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Habitat 12 - Bathing in the glow

bathroom with golden walls and sumptuous detailing

bathroom with golden walls and sumptuous detailing

bathroom with golden walls and sumptuous detailing

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Habitat 12 - Bathing in the glow

Epitomising the glamour of yesteryear, this dramatically moody ensuite is designed to seduce.

With its golden walls and sumptuous detailing, this bathroom is just one of several in a gracious old country homestead, Parkhill, near Napier that was upgraded as a luxurious boutique lodge by entrepreneur American business woman Karen Sandler.

Responsible for several successful upmarket accommodation and dining venues in Hawkes Bay, Karen is also the owner of a large, multi-store Hong Kong homewares company, On The Edge, which gives her access to antique-style furniture, lighting and accessories.

Those distinctive pieces add an opulent signature to the interiors of Parkhill. And because Karen travels extensively to buy the collections, she keeps an eye open for complementary pieces to place in her interiors.

At Parkhill Estate, the challenge was to bring the bedrooms into the 21st century, adding modern convenience with a touch of decadence, without intruding beyond the boundaries of the home’s original footprint.

This particular bathroom was once the end of a very long hallway. Incorporating it into a bedroom suite was a bit of a squeeze, says Karen. And while it’s the smallest bathroom in the house, she still wanted it to feel indulgently spacious.

Helping Karen with the design, Wendy Giltrap of Inhouse Interiors suggested the glittery bronze tone-on-tone look to expand the room’s dimensions. Resene Spark, a shimmering metallic paint, was used on the walls to marry perfectly with the small bronze shower tiles.

The extravagantly wide shower takes up most of the room, but with its glass walls and door, the space still feels comfortably open.

There are no windows and there’s deliberately not a lot of light in the room. Subtle lighting creates a soft, inviting ambience, however. Apart from halogen lights in the ceiling, a stunning gilt and glass candleholder and a rectangular onyx lamp sparkle on the antique vanity. A pretty Angel wall sconce, featuring pendants of coloured glass, throws a warm glow in the toilet cubicle, which is discreetly hidden behind the shower.

Taking up the full width of the end wall, a large antique wooden vanity, with a shapely marble top, was imported from Hemispheres in Dallas, the United States. Above it sits a set of tall mirrors in a gilt frame, also from Hemispheres.

Bronze tapware was specially ordered from English manufacturer Perrin & Rowe for the shower and on the marble vanity top. The twin basins are also bronze to complement the softly aged look.

Colours, textures and finishes selected by both Karen and Wendy lend a richly decadent flavour to make this small room a bathing experience worth waiting for.


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