The 2009 San Francisco Decorator Showhouse is currently going on and one of the decorators - Stephanie Marsh Fillbrandt of Marsh and Clark - was tasked with decorating this long and narrow bathroom. We're always saying that a small powder room is a great place to experiment and go wild. However, it's clear that this unusual space required a delicate hand - as the proportions could render the space either tomb like, or worse, a carnival fun house. Stephanie has instead managed to create a gorgeous, serene space that is filled with life and visual interest.
Vanity – The cantilevered vanity subtly suggests the trabeated forms of Ancient Greek post and lintel architecture. Hand hewn by a local craftsman, the custom vanity is made from FSC-certified, sustainably-harvested machiche hardwood.
Mosaic - Using a combination of modern and ancient techniques, each piece was hand cut and set by local mosaicists. The distinctive composition of white Thassos marble, reclaimed French and Yucatan Ticul limestone cleverly forms an arabesque design, which unfurls gracefully, as it leads the eye up pale blue Venetian Plaster walls, subtly emphasizing the vertical expansiveness of the room.
This design shows just how spectacular a small and potentially awkward space can be. The soft curvaceous lines draw the eye into the room, from the mosaic pattern on the floor, to the mirror over the sink and on up to the stained glass window. The sleek vanity creates a striking counterpoint to the soft blue plastered walls. The cantilevered vanity is a fantastic solution to keeping the space as light and proportionate as possible. Had the vanity been a standard to the floor model, the room would have felt all the more narrow. Smart!
Stained-Glass Window - A local craftsman used hand-blown glass to create a stunning portrait window. The window marries classic stained-glass fabrication techniques with a modern design. The graceful curves of window’s design echo the curvilinear form of the floor’s mosaic. Afternoon sunlight refracts through the window bevels, casting a spray of rainbows across the room’s pale-blue Venetian plaster walls.
Visit the San Francisco Decorator Showhouse site here. The tour ends on May 25th.