A double vanity with Pure White Thassos marble countertops and richly grained walnut cabinetry lines one wall.
A contrasting, custom tongue-in-groove inset wall in walnut frames the tub.
The shower window looks out on the wooded edge of the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Park.
The shower window looks out on the wooded edge of the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Park.

Au Naturel: A Simple Palette

A modern bath by architect Ben Ames celebrates nature in more ways than one

In the design of a compact home in Cabin John, Maryland, architect Ben Ames proved that economy of space does not have to mean economy of style or luxury. Case in point: the 150-square-foot master bathroom. The client’s desire for a dressing table and makeup area integrated with a vanity drove Ames’s design of the narrow space.

In the finished room, an 11-foot-long double vanity with Pure White Thassos marble countertops and richly grained walnut cabinetry lines one wall, with a makeup station centered between the two sinks. Directly opposite the vanity, a sculptural Victoria & Albert Napoli bathtub adds visual balance. It’s flanked by two full-height, IKEA cabinets in a glossy white laminate finish. But what showcases the statement-making tub and defines its niche within the bathroom is a contrasting custom tongue-in-groove inset walnut feature wall, which is reflected in the vanity’s triple mirrors.

“I designed the bathroom using the same overall principles I used in the whole house: a reduced palette of soothing, natural materials,” explains Ames, who worked with Bountiful Interiors on the project.

Striated Athens Silver Cream marble clads the opposite vanity wall and covers the floors in a textured, bricked pattern, traveling back to a frosted picture window that lets in plenty of filtered light. To the right, the W.C. is discreetly tucked away behind a partial wall, and to the left is the shower, where another large window and glass doors wash the bathroom in more natural light.

“In the shower, I put in a built-in white marble bench, as well as a six-foot long linear drain, allowing for a curb-less transition into the shower,” says Ames.

Even the views reflect nature: The shower window looks out on the wooded edge of the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Park.

ARCHITECTURE: Benjamin Ames, AIA, Ames Studio, Arlington, Virginia. INTERIOR DESIGN: Jamie Merida and Denise Perkins, Bountiful Interiors, Easton, Maryland. CONTRACTOR: Karl Voglmayr, Washington Landmark Construction, Washington, DC. TEXT & STYLING: Charlotte Safavi. PHOTOGRAPHY: Robert Radifera.

RESOURCES

Architecture: amestudio.com. Interior Design: bountifuldecor.com. Contractor: washingtonlandmark.com. Floor & Wall Tile: daltile.com through bountifuldecor.com. Vanity Counter & Shower Bench: atlasstonefabricators.com through bountifuldecor.com. Cabinetry: ikea.com. Pendants: lbllighting.com. Tub: vandabaths.com. Sinks: kohler.com. Sink & Tub Faucets: lacava.com. Shower Set: hansgrohe-usa.com.

For more baths also see:

– Bathed in Light
– Ode to DC
– Touch of Glamour