the master bath: details

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I so appreciate all of your comments.  Thank you so much! 
I am touched by your kind, flattering words and I love reading all the things you notice.  I enjoy how your comments and questions make me see things differently- through fresh eyes... your eyes
Thank you.

A couple of questions/comments reminded me that I sometimes forget we don't  really "know" each other, and perhaps I need to explain a few things about myself along the way!   So, before I describe each photo I thought I'd mention a few things that came up in comments and emails, you know.... since we're friends and all!!

Yes, I do all the design myself.  I have mentioned that I was an antiques dealer, but really haven't mentioned that I have also done a small amount of design work- family, friends of family, friends and neighbors, referrals from those friends and neighbors... that type of thing.  Even though I have always loved interior design I made the mistake of not majoring in interior design in college.(When I was at the University of Texas at Austin, the School of Interior Design was in the Home Economics Department.  It was the late '80's and everyone I knew was majoring in business.  I wasn't about to get a "Home Ec" degree back then.  Bad decision.  Interior Design is now under the school of Architecture.) I was one of those people who needed a "degree" to feel confident enough to work in the business (it was a totally different industry then, think ASID...)  It has been through blogging that I have learned that many well-known designers, and many of you who design don't have degrees in interior design either, and that has helped me to embrace what I do.

I was asked if I moved things (put things away) before taking the photos?  I didn't.  In fact, I realized after I took the photos that I didn't even move things a bit to the right or left, or even straighten things up.   I basically just walked into the room and started taking pictures.  If you were to walk into the bath right now it would look just like the photos (well, sans the sun since it is raining today;)  Sure, it gets messy when we're getting ready, but things are put back in their place after use.
My design credo has always been that there shouldn't be any place in your rooms that isn't beautiful to look at.  It can and should be functional yes, but it should also always be pretty.  I have never wanted to look at various bottles or kleenex boxes sitting out in a bath.  I don't want to keep something unattractive that I might use once or twice a day in plain sight, so I keep all those things in the medicine cabinets, drawers or the linen closet.  It might take an extra second to open those and reach for my item, but for me it is worth that extra second to not have to look at things sitting on the counter.  It is simply a choice we make.
 (note:  Dan didn't naturally come that way;)... so to my sweet, young newlywed readers- train those husbands early!!:)



The master bath wall and ceiling color is Benjamin Moore's Horizon OC- 53 in eggshell finish
All woodwork is Benjamin Moore White Dove in Latex Satin Impervo.



Dan made this bookcase, which I designed, for my birthday several years ago.  Since we were married on my birthday Dan started the tradition that he "makes" my birthday present.   These made-by-Dan birthday gifts started small and evolved into things like "I'd like for you to take out the entry closet for my birthday this year!!":)  This piece was originally designed to go in our kitchen in Dallas.  The exterior was an aged yellow that has now been painted White Dove, but the interior - originally painted a french blue which I hand waxed just happened to match this wall color perfectly!   This bookcase really deserves its own post as I think you will love the details- Dan copied an antique furniture piece that we saw in France to make the adjustable shelving.



The tub is original to the house!  Isn't that cool?!  I have always adored apron bottom tubs, so was thrilled to find one here at the farmhouse.  (We also had a claw foot tub, but that one went to live in New York!!  here )  I thought I would have to have the tub re- glazed, but after several good cleanings it is basically in perfect condition.  People who see it in person have a hard time believing it is the original tub it looks that good!  We were so lucky, as in my research I found it impossible to find a company that even does this anymore in a four-state area.   I wanted the tub to stand out a bit and hold its own in the room, so I painted it a darker version of the walls.   I used the same Benjamin Moore Horizon OC-53, but added several drops of black to get it to the right depth of color.
The pair of large wrought iron prickets were found at an estate sale about 20 years ago in Dallas, they came from an old estate in California prior to that.



Traditional wood shutters are from Horizon Shutters.  You send them your window measurement and the shutters come to you ready to hang with the hinges already attached. It was super easy and they have good prices.  I am extremely impressed with the quality of these shutters. I do suggest that if you are matching a trim color have them use your exact brand and color.  They have trim colors that will "closely match" several national brands whites, but again... if you want it to match exactly pay the extra charge to use your brand/color. 




Pair of French sconces found in Marseilles, France.  The amethyst crystals look a bit dark in this photo, but they are a beautiful shade of purple.




The vintage flame-mahogany buffet-turned-vanity was found at the very last minute for $75! (story here)  I originally thought I would paint it, but as the room came together it was apparent that it worked perfectly in the room in the original finish.  The furniture piece was retrofitted to incorporate the two sinks.  The buffet (without the marble) measure 64.5" width by 21" depth.  We did have to bring it out an additional inch and a half from the wall to incorporate the backsplash and the faucets which give a total of 22.5" depth.  The marble was fabricated to accomdate the additional depth required, then a filler strip of wood was added to the sides and stained to match the vanity.  The oval sinks measure 14" x 17", and were the largest I could find that would fit in the space.  They are Kohler.   I still have use of both doors and drawers for storage, they are just a bit smaller because of the addition of the sink and pipes.  We added the cararra marble top and backsplash.  
Light fixtures are Dillon by Restoration Hardware.
The glass bar towel holders are from the Vintage Collection by Restoration Hardware.  We had the glass bars cut to fit the vanity.
Several of you noticed the new addition of the watercolor in the antique frame... good eye!




