Serenity Meets Style
Bath displays at the Kohler Design Center play off the styles of the fixture suites for mood-creating results
Staff -- Interior Design, 3/1/2004 12:00:00 AM
The Fonderie display designed by Ray Booth, McAlpine Booth & Ferrier Interiors Inc., Nashville, TN and New York, NY, for the Kohler Design Center in Kohler, WI, blends the classic charm of the Iron Works Historic Suite with materials and icons that harken back to the Industrial Revolution of the late 1800s.
"This project gave me an opportunity to give the Iron Works Historic Suite a whole new take by answering the question: How do we create a sense of timelessness in something so Victorian in style?," Booth explains. "I thought about the late 1800s, when you typically expect to see a basin with cast iron, botanical references and curvilinear forms. It was the time of the Industrial Revolution and I wanted to play on the industrial side of that time period. Nowadays, people do live in lofts and so the feeling of those spaces can be combined with this product line to result in a space with a softened, yet up-to-date industrial feel."
Booth's display pays homage to the Industrial Revolution through materials and visual elements that relate to the factories of the era. The ornate claw feet on the free-standing bathtub are complemented by a vintage-look dual-blade ceiling fan mechanically driven by a leather pulley.
The windows are factory inspired, made with frosted, acid-washed glass and metal mullions. A window wall in the same style is also used to separate the shower and toilet areas. The carefully selected, theme-oriented accessories include a mirror with a distressed etched image of the Eiffel Tower.
The metallic motif in the bath extends into the large shower area through the use of copper penny subway wall tile. Recessed niches hold toiletries.
The grooming area includes a pedestal sink set on an intricate cast iron stand. An antique French lantern, reminiscent of the classic lampposts of 19th century Paris, has been rewired to utilize electricity. The ceiling-mounted white bead board also adds to the historical appeal of the room.
Combining ornate with clean-lined elements has truly added fresh perspective and a timeless elegance to the Victorian-inspired fixture suite.
Aquaessence is the name of the display Laura Bohn, Laura Bohn Design Associates, New York, NY, has designed at the Kohler Design Idea Center that amplifies the clean-lined simplicity and innovative thought behind the fixtures in the Purist Collection. Aquaessence for Bohn meant fashioning a look that is "very Hollywood—theatrical, dramatic and sexy" while at the same time, establishing a serene environment that serves as a haven from the fast-paced world.
Bohn affects mood through style by using non-traditional, man-made materials in a tailored, modern design. The circular shower is the organizing element of the home spa space. It is equipped with multiple showerheads for a true home spa experience and lined with tone-on-tone mosaic tiles.
The soaking tub, set beneath an aluminum-trimmed window wall, includes a mood enhancing chromatherapy feature. Mirrors at the head and foot of the tub contribute an illusion of added spaciousness. A custom-designed steel chandelier holds porcelain hurricanes that enable the glow of candlelight to be enjoyed by the bather. A garden of plantings that includes bamboo is positioned at the foot of the soaking tub.
The restrained lines are juxtaposed with soft materials, lighting and visual surprises. Water is delivered to the soaking tub, for example, from above—through a ceiling-recessed water nozzle. A fiberoptic curtain that adds softness to the space drapes over the wall near the vanity area. Soft lighting throughout the room enhances the varied textures and subtle color tones.
The side-by-side lavatories are surprisingly not identical. One is an open bottom porcelain hand basin with water delivered via a nozzle integrated into the mirrored cabinet; the other is a wading basin with deck-mounted widespread faucet and fittings.
The rich, dark wood of the cabinets, bench and accents on the side chair are juxtaposed against the pale neutral tones of the vertical surfaces. Gray mirage paint and pale green wallpaper adorns the walls.
Aquaessence creates a feeling of tranquility in a modern setting with a touch of old Hollywood glamour.
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