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Contemporary classic – Italian-style villa bathroom remodel by Martin Horner

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Italian-style villa bathroom remodel by Martin Horner

Contemporary classic – Italian-style villa bathroom remodel by Martin Horner Discover this article's resources 0


In any home, the material palette defines the bathroom, setting the tone and the mood.

The original bathroom in this Italianate villa featured dark green onyx tiles. The tiles, and a huge platform tub with a dark wood surround, gave the room a very heavy, ornate look, says interior designer Martin Horner of Soucie Horner.

"Our goal was to create a retreat for owners Mark and Marianna Tanguay," he says. "The master suite needed to reflect their personalities with sophistication and flair. It had to repeat the design language of the rest of the house, which was extensively remodeled to create a lighter, more modern interior."

Horner says he was able to work with some of the existing features, such as the arched doorways and the distinctive wall niches that accommodate the vanity cabinetry.

"The new cabinets were inserted into the same space. We chose a cerused white oak, which is sandblasted, quarter-sawn oak that has been rubbed white with a special pigment, almost like a whitewash. The cabinets have a sleek, modern look, but a small beading adds a hint of refinement, which is appropriate for a bathroom."


The cabinets were teamed with a light-colored Avorio Sapone marble vanity top.

"Jerusalem limestone was selected for the mosaic tiles on the backsplash, as this is the stone that features on the floor," says the designer. "And we took the backsplash all the way up to the top of the niche for dramatic impact."

The niches, on either side of the bathroom are nearly symmetrical, but one side also features full-height cabinets.

A separate double shower room is lined with large-format Jerusalem limestone tiles, similar to the floor.

The pièce de résistance in the bathroom, however, is a freestanding, traditionally styled Lefroy Brooks bathtub with a stainless steel-coated exterior. To enhance the classic Italian look, the designer added a decorative tub filler with a shower attachment.

"An antique mirror and chandeliers also contribute to the romantic feel of the room," says Horner. "While the overall look is more contemporary than the original bathroom, it is still feminine."

Horner says he and the owners took a trip to Italy to look for inspiration for the remodeling project.

"The bedroom features some of the same detailing as the bathroom, and we added detail to the plasterwork in the ceiling to stay in keeping with the overall style."

The designer also added traditional Italian furniture pieces, including handpainted items, and a large white rug.

"Stepping onto the rug is like walking on a cloud. It's another touch of luxury."

First published date: 20 September 2011

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Credit List

Interior designer Martin Horner, Soucie Horner Ltd (Chicago)
Builder Steigerwald-Dougherty
Cabinet company Baywood Interiors
Bathtub Lefroy Brooks
Cabinetry Cerused white oak
Vanity top Avorio Sapone marble from Chicago Stone Importers
Basin Kalista in Stucco White
Faucets Lefroy Brooks in satin nickel
Lighting Melissa Sconce from Urban Electric
Mosaic wall tiles Golden Byzantine from Ann Sacks
Wall and floor tiles Jerusalem limestone