Fire & Water: A Precious Jewel Box

  • The wife's half of the master bathroom consists of an antique French copper tub, a vanity dressed up with cabinetry to house her shell collection, and a René Prou vanity chair. The room is tied together with an onyx floor in pink, green, and beige. The faucet, basin, and all hardware are from Sherle Wagner.
<< Back to Robb Report, October 2003
  • Adele Cygelman

The style of the Greenwich, Conn., house, which was built in the 1910s, is Italianate, and that is the theme that interior designer Connie Beale ran with.
 

When it came to the master bath, which consists of his and her bathrooms and a shared shower, Beale was limited more by the size of the room, which an architect had reconfigured for the current owners, than by her clients’ imaginations. “The bathroom was already laid out,” says Beale, who, in addition to operating her design firm, has recently opened a home furnishings and accessories store in Greenwich called Button. “It was a generous space, but not massive. But it was the house they were going to stay in, and they wanted something fabulous.”


The wife requested very rich textures, and Beale responded with a floor of onyx that, she says, “looks like frozen water.” Three colors of onyx (pink, green, and beige) were woven together in the floor and shower; two darker shades of onyx were used on the husband’s side. All of the cabinetry was custom designed, and an artist painted faux marquetry along the wainscoting. The wife tracked down the antique copper tub in France and had it shipped over. “Most people want a tub, even if they don’t use it,” Beale notes. “No one has time for a bath—they are too busy.” She continued the European touch with French antiques—a hanging vanity mirror by Gilbert Poillerat and a 1940s vanity chair by René Prou. To dress up the vanity, Beale installed glass cabinets that house the wife’s shell collection.

“The bathroom is small, but it’s a jewel box,” Beale says. “And fitting every-thing in was very complicated. The floor, the cabinetry, the windows, and storage—all the pieces had to fit.”

Connie Beale, 203.661.6003, www.conniebeale.com

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