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At the beach

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Cool and fresh, the bathrooms in this home reflect the colors and atmosphere of the beach across the street

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A fresh sea breeze and waterfront setting are compelling influences in the design of a summer home. Although individual rooms will have their own looks, a central design theme can continue throughout the house.

Cool grays, blues, greens and sand colors formed the palette for the bathrooms in this home at the beach,owned and designed by Jolie Korek of Interiors Co.

"The common thread through the home is a minimalist and crisp design," she says. "I prefer to work with two or three colors and two or three materials to create a classic and uncluttered feeling."

Slate and marble mosaics in the guest bathroom create a variety of patterns, contrasting and complementing each other at the same time. Black slate is topped with mosaic tiles that extend up to a solid marble chair rail. The mosaics provide a backdrop for the wall-mounted toilet and taps and also frame the bath.

The custom vanities appear to be freestanding cabinets divided by a set of shelves for towel storage. Finished in a hand-painted glaze, their white color has a deep gloss.

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Chrome sconces look like old waterfront gaslights and provide accents with the stainless steel sinks and faucets.

Sandy beach colors and the blues and greens of the sea are the basis for the master bathroom, pictured here. Built into a space that was formerly a garage, Korek wanted to retain the original brickwork, which is the back of a fireplace, as well as other wall structures that dictated the layout.

"I don't like square spaces," she says. "I always want to break out of the box. An area with nooks and crannies is the atmosphere I like best."

Mosaic glass tiles also feature in this bathroom, on the wall behind the sink and in the shower enclosure. Honed Giallo Didone limestone blocks cover the walls up to the chair rail. Riverrocks flooring gives the look of pebbles at the beach and a textured feeling under bare feet.

Custom woodworking in teak, a traditional boat building material, is used for the sink and mirror frame. The sink is wall-mounted, its form accentuated by the space between its base and the floor.

The shape is similar to that of the stainless steel bathtub, which was designed with an over-sized width of 40 inches to fit two people. It was custom built, which allowed Korek to contour the inside for comfort, resulting in a softer feeling than a ceramic bath, she says.

"People should spend more time in bathrooms. They are places to pamper yourself," says Korek. "With the soft contours of the tub, dimmer switches and candlelight, this bathroom is a tranquil haven for relaxation."

First published date: 24 April 2003

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Credit List

Interior designer Jolie Korek, ASID, Interiors Co (New York)
Builder Bill Webb Guest bathroom
Bathtub Custom stainless steel by Alan Court
Vanity cabinetry Designed and built by John Carlucci, JC Design, finished in a hand-painted white glaze by Douglas Rozevink
Basins Kroin stainless steel
Bath and sink faucets Dornbracht Tara series
Flooring Riverrocks interlocking mesh from Artistic
Wallcoverings Leatherized hand-painted finish by Doug Rozevink
Tiles Sandstone mosaic glass, Giallo Didone hand-antiqued limestone slabs
Toilet Toto
Lighting Architrove
Accessories Jonathan Adler
Vanity sink Teak by John Carlucci,JC Design
Faucets Dornbracht
Artwork Supplied by Kenise Barnes