1 Calm, Cool,
and Collected

The Concept: Bob and Karen Ranquist of Ranquist Home Builders teamed up with architect Mark Peters of Studio Dwell (their go-to guy for all of the firm’s residential projects, including, naturally, their own Bucktown home) to create a peaceful and minimalist master bath. The idea, according to Peters, was to create a space that felt larger than it actually is and to maximize the natural light offered by a skylight above the shower and a window near the tub.

The 14-by-20-foot space is partitioned by a seven-foot-tall limestone-tiled "screen" (1) that Peters ended three feet below the ceiling so natural light could pass over it.

The screen also contains plumbing for  two Duravit wall-mounted sinks (2) and a shower on the opposite side. Karen loves the two Robern medicine cabinets (3) because they’re mirrored on the inside and contain electrical outlets.

A frosted glass wall (4) at one end of the shower creates yet another plane (in addition to the mirrors) that can be lit up by the sun.


Photograph: Marty Peters


Peters went with simple gray limestone (1) from Ann Sacks on the screen to contrast with the white glass tile (2) in the shower. The Hansgrohe shower fixtures (3)  include a rain head, a hand shower, and three body sprays.

A limestone-tiled ledge (4) along the tub wall dips down and continues as a bench in the shower area, where it contains a little pocket for shampoo bottles. The freestanding Happy D. tub (5) is by Duravit.


Photography: Marty Peters


2 Public

The Concept: For families with children, it’s not uncommon for the master bath to become the default kids’ bathing room, since it often houses the biggest tub in the house. That’s what inspired Mastro & Skylar Architects to create the Tub Room, a space dedicated solely to the act of bathing, where any member of the family (or a guest) can retreat to let Calgon take them away. In this landmark Kenwood home, built in 1885, a turret in the finished attic offers an idyllic spot for such a room, as it can be accessed through the master suite or through a big, inviting set of double doors at the top of the stairs.

From the beginning, owners and architect alike agreed that this bathroom ought to contain only one major element: the tub. They opted for Waterworks’ Empire freestanding tub (1), with Newport Brass fixtures from Community Home Supply.

The owners fell in love with a light Ming green marble tile (2) from Granite & Marble Resources. The design was kept simple and elegant, with this material used throughout the space.

Over the tub, low-voltage spotlights (3) by Juno from Lightology allow for relaxed reading. Around the periphery of the room, flush-mounted lighting (4) from Lightology’s Edge Lighting line creates a subtle circle of illumination that can be adjusted depending on time of day.


Photograph: Kate Roth


3 Refined

The Concept: The fact that he’s a bachelor didn’t stop this fun-loving business exec from asking his interior designer, Michael Richman, to create a master bath that any woman would die for-in addition to his own tricked-out quarters a few steps away. Richman let the jaw-dropping views from his client’s North Michigan Avenue condo guide him as he set about creating a warm, modern space.


The centerpiece of the Hers bath (above and below) is an Americh whirlpool tub (1) for which Richman custom built an enclosure covered with Thassos marble tile. The base of the tub slopes toward the window for comfortable reclining; it contains lights that glow in different colors on the inside, perfect for an owner who loves to throw bashes.

Because his client gave him free rein to have fun, Richman had a tub-filler installed in the ceiling (2). When it’s turned on, a thick stream of water falls in an undulating ribbon against the backdrop of the lake.

The vanity (3), inspired by a Florence Knoll credenza, looks more like furniture than a bathroom fixture. Richman had it topped with white marble and set a rectangular Lacava porcelain sink on top.

Richman had mirrors (4) cut to run the length of the room at eye level and backlit them to avoid breaking up the clean lines with traditional dressing-table lights. The chair (5) is a reproduction of a Gerrit Thomas Rietveld design from the 1920s.



The bathrooms are visually linked by Richman’s repetition of the zebrawood credenza (6) and the use of a muted blue (7), a nod to Lake Michigan, as an accent color (in the shower interior, glass is backpainted to achieve this color).

Before Richman came on the scene, the sink (8) was mounted on an interior wall, but he reconfigured the design so that his client could look out at the view while shaving. The shower (9) is also kitted out with a rain head, a steam shower, body sprays, and waterproof speakers for piped-in music.


Photography: Alan Shortall
Styling: Diane Ewing


Buyer’s Guide


Calm, Cool, and Collected

Architects: Studio Dwell Architects, 1732 W. Hubbard St., 312-666-4601. Tile on partition: Luxor gray honed limestone, Ann Sacks, 222 Merchandise Mart, 312-923-0919. Tile in shower: Beaulieu glass tile in Arctic White, Ann Sacks. Shower fixtures: Hansgrohe, Community Home Supply, 3924 N. Lincoln Ave., 773-281-7010. Mirrored medicine cabinets: Robern, Community Home Supply. Sinks: Duravit Vero wall-mount with Hansgrohe Axor Starck Lav faucets, Community Home Supply. Bathtub: Duravit freestanding Happy D. with Hansgrohe floor-mounted tub filler, Community Home Supply. Light fixtures: Lightology, 215 W. Chicago Ave., 312-944-1000.



Public Hideaway

Architects: Mastro & Skylar, 1615 W. North Ave., 773-489-4883. Tile: Granite & Marble Resources, 222 Merchandise Mart, 312-670-4400. Tub: Waterworks Empire bathtub, Waterworks, 136 Merchandise Mart, 312-527-4668. Bathtub fixtures: Newport Brass, Community Home Supply.



Refined Extravagance

Designer: Michael Richman Interiors, 405 N. Wabash Ave., 312-755-1551. Sinks: Lacava’s Aquagrande, Community Home Supply. Sink consoles and countertops: Richman Home, Michael Richman Interiors. Faucets: Dornbracht’s Tara Classic, K & B Galleries, 333 Anthony Tr., Northbrook, 847-509-1519. Steam shower: Mr. Steam, K & B Galleries. Showerhead: Hansgrohe, K & B Galleries. Bathtub filler: Kohler, 100 Merchandise Mart, 312-755-2510. Bathtub: Americh, K & B Galleries. Accessories: The Mercury collection, Waterworks, 136 Merchandise Mart, 312-527-4668. Floors: Thassos tile, Solis Stone, 6676 N. Lincoln Ave., Lincolnwood, 773-221-6200. Tile on tub surround: Thassos marble tile, Hastings Tile & Bath, 120 Merchandise Mart, 312-527-0565. Her bath: Gerrit Rietveld Zig Zag Chair, palazzetti.com. Christiane Perrochon handmade porcelain tray, Elements, 102 E. Oak St., 312-642-6574. Triplo Bourdon white bath towel with white trim, Frette, 41 E. Oak St., 312-649-3744. Tsetse glass floating flower discs, Elements. His bath: Christiane Perrochon handmade bowl and sphere soaps, Elements. Leather and walnut boxes (lid used as tray), Luminaire, 301 W. Superior St., 312-664-9582. Molo Czech handblown glass Float teacups, Luminaire. Essentials hand and bath towels, Frette. Soap and bath products, Elements.