Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Mistletoe in the Powder Room

A sprig of mistletoe surprised visiting guests in a holiday
show house bath designed by Diana Kennedy Interiors

Who says a bathroom can’t get decked out for the holidays? We’re not talking traditional reds and greens as much as bits of designer bling like we recently saw at the Glen Magna Farms Designers Holiday Show House in Danvers. Held December 1st – 15th, this show was a fundraiser for the Danvers Historical Society in its continued efforts to renovate and preserve this historic property. The show, which relied on over a dozen design professionals to transform the estate, had four bathrooms on the tour. Each offered some fabulous styling tips and unique design solutions for the hard working – and frequently visited – very important room of the house.


We were happy to sponsor the re-design of the second floor Guest Bath by Caitlin Flynn and Elyse Parkhurst of North Fork Design Co. A classic-style console sink was installed along with a new toilet, mirror, polished chrome lav faucet, and other bath accessories from our showroom.

In the farthest corner of the room, an original vintage foot bath awaits.

The tub, dressed for a holiday photo shoot, is also original to the estate, although it is not plumbed for use anymore. 

The North Fork Design team added lots of modern style to this traditionally appointed space with a fun collection of bright and bold graphic patterns. To see before photos, visit North Fork’s September guest post on our blog here. 

There were several other bathrooms in the estate that did not require new fixtures, as the original pieces were requested to remain preserved, although they did need some designer TLC. Below is a how these spaces looked in their holiday finery ...


Art selected by Diana Kennedy for the Bride’s Bathroom

The Bride’s Bath, designed by Diana Kennedy Interiors and home to the playful sprig of mistletoe, was beautiful from top to bottom. Inspired by Chinoiserie print fabrics and Parisian elegance, Diana focused on adding stately glamour with a twist of the unexpected, like this clawfoot soaking tub filled with silver and gold ornaments ...

Across from the tub, the new window treatment provides privacy while still allowing lots of light to stream in from above. A gold bamboo etagere adds much needed storage space. The bow on the toilet? Just for the show, of course! 

A pop of color: Bride’s Bath area carpet from Landry and Arcari


When challenged with an old and worn checkerboard vinyl floor in the second floor powder room, Candy Weston of Weston Design knew just what to do. She enlisted the artistic talents of Karen Ward of Nantucket Decorative Painting and the two of them completely changed the look of the room with a vintage stencil pattern. Protected by several coats of varnish, it will stand up to years worth of visitors beautifully. Adorned with a sparkly white floral arrangement, flickering pillar candles, and silver mercury glass votives this space shined for the holidays.  


BEFORE: a particularly challenging first floor powder room

BEFORE: awkwardly placed heating duct unit in powder room

AFTER: dressed for guests by Yvonne Blacker Interiors

wall mural painted by Mary Taggart of TaggArt Studio

Inspiration: a vintage fabric chosen for window treatment

The final bathroom in the estate was the first floor powder room which I personally took on to re-design. Tucked under the stairway, it had short ceilings on one side and on the other side a necessary heating duct ran from floor to ceiling. After weeks of trying to figure out what to do with this elephant in the room, it occurred to me that the pole looked similar to a tall thin tree (especially with its bumpy bark-like peeling paint surface). Inspired by a vintage fabric depicting a woodland scene that I had chosen for the room’s new window treatment, I had Mary Taggart of TaggArt Studio paint the pole to look like a birch tree, much like one would see in the surrounding gardens of the Glen Magna Farms estate. Mary’s beautifully done faux finish was a design solution that surprised and delighted visitors. Sometimes starting with simple decorative touches can make the biggest difference.

Other new and improved features in this tiny powder room included a set of vintage-style polished chrome hot and cold pillar taps from our showroom, a wall-to-wall woven vinyl floor covering called Bolon (water and stain resistant) via Landry and Arcari, and a tailored sink skirt in a soft gray Barbara Barry indoor/outdoor fabric from Kravet.

Last day of the show at Glen Magna Farms // photo courtesy Jenifer Dunn Coen

Congratulations to all the participating designers and to the Danvers Historical Society for their collaborative efforts to transform Glen Magna Farms while raising much needed funds for the continued preservation of this historic property. Now that the show is over, the estate is ready to book future events for weddings and special occasions. Schedule a tour to see it for yourself. If you visit in the warmer months, be sure to step outside to walk the landscaped grounds. There is just as much beauty to discover beyond the mansion’s doors!

Love notes left on weeping beech trees in the
Shrubbery Garden at Glen Magna Farms

A peony blossoms in the Derby Summer House
botanical flower garden at Glen Magna Farms 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Radiant Orchid in the Bath

via Design Vignettes on Polyvore

A classic gray and white bath is the perfect counter point to an infusion of the warm and vibrant Pantone color of the year, Radiant Orchid. Layering in colors like deep amethyst and soft pink – close to orchid on the color wheel – is a great way to add depth to a design that features this stylish hue.

