I am frequently asked to describe my personal bath. I always say that my house and bath look much like me; classic, tailored and neutral. So it was most auspicious when Newell Turner asked if House Beautiful could feature my bath in the â€œBath of the Monthâ€ column.Â Â Â I was delighted to oblige.
On a dreary August morning Samantha Emmerling, Senior Features Editor, Miki Duisterhof, photographer, and Gregory Bissonnette, stylist, arrived at my house to photograph my small but well appointed bath. Fitting all of them and the camera in the small space was a challenge, but they managed to take some great photographs that captured the spirit of the design. Mimi Read was the writer who interviewed me for the Â â€œBath of the Monthâ€ in Decemberâ€™s issue.
Many of you know that I live in a house built 43 years ago based on two 18th century houses in Wethersfield, CT. It is a typical â€œfour squareâ€ house with a central hall and two large chimneys. We scoured New England for paneling and other architectural materials from 18th century houses that had been demolished (recycling before it was fashionable to do so). Therefore, as I planned to renovate the hall bath I was limited in appropriate choices of materials if I wanted to stay true to the integrity of the house. Simple was better. So after two years of drawing and erasing, selecting and re-selecting, I finally realized that a straightforward and authentic approach would feel like it belonged.
My choice for tile was the â€œVintageâ€ line from Waterworks. It is handmade with a fine crackle glaze in a creamy shade of white. After purchasing some decorative borders I decided not to install them as they seemed to detract from the rigidity of the grid and the clean lines I was looking for. The floor material was an easy choice: Danby from Vermont. Deciding on the correct module took ages. Finally I settled on a 1â€³ hex but framed the space with slabs of the same material. The textural change kept the space from feeling busy.
We found the 1928 American Standard pedestal lavatory at an antiques shop and bought it long before I knew what I was going to do with it. When we removed the built in vanity that had been there since we built the house, we discovered that sink was a perfect fit. Of course, as you can imagine, I had one hundred other options from washstands to antiques chests, but none seemed more appropriate than this pedestal lav. Other vintage finds completed the picture; from the cabinet over the WC to the mirror found in a favorite shop in Paris.
A deep soaking tub with a flat bottom was a practical solution and one that did not distract from the overall design. I used light weight wool for the shower curtain and I recently bought a great hand crocheted bath mat adding more texture. I am a fan of the Waterworks Gotham towels as are the guests who use the bath.
The real success is how well the bath fits with the rest of the house. It seems elegant and timeless in a genteel way. And the beautiful installation elevated the design. The space is a culmination of a personal style that is comfortable for me.
You can see my bath in House Beautifulâ€™s December issue or view a sneak peak online:
A Classic and Timeless Bath in White
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