The 2015 CTC&G Innovation in Design Winners: Bath
Celebrate waterfront vistas, Japanese design and contemporary style with these award-winning baths
Winner: Clean Design
Framed water views take center stage in a beachfront master bedroom
Unobstructed views over Long Island Sound dominate this master bathroom designed by Claire Paquin as part of a complete home remodel. A whimsical oval window draws the eye through the narrow bathroom to the view beyond. “The oval window contrasts well with the marble surfaces and the rectilinear design,” Paquin explains. “The slight curve of the freestanding tub and the crystal Bulle chandelier from Nuevo Living help to feminize the space.”
A neutral large-scale marble wraps the walls, and a large herringbone pattern covers the floors. “The marble we selected is soothing with soft, all-over veining,” says Paquin. “It envelops the room in an elegant way yet is not formal, so it works well at the beach.”
Bold artwork balances the neutral palette. “I selected two works on paper by Eileen R. Miller,” says the designer. “They are made with pure pigment, so the colors are incredibly intense. The orange and purple piece recalls vivid sunsets, and the other reflects a clear, bright day looking over the water. Framing them in black works well with the windows.”
Twin floating vanities were designed to flank the oval window. “I love to design floating vanities because they seem so much lighter and airier,” notes Paquin. “I think it worked out perfectly because now you can walk right up to the oval window and see what’s happening on the beach below.”
Innovator 2: Penguin Environmental Design LLC
Japanese-inspired design opens a window to serentiy
Simplicity and serenity define this master bathroom designed by Yoko Kawai for clients who desired a space in their Norwalk Colonial to remind them of a trip to Japan. Rather than mimicking Japanese design, Kawai sought to find a balance between modernity and “Japan-ness.” “We carefully extracted the spatial concepts of Japan and inserted them into the contemporary design that fits to the life and landscape of America,” says Kawai.
According to the designer, one big challenge was creating “clean details.” “Doing so is much harder than adding a lot of decorative details, because you cannot hide things with trims, says Kawai. “The details for the main wall took much effort: Shoji, two layers of countertops, a bathtub and vanities, all meet in proximity and must be lined up in a beautiful way.”
Above the tub, tall Shoji screens filter sunlight when closed. “Outside, there is a set of windows with a half-circled glaze on the top. The intention was to hide this element, but to allow light to come in,” notes Kawai. “For the ceiling, I wanted to give character to it just as in Japanese teahouses. The grid pattern was chosen for its formality that goes with other elements in the room.” The Asian conversation continues in the shower, which is lined with Porcelanosa tile, while the vanity tops conjure up black lacquer. “It is actually a granite stone called Volga Blue that is black with blue shiny elements in it,” says Kawai.
Innovator 3: Bonnie Gabrys Interiors
Contemporary elegance defines a personal sanctuary
“Over the years, I designed Kathryn and Tony Sirico’s salon in Westport [Greg & Tony Salon], as well as their private residences,” says Bonnie Gabrys. “For this project, I worked with G&H Builders, LLC, of Trumbull, as well as Sterling Custom Cabinetry in Bridgeport.” Sheathed in large-scale Porcelanosa tile, this bathroom exudes a chic masculine vibe. “This is Tony’s personal bathroom, so it had to be masculine, functional and appealing,” says Gabrys. “The Ruggine tiles have a stone-like appearance with a slight metallic sheen that gives them a contemporary elegance.” Space limitations were met with a rectangular black-marble sink from Stone Forest and a Kohler wall-mounted faucet in lieu of a vanity. “Since we needed storage, I designed a cabinet to fit above the toilet,” says Gabrys. As for the shower seat that seems to defy gravity: “I didn’t want any visible obstructions and wanted the seat to float,” says Gabrys. “G&H Builders came up with a solution that made the seat appear suspended.” For the flooring, Gabrys used river stone sliced black pebble from Casatelli Marble in the shower and carried the wood floor from the bedroom into the bathroom. “This makes the area feel more spacious,” explains Gabrys. “And Tony likes the mix of contemporary with antiques.”
A version of this article appeared in the July/August 2015 issue of Connecticut Cottages & Gardens with the headline: Bath.