Let it Shine
Messana O'Rorke brings five-star light and space into an ordinary New York bathroom
Sheila Kim -- Interior Design, 10/1/2002 12:00:00 AM
Why hotel bathrooms are more luxurious than their residential counterparts was always a mystery to Scott Ehrens. A frequent business traveler who'd grown accustomed to being pampered by world-class accommodations, he had just your average small, windowless bath at home in New York. When the time came to renovate his loft, he asked Messana O'Rorke Architects to effect a spalike transformation.
Eking more from the existing bathroom's footprint required multiple interventions: tearing down underutilized closets, removing a dropped ceiling, and relocating washer and dryer to the kitchen. To bring in natural light and enhance the sense of spaciousness in the relatively snug, 70-square-foot bathroom, principals Brian Messana and Toby O'Rorke installed acid-etched glass between the shower and living area.
A custom oversize tub clad in glazed ceramic tile measures 7 feet long by almost 4 feet wide by 2 feet deep—roomy enough for Ehrens to soak away his troubles. "When it's filled, the water comes up to his chin," says Messana. Showerheads at both ends of the tub allow for simultaneous showers. Sliding glass doors contain splashing water and act as a barrier under unusual circumstances, explains Messana: "Scott has two cats that he likes to throw into the bathtub to wash. The doors keep them from jumping out."