Enlightenment

To provide a sense of serenity, the designer of this master suite created an altar-like composition with a soothing material palette
Story by: Colleen Hawkes Photography by: Jamie Cobeldick
View of bedroom featuring bedroom room furnishings, artwork, bedroom, ceiling, hotel, interior design, real estate, room, suite, gray
View of bedroom featuring bedroom room furnishings, artwork, lighting, carpeted flooring, mirror, accessories.

Visual continuity has always been a way to provide a seamless, coordinated interior and it's a particularly good approach to take when designing a large apartment.

In this new Chicago condo, architects William Massey and David Hoffman introduced walnut cabinetry through the main living areas, but opted for a softer look for the master suite.

"The antechamber between the bedroom and bathroom is paneled in beechwood, which provides a real change in the character," says Massey. "The beech has a softer, more uniform look than the walnut, which makes it very soothing. But it still has a richness and is a similar wood to what you might find in a vintage apartment building."

The beech extends to built-in furniture in the master bedroom, including cabinets, shelves and window surrounds. Angled walls open up the bedroom, creating plenty of room for a casual seating area.

"As the room has an irregular shape, we chose to widen the space from the entrance towards the view rather than force the perspective," says Massey.


View of shower enclosure which features wall tiling, bathroom, floor, flooring, interior design, plumbing fixture, room, shower, tile, wall, gray, brown
View of shower enclosure which features wall tiling, shower fitting, wooden seating, lighting, accessories.

The material palette continues in the bathroom, where a beech vanity echoes the sleek, uncluttered lines of the cabinetry elsewhere in the apartment. The cabinet features small, delicate metal pulls.

"We could have reinforced the horizontality of the vanity with long, heavy metal handles on the drawers, but we chose small Nanz pulls that are more like fine little pieces of jewelry," says Massey.

The designers also opted for a non-standard vanity top a ¾-inch-deep back-painted glass surface, which catches the light to provide visual depth.

Massey says the colors in the bathroom were inspired by the furnishings and rugs in the apartment. The walls feature celadon-colored glass tiles, which also bounce light and provide reflectivity.

"This was particularly important as there is no natural light in this room."

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Image of the house plan.

The central feature, however, is a large Calacatta Gold marble tub surround, which also wraps around the walls to form the sides of the toilet and shower rooms.

"We wanted to create a composition between the stonework and the glass tiles providing almost an altar-like experience," says Massey. "In introducing the various materials, however, we looked for complementary tones and hues to create a sense of harmony."

The marble has a high-honed finish, which limits glare. Massey says it also ensures the marble is not cloudy, and helps to soften the look. The floor features similarly colored Thassos marble mosaics, with Beauharnais limestone inset tiles.

Nov 21, 2008

Credit list

Interior design
May Hawfield Design
Vanity cabinetry
Beech with clear finish by
Basins
Kallista square bowls by Barbara Barry
Shower fittings
Dornbracht Tara; X-Tool
Wall tiles
Glacier Glass tiles from Stone Source
Lighting
Belmont sconces from Boyd; Ardee Clikstrip cove lighting; recessed Halo Small Aperture
Accessories
Dornbracht towel bars
Bedroom artwork
Michiko Itatani from Flatfile Gallery
Bed linen
Frette
Armchairs and ottoman
A Rudin
Builder
John Tescky, Inc
Vanity top
Back-painted glass slab
Faucets
Dornbracht Tara Classic in platinum
Tile flooring
Mosaic Thassos marble with Beauharnais limestone inset from Stoneworks
Tub surround
Calacatta Gold marble from Stoneworks
Toilet
Duravit Starck 2
Ventilation
Panasonic Whisper Fit
Bed
Interior Crafts
Bedside chests
Maxine Snider, Inc; Holly Hunt Chicago
Chest in antechamber
Nancy Corzine
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