1 - Wide From Door
2 - Tall From Door
3 - From Shower

O - Mantle and Cabinet in Store
P - Vanity under Construction

A - Almost Done - Mud Floor
B - From Door
C - Tile Window opposite Toilet
D - Corner Cabinet and Sink
E - Mirrored Wall Opposite Cabinet
F - Mirrored Wall Close Up
G - Shower From Door
H - Shower Ceiling Above Bench
I - Vanity From Door
J - Shower Just Above Bench
K - Bathroom From Shower
L - Vanity From Shower
M - Glowing Vanity

(Images link to larger ones)

This was a six month design effort which, I believe, succeeded. We started with a long narrow bathroom that was to be the main downstairs facility. Its strongest element was the wide window, which was trying to increase the visual width. The window was placed high to require no curtaining. The view was an evergreen tree and trunk - green and brown.

The controlling elements were two antiques - a highly carved fireplace mantle from about 1900, and a highly carved corner towel closet, from about 1800. The mantle didn't require any work, but the corner cabinet needed the inside repainted, since someone had had the bright idea of painting the wooden interior (though, thank goodness, not the highly carved interior of the door) bright yellow. It was impossible to strip, so we had it repainted tan with stronger shelves replacing some thin replacement shelves. Because of the carving on the interior of the door, I assume this was originally meant to stand open, which isn't possible in its intended placement.

The mantle would connect the vanity to the corner cabinet, so we wanted to match the style of the mantle in the vanity with its corner columns and, later, incorporate elements of the bathroom design. The vanity designer, Ferland Woodworking, was open to creating with us. Their workshop includes facilities for drying their own woods.

My design goals are always apparent simplicity, achieved with underlying complexity. I also like few colors, so this was an exercise in texture rather than color. Luckily I found a craftsman, instead of a tile installer, Cal Zaccardi. I built a website for Cal, but he's not one for words, so never filled in the text sections of the site. The pictures, though, tell the story of how the bathroom was built, from planning, to preparation, to installation.

It was decided to make the walls simple to show off the two pieces of furniture. So three of the walls are 12x12" marble, and the 4th wall, the one facing the furniture, is 4x4" tumbled marble. Embedded in the tumbled marble wall is a rectangle of blue/green glass, the same tile as in the shower, but in a different size. Unlike all the other tiles in the room, this rectangle is not grouted, to increase the three dimensionality of the effect. The frame for the glass tile is the marble from the other walls.

Closer to the door, in the same tumbled marble wall, are 4 medicine chests embedded in the wall. In the middle of each pair, top and bottom, is a lighted, mirrored niche. Below the niche is a wall heater for warming up after a shower, or drying hair.

The shower is entirely green/blue irridescent glass tile, with a ceiling of the tumbled white marble, edged in green stone to transition from the green glass tiles. On the two side walls are tall rectangles with a griffin tile in the center. The griffin repeats the design in the vanity mantle. On the back wall is a long rectangle, to mimic the window above, with a long classical tile. Each rectangle is framed in a cream marble edging. Antiquity Tile, in Hampden Maine, does incredibly beautiful work. We came home with our arms filled with decorative pieces, as well as wall tiles.

There are two sides to the shower - a simple shower on one side, and a more elaborate set of heads on the farther side. In order not to get wet turning the farther shower on, there's a total control level right near the shower door. Talk about confusing a plumber! We used diagrams to show how the plumbing had to run. That side also has its own niche, as well as a granite bench. The floor uses tones of light brown, which connects visually to the classical tiles in the wall, and the wooden window frame, as well as to the brown furniture in the main part of the bathroom.


Besides the normal shower head, there's a hand shower used mostly to wash the walls, and two body heads for fun.


The vanity was built to match the fireplace mantle, and repeats many elements. It includes the brown classical tiles in the shape of lion heads, a light green marble that picks up the color of the shower and the shape of the mantle, and embeds the polished white marble in the doors. The columns in the corner of the vanity repeat the flat pilaster column on the wall to the left of the shower door.

A large three dimensional female head sits above the toilet. Inside the head are the business cards of everyone who worked on the bathroom.

The floor is a very complicated green, raised pattern, which makes you think you'll be able to find the pattern. But you won't. The pattern was created by Paul on the computer, and there is no repetition anywhere. Laying the floor was a challenge!

The sink is translucent glass, and there are light sources inside the vanity which throws light out through the sink and thru the marble in the doors. That turns the vanity into the largest nightlight I've ever seen!

A mission design library of rich woods


NJ Governor
Lewis Morris


Henry Livingston
Night Before Xmas
Henry Livingston

Lincoln Trial
Judge Advocate
Henry L. Burnett


Van Deusen


site map
Site Map

IME logo Copyright © 2005, Mary S. Van Deusen