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A quiet word from Bathroom Trends volume 2405
It would be fair to say that a powder room, by its nature, creates a captive audience of one. An architect might take this spacial opportunity to amuse with form, ambience, or even the written word.
The two powder rooms on these pages are by architect Björn Skaptason. Both are adjacent to entertaining spaces in an expansive 1890s residence that Skaptason has remodeled throughout.
Both spaces feature floor-to-ceiling mirrors that double their size visually and provide the reflective utility a powder room requires.
"The sculptural look of the washstands was another impetus to introduce wall-sized mirrors," says Skaptason. "Seen in reflection, they have the appearance of freestanding, sculptural forms – an impression heightened by the minimalist, gallery-like ambiance of the two rooms."
In keeping with this artistic sensibility, a dark purple-colored feature wall in one bathroom is graced with the words of literary wit Oscar Wilde and given the high-end nature of the remodel, they are more than appropriate.
The other powder room also gives the written word pride of place, with a quote from artist Pablo Picasso. The words "everything you can imagine is real", are inspirational but could also call to mind the way they are presented. Set on a sheet of glass with a film of water running down the front of it, the quote has a shimmering, ethereal quality.
"The entire waterfall effect is intended to call to mind the nature of powder rooms and their everyday reliance on water," says the architect. "Everything about these rooms can be seen as reflective – either literally or figuratively."
Matching the basins in the powder rooms, the elliptical toilets also have a sculptural quality. These are wall-hung, furthering the abstract impression.
"To install wall-hung toilets, the cisterns and plumbing are all recessed away in a cavity," says the architect. "This is achieved by building in a false wall and then setting the plumbing behind it. In the powder room with the waterfall, the extra hidden space claimed by the false wall is further utilized to create a niche recess along that wall."
The decorative niche is back-lit, adding to the ambient glow cast by other spotlights strategically dotted around the room.
"Curved feature ceilings in both powder rooms echo the soft curves of the fixtures," says Skaptason. "Together with the expansive mirrors, feature walls, and the waterfall, the ceilings help occupants view the spaces as a sculptural whole."
This minimalist powder room provides some celebrated words to think on. The space has an emphasis on sculptural form, highlighted by a soft-curve vanity that looks like a freestanding object when seen in reflection. A wall-mounted toilet adds to the abstract effect, as does the muted palette of granite floors, a dark purple wall and an overall decor of white.
Architect, interior designer
Björn Skaptason, Atelier Architects (Reykjavík, Iceland)
Basins and toilets
Laufen Bagno Alessi set by Oras
Faucets and shower fittings
Laufen Bagno Alessi in chrome by Oras
Wever & Ducré Plano 2 in matte white
Lifebreath HRV (heat recovery ventilation)
Espresso polished granite from Patina Belics
Story by Charles Moxham