The tung oil sealed hardwood floors and the white cowhide (Ikea) hold up very well in the bath.  Door on the left is the master bedroom.




 I adore this signed vintage Czechoslovakian chandelier in the room.  (story here
The beams are originally from the barn and were removed during the renovation and added to the bath.





The recessed medicine cabinets are mirrored on the back and door of the interior (and decorated with framed photographs, a miniature oil painting - you do decorate the inside of your medicine cabinet too, yes?!:)
 I had the marble backsplash notched on the corners to give it an antique feel.  The faucets are from Rohl's Country Bath Collection
Antique ironstone soap holders (different patterns and makers).
Soap is my favorite Apiana Alpin Milk.  You might recall I don't do smells, but 10 years ago my sister, Patti,  gave me this soap in my birthday gifts and I love the soft fragrance, and haven't been without it since!





One of my favorite paintings (who am I kidding, they're all my favorites!)  Bravo to those who noticed the worn silver on the frame!   Trio of antique mercury glass candlesticks (I love the one on the left with its metal bobeche) and a round vase.  Antique green glazed terracotta baluster from Singapore used as a candle holder.  You can start counting these around the house!  So far there is this one, one as a lamp in the living room and the guest bedroom and one in the kitchen!!  Lets just say I love them!!
Several of you asked about growing orchids, and I will put that in a post of its own, as I have lots to say about them!




The glass-door shower has a 2" honed hexagon marble floor, white subway tile on the walls, and white 4" square tiles on the ceiling.   There is a small marble seat in the corner, but the reflection "in" the shower is the window across the room!   I wish there was a window seat in the shower as someone asked!  Now, that would be something!!  One of my favorite details in the shower is that there are three recessed shelves.  Two (stacked) are on the wall behind the painting and one is to the right of the faucet handle.  I did NOT want to have anything sitting on the floor, and you know how one shelf is never enough for two people, so I designed the shower to have one for each of us and a smaller, more horizontal one for the soap alone.  The tile company said they had never installed three in one shower before, but makes perfect sense to me!  Our master shower in Dallas was also an angled shower, and I thought it might be perfect fit for this house too, so before we moved I measured every inch of that shower not wanting to have to re-build Rome one day "if" we ended up buying this house!  I was so glad I wrote down the measurements, it really helped.




Vintage chair from estate sale in Dallas that I reupholstered in a heavy cotton chenille.  I was so happy to find it I carried it by myself to the car, and that puppy is heavy!!  In this photo you can see the details of the glass bar towel holders on the vanity.  The same holder is used for the bath towels next to the shower.




Antique New Hampshire oil painting; recently "married" to this re-sized antique gilt frame! 
Since this is a space where we spend a deal of time I love having some of our favorite paintings in the room.
It was a very observant and good question that was asked about having fine art in a bathroom due to the high humidity.  I would say it depends on the room and the ventilation.  We have a good (and quiet;) fan for the room (it is actually located in the attic), and because the room is rather large the steam dissipates quickly-  I have never even had the mirrors at the sinks fog up. 





Mink pillow made from vintage muff.   This antique Chinese table belonged to my grandmother.  On top of the table sits a small vintage alabaster lamp that has a tiny vintage silvered Christmas ball as its finial, a white orchid and an antique Chinese dish.



The water closet. 
Same Restoration Hardware light fixture, only in a single-light.  I didn't want it to match the vanity exactly, so I turned it the opposite way.   Antique garden stool with orchid.




Huge piece of blue coral found several months ago for $45 at a second hand furniture shop.  When I first found it I left it as I was afraid it wouldn't be the right color with my walls (I do stupid things like that all the time- just last month we had to drive all the way back to Rhode Island to pick up an antique rug that I left and then decided I HAVE to have the next week;)   I went back with the paint chip from the walls and it will make you cry how the blue of the coral matches the walls! 



On a final note, a comment was made about the need for blank space.  I couldn't agree more about rooms needing breathing space, places to rest your eye.   I always design "sorbet" spaces, as I call them, in a room.  If you look at my entrance you will see that the stairway wall is blank.  If you look in the dining room you will notice several bare walls.  Those are intentional design decisions. 
 
The master bath is large and has many angles, and in this case the blank wall/the sorbet spaces don't necessarily make for pretty photos in and of themselves.  I realize it is difficult to get an exact feel of the room without walking through it, but if you look at the photo that shows the tub and linen closet that entire wall (over 7 feet) that is across from this is completely empty.  A sorbet.  If you notice the hallway to the right of the shower, that entire wall, both sides (over 9 feet)....also empty.   These spaces would be easy to fill with art, but I think they serve a larger purpose in the whole of the room by remaining an empty space.... a place to rest your eye..... a sorbet.