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Jaw-dropping Inspiration for Your Master Bathroom from 3 Washington Homes (Including a Famous DC Designer’s)

Jaw-dropping Inspiration for Your Master Bathroom from 3 Washington Homes (Including a Famous DC Designer’s)
The closet doors that once hung in the Old Executive Office Building were originally all wood-paneled. But DC native Darryl Carter replaced some panels with glass so he could reference his wardrobe more easily. Photos of Carter's home by Christopher Shane.

Vintage Showpiece

master bathroom
The entire second floor consists of a master suite- bedroom, sitting room, and bathroom- that ends in this airy soaking room overlooking Rock Creek Park.
master bathroom
Carter built the niche in his shower hoping to find the right sculpture. He already owned the marble horse—one day, it dawned on him that it was perfect for this pedestal.
master bathroom
Bringing a piece of furniture, like this secretary desk and chair, into a bathroom warms up the space. Photo by Christopher Shane.
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Carter’s gas fireplace keeps bath time toasty and the setting regal.

The master bathroom in designer Darryl Carter’s 1915 Embassy Row house used to feature side-by-side claw-foot tubs despite the fact that, Carter laughs, “it was just me living in the house!” Still luxurious but slightly more practical, his new bathroom/dressing room has five closets—yes, five—fronted by vintage wooden doors from the Old Executive Office Building. Carter found them via the Brass Knob. The shower is wrapped from floor to ceiling in Carrara marble, and the now-solitary soaking tub gets its own room with a working fireplace and a 19th-century Swedish secretary desk.

Feminine, Not Fussy

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Shine on: The antiqued-gold mirrors are by Uttermost, the sconces by Hudson Valley Lighting. Photo by Stacy Zarin Goldberg/Case Design Remodeling.
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Soak it up: The freestanding bathtub is “Amiata” by the British manufacturer Victoria & Albert. Photo by Stacy Zarin Goldberg/Case Design Remodeling.

When a family of four moved into a house in upper Northwest DC’s Wakefield neighborhood, the master bathroom conjured the Southwest—terra-cotta tile and all. After a total gut job—contractors from Case Design flipped the toilet and vanity, raised the ceiling, and constructed a new shower—the homeowners zeroed in on the lush Cole & Son wallpaper to add some vibrancy. The freestanding tub serves as another focal point: “The plumber installing it called it ‘the prettiest one’ he’d ever seen,” says Case designer Micaela Mendoza. “That’s not something you hear very often from the plumber!”

Clean Living

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Pianura’s minimalist wall-mounted bathroom systems, such as the one in this Reston bathroom, feature built-in lighting as well as cabinet doors that revolve 180 degrees to maximize storage space. Photo by Angie Seckinger/Boffi Georgetown.

After years of living with a cluttered, nonsensical layout (including a pentagonal alcove for the toilet), the owners of this Reston home decided that a complete overhaul was in order. With their European travels as inspiration, they asked designer Julia Chase from Boffi—the Italian design firm with a Georgetown showroom—to strip out all the interior walls and create a contemporary space to match the rest of the house. After eliminating a bathtub in favor of a large, dual-head shower, Boffi installed modular floating Pianura cabinetry to keep the floor clear while also adding storage. A hint of bamboo-inspired texture from the Salvatori tile-clad feature wall keeps the otherwise minimal room from feeling too stark.

This article appears in our May 2016 issue of Washingtonian.

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Design & Style Editor

Hillary writes about interiors, real estate, arts, and culture. She is the former digital media editor of The New Republic, and her work has also been published in Glamour, The New York Times Book Review, and The Washington Post, among others. You can follow her on Instagram @hillarylouisekelly or on Pinterest @hlkelly.