Bathed in Luxury

These six striking bathrooms pamper homeowners with comfort and style


Textured black leather on the vanity and tank soften the cool stainless steel of the fixtures by NeoMetro in this bathroom by Sogol Décor. Photo by Ellen Keyelev.

When designer Sogol Afsharjavan was hired to tackle this bathroom remodel in Chevy Chase, her goal was to create something unique. So rather than opt for the usual marble and cherry wood, she chose instead to juxtapose the cool, clean lines of stainless steel with the warmth of leather and other various textures, from earth-toned river rocks on the floor to faux-finished walls that blend hues of grey with mustard yellow to coordinate with the accent walls. “It’s an everyday bathroom that doesn’t look like an everyday bathroom,” says Afsharjavan. “It’s got a contemporary European feel with a Zen twist.”

The one-piece sink and countertop, toilet, vertically adjustable showerhead and sleek freestanding tub—complete with an ergonomically correct seat—are all stainless steel. “But I didn’t want the room to look sterile, so I decided to accent the vanity and tank with textured black leather to make the room more comfortable,” says Afsharjavan. “It really stands out against the steel and gives the room that contemporary atmosphere.”

To warm the space even more, she selected authentic oil lamps, one made of stone that sits on a tall wooden vase she converted to a stand; the other, which overlooks the tub, is constructed of stainless steel. Flowers and candles provide the final touch in this spa-like retreat.

A Modern Approach
There’s nothing like a complete remodel to rejuvenate a room. “This Bethesda couple came in search of serenity,” says Jonas Carnemark, president of Carnemark Systems + Design. “They wanted more room, more luxury, more style. Our challenge was to transform [the master bathroom] into a spacious, spa-like retreat that reflected our clients’ modern sensibilities.”

Armed with a less-is-more approach to the project, Carnemark honed in on crisp hues and subtle texture. “A minimalist palette of creamy whites—set off by rich truffle-brown pine cabinets—sets the scene,” he says. “Rippled porcelain tiles almost undulate like water down the walls and across the floor.”

The homeowners wanted to make the floating tub the centerpiece of the room, so Carnemark chose a sexy, curvaceous model by Rapsel with a sleek floor-mounted Hansgrohe filler and integrated hand spray. The earth-toned river pebbles below the tub exude not only a Zen-like feel, but they also “make the tub pop in the room,” he explains.

To maintain a light and open ambience, Carnemark chose a frameless steam shower outfitted with thermostatically controlled valves and adjustable water tiles, both on the walls and the ceiling.

“It almost disappears into the corner,” he says. “Inside, an ample bench and textured brown ceramic floor tile ensure secure footing.”

Light was also a crucial element in the room. “The combined lighting plan relies on a central skylight, recessed halogen ceiling fixtures and a pair of soft sconces at each sink,” says Carnemark. “The high punch along the tub wall adds light from the adjoining hallway and creates the illusion of depth.”

Carnemark’s signature touch, however, is reflected in the inclusion of the floating glass shelves in the corner of the room. “I design around art and I wanted to create spaces where the homeowners could celebrate their collection,” he says.

European Opulence
To create a well-appointed space with Old World style in an Arlington home, interior designer Barbara Hawthorn teamed up with kitchen and bath designer Savena Doychinov. Their shared goal was to meld high-end finishes with everyday practicality. “One of my favorite aspects of the room is the symmetry that reflects the duality of the couple,” says Doychinov.

Hawthorn concurs, saying, “It conveys a wonderful sense of his-and-her spaces.” Examples include separate vanities as well as proportioned placement of the shower and toilet spaces.

The spa-like shower includes multiple jets, a handheld unit and a bench; to save space, the designers added a niche to hold soaps and shampoos. The toilet was enclosed, but to create a sense of openness, the designers chose a sandblasted glass door with a trellis pattern. “It creates privacy but also allows the light to flow,” says Doychinov.

From the hammered metal sinks and brushed nickel and crystal hardware to the marble heated floors and custom, antiqued cabinetry, each design element radiates luxury. “With colors and materials, we were able to achieve a timeless look,” says Doychinov.

