Standing in the middle of this luxurious master bath suite, it’s hard to remember you are in Spicewood, Texas. Tucked within a sprawling Texas ranch home just outside of Austin, this space now exudes the kind of Old World charm that’s capable of transporting you to another place entirely: Europe.
From the marble mosaic tile floral borders imported from Italy that line the ceilings and baseboards, down to the Swarovski crystal detailing adorning the hardware, a series of eye-catching finishes whisk the viewer away on a lavish European holiday — a far trip from where it all began.
“Previously, this bathroom was very dark and masculine, and it looked as if it belonged in a cabin,” says principal designer Michelle Williams of Inside Story Interiors. “It was all dark slate and wood with a big Jacuzzi tub and tiny shower. It wasn’t at all my client’s taste.”
But when the new owners of this spacious Mediterraneanstyle home wanted to reconfigure their master bath to better suit their tastes, they knew exactly who to call. Having designed four other houses for the clients before, Williams was familiar with
the couple’s preferred aesthetic and knew a dramatic makeover was in order.
“Before, this bathroom was very rustic, but now it’s got an Old World European elegance,” Williams says of the remodel. “It is elegant and light and comfortable. And it makes you feel as if you are standing in an old European hotel.”
After Williams sketched up a design capable of winning over her clients, the Houston-based designer called on Austin-based CG&S Design-Build to oversee the project.
“I hadn’t worked with CG&S Design-Build before but knew what to look for in a company, and I knew they would do a great job,” says Williams, who sketched everything from the cabinets down to the tile. “We needed a skilled builder and
architect because we took down everything, from the floors to the ceilings. They truly did a wonderful job.”
To complete the look, the entire bathroom was gutted. Dark slate was replaced with unpolished travertine marble that now spans the floor and walls, creating a wet room area near the shower and tub. On surrounding walls, a Venetian plaster with a faux finish further the Old World feel. The once tiny and cramped shower was enlarged, and the oversized Jacuzzi tub was replaced with a freestanding tub that now serves as the focal point of the room.
“I love this tub,” says Williams. “It’s an oval tub that looks a lot like a clawfoot tub, but it is a little more interesting and unique.”
The pedestal tub, from Produits Neptune Canada, is surrounded by a custom apron adorned with glass tiles and topped with a honed marble slab. The roomy walk-in shower is finished in natural stone and accentuated with intricate mosaic
The redesigned vanity area boasts cabinets built to resemble antique furniture that flawlessly coordinate with pieces the clients shipped from their home in Europe. To achieve the antiqued look, the custom dresser-like cabinets were painted, sanded and glazed. A product containing crushed walnut shells creates a raised plaster design on the wooden doors, projecting a weathered charm. Two vessel sinks imported from Mexico rest gracefully on top, featuring mosaic marble squares.
While many of the materials in this bathroom are new, nothing feels that way. In fact, the finishes in the room look as genuinely aged as the one-of-a-kind distressed columns Williams found in India. While the columns were too short for the space, CG&S resolved the issue by building bases that stretched them to ceiling height.
“The columns in here give it that unique look, like they’ve always been there,” says Williams. “I love using something old in a different and unique way.”
A thermostatically controlled sub-floor radiant heating system provides warmth to the shower and bath floors. Cabinet hardware and towel bars are Carpe Diem with Swarovski crystals and custom finishes. Faucets on the sinks, tub and shower are
all from Santec, featuring Swarovski crystal handles. Lighting selections complete the look of luxury: Murray Feiss vanity lights mounted on the mirrors and an exquisite Schonbeck® chandelier that looms in the center of the room.
“You don’t expect to see a chandelier in the bathroom, but it again just gives the space that look of elegance; that exquisite feeling,” says Williams. “And Schonbeck® makes the best crystal chandeliers.”
Williams designed a makeup stool and curved bench, finished in a creamy velvet, to provide a pretty and plush addition to the vanity and dressing areas of the space. Williams even antiqued the mirrors which feature beveled edge pieces washed in acid to look older.
“I wanted the mirrors to look old and antiqued with beautiful character,” says Williams. “On the mirrors, in the intersecting corners, are wood medallions that were aged and finished the same as the cabinet.”
Despite the high degree of craftsmanship and detailing required for this project, it was completed within three months to accommodate the owners’ schedule. Credit for
finishing the project in such a short time frame goes to the solid design/build team at CG&S who had deliveries coming in during the last days leading up to
the project’s completion.
“My favorite part of this bathroom is the high-end finishes, but the more eye-catching a finish is, the closer attention to detail people will pay,” says Jon Strain, CG&S Design-Build’s senior project manager who oversaw the project from day to day. “From
the top to the bottom, this bathroom is loaded with high-end finishes. And without our very talented team, that level of detailing wouldn’t have been completed in such a quick timeline.”
The result: a cream-colored master bath suite that radiates luxury while remaining comfortable and elegant. “My clients absolutely love it,” says Williams. “The previous bathroom felt depressing, but this one is so light and elegant. Everything is so feminine and pretty. Being in there just makes you happy.”
ARCHITECT/BUILDER CG&S Design-Build
512.444.1580 | Cgsdb.com
DESIGNER Inside Story Interiors
281.358.8008 | Isikingwood.com