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Roman Baths

Neoclassical elegance is never out of style, in houses new or old. The point is made in these two traditional bathrooms. By Patricia Poore

    The luxurious bathroom is outfitted like other rooms, with furniture, a chandelier, and fine woodwork and glass.

    The luxurious bathroom is outfitted like other rooms, with furniture, a chandelier, and fine woodwork and glass.

    The old-fashioned bathroom made a comeback two decades ago; such early-20th-century standards as pedestal sinks, white tile, beaded-board wainscot, hexagon mosaic floors, and ca. 1920 light fixtures are readily available. Bathrooms thus outfitted seem to fit into houses of any age and style. A second popular approach has been the Craftsman bathroom, another hundred-year revival, today featuring slate and oak, art-tile accents, and brass Mission sconces.

    Through all of this, of course, fixtures with classical lines have never gone out of style. Indeed, a beautiful trend is toward the formal, neoclassical bathroom. These bathrooms designed by Visbeen Associates, Architects, make an illustrative pair: the first is rather European and luxuriously old-fashioned with stylish painted vanities; the next is coolly classical.

    Two Creeks is an English manor in an updated Tudor style, with stonework and steep rooflines. Ceilings are interesting throughout the house; a vaulted one in the master bedroom carries into the master bath. It has a softly glowing (and mildew resistant) specialty finish by paint decorator Diane Hasso, who created the multi-step troweled finish with an “embedded” texture that can someday be easily repainted.

    The Ingleside bathroom recalls old luxury hotel bathrooms in its timeless materials and detailed austerity.

    The Ingleside bathroom recalls old luxury hotel bathrooms in its timeless materials and detailed austerity. James Yochum photo

    Ingleside is an Arts & Crafts-inspired house with elements of the Shingle Style. The interior is transitional, with a classical hall and kitchen and raised-panel wainscots and a Craftsman-inspired home office. The neoclassical bathroom is given elegant proportions with a wainscot of marble ashlar tiles finished with a Greek fret design. Matching porcelain sinks on legs symmetrically flank a doorway on the long wall opposite the bathtub. The tall cabinet is capped with a graceful cornice.


    Architect Visbeen Associates, Inc., Grand Rapids, MI


    Inspired by a furniture piece, the Two Creeks vanities have turned legs, hand carving, inlaid molding, and a multi-layer rubbed finish. William J. Herbert photo

    Two Creeks

    Floor tile Ann Sacks
    Shower tile Walker Zanger
    Tub and sinks Waterworks
    Lighting Fine Art Lamps
    Custom hardware US10B & Co. Fine Hardware, Ada, MI
    Cabinets Jeff Segard, Grand Concept Homes
    Ceiling finish Diane Hasso, Faux-Real LLC
    Custom curtains Donna Cohen Interiors, Grand Rapids, MI


    Carrara marble floor and wainscot tiles Virginia Tile
    Tile accents
    Walker Zanger ‘Adelphi’ Greek key and chair-rail molding ‘Mercer’ from the Tribeca Series
    Kohler K6811-3 brushed nickel finish
    Lighting Rejuvenation
    Hardware Hickory Hardware Period Brass
    Custom cabinets Visbeen Associates
    Paint Benjamin Moore ‘Silver Half Dollar‘ 2121-40

    Published in: Old-House Interiors January/February 2009

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