Behind the scenes

A suite for a movie star the latest traditionally styled bathrooms have a serene, glamorous look, reminiscent of the glory days of Hollywood
Story by: Colleen Hawkes Photography by: Tim Maloney
An MTI Whirlpools tub sits in front of bathroom, bathtub, estate, home, interior design, real estate, room, window, brown, gray
An MTI Whirlpools tub sits in front of a new bay window. The lowered soffit was crafted by the cabinetmaker. Decorative artist Caroline Lizzaraga painted the glazed finish on the cabinets.

Interior designers are right up with the play when it comes to design trends, new products and materials, so it is always interesting to see what they choose for their own homes.

When Terri and Doug Miller came to remodel the master suite in their own California family home, they took their cue from the home's Mediterranean style and its location in the Napa Valley.

"Our goal was to blend the Spanish architecture with traditional design elements that would be elegant and enduring," says designer Terri Miller. "Over the years, we have accumulated various antique items, and these helped influence the design."

The first step, however, was to alter the layout of the suite, to better suit the family's requirements.

"We have taken a little space from the bedroom to make the bathroom and closet larger, and we added a coffee bar and laundry facilities."


Owner-designer Terri Miller specified three decorative mirrors, with bathroom, cabinetry, ceiling, countertop, estate, floor, flooring, home, interior design, room, gray, brown
Owner-designer Terri Miller specified three decorative mirrors, with matching sconces. The centre mirror sits above a lowered make-up table. Bow fronts on the table and vanities help to break up the long expanse of cabinetry.

Miller says the original bathroom had a very '80s look. The space was filled by a big built-in tub and a circular shower that stood right in the center of the room.

"It was very dated, with inexpensive finishes that were not of the same high standard as we were using in the rest of the house."

The designer says she wanted the new bathroom to have a serene feeling, with soft, flattering colors.

"The cabinetry needed to be beautiful, but not intrusive, especially as it runs all the way along one side of the room. We also wanted three separate, framed mirrors, rather than a great expanse of mirror."

Miller liaised closely with fine cabinetmaker Mike Peachey of The Elegant Box in Georgia to build the cabinetry, and San Francisco decorative artist Caroline Lizarraga to fine-tune design elements, paint colors and glazing. Local builder Larry Ellis of Ellis Construction oversaw all aspects of the construction.

Marble lined steam shower room in traditional bathroom bathroom, ceiling, estate, floor, flooring, interior design, property, room, tile, wall, brown, orange
Marble lined steam shower room in traditional bathroom

The bathroom also features an extra-large, marble-lined shower room and a separate, matching steam shower. Terri Miller says that while beauty and elegance were important, the couple also wanted to achieve the desired high level of functionality.

"Subtle innovations can make a big difference. In a master bathroom, especially, you want to consider not only how things look, but how well they work on a daily basis. A simple example is the slight slope of the ceiling in the steam shower that keeps condensation from dripping."

The piéce de resistance, however, is the freestanding tub positioned in the bay window. The oval shape of the tub, and the bow-fronted vanities help to visually soften the room, enhancing the sense of a tranquil, private sanctuary.

Mar 31, 2014

Credit list

Interior designer
Terri Miller, Grace Miller Interiors (Napa, CA and Albany, GA)
Cabinet company
The Elegant Box
Stonework
Bob Spoor Masonry & Tile
Vanity top
Marble by Surface Art
Taps
Cifial in French Bronze
Mirrors
Decorative Crafts, John-Richard
Door hardware
Rocky Mountain
Drapes
Grace Miller Interiors, made and installed by Pollin’s Upholstery
Builder
Ellis Construction
Decorative artist
Caroline Lizarraga
Tub
MTI Whirlpools Tristan in Biscuit
Basins
Jenny by Bates and Bates
Lighting
Thern Electric; decorative sconces from Ebanista with custom paint finish by Caroline Lizarraga
Windows and French doors
Marvin
Blinds
Silhouettes in Matisse from Hunter Douglas
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