THE 2006 HC&G IDEA HOUSE
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For the second upstairs bathroom, which is connected to the guest room being designed by Libby Langdon, Blood was posed with a different challenge: no windows, only a skylight. To make the room appear more open, the designer decided to play with scale. He chose different sizes of tiling, also from Urban Archaeology, for the floor and the shower. He also designed another sink/vanity, this time importing zinc from France for the countertop. "Zinc is making a comeback," he says.
In the home office, Blood stays true to form by juxtaposing the rugged feel of slate on the floors and walls with the "semiprecious" honed onyx in the shower stall, and is using glass tiles as decorative accents in the border and backsplashes. "The whole room has an indestructible feel," he says, "although it is by no means industrial." While the adjoining room will function as a home office, Blood's design for the bathroom will also work if the space is ever used as an au pair's suite or artist's studio.
Adjacent rooms are also inspiring Christine Phillips in designing the downstairs bathrooms. Like Blood, Phillips doesn't rely on any particular aesthetic, but prefers to draw on her surroundings for inspiration. In the powder room, she created a traditional—but not stuffy—space using green marbles, mahogany and fixtures from the Michael S. Smith For Country collection by Kallista. Her concept of the junior master bathroom was triggered by a swatch of blue wallpaper that designer Jeff Lincoln is using in the connecting bedroom. From their first meeting, the two designers were so in tune with each other, it was uncanny. "It's clear that Jeff and I were separated at birth," Phillips says. Her theme is one of "beach glass" for the bathroom, and the palette has a fresh, clean and above all, comfortable motif.
"Form and function have to drive the design," Phillips admits, but the part of the task that gives her the most joy is creating a soothing retreat while adhering to the practical and safety parameters given in designing a bathroom. But the designer's biggest challenge? "Picking the right tile," she answers. "Ann Sacks has so much to choose from, when a client says, 'Let's design an Ann Sacks bathroom,' I'm like a kid in a candy shop."