As a final touch, Hawthorn commissioned artist Jeanne White to create a trompe-l’oeil floral painting above the large whirlpool tub. The motif accents the room’s Neoclassical design and adds a personal touch by incorporating angelic portraits of the homeowners’ two sons.

“The room provides a great sense of European charm with luxurious materials, from the stone to the quality of the fabrics,” says Hawthorn. “Even though it’s a relatively small space, it provides everything you could possibly want in a bathroom.”

Au Naturel
When these McLean homeowners decided to remodel, they hoped to extend the contemporary look of the rest of their home into the master bath. Punctuated by existing geometrically shapedwindows that allow in ample natural light, the newly designed room centers around the uniquely contoured tub with wall-mounted hardware.


Inside the frameless steam shower in this bathroom by Carnemark Systems + Design, adjustable water tiles on the walls and ceiling regulate water flow. Photo by Maxwell MacKenzie.

But, according to lead designer Marcelo Dobrauchi of Terranova Kitchen and Bath in Vienna, it’s the accents—the honed natural stone, the light fixtures that resemble votive candles and the brushed-nickel cabinetry handles—that really spice up the space. “To warm the room with color, I chose a terracotta paint hue and deep earth-toned tiles for the walls.”

It’s a calm and soothing backdrop for the new remote-controlled steam shower with a rain-shower head, that, says Dobrauchi, “can be pre-programmed with a number of shower experiences.”

Before Carolyn Thomas designed this powder room, she perused the rest of her clients’ Silver Spring home to get a sense of their style. “I think a powder room should flow in design from other entertaining spaces because everyone who comes to visit will see it,” she says.

Although it’s not overly formal, Thomas admits that the finished space has a formal, classical feel. The elegant cherry vanity, with a Louis Philippe arched front, holds a handmade etched glass bowl; the framed mirror purposefully appears as if it is attached. “I wanted it to look like one piece of furniture, like something you would see in an old Victorian home,” she says. To complete the design, Thomas chose pewter hardware, a granite countertop and sage green for the walls.

A Serene Space
Sometimes a homeowner wants to get away from it all without ever leaving home. “My client has traveled the world and stayed in some of the finest hotels—that was the inspiration,” says Julie Priddy, who along with Patrick McCord, transformed the space in North Potomac into one they agree is sophisticated and timeless. “It is soothing and fluid with a transitional style reminiscent of the Moderne style of the 1930s and 1940s.”

With the initial goal of creating an improved layout, the designers opted for a floating wall between the tub and shower that bisects an existing skylight and allows sunlight to permeate the room. The deep sea-green porcelain tile with granite composite delineates the space, while a white border around the shower boasts green glass accents that sparkle in the natural light. For a spa-like experience, the design team chose an overhead rain-shower head, a hand-held unit and wall-mounted shower with various pulsating options.

Built around an existing oval window, the floating cabinets made of natural maple provide ample storage space and evoke a sense of symmetry, while the granite countertops are finished with polished chrome fixtures.


A floor-mounted filler with handspray pours water into the curvaceous tub. Photo by Maxwell MacKenzie.
Writer Kelli Rosen is based in Elkton, Maryland.


A trompe-l’oeil floral painting adds an Old World touch above the bathtub in this bath by Barbara Hawthorn and Design Studio International. Photo by Geoffrey Hodgdon.


Appointments include hammered metal sinks and brushed nickel and crystal hardware. Photo by Geoffrey Hodgdon.


Honed natural stone and light fixtures that resemble votive candles set a soothing tone in this bath by Terranova Kitchen & Bath. Photo by Paul Whitsitt


A handmade etched-glass bowl sink makes a statement in this stylish powder room by Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen & Bath. Photo by Bob Narod.

Accolades, Inc., topped the 102-inch-long vanity with granite. Photo by Stacy Zarin Goldberg.

Skylights bathe Duravit’s “Happy D” free-floating tub in sunlight. Photo by Stacy Zarin Goldberg.