“An enchanting harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones, Radiant Orchid inspires confidence and emanates great joy, love and health. It is a captivating purple, one that draws you in with its beguiling charm.”

If I had to choose the perfect soaking tub to coordinate with an orchid color scheme, it would have to be this freestanding slipper tub from Victoria + Albert. Its sides are almost petal-like creating a more feminine-looking form than most soakers.

While last year we enjoyed Emerald Green in our fashions and furnishings, in 2014 we have lots of Radiant Orchid coming down the runways and into our homes. Including orchid in our wardrobes may not require much of a commitment, however when considering dressing the bath it is best to stick with touches of these on-trend colors. 

This silk rug from Landry and Arcari would suit a dressing room just outside of a full bath. The soft fibers underfoot would be a luxurious way to start or end any day. And it has just enough interest in its pattern from other colors like charcoal gray and acid green to keep it from being too pre-teen purple.

Likewise, a glass tile that features just a shimmer of Radiant Orchid would be a look that one could live with even after another color of the year is selected.

Will you be adding Radiant Orchid to your home this year?

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

7 Gifts To Celebrate Everyday

photo courtesy Bain Ultra

Big Gift Idea #1

Trying to come up with an out-of-the-box holiday gift idea for that special someone? Significant others can be the most difficult to buy for, especially when there is a house-to-do-list vying for attention both during and after the holidays. Why not consider crossing two items off your lists by giving a gift card that allows the receiver permission to enjoy the gift of luxury every day. A soaking tub with aroma therapy like the one above from Bain Ultra, is one way to extend the giving season throughout the years to come.

photo courtesy Steamist

Big Gift Idea #2

Creating a spa-like experience at home is one way to give the gift of wellness. Incorporating a steam shower into a personal residence can be done at the design stages of a project as well as retro-fitted into an existing shower. The health benefits of steam therapy include muscle relaxation, improved blood circulation, release of toxins, allergy and asthma relief, and even more restful sleep. Talk about a gift that keeps on giving!

photo courtesy Kallista

Big Gift Idea #3

While some may not consider a kitchen sink as a particularly sexy gift, one look at this stunner from the Mick De Giulio collection for Kallista and anyone who appreciates home cooked meals may think otherwise. Equipped with an integrated cutting board, colander holder, knife sharpener and large trough like bowl, this stainless steel beauty will take center stage in any working kitchen and is sure to steal the heart of the one who prepares nourishing meals for the family on a daily basis.

photo courtesy Brizo
photo courtesy Kallista

Big Gift Idea #4

Bling can come in all forms, even paired with polished chrome. Adding a bit of sparkle to the bath in the form of Swarovski crystal finials on faucets and towel holders, or rock crystal wall sconces, is an attainable luxury that elevates everyday rituals. When installed in a first floor powder room, this brilliant element of surprise will be a gift for guests as well. 

photo courtesy Native Trails

Big Gift Idea #5

If you have a reduce-reuse-repurposer on your shopping list, then we have just the gift! This unique bar or vanity sink is fashioned from reclaimed oak wine barrels, creating a rustic work of art that functions beautifully. Come to think of it, if your loved one loves wine (red or white) this will also make an extra special gift!

photo courtesy Blanco

photo courtesy Blanco

Big Gift Idea #6

For the environmentalist/gardener in your life, this gift will provide an effortless way to save kitchen scraps for composting that can later be used to enhance the soil in their perennial beds, creating future lush and bountiful harvests. How very sweet!

photo courtesy Grohe

Big Gift Idea #7

A simple swap out of an existing shower head to one that includes a hand held option, is a gift worth getting excited about. New models even offer water saving features with the use of air-induction technology that creates bigger drops of water while using a lower flow rate. Pretty cool, huh? 

What to Give, What to Get

From now through December 31, 2013, when you buy one gift card at Designer Bath, you will receive a second gift card valued at 10% of the first. Gift it to someone else, or save it to pick out something special for yourself. One size fits all. For details, click here.

Happy holidays and best wishes with your gift lists! Just a reminder, we will be collecting unwrapped toys for boys and girls at our Beverly location to benefit Toys for Tots now through December 14th. Stop in anytime to drop off something special, big or small, because in the end we all know it’s the thought that counts!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

We won Best of Boston Home 2014!

Boston Home Magazine // January 2014
cover photo by Eric Roth

Boston Home Magazine // January 2014
Best of Boston 2014 Award Winner
mudroom design by Carpenter and MacNeille featuring plumbing fixtures
from Designer Bath and Salem Plumbing Supply
photo by Michael J. Lee

We are thrilled to announce that we were awarded Best of Boston Home in the January 2014 issue of Boston Home Magazine! This year, the winners were awarded collaboratively, since behind every beautiful room there is always a solid group of individuals who together can bring a design concept to completion. We applaud all the members of the team that brought in a home run with this New England style mudroom designed by Carpenter and Macneille featuring a farmhouse sink and faucet from our showroom. Cheers!  

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