A jet-setting couple wanted a sanctuary in their master bathroom, so they turned to Cynthia Murphy to create a luxury hotel-inspired space.
The client: A couple living in Oakton who travel frequently and were looking for a luxe update to their master bathroom—the last room in their home that hadn’t gotten the interior design treatment yet.
The project: The duo took their inspiration from one of their favorite hotels, Biltmore in Asheville, North Carolina. Murphy took that direction and translated it into a bathroom that eschewed the traditional white marble look for something with warm tones and a touch of masculine energy.
The requirements: “When you think of the Biltmore, you think of the molding and the wood and the history. Obviously, I couldn’t do that or it would be like having a den in your bathroom,” explains Murphy. “So I approached it from what materials can I use that are appropriate for a bathroom” and still give it that rich look. The couple also wanted easy-to-maintain materials and finishes to accommodate their busy lifestyle.
Highlights: White tile be gone! Murphy started with a dark porcelain tile that was made to look like hand-scraped antique wood—and would have looked at home in the Biltmore. “The jumping off point was the floor,” says Murphy. “Once we got that, everything else fell into place.” Light gray cabinets and white quartz countertops contrasted and lightened the space up, along with a standalone white tub that created both a striking design element and added to the bathroom-as-sanctuary feel.
Challenges: The original tub took up one-third of the bathroom. Murphy took that out and redesigned the layout for a prettier aesthetic and more functional space.
The final reveal: Murphy’s Biltmore inspiration, plus attention to function, created a standout bathroom perfect for the couple to come home to in between travel destinations. In addition to removing and replacing the tub, she also swapped the location of the vanity and shower. Plus, “every decision was made for beauty and maintenance,” says Murphy. That meant using materials that were easy to clean (think quartz and porcelain masquerading as marble), but also keeping that luxury feel.
Top Kitchen And Bath Designer: Cynthia Murphy, co-founder, Murphy’s Design
Cynthia Murphy, along with her husband and daughter, run Murphy’s Design, which specializes in kitchen and bathroom remodeling and design from start to finish. // Fairfax; 703-854-1343