Entering the bath, the homeowners are greeted with an inset design of Quatrefoil mosaic tile made of Emperador marble.
The floors are made of a contrasting honed travertine and surfaces are granite.
A detail of the Quatrefoil design.

Sexy Sanctuaries: Elegant Touch

Karen Dunlap imparts a refined design to a bath in Arlington

As plans for their new French Chateau-style home in Arlington took shape, the owners wanted to be sure that interior detailing and finishes would reflect the property’s style and grandeur. They turned to interior designer Karen Dunlap to help them refine their selections before construction began.

Dunlap arrived just in time to dodge the builder’s selection of cherry cabinetry in a dark espresso stain in the master bath, where two small windows meant natural light was at a premium. “That was not going to work,” says Dunlap. “We didn’t want it to get too dark and heavy.” 

Instead, the designer sought out materials that would make a strong statement while creating a lighter, more inviting retreat for the owners. She chose vanities in a cream glazed finish, Emperador marble on the countertops and tub surround and contrasting honed travertine on the floors. “We were trying to make it feel more luxurious and rich,” she explains.

A large niche by the tub was begging for attention. Dunlap researched options and discovered a Quatrefoil design at Mosaic Tile that would create a focal point. “It looks like a custom mosaic but stayed within their budget,” says Dunlap, who designed wood paneling around the tile to add depth and dimension. A similar mosaic pattern was installed on the shower floor. 

“I wanted the bath to be a place where the owners could come after a long week and soak away their stress,” Dunlap relates. “We kept everything very subdued. It all spoke to letting the owners relax.”  

INTERIOR DESIGN: KAREN GERMOND DUNLAP, GREEN AP, IFDA, KMD Interiors, LLC, Leesburg, Virginia. CONTRACTOR:  KEN FREYBERGER, Sunline Custom Homes, Ashburn, Virginia.