Inside the Bath of Patricia Rotondo
Associate Principal, VOA Associates, Chicago
“It can be a challenge to design your own bathroom when both you and your husband are designers with different ideas. I’m from Bogotá, and my husband Nic is from Chicago. We each have unique creative processes as well as individual perspectives on architectural history and context—unlimited creativity. Nic most enjoys the physical construction of space, while I prefer the design and gathering of materials; and so went the division of labor.
First, we decided to do the splash wall in an accent tile. I took a trip to the design center at Chicago’s Merchandise Mart looking for a tile that would match the Colonial style of our house, yet modernize what can typically be a stale aesthetic. I brought home around twenty-five different samples ranging from glass to porcelain to metal in different forms, shapes, and sizes. We pored over the choices, eventually selecting an Ann Sacks Context pillowed tile because of its texture and scale. We both like rich colors and bold statements, which this tile had in spades, so it was the perfect fit for us.
For the vanity, we needed it to have some storage space, but the priority was for it to be a design piece. We came across our eventual choice, Ambella Home Collection, from a custom kitchen and bath shop in our neck of the woods. The compactness made it tricky to install, but in the end we feel the time spent was worth the end result. The lighting was another challenge that had us searching far and wide to make sure guests receive a warm, forgiving reflection of themselves when they gaze into
There is a William Switzer stool; a Whirlpool Fiber-Fab Jacuzzi tub, surrounded by framed prints from the Ashton Company; and Charisma towels on the shelves. The floor—American walnut-stained five-inch width planks of Brazilian Cherry—carries in from the hallway beyond. We also replaced the existing flimsy, hollow-core door with one constructed of solid oak stained in an American walnut. All the hardware—sink fixtures, towel bar, light switch plate, door knob, and bookshelf—are in an antique bronze finish, keeping to the aesthetic throughout the rest of our home.”