In most rooms of the house, the centerpiece can be any number of things – a spectacular ceiling, fireplace, or picture window, for example.  But in the bathroom, it’s usually the shower or tub that takes center stage, whether you’ve planned it that way or not, so it’s worth it to put a little extra creativity into the finished result.  Here are some lovely examples.

Thomas McConnell

Fancy Feet

This 1980’s home needed an interior facelift, and the owners asked for Craftsman-style finishes to match their furniture. In the master bath, his and hers vanities are fashioned from rift-sawn oak, and a freestanding tub rests on custom-made pedestals stained to match the cabinetry. "The plumbing had to be reworked to accommodate a floor-mounted tub fill and drain," explains senior project manager Mark Lind. Mosaic glass backsplash tiles beneath the wood-framed mirrors complement the granite countertops.

Project: France Bath, Austin Texas
Builder/Designer: CG&S Design Build
Photo: Thomas McConnell

Credit: Claudio Santini

Cloud Fine

Blessed with unobstructed views of San Francisco Bay, this master bath is designed to evoke the feeling of quiet fog. Its Bianco Spina marble tub surround, shower, and countertops are laced with swirls of white and gray, and its cabinets and walls are a complementary neutral tone. “The interior glazing is greenish and etched on one side for both privacy and ‘dewiness’,” explains architect Mark English. Frosted glass doors conceal the toilet and shower, while glass sinks allow light to permeate. Everything is tied together nicely with light-colored wood floors that have been scraped and worked for a soft, pillowed surface that’s pleasant underfoot.

Project: Sausalito Bath, Sausalito, Calif.
Architect:Mark English Architects
Builder:Landmark Builders
Photo: Claudio Santini

Credit: Pixelcraft/Roman Torres

Good Grid

Shower pans are usually utilitarian items that go unnoticed, but not this teak number with its crisp border of stainless steel.  Builder Stephen Jenkins and Moto Designshop designed it to complement a custom rosewood vanity and a teak bench inlaid with East Indian rosewood in this serene bath.  Shape-wise, the wood grate also echoes other geometric elements throughout the space, including squared wall sconces and faucets, and rectangular Ann Sacks tiles.

Project: McGraw Bath, Moorestown, NJ
Architect: Moto Designshop
Builder: Stephen Jenkins Design-Build
Photo: Pixelcraft/Roman Torres