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This refined makeover has created a light, spa-like retreat that invites one to linger

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When a couple travels extensively and is accustomed to five-star treatment along the way, it makes sense they would crave a similar level of pampering when they are back in their own home.

This was the scenario when designer Jennifer Davis was asked to reinvent this master suite. The pair of empty-nesters had built the house 20 years ago, as a family home, and wanted the bedroom and bathroom to shake off the design excesses popular at the time and instead offer a luxurious master suite that would be more in keeping with the rest of the large, traditional residence.

Before the remodel, the suite suffered from poor natural lighting, heavy soffits, chunky vanities, a built-in bath that you had to step up to and then down into, and harsh fluorescent lighting, says Davis.

"We stripped all this out to reveal the good bones of the architecture. Now a central approach creates a sense of arrival and reveals the open-plan bathing area to left and right. On one side there is a men's dressing area and access to his walk-in closet, while the opposite side features a soaking tub, a custom make-up vanity and access to her walk-in closet. A large steam shower acts as a central dividing element.

"I designed a custom dresser in ebony to stand straight ahead in the entry, setting the scene for the refined spaces to come."

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Davis has created a fresh and serene ambience in the bathroom. Decor touches include a basketweave pattern in Bardiglio and Carrara marble on the floor, understated wood paneling and a quiet palette of white with rich mahogany highlights.

"The vanities, haberdashery station, make-up table and entry dresser all have different treatments – much like an assortment of high-end furniture," says Davis. "However, the marble countertops and consistent use of dark wood draw them together. The hand-crafted elements bring warmth to the white marble envelope."

Within this restful environment, and set before a grand arched window, is the traditional tub, with full spa functionality.

The two-person steam shower that divides the spaces is equally inviting. This has body sprays, a rainhead shower and a long marble bench.

"Juxtaposed with the classic look, the bathroom offers every modern advantage – from the multifunction shower to a personalized make-up table, with miniature sink, tilting mirrors and soft task lighting."

Gleaming nickel faucets, white stone floors and fine furniture pieces combine to create a welcoming environment.

First published date: 30 March 2012

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Credit List

Interior designer and cabinetry designer Jennifer Davis, Jennifer Davis Interior Design (Beverly Hills, CA)
Builder Simmonds Builders
Cabinetry maker DJ Designs
Cabinetry Custom dresser finished in ebony with inlaid bone and black hardware; her vanity, custom with mahogany stain, reed-style doors and Carrara countertop and splashback, Original by Barbara Barry basin with lever-handle Margaux faucets by Kohler; her make-up station, custom designed in mahogany and mahogany stain finish, Carrara splashback and countertop, Barbara Barry under-counter basin from Kallista, Barbara Barry faucet set in polished nickel; his vanity, mahogany stain with reeded finish, nickel hardware and leg detail, white Carrara marble countertop and backsplash and Original by Barbara Barry under-counter basin with overflow, Margaux faucets by Kohler from Kallista; his haberdashery station, custom dresser and bookshelf with mahogany finish and nickel hardware; bedside tables are from Mecox Gardens
Tub Vintage cast iron, by Kohler
Tub hardware Floor-mounted bath-shower mixer in polished nickel finish by Perrin & Rowe
Shower bench, wall and border in Carrara marble, central basketweave pattern in Carrara and Bardiglio stone, frame in Carrara marble from Walker Zanger
Shower hardware Polished nickel by Kohler
Steam unit ThermaSol
Lighting Pendants and wall sconces with polished nickel finish from Foundry Lighting, recessed make-up mirror lights in her vanity by Dreamscape Lighting; his vanity sconces by Illuminating Experiences
Wall treatment Hemp wallcovering by KFI in Starlight color
Bed Custom upholstered headboard in cut velvet
Flooring Tiles, carpet