Travel inspires, informs, enthralls—and exhausts. Sometimes you just want to slip out of those shoes and slip into a nice long sudsy soak in your own tub.
A master bath retreat certainly topped Heather and Pete Christothoulou’s list. “We were traveling a ton at the time we bought our house,” says Heather, a Seattle James Beard Award nominee known for her Heather Christo allergen-free recipes blog. “We wanted to come home and have everything calm.” And to Heather, nothing says calm quite like expanses of creamy Calacatta marble.
Designer Carrie Hayden covered floors, walls, counters, and tub and shower surrounds with a gray-veined marble that sets a soothing mood. “The bath is a timeless statement,” Hayden says. “Calacatta marble is warm, classic, and has a lot of impact. It gives the jewel box effect that Heather likes.”
Walls are painted a soft, warm light gray that matches tones in the marble and lets collected pieces from the couple’s travels become the focal points.
Likewise, the gilding on an antique rattan chair has worn away, yet the chair maintains its regal air. “It’s not just there for looks,” Heather says. “We really use it. I sit there and talk to Pete while he’s getting ready, and the kids park themselves there.”
But when morning’s busyness gives way to evening, young daughters Pia and Coco head off to bed and a relaxing mood again sweeps over the master bath. Heather turns down the dimmer switch on the antique sconces and watches a soft glow settle over the tub. “It feels pretty and romantic,” she says. “It’s just the place we wanted.”
For example, a pair of antique mirrored dressers put an exclamation point on the whole room. Hayden converted them into twin vanities bridged by a makeup table. The glam spot is illuminated by 1950s shell sconces and crowned by an antique silver-leaf mirror, the frame aged to a rich champagne gold.
When it came to designing the bath for their kids, the Christothoulous again were led by their travels.
“Pete and I were married in Italy,” Heather says. “We brought home a lot of inspiration. I wanted something really graphic and cool for the children’s bath.”
Hayden was immediately on board with the traveled vibe. “When I was in Paris, the gray paint on the front door at Christian Dior became my inspiration,” she says. “It was the color, and also a feeling. I wanted the bath to be approachable, fun, timeless.”
The bath is all of that—starting at the floor, which Hayden covered with distinctive custom tile. “It has a funky feel and works with any color scheme,” Heather says.
Ann Sacks tile stars in the second bath, particularly in Hayden’s custom floor design. Its color and graphic feel are echoed in the soft Roman shade and in a slim band of accent tile on the wall. Console sinks keep the narrow room from feeling confining, while a shelf underneath still provides space for towel storage.
“In here or in the master bath, you can change the wall color, the window treatments, or the towels for an easy update,” Hayden says.
The designer used console sinks in the children’s bath to open up the space and make the narrow room seem more airy. “I also like the utilitarian feel of the exposed legs,” she says. The thin, delicate legs of the console contrast with a thick edge treatment on the marble shelves. A gap between the bottom shelf and the floor lets the tile breathe.
“I wanted contrast, but I didn’t want the room overdetailed with drawer fronts and things like that,” Hayden says. “We invested in surfaces, classic materials that are standing the test of time.”
Photography: John Granen
Produced by Linda Humphrey
Interior designer: Carrie Hayden, 500 E. Pike St., Suite 500C, Seattle, WA 98122; 206/448-9405, carriehayden.com.
Marble walls, floor, and countertops: Calacatta Gold.
Tile pattern on floor (collaboration between Carrie Hayden and Ann Sacks Tile to look like Tuscan throw rugs): Ann Sacks, annsacks.com.
Mirrors over vanities (discontinued): Waterworks, waterworks.com.
Bench (“Lacey Bench” #3913): Century Furniture, centuryfurniture.com.
Colognes: (“Orange Blossom”) Jo Malone, jomalone.com and (“Acqua di Parma” by Iris Nobile) Nordstrom, nordstrom.com.
Vanities (converted antique mirrored dressers); gold mirror (antique); sconces (vintage, 1950s); tray; vase; pink perfume bottle; -upholstered chair (antique): owner’s collection.
Page 52. Master bath tub—
Marble: Calacatta Gold.
Tub (“Tea-For-Two”): Kohler, kohler.com.
Bath fixtures (Godolphin series): Lefroy Brooks, lefroybrooks.com.
Wall sconces and mirrored vanity (antique): owner’s collection.
Wall tile; tile pattern on floor (custom, collaboration between Carrie Hayden and Ann Sacks Tile): Ann Sacks, annsacks.com.
Window shade (“Dupioni Solid Silk”): Libas Ltd., libassilk.com.
Window-shade trim (discontinued): Samuel & Sons, samuelandsons.com.
Open vanity (custom design): by Carrie Hayden, carriehayden.com.
Undercounter sinks (“Kathryn”): Kohler, kohler.com.
Faucets (“Hampstead” #P22130): Kallista, kallista.com.
Baskets and ginger jars under sinks (antique); mirror: owner’s collection.