August 19, 2013
Simple lines and neutral colors craft a clean look, but it’s having an edge that gives a design luxury. Designed by Barbara Krai of Barbara Krai Interior Design, this 15-year-old bath gained its glamor with a glassy look.
“I knew my client loved glass since we had installed a major art glass piece in their family room,” explained Krai. Inspired by a Chicago hotel’s mosaic tile floor, Krai chose a marble combination of Bottocino, Thassos and Calcutta for the client’s own bathroom floor. “This was the inspiration for all the rest of the selections,” she added.
In tones of beige, gray, cream and white, the marble and stone mosaic mirrored in the glass vanity. “I knew a mirrored vanity would add glamor to the room while also reflecting the mosaic tile design on the floor – one of my client’s favorite choices,” said Krai. The challenge was creating a clean look for the vanity while still providing the necessary outlets and storage. “I did not want the busyness of splitting the solid mirrored doors with drawers, so I decided on solid doors on the face of the vanity,” she explained. By adding pullout drawers behind the vanity, Krai kept the neat look and maintained functionality.
In addition to this glamorous yet uncluttered design brief, Krai also was tasked with using the existing footprint and plumbing. “The challenge was making this whole area look new again and still reuse the existing tub,” she said. White glass steps and a tub deck replaced the previous dark granite surround under a faux-finished arch. By selecting white glass instead of white quartz, the translucent glass extended the vanity’s clean look. A glass-beaded wallcovering shrouds the base of the columns and the arch to update the design and add to the glass theme.
“The different textures of the unique materials add luxury to the neutral color palette,” said Krai. The creamy beige of the countertop’s bamboo-textured slab of glass ties into the stone color in the tile mosaic. “Since we were using a neutral color palette, I needed to also keep the look neutral but still find elegant selections that would add pizazz to the top of the vanity and work with the glass top,” she continued. Glass artist Susan Guttman provided the solution with hand-blown glass sinks, which use several shades of white. “Not an easy task, but she created two gorgeous sinks that were the perfect complement to the glass counter,” added Krai.
Over each sink, a downlight adds highlight and sparkle. “The most important part about lighting in a bathroom is that it be functional,” said Krai. Vanity lights line each side of the mirrors for make-up and shaving. “I added additional downlights for overall lighting, but the chandelier had to be special,” she added. “With a shimmering silver shade, Swarvorski crystals and capiz shell, the chandelier added elegance and pizazz while keeping the palette neutral.”
A mirrored and white-stained glass backsplash tied together the neutral palette and the glass theme for the final touch. “[The bath] gives a feeling of being pampered in pure luxury and elegance in a spa atmosphere,” said Krai. “It’s perfect for unwinding after a long day or getting a fresh start in the morning.”