Last month’s Design Notes, featuring architect and designer Steven Gambrel, got me to thinking about art in the bathroom. Attitudes today no longer consider it a slight to relegate a piece of artwork to such a functional space. On the contrary, as we’re always touting here, bathrooms are finally being given serious attention. Filled with not just art but often furniture and occasionally even televisions, they hold their own weight with the rest of the house.
As I delved deeper down this train of thought, I found myself reminiscing about the London flat of design luminary Veere Grenney. His bathroom has pretty much reached icon status as far as we’re concerned. It features a brilliantly conceived white marble partition in the center of the room dividing a bathtub on one side and a shower on the other. Having been fortunate enough to step foot inside, I left with countless styling ideas but one that really stuck with me was his strategic use of art. Grenney is an avid collector of Roger Hilton and Barbara Hepworth, the likes of which fearlessly adorn the walls of this exceedingly handsome space.
While I wouldn’t suggest such art world heavyweights for everyone – you ought to have a generous sized (and thus well-ventilated) room to avoid a fretful steam situation – there’s no reason not to pop by your local flea market and scoop up a few transient prints for the same effect. Fresh from New Zealand, Grenney’s career in London actually began by manning a stall at Portobello Market. Contacts he made there landed him covetable positions with Mary Fox Linton and Sybil Colefax & John Fowler before launching his own eponymous firm over 20 years ago. Looks like art isn’t the only great market discovery!
Monika, Editor, Design Notes
Photographs © Eric Piasecki & William Waldron