As a New Yorker, I am constantly blown away by bathrooms that resemble rooms other than the practical spaces that they are. Here in the city, and in Philadelphia for those of you who have seen the pictures of my teeny studio, a bathroom is a tiny closet with a small sink, shower, and toilet--without room for much else. For whatever reason, I feel that the ultimate in luxury would be to have a bathroom which feels less like a practical space, and more like a room you would want to spend time in.
This bathroom, although not my taste, even has a comfy sitting chair. It seems like the perfect perch for someone who wants to chat with you while you're in the bath. Remind me, who has time for baths anymore?
I love the juxtaposition of old and new in this bathroom, which could easily be a sitting room with the way it opens into the next room. The wall treatment, coupled with antique mirrors and paintings looks great against the more modern room that it opens into. Additionally, while the tub is footed, the fixtures are mounted in a modern way and have a contemporary feel.
A significant aspect of the "bathroom as an actual room" approach is locating the tub in the center of the room. By having space to move around the bath, it makes it seem as though it is a piece of furniture, rather than a practical fixture.
Finally, creating a bathroom in a room that includes a fireplace, always makes the room feel more like a sitting room. In the case of this picture, the fireplace was most likely extant, however, if you are designing a modern bathroom, installing a fireplace with a traditional mantelpiece would achieve a similar result. This bathroom is so formal and fabulous it might be fun to host cocktails in it! Cocktails in the bathtub? Reminds me of a children's book called King Bidgood's in the Bathtub that I used to love as a child. Its about a king who wont get out of the bath so he makes everyone do everything (go to war, have masquerade balls, eat feasts) in the tub with him! This bathroom is certainly fit for royalty ... but after all ... we are still talking about bathrooms.
photos courtesy of Marie Claire Maison