and the bath is no exception. Europeans often furnish a bath whereas Americans tend to build in everything. Given the location of this house, I wanted to underscore the Mediterranean character wherever possible and placed an early 18th c Italian walnut commode and inlaid mother-of-pearl bench at the window, adding warmth and coziness.
I love treating powder rooms as jewel boxes – the smallest spaces offering the biggest surprise. The villa’s powder room is designed to feel exotic, private and enveloping. Ebony and ivory became the theme. The custom-designed vanity with trompe l’oeil painting of inlaid ivory sets the tone and Piranesi prints on the pewter-colored Venetian plaster walls emphasize the palette. I used arabesque-patterned etched marble tiles on the floor and played to the barrel vault with the curving backsplash, the arch of the mirror and the spiraling iron sconces and chandelier.
I find sensual spaces to be inherently luxurious. I believe that luxury can come from very simple things that make us feel alive and awaken our senses, like a floor of inlaid polished pebbles or a stack of freshly laundered linens. My goal is always to create spaces with elements that draw people in, that make them feel comfortable and wonderfully accommodated, that encourage them to enjoy the experience of simply being in a room.
Suzanne’s new book Suzanne Tucker Interiors – The Romance of Design will be published by The Monacelli Press on October 15, 2013 and is available on Amazon.
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