A Sense of Place

Edited by Jen DeRose

From traditional to sleekly contemporary 15 spaces that are stylish, striking—and sure to make a lasting impression

When we asked the designers on the following pages to tell us about their philosophies, what came up, time and time again, was how their clients inspire them. “No two spaces should be the same,” says designer Gretchen Boulos, whose focus is on office spaces, “because no two clients or sites are the same.” That ability to hone in on what exactly it is that each client uniquely needs, deserves, and desires is perhaps what made these projects in particular rise to the top of the submission pile. (Speaking of unique, don’t miss the croquet-mallet-inspired balustrade designed by Margo Moore Interiors’ Megan van der Kieft.) After weeks spent working with—and listening to—their clients, these designers have all created intuitive and inspirational spaces. But what really sets their projects apart is that they have more than a passion for their work and an eye for beauty: they also have an open ear.

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12. An Airy & Modern Lakeside Bathroom

Designer Emily Ennis Mattei’s inspiration for the space—a dated, forest green bathroom with dark wood trim and a sunken tub—was to design a clean, European-modern owners’ bathroom that would showcase sweeping views of Lake Sebago’s Mystic Cove and align its look and feel with the rest of the contemporary lake home.

Working with builder Wright-Ryan Homes and Wright-Ryan Millwork, Mattei first broke up the square space into sections, allowing a main function to reside in each corner of the space, where a soaking tub, oversized shower, and modern floating vanity were located. The bathroom’s showpiece is the custom vanity that Mattei floated in the center of the space and paired with a custom ceiling- mounted mirror. “I didn’t want to clutter the ceiling with too much hardware,” Mattei says, “so we concealed the support mechanism for the mirrors in the ceiling structure.” In addition, she used specialty junction boxes so that the pendant light canopies could be only two inches in diameter rather than the more common four or five inches. “These small details had a big impact on maintaining the Zen-like feel of the space,” she explains.

The designer selected a modern and soothing color palette, choosing textures, sheens, and mixed materials—such as polished chrome and flat-black metal—to create balance and keep the focus on the view. She wrapped the shower walls and the toilet wall in an oversized, high-gloss ceramic tile that gives the appearance of Carrara marble and then grounded the space with square, charcoal-colored ceramic tile flooring that mimics real stone. Finally, she created an alcove for greenery that creates a natural privacy shield for the shower yet connects the space to the outdoors. “Living and working in Maine, I find that I am often designing spaces that lend themselves to celebrating the whole spatial environment, both inside and outside of the home,” she says. “This bathroom, with its large picture windows and views beyond, is no exception.”

Emily Ennis Mattei
e4 Interior Design