Two for Two
He takes showers—she prefers the tub. With Michael Rosenberg's master-bath design, both come out winners
Amanda May -- Interior Design, 3/1/2002 12:00:00 AM
Michael Rosenberg's clients in Scarsdale, New York, were both "very much bathroom people," says the architect. And they were of one mind on big and luxurious, but that's where their visions split: "She loves lounging in the tub, but he's much more of a shower person."
The existing bathroom was "typical, small, and rather undefined," says Rosenberg, so he and his partner, Leonard Kowalski, expanded it to 180 square feet, plus a dressing area, by incorporating the closet from an adjacent bedroom. The architects also enlarged the one original window, using a single pane of glass for an unbroken view of the couple's large backyard. Besides the ceiling, all surfaces are clad in the same deep brown marble; on the walls, horizontal recesses in the material create visual movement while doubling as support for glass shelves near the bathtub. Most of the glass used is clear, but a sandblasted panel screens the toilet and bidet.
The glass-enclosed shower is set away from the wall, with enough room to walk all the way around. "It's an independent pod that floats in the room," says Rosenberg. "It's more glamorous that way." (It's also pragmatic for cleaning the window behind.) Multiple showerheads, above and on the sides of the enclosure, provide "water from every direction," says Kowalski, and a marble seat rings three sides. At the opposite end of the room, a marble surround steps up to a 7-foot whirlpool tub, with a large mirror behind and a skylight above. A television set is recessed into the wall for bath viewing; speakers are installed near the ceiling.
Apart from its counter, the double-sink vanity departs from the marble theme. Rosenberg and Kowalski used mahogany here for richness. Between the sinks, a sunken section serves as the wife's makeup area, completing that key to matrimonial happiness: a bathroom large enough for husband and wife to enjoy independently while getting ready at the same time.