"I love cherry blossoms," says designer Caroline Beaupère, "and this master bath in a house in Jersey City, New Jersey, was inspired by hanami, the Japanese tradition of going to see the blossoms as part of a celebration of spring." Working closely with a glass-tile manufacturer, Beaupère drew the shape of each branch and each flower — would the petals be seen from the front or in profile? And she specified the color of each blossom, ranging from pale to dark pink.
Everything else in the room quietly defers to the mural. Classic white Thassos marble on the floor and counter is honed, rather than polished, so it doesn't compete with the sheen of the tiles. The vanity is painted a soft blue-gray, picking up the tone of the tiny gray tiles scattered across the background of the mural to add depth and contrast. Silvery trim on the woodwork catches the light and echoes the luster of the polished nickel fixtures.
"It's a serene, elegant space," says Beaupère. "A magical haven. When we first discussed the concept, the husband wasn't sure. He thought it might be too feminine. But now he loves his cherry blossom bath, and so does his wife."
"The branches reach out to wrap the room and seem to float above the mirrors and the sinks. The mood is relaxing," Beaupère says.
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All four of these tile companies can manufacture bespoke designs based on virtually any image — a photo, a sketch, a work of art — in a range of materials, including porcelain, stone, metal, and glass. The tiles are prearranged on mesh panels to facilitate easy installation.
This story originally appeared in the May 2015 issue of CQ.