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High Design

Luxury and comfort come to a lofty master bath in Ohio
By Alice Liao
October 06, 2010

A vaulted ceiling can up the drama of any space. So when a retired couple in Blacklick, OH, hired Carlene Zeches, president of Z Interior Decorations, Inc., to design the interior of their new master bathroom, she persuaded them to preserve its 13-ft.-tall ceiling—contrary to their architect’s suggestion. Perhaps as a way to reconcile the bathroom’s different spatial volumes, the architect had proposed lowering the ceiling to 8 ft., but “I thought the space would look strange,” Zeches said, and the result would have been “a big expanse of nothing.” Instead, her solution capitalizes on the height discrepancies to create interest and movement, while fulfilling her clients’ dream of a private sanctuary.
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At 16 ft. x 24 ft., the remodeled bathroom is considerably larger than its predecessor, which measured only 6 ft. x 9 ft. and, noted Zeches, “was more like something you’d see in a 1,200-sq.-ft. house.” (Pre-remodel, the clients’ house was 5,500 sq. ft.) Dominating the existing bathroom were a 6-ft.-long vanity and a 5-ft. credenza that provided storage but “lacked any ‘wow’ factor,” Zeches said. And because space was scarce, the toilet and a 42-in. shower were relegated to an adjoining room that was also small and poorly lit.

With its generous footprint, the new master bathroom easily accommodates the couple’s desired amenities, such as a walk-in shower, whirlpool bath, fireplace and plenty of storage. Each is loosely assigned to a separate zone yet all are connected in an open, free-flowing layout. The remodel also encompasses a new dressing room, enviable in size and complete with retail-style display niches that are mirrored not only to give the illusion of more space but also to inject a bit of “Sex and the City glamour,” Zeches said.
The new dressing room is luxurious in footprint as well as atmosphere, thanks to details like its retail-style display niches (top).



To visually link the different zones of the bathroom and thus establish a sense of continuity, Zeches employed contrasting colors and repeated decorative elements throughout the space. The walk-in shower, for example, is articulated with brown ceramic tiles that also pave the floor of a sitting area. On the double vanity, tub surround and fireplace surround, dark espresso-toned wood imparts a feeling of cozy luxury while helping to move one’s eye through the room. Arced shapes in the sitting area, a dark Emperador marble step and a pair of custom area rugs near the vanity and tub help visually break up the floor, which is tiled in creamy marble and would otherwise “have been much too neutral,” said Zeches. Similarly, a header beam, left over from the architect’s original plan, eases the transition from the vanity area to the rest of the bathroom, and in the shower, bands of iridescent glass tiles lend further definition and create a more intimate scale. Above the his-and-her vanity sinks, circular mirrors, set against a caramel-colored wall, take the edge off the bathroom’s abundant rectilinear forms. Zeches replaced the credenza with one that’s more contemporary in look and offset it with granite and mica wallpaper, which also accents a wall in the toilet room. Of the paper, she said, “It has some glitz and glitter.”
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Because the homeowners “enjoy not having to get out of bed early in the morning if they so prefer,” Zeches noted, the master bedroom is equipped with a coffee bar to help them ease into their day. No doubt, having a luxurious bathroom that’s warm and welcoming doesn’t hurt either.
Zeches replaced the existing credenza with a new one (top) and offset it with granite and mica wallpaper. The bathroom remodel is part of a larger overhaul of the master suite.



SOURCES
Designer: Carlene Zeches—Z Interior Decorations, Inc., Reynoldsburg, OH Manufacturers: Cabinets: Williamsburg Fine Cabinetry; Cabinet installation assistance: Kleman Wood Products; Cabinet hardware: Richelieu; Tub: TOTO USA; Vanity faucets: Hansgrohe; Tub faucets: Hansgrohe, Jacuzzi; Shower valves and trim: Hansgrohe; Shower fittings: Grohe; Sinks: Kohler; Toilet: TOTO USA; Lighting: Designers Fountain (chandelier), Besa Lighting (sconces) and Minka-Lavery (vanity lights); Tile: Daltile, Laufen and Walker Zanger; Wallpaper: Phillip Jeffries Photography: © JE Evans Photography
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