Like many California ranch homes built in the 1950s, this original master bathroom was not really a "master bath." My clients, who only three years ago purchased the home from the family of the original owner, were saddled with a small, dysfunctional space. Chief among the dysfunctions: a vanity only 30" high, and an inconveniently placed window that forced the too-low vanity mirror to reflect only the waist and partial torso--not the face--of anyone standing in front of it. They wanted not only a more spacious bathroom but a bedroom as well, so we worked in tandem with an architect and contractor to come up with a fantastic new space: a true Master Suite. In order to refine a design concept for the soon-to-be larger space, and thereby narrow down material choices, my clients and I had a brainstorming session: we spoke of an elegant Old World/ European bedroom and bathroom, a luxurious bath that would reference a Roman spa, and finally the idea of a Hammam was brought into the mix. We blended these ideas together in oil-rubbed bronze fixtures, and a tiny tile mosaic in beautiful Bursa Beige marble from Turkey and white Thassos marble from Greece. The new generously sized bathroom boasts a jetted soaking tub, a very large walk-in shower, a double-sided fireplace (facing the tub on the bath side), and a luxurious 8' long vanity with double sinks and a storage tower.
The vanity wall is covered with a mosaic vine pattern in a beautiful Bursa Beige marble from Turkey and white Thassos marble from Greece,. The custom Larson Juhl framed mirrors are flanked by gorgeous hand-wrought scones from Hubbardton Forge which echo the vine and leaf pattern in the mosaic. And the vanity itself features an LED strip in the toe-kick which allows one to see in the middle of the night without having to turn on a shockingly bright overhead fixture. At the other end of the master bath, a luxurious jetted tub nestles by a fireplace in the bay window area. Views of my clients' garden can be seen while soaking in bubbles. The over-sized walk-in shower features a paneled wainscoting effect which I designed in Crema Marfil marble. The vine mosaic continues in the shower, topped by green onyx squares. A rainshower head and a hand-held spray on a bar provides showering options. The shower floor slopes gently in one direction toward a hidden linear drain; this allows the floor to be read as a continuation of the main space, without being interrupted by a center drain.
photo by Bernardo Grijalva