Design Notes Archive

Hints of Escapism

Hints of Escapism

Every once in a while it’s nice to highlight a beautiful bathroom for no other reason than it takes your breath away. This lofty space in a 19th century townhouse is a classic case in point. Where most would bow down to the chaotic veins of statuary marble, this room does just the opposite. Renovated in the 1930’s and painted in an arresting trompe l’oeil effect, the tented walls lend a touch of the exotic to its distinctly traditional bones. Look carefully and you’ll even see hints of Cairo peeking out under an eclipsed sun.

The theme continues in the subtle nuances of the decoration. Rather than playing up to the room’s formality, designer Thomas Jayne chose accessories that look as though they’ve been scooped up from some bustling global bazaar. The ceramic Chinese barrel seats are hand-painted and a perennial favorite of the Orient while the frosted globe lamps are reminiscent of Victorian English bathrooms. For a dose of Americana, the cotton Star rug is hand-woven in Southampton, New York.

So its beauty aside, to those who relish the bathroom as a place for escapism, follow this lead and throw in a few unexpected accessories. You’ll instantly be transported to some far off place, in spirit at least.

Photograph © Pieter Estersohn