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Dressed for the occasion

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A formal entrance and classical design principles enhance the luxurious look of this master suite

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Amaster suite provides a place to escape from the stresses of everyday living. The owners of the suite featured here took that idea one step further to create a home within a home, complete with two bathrooms, dressing rooms, terrace room, kitchenette and laundry room.

Architect and builder Michael Menn of Design Construction Concepts says the new 2500sq ft suite is part of a very large, Georgian-style home built in 1895. While the existing gentleman's quarters, including an updated bathroom and gymnasium, were retained, the new suite needed to include a dressing room and bathroom for the woman owner.

Working with interior designers Denise Antonucci and Jerry Sanfillippo of ASI Interiors, Menn designed a series of rooms, linked by French doors, which feature hand-carved glass reminiscent of Lalique crystal.

"The owners expressed a love of formality and particularly liked the look of traditional Italianate villa interiors," says Menn. "For this reason, we created a very formal entrance to the suite, which also enhances the sense of retreat."

The suite is entered via a foyer that leads to a rotunda. This serves as a display area for the owner's collection of designer handbags. Fiber-optic lighting in the glass cabinets and around the circular ceiling adds to the sense of drama.


"The owners love the dramatic look," says Antonucci.

Limiting the color palette to black and white, accented by gold adds to the drama. The designers say the interior design process began with the floor, a cool, off-white stone highlighted by black mosaics. A Greek key motif edges the perimeter of the bedroom, while the new bathroom features a traditional wave pattern. Black mosaics also feature in the shower stall and entrance rotunda.

Glass doors open from the bedroom to a large, circular dressing room. Here, black columns with gold capitals flank semi-circular cabinetry.

"This make-up area is designed as a space within a space," says Menn. "The cabinetry envelops the owner and everything she needs is right at hand, including a small handbasin."

The circular ceiling in this area features foil paper and recessed lighting, creating a dramatic effect.

Beyond the dressing room is a large, walk-in closet and bathroom, with a separate toilet room and a large shower stall. A freestanding tub is positioned to provide a private view of the garden.

Sculptures in niches and on a pedestal add to the classical ambiance.

First published date: 24 August 2003

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Credit List

Architect Michael A Menn AIA, CGR, NKBA, Design Construction Concepts (Northbrook, IL)
Interior designer Denise Antonucci ASID and Jerry Sanfillippo ASID, ASI Interiors
Builder Andy Poticha, Design Construction Concepts
Bedroom walls Handpainted faux limestone by John T Olson Decorators
Deco-style furniture and chandeliers J Robert Scott
Gilt bed Lorin Marsh
Bath Herbeau tub
Vanity and dressing room cabinetry Nu-Trend Cabinet Co
Customized make-up mirror Armand Lee
Light fixture over make-up vanity Sirmos
Basins Clear, spun-glass vessel from Kohler
Basin faucets Falling Water from Kohler
Shower and bath faucets Perrin & Rowe
Flooring White Sands limestone
Mosaics The Fine Line
Toilet and bidet Kohler
Lighting Juno Lighting
Electric shades Window Modes
Draperies Interior Dynamics
Glass doors Custom hand-carved from Alternative Designs
Towels and sheets Kreiss Collection