Soak Up Some Designer Tips to Create a Regal Bathroom


My April A List features the refined accents one might find on a Downton Abbey set. Reviewing all my favorite accoutrement transported me to the Bel Air, Calif., home of designer Michael S. Smith.

Smith, chosen by the Obamas to decorate the White House, is all about a refined look. One of his bathrooms in his Bel Air home is shown here in all its glorious splendor. This is from his book, Michael S. Smith Kitchens and Baths (2011, Rizzoli).

No matter the size of your bathroom, you can indeed feel pampered and regal upon entering, with a little attention toward details.

Check out Smith’s appointments … a bouquet of bountiful white blooms, an heirloom, vintage silver bowl for shiny adornments (in this case marble eggs), a couple of books near a soaking tub, creamy paint, silky window treatments in a rich hue (gold, in this case), a plush bench, aged mirror insets around the moldings and in the paneling, and a verdant plant. If you’ve got natural light, all the better, but if not, beautiful fixtures can cast a warm and relaxing glow.

“Slow down,” he says in the book, “put everything out of your mind and take a long bath on a lazy afternoon.”

My bathroom is my little sanctuary; I love the smells of bath oils and salts.

Besides the tips culled from Smith’s space, above, you can add luxury to your bathroom with beautiful canisters filled with salts, and oils. Place candles in various spots. Add soft rugs and a velvet ottoman or bench. A mirrored side table would look great, as it reflects light. And if space allows, consider an antique mirrored vanity. Or do as Smith did … add vintage mirrors to paneling, around molding or insets.

As for a palette, I love sepia and dusty pink/blush colors.

One of my favorite sources for bathroom accessories is Arte Italica, which captures the splendor of Old World sumptuousness. Shown here is Arte Italica’s Baroque silver canister, soap pump and more.

Bathroom Accessories Interior Design

Do you have a favorite sanctuary, whether yours or another designer’s space? Please tell us about it. 


  1. I enjoy what you guys are usually up too. This kind of clever work and reporting!
    Keep up the wonderful works guys I’ve incorporated you guys to my blogroll.

Speak Your Mind