Playing Koi

Photo by RICHARD LEO JOHNSON

Project: VERNONBURG BATHROOM
Principal: ABIGAIL POWELL, ELLSWORTH DESIGN • BUILD

Photography by RICHARD LEO JOHNSON

DESIGNER ABIGAIL POWELL thinks it high time we think outside the proverbial (white) box and infuse our bathrooms with a bit of pizzazz. Powell encourages “making selections based on what has meaning for [you]”, as it is you, dear reader, who will savor your home’s design details for years to come. Inspiration may strike, she says, as a color palette, favorite wallpaper print or cherished antique.

For a recent bathroom renovation, the designer’s lightbulb moment came from the latter — an antique campaign low chest the owner hoped to use as the bathroom’s primary cabinet. “It was so exciting not to have a white vanity,” Powell says, dubbing it a “yay moment.” So, when the beloved piece didn’t quite fit the floor plan, Powell dreamed up a tailored set of mahogany cabinets — the double vanity and linen chest, respectively — accented by traditional, brass campaign pulls and corner brackets. 


“It was so exciting not to have a white vanity” — Abigail Powell


Taking notes from the bathroom’s waterfront views, Powell selected an Art Nouveau-style, koi-patterned wallpaper by Osborne & Little that swims from the vanity into the adjoining soaking tub space. Here, a Baroque scrollwork mirror complements the wallpaper’s swirling shapes, reflecting light from a pair of golden sconces onto the hexagonal Carrera marble floor tile from Garden State Tile that creeps up the sides of the soaking tub and over the shower bench, changing subtly in scale with each application. 

A pair of French doors frame the tranquil river outside, begging the owner to enjoy a good, long soak. Not for too long, though. Grander waters await. 

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