3 Haute Baths That Make A Splash

You love all-marble, all-white baths–so soothing and pristine (and great for a condo’s resale value) but they’re kind of everywhere, no? And there’s not much you can do to a room that has a few non-negotiables (bath/shower; sink; toilet) without it looking de trop? Yes, to the first question; no to the second. If you’ve searching for new bathroom ideas, head straight to the Kip’s Bay Decorator Showhouse where top designers have revved up these mainstays with wit, color and stylish pizazz. (All are on view until June 9th at 19 East 61st Street.)

Gil Walsh

Gil Walsh
Gil Walsh’s powder room.
Walsh likes to lavish small rooms with rich materials and finishes.

“Powder rooms are some of my favorite spaces to decorate,” says the designer Gil Walsh. “Because of their small size, you can be indulgent with materials and finishes.”  Walsh created this alluring jewel box of a room featuring mica wallcoverings, Baker mirrors, Kohler fixtures, and a Briolette faceted glass sink. “For so many of my clients, we begin with the art, and this was no exception,” says Walsh. Three pieces are worth noting when you visit the room–a work by emerging undersea photographer Chris Leidy, the grandson of the late fashion legend Lilly Pulitzer; a sculptural creation by Nancy Lorenz;  and a pensive close-up of Jennifer Lopez by fashion photographer Tony Duran. “When I saw the photo, I immediately felt both visually and spiritually inspired to design the space around it,” says Walsh.  Lopez was an early member of the Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club performing arts program during her childhood in the Bronx. “Like many Club alumni,” she revealed in a recent interview, “I can honestly say I don’t know where I’d be today without the Club.”

Groves & Co.

Russell Groves, founder of Groves & Co. is known for his sumptuous layered modernism. His clients have included Tiffany & Co.,Giorgio Armani, Donna Karan, Coach and Ralph Lauren, as well as such style mavens as Michael Kors and Derek Lam, who chose Groves to design their private residences.

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Groves and Co.
Groves and Co. modernist bathroom.

When crafting this design Groves says he was inspired by the black and white color scheme of New York’s classic prewar bathrooms.  A striking geometric stone tub serves as sybaratic centerpiece for the private space, which is softly lit by an oversized chandelier and light filtering through sheathed windows. Groves chose Yves Klein blue towels for color accents.

Harry Heissman

The designer, who established his own studio in 2009 after working at the iconic design firm Albert Haldey, describes his approach to design– which runs from traditional to modern–as highly client-centric. “No project is too big or small,” he says.

Harry Heissman
A digitally reproduced mosaic panel is the focal point of Harry Heissman’s bathroom design.

Heissman used a digitally reproduced mosaic panel of the ‘Queen of Malaren’ by Einar Forseth from the Modernity Gallery in Stockholm as the focal point for his Kips Bay bathroom. (The panel was created in 1923 as a maquette for Stockholm City Hall.) Custom blue leather walls by Dualoy, crowned with a band of bespoke Ankasa embroidery on Stark fabric, form a muted counterpoint to the panel’s vibrant colors. The room is lit by a Murano glass ‘petrified’ sunflower’ fixture by L’Antiquaire and its reflections from Christopher Spitzmiller’s geranium leaf mirror. Heissman likes to add memorable accents to his rooms–here they include a Tony Duquette gilt toad and antique dictionary stand for reading.