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A Little French Romance Inspires a Master Bathroom Design

Elegance and luxury come together in this New York bathroom
By Alice Liao
July 12, 2010

For many, France still conjures up visions of romance: a leisurely stroll on the banks of the Seine, a kiss in front of the Eiffel Tower, a weekend stay at an old chateau and a glimpse of Mont St. Michel awash in the coppery light of a setting sun. A getaway to indulge in any of these experiences is sure to make any heart beat a little faster, but if your bags aren’t packed yet or you just can’t get away, why not do the next best thing and bring la France to you?

That was part of the thinking behind this award-winning master bath designed by Ken Kelly, of Kitchen Designs by Ken Kelly in Williston Park, NY. When the clients, a couple with three children, expressed a desire to incorporate romance into their bathroom, as well as their daily lives, Kelly turned to Normandy and Paris for inspiration. “The goal was to create a romantic master bedroom bath with spa-style amenities for a French Normandy home,” he said. “I was inspired during a trip to Paris when I stayed in the Four Seasons George V hotel and experienced their fabulous spa. I wanted to bring the luxury and serenity of those amenities to this project.”

Kelly’s first challenge, however, was to increase the existing bathroom’s footprint. Because his clients’ wish list was quite extensive, to accommodate all of their requests required that he relocate the entrance of the master suite and eliminate an adjoining hallway and some closet space. With the additional 12 sq. ft., Kelly was now able to give the couple a whirlpool for two, a large steam shower with seating, a private toilet area, a linen closet, a hamper, dual vanities, a makeup area and ample wardrobe storage. Emotional appeal aside, the decision to “go French” was not entirely arbitrary. The couple’s home already featured French design elements, such as balcony railings, fireplace mantles and other architectural details—all of which Kelly continued in the new master bath. Here, they support a trio of cabinet door styles selected to “replicate the look of French cabinetry prevalent in the south of France during the 18th century,” he noted. Further enhancing the look, the units boast a rustic, yet elegant blue finish that is accented with cream-colored details and complemented by Turkish Oasis blue and blue Lagos marble on the walls, floor and in the shower. A highlight of the design is, of course, the tub area, where the couple can enjoy a romantic soak by glowing candlelight. Located in a series of blue and cream niches that line a wall adjacent to the tub and are again offset by Turkish marble, the candles are operated by remote control and lend the space much of its drama. And because no luxury bathroom would be complete without its high-tech toys, speakers for piped-in music and a flat-screen TV are mounted behind a two-way tempered-glass mirror situated at the foot of the tub. Other features of the remodel include a more private toilet zone, a generous dressing area, abundant linen and toiletry storage and a shower equipped with a 16-in. rainshower, a handshower, 10 body jets, a waterfall and the requested steam function and built-in bench. Not surprisingly, Kelly’s bath design took second place in the master suite/bathroom category for the 2010 NKBA Design Competition. With its array of creature comforts and its atmosphere of luxury and soigné style, it offers its owners the perfect place to indulge in a little French romance without leaving home.

Designer: Ken Kelly, CKD, CBD, CR—Kitchen Designs by Ken Kelly, Williston Park, NY Manufacturers: Cabinetry: Bentwood Luxury Kitchens; Hardware: Top Knobs; Sinks, lavatory faucets, toilet and tub: Kohler; Tub filler: Grohe; Shower faucets and steam unit: Grohe and Kohler; Grab bars: Ginger; Wardrobe life: Hafele; Towel warmer: Myson Photography: © Ric Marder
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