Design Notes Archive

Closet Case

Closet Case

The holidays are approaching which means one thing is certain: houseguests. The thought of family descending on my home from different corners of the globe has inspired me to finally renovate my daughter’s drab 1970’s bathroom. Changing her pasty brown tile to a soothing palette of grey and white has me downright giddy but I’m also chuffed that her room can now be turned over to guests with confidence (she’s three so she won’t mind).

It got me to thinking about Balineum founder Sarah Watson’s recent obsession with closets converted into baths and showers. It’s a great way to add an en suite to a guest bedroom without stealing square footage from the rest of the house. After all, guests don’t usually bring that many clothes and there are loads of pretty wardrobes on the market. There’s also something really comforting about bathing in the confines of a recessed nook, as the close quarters seem to envelope you in a cocoon of steam. Not to mention it spares guests the awkwardness of walking down the hall in a bath towel.


I especially love the pattern-on-pattern at play in these two French examples where creativity reigns supreme. The first is from a country house located near the coastal Landes region of Aquitaine. En hommage to the sea, the bathtub is recessed into an alcove that is artfully (if not painstakingly) lined with seashells. The second space, designed by Christian Lacroix and Philippe Medioni in Paris, mixes two patterns of cement tile against a floral wallpaper to graphic effect. But be forewarned, with such inviting spaces guests might very well outstay there welcome!

Photograph © Nicolas Matheus; Hotel Antoine Bastille