Bathing Beauties

These three lavish lavatories showcase high design and extravagant details.

Tranquil in Tenafly

Photo by Jeffrey Toraro

Photo by Jeffrey Toraro

Minimalist Marvel: The master suite in this contemporary Tenafly home shows how simplicity can create tranquility. Details like the glass-and-stone mosaic “rug” and the enormous beveled mirror add visual spice. The oversized walk-in shower has multiple heads and sprays.

Interior designer Lissette LaSpisa eschewed elaborate or showy touches in designing this serene master bath in a Tenafly home. “It’s actually very plain,” she says. “I kept everything simple.” The lesson here? Plain and simple translate as gorgeous.

The house was under construction when LaSpisa was called in. The homeowners, parents of three young children, wanted a contemporary bath that functioned as an extension of their spacious master bedroom. “They wanted it to be grey and modern and clean,” LaSpisa says.

Photos by Jeffrey Totaro

Photos by Jeffrey Totaro

Working in a monotone palette—“Grey,” she says, “is the new neutral, the new beige”—LaSpisa selected Carrera marble for the floors and countertops. She created a mosaic of glass and stone for a showstopping accent that suggests a lavish rug set into the marble floor. “The glass makes it look like it’s 3-D,” she says. She wrapped the circular tub and the surrounding wall in the same glass and stone for a crowning jewel-like touch that creates a focal point for the entire room.

Surrounding the tub are two custom vanities that take monochrome to new heights. “White cabinets are so trendy, so today,” LaSpisa says. “Everyone wants crisp, clean and cool.”

LaSpisa collaborated with Anthony Passanante, whose custom-cabinetry shop, Anthony Albert Studios, built the his-and-hers vanities. “They are mirror images,” says Passanante. “She wanted her side, and he wanted his.” The dramatic custom mirrors—a beveled mirror set inside a larger one framed in silver leaf—provide the glorious illusion of infinite space. “The mirrors,” LaSpisa gushes, “are fabulous.”

Passanante made sure to pack maximum storage space into the vanities themselves, making it easy for the homeowners to keep the countertops uncluttered. The glass-front cabinets provide additional space to display collectibles and add a dash of color. Each vanity has its own hamper, cleverly disguised as a cabinet.

Opposite the tub stand a large walk-in shower with multiple sprays and a separate toilet closet. Walls and floors for both are clad in Carrera marble.

Overall, the look, while minimalist, creates an inspiriting vibe.

“The room is very inviting, very serene,” says LaSpisa. “It’s very soothing, very now, very classy.”

Whimsical in Wyckoff

Photo by Jeffrey Toraro

Photo by Jeffrey Toraro

Wake Me, Shake Me: The bathroom’s sunny eastern exposure lets in oodles of natural light. “The sun hits the window area in the morning,” says Capodieci-Quinn. “It’s a room you want to wake up to.”

Interior designer Rina Capodieci-Quinn adores color. Case in point: this anything-but-shy bathroom. Her client? A spirited preteen. “She’s not a girly girl,” says Capodieci-Quinn. “She’s sporty and energetic. Our goal was to make the space fit her personality.”

Located in a turreted wing of a stately Wyckoff home, the bathroom had fine architectural details, but not the desired oomph when Capodieci-Quinn signed on. The owners had built the home five years earlier, creating a sprawling bathroom for their youngest child, the only girl among four siblings. They designed her a spacious bath with a separate shower and a soaking tub, as well as a closed-off toilet closet. A bank of cabinets provided more than ample storage below and a broad countertop above. Large windows faced east, letting in morning light. But while the owners paid attention to details like moldings, columns and stained-glass windows, they did little to make all those features pop. In fact, the entire room was painted pale blue. “All the architectural details were there,” Capodieci-Quinn says, “but it lacked character. It wasn’t very exciting.” She changed that.

Photos by Jeffrey Totaro

Photos by Jeffrey Totaro

For starters, Capodieci-Quinn developed a vibrant palette of bustling blues and greens with pops of vivid orange, using three different shades from Benjamin Moore. Once painted, she brought in other accents, including colorful hardware for the existing cabinets and custom shades for the original sconces. She painted and reupholstered the vanity bench and selected bright, color-coordinated towels. The result is a fun, effervescent room, fit for a fun, effervescent kid.

Though perfect for the preteen, the look will keep its charm for years to come. Plenty of open counter space provides room for the trappings of any teenage girl. “This space will grow with her,” Capodieci-Quinn says. Puckishly, she adds, “Eventually it can maybe be for someone else.” A new coat of paint, she jokes, could make it the perfect mother-in-law suite.

High-Class in Hoboken

Photo by Peter Kubilus

Photo by Peter Kubilus

Historic Preservation: Renovating a 100-year-old home presented challenges for designer Robert Jenny, such as refurbishing the plaster crown moldings and restoring the stained-glass windows.

It’s an urban example of old meets new. The owners of this historic three-story brownstone in Hoboken—busy executives who divide their time between New Jersey and Miami—appreciate the character of the century-old home, but wanted an up-to-date bath reflecting their love for contemporary design. Determined to retain the brownstone’s exposed brick walls, original beams and fireplaces and, in the master bath, the original stained-glass windows, they hired designer Robert Jenny, whose design/build firm pulled it all together with panache.

“These are adventurous clients willing to mix old with new,” says Jenny. The gut renovation involved literally every room in the home, including a repurposed third-floor master bath, a space that had previously been a bedroom. “We added modern touches but returned the space to its historic roots,” Jenny says.

The room was ideal to transform into a bathroom, he explains, since it faces the rear and is flooded with natural light. A gate leads to the roof terrace as well as an open view of the backyard. The space is so private that window treatments are unnecessary; in fact, the walk-in shower, to the right of the tub, was left open, with an unobstructed view of the yard.

The fireplace and mantel are original, but with the exhaust removed, they provide only aesthetic warmth. The wood floors are oil-rubbed European white oak.

Photos by Peter Kubilus

Photos by Peter Kubilus

The centerpiece is the modern tub, a signature model from the Victoria + Albert Collection. The 192-pound tub was pulled up the three flights of stairs on a sled—before the stairs were restored, of course. Installation required further creativity. “The existing floor was not level,” says Jenny, “so we designed a platform for the tub to rest upon.”

The vanity is an original design, “for form more than function,” Jenny admits, since it has minimal drawer storage. The wood in the newly crafted piece was chosen to match the wood floors. “We designed and built the modern vanity in perfect juxtaposition to the historic details,” he says.

The result is a pleasantly harmonious, old-world-meets-modern bath. “The couple wanted a place that reflected their style, that they could relax in when they return home,” Jenny says. “I think of tranquility when I see this space.”

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