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Black and white minimalist bathroom

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Interior designers are often asked to create a contemporary interior, but invariably this is with a soft edge. For this bathroom renovation, however, there was no softening required – the owner wanted a slick, sharp, edited look.

Designer Shelly Handman says the new bathroom replaces a Japanese-styled room with a huge soaking tub that took up most of the space. The bathroom was also very enclosed and compartmentalized.

"The new owner wanted a much more open, flowing space, and it was important to bring light into the long, dark hallway leading to the bedroom," Handman says. "Consequently, the existing walls were replaced with very sleek Mondrian-style glass and steel partitions that pay homage to the subtle Deco styling that can be seen in the baseboards and mouldings.

"We played with different glass opacities within the space – the glass beside the hallway is sandblasted to allow plenty of diffuse light to pass through. To provide more privacy in the toilet room, these glass walls are laminated, while the shower walls are clear glass."

Sharp contrast is created between the powdercoated black steel and the crisp, white freestanding oval tub and the vanity cabinetry, which appears to float above the floor.

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"To provide an airy look and the illusion of more space I didn't want anything reaching down to the ground," says Handman. "The vanity extends like a ribbon right through the glass wall and into the toilet room."

The designer says the owners' preference for Calacatta marble on the vanity top determined the gray tile color – the shade matches the veining in the marble. In the shower and toilet, the walls feature gray backpainted glass that makes a glossy contrast to the honed marble floor tiles.

First published date: 30 December 2013

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Credit List

Architect Helen Lee, Tao + Lee Associates (St Louis, MO)
Interior designer Handman Associates team (Chicago, IL)
Builder Higginbotham Bros, Inc
Cabinet company Classic Woodworking, Inc
Bathtub Victoria & Albert
Tub filler Kohler Purist
Vanity sinks Lacava Luce
Vanity cabinetry White lacquered
Vanity countertop Polished Calacatta Gold marble from Stone Fabricators Inc
Faucets Grohe Atrio in polished chrome
Shower fittings Newport Brass East Linear in polished chrome
Plumbing fittings supplier Crescent Plumbing Supply
Shower glass door Troco Custom Fabricators
Mirror Custom by Higginbotham Bros, Inc
Wall tiles Ann Sacks Lucian glass tile in Smoke with standard glossy finish; Ergon Basic wall tile in Super Extra White Levigato Lucido Rettificato finish from Ergon Engineered Stone North American
Floor tiles Honed marble
Accessories Newport Brass East Linear hooks from Studio 41; Waterworks Resin soap dispenser; black tray from Barney's New York; silver vase from The Find; Horn make-up brush cup and Horn bowl for bath salt from Handman
Sconces Artemide Acheo from Source of Light
Lamps Nessen Lange from One Source
Side table Arteriors Lawson from Creative Visions in Marketing
Window treatment Faux wood shutters from Linda Fluchel Interiors