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REMODELED BATHROOMS Glory days 1930s Hollywood glamour is recaptured in the lavish tiling and Moorish motifs of this remodeled suite in a designer’s own home


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This bathroom by designer Jennifer Palumbo features contemporary fixtures with a traditional sensibility. Turn to pages 46-53. Every Wetstyle bath furnishing product is handcrafted from start to finish and custom made in Canada.



Serene air This reinvented master bathroom has a refined, peaceful aesthetic – compartmentalized areas optimize functionality and a sense of space


By special request Transforming the master suite in a 1990s house included making the space wheelchair friendly


Freshen up Both the bathrooms in this house have been completely renovated to capture a crisp, contemporary feel


SMALLER SPACES Double vision These bathrooms in the same condominium have different looks – one in tune with the building’s 1920s era, the other a little more upbeat


Sense of craftsmanship Reflecting a wealth of detail, these bathrooms call to mind the hand-worked interiors of the American Arts and Crafts movement


With a little imagination Even a small bathroom can pack a lot of punch when bold forms and innovative materials are teamed with interesting colors


DESIGN DIRECTIONS Modern bathroom design is all about enhancing a sense of retreat through crisp clean lines, with natural materials and organic forms providing warm accents



SPA-LIKE SPACES Palm fronds in the sun This design reflects a Caribbean connection, while 3-D sculptural layering and textural nuances give it a refined, contemporary look


Change of scene A new bathroom in a loft-style apartment in an historic building transforms the look of the room – in more ways than one


Inside out Large sliders open up this contemporary master bathroom, so it is at one with the great outdoors


Private eyrie Perched high above a lake on a wooded lot, this Mid-century Modern house has a new master suite that maximizes the picturesque location


Art of relaxation A pared-back design, sea views and materials that reference nature create a serene sanctuary in this ensuite bathroom


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Editor Kathleen Kinney – President Judy Johnson –

FRom the publisher In the main spaces in the home – the living room, dining room and kitchen – we tend to play safe and create interiors that we hope we won’t tire of. After all, it is in these spaces that we spend most of our time – cooking, eating, entertaining friends and family or watching television. @DavidJideas

In the bathroom, however, we can afford to be more daring. The relatively small scale and


intimate nature mean that this is a room in which personal style can come to the fore.

David Johnson

Dramatic material combinations and a sense of fantasy can be allowed free rein. Boldly patterned wallpaper and vibrant colors adorn some of the projects featured in this issue of Bathroom Trends, creating exciting and unexpected spaces perfect for relaxing in. Other bathrooms remain open to their environments, blurring the lines between adjoining spaces. Some merge seamlessly with the bedroom, while others take their design cues from the outdoors. Designers also continue to experiment with materials. Dark moody tiling, stained timber and sculptural tubs all contribute to these spaces. It is worth noting that our eBooks are available in an online library. This exponentially increases the potential audience for our featured designers and advertisers. Our readers benefit from the enhanced multimedia experience, and of course, the environmental footprint of our publications is minimized. Visit our website,

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Selected by Editor Kathleen Kinney

All aspects of the design, including the transition between bathroom and shower floor, are designed to accommodate the owner’s wheelchair.

This bathroom is immediately adjacent to the mud room and vestibule at home’s back door. Bright wallpaper and tiles add to the cheery, casual look.

Natural light floods this master bathroom, and the architect positioned his-and-hers mirrored cabinets right in front of the large picture window.

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In character Remodeled bathrooms often work best when they respect the era of the house, while introducing every modern convenience

remodeled bathrooms

Glory days 1930s Hollywood glamour is recaptured in the lavish tiling and Moorish motifs of this remodeled master suite in a designer’s own home


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There was a fair amount of serendipity behind the design of this remodeled bathroom in a classic Hollywood house built in 1926. Architect Linda Brettler, co-owner of the house, says she always wanted a vintage Art Deco bathroom that would reflect the glamour of old Hollywood, and consequently specified a soft lavender-blue custom tile for the walls.

“The tiles in the first batch were rejects – they had been double glazed and were very uneven,” Brettler says. “But I opened up the box and loved the variations, which gave the tiles a very handmade look. So the mistake turned out to be a blessing in disguise.” Brettler says the color also was slightly different from what had been specified. But it matched the bluish bark on

a beautiful sycamore tree just outside the window, so that was also serendipitous. The green and yellow shades of the leaves are captured inside as well, in the custom-designed Moorish tile border pattern that encircles the lower walls. Visual continuity is a key part of the design, and can be seen in the use of materials, and in a stepped Deco motif that features throughout the

suite. The motif frames the opening between the dressing room and bathroom, and can also be seen in the shape of the soffits that enclose the vanity area and tub. Even the mouldings have a similar stepped profile. And the tops of the mirrors and facings on the vanities are also stepped. “This Art Deco ziggurat detail and the mosaic tiles are often seen in Spanish and

Preceding pages: More than 20 types of tile feature in this Art Deco ’30s-style master suite in a heritage home in Hollywood. Architect Linda Brettler chose lavender-blue wall tiles, with decorative customdesigned border patterns. These pages: A black-and-cream striated marble frames all the fixtures, mirrors and windows. The main window, formerly in a closet, was enlarged to maximize the view. The floor features natural stone tiles.

