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Home Design with Kevin Sharkey

Get Privy to Bathroom Design

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For most, bathrooms are an afterthought - but I think they're a fabulous opportunity for design and creativity.

Here are a look at some of my favorites...

One-offs:

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The mirror around the bathtub is ge-ni-ous!

1 The mirror around the bathtub is ge-ni-ous!

Wallpaper adds a bit of interest in this bathroom (designed by William Sofield for the Soho Grand Hotel).

2 Wallpaper adds a bit of interest in this bathroom (designed by William Sofield for the Soho Grand Hotel).

An eclectic mix of high and low: Venetian mirror and wicker.

3 An eclectic mix of high and low: Venetian mirror and wicker.

Can you IMAGINE?  Love the bamboo shower!  (Wimpole Hall in Cambridgeshire).

4 Can you IMAGINE? Love the bamboo shower! (Wimpole Hall in Cambridgeshire).

The decorative wood trim enclosing this tub pulls double duty as functional shelving and, along with the tiled floor and walls, gives the bathroom a nice Moroccan flavor.

5 The decorative wood trim enclosing this tub pulls double duty as functional shelving and, along with the tiled floor and walls, gives the bathroom a nice Moroccan flavor.

The Classics:

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I like the use of furniture as an accent in the middle of the room (even garden furniture!) and the large black cupboard on the wall topped with clear glass jars holding bath essentials.

1 I like the use of furniture as an accent in the middle of the room (even garden furniture!) and the large black cupboard on the wall topped with clear glass jars holding bath essentials.

A beautiful collection of mirrors on the wall illuminates this already bright and airy all-white bathroom.  Touches of color can be added with flowers and colorful jars of shampoo and bath oil.

2 A beautiful collection of mirrors on the wall illuminates this already bright and airy all-white bathroom. Touches of color can be added with flowers and colorful jars of shampoo and bath oil.

This is a shot of Martha's vanity in East Hampton.  If you're setting one up for your own home, remember: direct light, if you can get it, is essential.

3 This is a shot of Martha's vanity in East Hampton. If you're setting one up for your own home, remember: direct light, if you can get it, is essential.

The chair and soft pinks and blues in one of Martha's bathrooms at Skylands are beautiful, and they cast a lovely glow that looks good on everyone.

4 The chair and soft pinks and blues in one of Martha's bathrooms at Skylands are beautiful, and they cast a lovely glow that looks good on everyone.

Fun and Functional:

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Big fan of the symmetry in Sarah Jessica Parker's bathroom (photo by William Waldron).

1 Big fan of the symmetry in Sarah Jessica Parker's bathroom (photo by William Waldron).

Love this way of treating a shower curtain.

2 Love this way of treating a shower curtain.

Always a great motif in the bathroom: bubbles.  (From an etched window project in a past issue of MSL).

3 Always a great motif in the bathroom: bubbles. (From an etched window project in a past issue of MSL).

Fun and functional.

4 Fun and functional.

Modern and Zen:

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Quiet luxury.

1 Quiet luxury.

Soft home goods make it easy to be a versatile decorator: the red accents in this room could easily be swapped out for another color such as green or yellow.

2 Soft home goods make it easy to be a versatile decorator: the red accents in this room could easily be swapped out for another color such as green or yellow.

This floating sink provides a nice visual pause.

3 This floating sink provides a nice visual pause.

Love the indoor/outdoor relationship in this bathroom designed by architect Malcolm Davis.

4 Love the indoor/outdoor relationship in this bathroom designed by architect Malcolm Davis.

I love the mysterious feel of this Asian-influenced bathroom - it is both polished and raw.

5 I love the mysterious feel of this Asian-influenced bathroom - it is both polished and raw.

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And, I had to include photos from my renovation because I'm so happy with the results:

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The tile I chose for my bathroom is one of my favorite details in all of my apartment.  It is from Waterworks, where I also picked up some of my favorite waffle terry hand towels and washcloths.

1 The tile I chose for my bathroom is one of my favorite details in all of my apartment. It is from Waterworks, where I also picked up some of my favorite waffle terry hand towels and washcloths.

Here, my everyday essentials are stacked on top of a large sterling silver tray, which makes anything and everything look a little more chic.  There was no built in storage so my contractor Bob Tobin built the shelf and installed a custom-fit mirror made by Desiron to create more depth.

2 Here, my everyday essentials are stacked on top of a large sterling silver tray, which makes anything and everything look a little more chic. There was no built in storage so my contractor Bob Tobin built the shelf and installed a custom-fit mirror made by Desiron to create more depth.

Here is a shot of the powder room with one of the smaller arrangements I made from the large bowl of French tulips (see yesterday's blog for a how-to).

3 Here is a shot of the powder room with one of the smaller arrangements I made from the large bowl of French tulips (see yesterday's blog for a how-to).

Which one would you choose?

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Comments (6)

  • A friend and I were just discussing bathroom colors on Twitter and I was leaning towards gray. Now that I see your picture #2 under Modern and Zen, I think I'm convinced. So many accents go with that white and gray combo and I'm thinking Martha's Pewter gray would be nice, maybe Tempest. I'm getting excited now!

  • Kevin, your bathroom and powder room are my absolute favorites of all the pics. Well done!

  • Hi Kevin: My daughter loved "training her eye" at your apartment! I like the mirror back splash. My friend in our "Take Color Seriously" post uses mirrors for backsplashes in her kitchen and above the bead board railings in all the bathrooms. It is a very clean and bright addition. Come visit!
    Liz

  • The bamboo shower in Wimpole is beautiful. Love the double stair case.

    Juliette Samuel

  • I really love that soft pink in the Skylands bathroom, so flattering and sweet. I get nervous about pink in the bathroom, too retro maybe? but it has a lovely elegance in the context of an historical home.

  • Kevin and Martha Stewart: Wow! How talented you are, though I am Golf Ambassador for nearly 50 years I love to decorate. I loved your bathrooms and here is a suggestion, my dearest late friend Dottie McHugh had her bathroom in Lakewood Washington State Designed with Mirrors. They accidentally offset the mirrors and when you walked in the bathroom or took a bath there were "Infinity" images of yourself and the surroundings. Really cool...Golfingly, Bev

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