JACKSONVILLE, FL — From the start, this new-construction custom home in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, was designed to be a forever home to accommodate the lifestyles of the young, busy professionals who reside within.
“Working high-level, stressful jobs, they needed a quiet place to decompress and relax after work,” says Kamila Malewska, principal designer, Level Up Design in Jacksonville who worked with Rainier Residential & Commercial Contractors. “They also wanted a place for family gatherings, parties and game nights.”
One particularly peaceful space within the home is the couple’s expansive primary ensuite, which includes a large bathroom, dressing room/closet and bedroom, the latter of which provides direct access to the backyard and pool area via sliding doors.
“The suite is open and airy and takes up a whole wing of the home,” she relates, adding that ensuites for many of her clients have been getting larger and more spa-like. “These clients, like many, want a private spa sanctuary where they can not only get ready in the morning, but also unwind after a long and stressful day.”
As such, she often includes luxurious features like oversized showers with multiple showerheads and body jets, steam showers or saunas, elegant soaking tubs and mood lighting that accompany her go-to functional features like curbless shower entries, large shampoo and foot rest niches, hair tool/skin care product organizers and hidden trash and laundry hampers. Visually, statement wallpaper or tile that creates a focal point, beautiful framed mirrors and eye-catching chandeliers or sconce lighting also elevate the space and make it look more well-appointed.
Many of these elements are incorporated into this bathroom, including the super-sized and super-equipped shower, which Malewska turned into a wet room by also including a freestanding soaking tub. The room’s tall ceilings and spacious footprint accommodate the husband’s tall stature while its multiple showerheads and body jets satisfy his desire for a ‘car wash’ experience.
“They gave me a lot of creative freedom to design the space, but his main request was for a shower that was big enough for him to fit comfortably,” says the designer.
With functional needs met, Malewska focused on amping up the aesthetics with Floor and Décor’s District Gray Leaf porcelain mosaic tile, which she used on the floor, ceiling and as accents for the tub niche and shower bench wall accent.
“The tile is a very special feature of the bathroom,” she explains. “It makes a statement, enveloping the shower and contrasting with the simple wall tiles to draw up the eye and showcase the true size of the wet room.”
Frameless glass allows for an unobstructed visual of the tile-clad shower/tub space while its curbless entry creates a sense of continuity and makes it feel connected to the rest of the room.
Matte Black plumbing fixtures from Delta Faucet’s Trinsic Collection provide a simple and modern look that supports the home’s masculine craftsman/farmhouse design that is sprinkled with a bit of industrial style.
“The design direction for the entire home, as well as the primary bathroom, is craftsman meets farmhouse and goes on a date with industrial!” she quips.
The tub filler and shower fixtures coordinate with the black brushed limestone tile floor, also from Floor and Décor, that grounds the room and adds an organic touch that offers a nod to the nature preserve on which the home’s lot borders.
The dark hue is repeated on the focal-point vanity wall where it is used as the frame for the statement-making, 36″-diameter CB2 mirrors and as the trim for the 8′ transom window, which brightens the area and brings nature into the room. A trio of pendants from Savoy House, which are a mix of brass and dark bronze, serve as a unifying element.
“The lights perfectly fill up the space above the mirrors,” she relates. “They also have a unique shape and their two-tone finish helps blend the black plumbing fixtures and brass accessories.”
While the lighting fixtures’ finish addresses aesthetic needs, functionally lighting is an essential component of Malewska’s designs.
“I like designing spaces with layers of lighting that can be adjusted as needed,” she indicates. “In this bathroom, I added a chandelier in the middle of the room to add interest to the ceiling and to fill in the space, since the ceilings are 10′ high. LED recessed lighting provides good, general light and the shower has its own light/exhaust fan combo that looks like can lights. In the vanity area, recessed LED lights over the sinks layer with the oversized pendants. All of the lights were installed with dimmer switches so, depending on my clients’ needs and mood, they can adjust the brightness.”
The solid maple double vanity, custom built by a local cabinet maker, boasts a chocolate espresso stain that matches the hardwood floors used throughout the home. A quartz vanity top, Pompeii Quartz’s Urban, mimics concrete but is low maintenance, easy to clean and supports the industrial vibe. Matching tall towers flank each side of the vanity and address storage needs.
“Since the project was fully designed from start to finish, I had a chance to discuss storage needs with my clients,” she relates. “We agreed on ample practical storage in the vanity cabinets and large towers that house everything from linens, toiletries and accessories. This definitely helps to keep the countertops clutter free. And, since there wasn’t really room for traditional towel rods, I proposed a leaning ladder as their towel rack.”
Storage needs are also handled via the dressing/room closet that is part of the ensuite ‘wing.’
“I designed the entire ensuite so my clients can get ready in the morning without having to leave the bathroom and disturb the person still sleeping in the bedroom,” Malewska explains. “The dressing room/closet is located at the back of the bathroom, behind double doors, and it has room for everything. Dressers are in the center island and additional drawer storage, open shelves, hanging space, shoe pull-outs and special pull-out hangers for pants are included around the perimeter. I even included trays for jewelry. It’s truly a one-stop shop to get ready in the morning.”▪