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These pages: Lavender tiles are teamed with cream-colored grouting throughout the bathroom, but the ceiling in the steam shower reverses this. Small mosaics provide a slipresistant floor for the shower. Photography by Tim Maloney

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Moorish architecture, which has long been a strong design influence in Hollywood.� Visual continuity is also provided by a black-and-cream striated Venetian marble. This frames the mirrors, windows, vanities and shower entry, and also forms the vanity top and a pedestal beside the tub. In keeping with her desire to recycle materials where possible, the designer created

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a decorative window from a wrought iron balustrade that once graced a balcony in Paris. And a recessed light fixture above the bathtub features a recycled brass radiator cover. The vanity cabinets, which are made from straight-grain wenge wood and burled birch, are also in character – the drawers features vintage Italian Moderne pulls with Deco-style Bakelite discs.

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Serene air This reinvented master bathroom offers a refined, peaceful aesthetic – compartmentalized areas optimize functionality and a sense of space Above: A custom vanity provides a leading transitional element in this reworked master bathroom created in a house built in the early 1900s. Modern handles and a clean-lined mirror balance the paneled doors and drawers and classic faucets. Right: A traditional freestanding bathtub with pedestal skirt and wrought iron towel rack were fitting inclusions. The original window shutters were retained.


Remodeling a master bath in an older home is likely to be something of a balancing act between connecting the design with the overall decor and introducing a fresher, more modern accent. This was the fine line that architect and designer Taunya Nelson had to follow to create this airy master bathroom. First of all, some structural changes were made by builder

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Ed Roskowinski, of Vujovich Design Build, to enlarge the available space. “We carved out part of an adjacent porch to make room for a tub in the new bathroom,” says Nelson. “To optimize function we defined areas of use – the tub and vanity are separated from the shower, and the toilet and linen storage are in a niche at the far end of the space.”

Above: Dark floor tiles contrast the lighter marble on the shower stall, grounding the space visually. The designer chose pale green paint for the walls to draw all the tones in the room together. Right: An exterior porch on the corner of the house was appropriated to create the large master suite. The tub sits in the reclaimed area now. The plan shows the generous scale of the shower within the bathroom.


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The other end of the porch was remodeled into a bright, sunny bedroom, complete with an adjoining walk-in closet. “We wanted to tie the bathroom to the era of the home, which was built in 1909, but with a more modern sensibility,� says Nelson. “To achieve this, we repeated traditional millwork profiles from other areas, and included a green accent tile above the

vanity and in the shower area – a little like a modern crown moulding. “Green glass shelves set in a niche in the shower connect with this band of tiles. The niche also optimizes the space.” The homeowners wanted the bathroom to have a spalike feel, so the shower walls are wrapped in Devonshire Carrara marble with Hampton Carrara hexagonal tiles on the

floor. For a modern feel, the walls are in a long subway tile. The shower fixtures are brushed nickel and offer a variety of showering options, creating the luxury bathing experience requested by the homeowners. The custom-built vanity resembles a furniture piece, and is painted to match the soft white trim throughout. While the door profiles and

faucets are fairly traditional, the handles are modern, as is the clean-lined mirror above. “Overall balance was key. Darker travertine on the floors and a lighter stone on the walls make a soft contrast. Walls in Monterey White paint tie everything together.”

Above: A high band of green tiles provides a contemporary contrast to the traditional crown mouldings. The compartmentalized layout ensures the toilet area has a measure of privacy. Linen storage beside the toilet is accessed by sliding doors, another way of optimizing the available space.

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Story by Charles Moxham Photography by Troy Thies

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It’s all about the look It has been proven time and again – a unified style brings tranquility to a bath environment, and Gessi knows just how to deliver it Above: A long soak in a hot bath is one of the simpler luxuries in life. The Gessi Rettangolo tubs coordinate with all the other Gessi Rettangolo fixtures and fittings to bring a crisp, contemporary look to the bathroom. With its open shelving, it can be personalized to match your decor. Right: Gessi’s freestanding tubs enhance the sense of a private retreat.


Elevating the aesthetics of a bathroom design depends on the coordination of all the elements, both large and small. When the total look melds seamlessly, the result is an experience of tranquility, quiet pleasure and wellbeing. Because Gessi supports the idea of the home as a place where everyone’s lifestyle can be fully expressed, the firm has curated a collection of

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bath furnishings that fit with the Total Look Concept. This concept, launched by Gessi, ensures that everything you consider for your bathroom – from statement showers, tubs and sinks, to the most subtle soap dispenser or towel bar, shares the same fundamental aesthetic. Yet, by offering such a huge range of products, in a variety of models and

installation methods, Gessi allows for unlimited freedom in designing bathroom retreats. Larry Allen, CEO and managing director, Gessi, North America, says nothing illustrates this philosophy better than the new Rettangolo sinks and tubs. “These complement our streamlined Rettangolo faucets and accessories, which have become a design icon

since they were first created by renowned sculptor Prospero Rasulo a decade ago.� The Rettangolo bathroom sinks include pedestals, as well as vessels and undermount models. They look totally at home with the six new freestanding Rettangolo tubs, including two models with innovative open shelving. And with all the coordinating faucets and matching bath

accessories, any spa bathroom can be remodeled to enjoy the Total Look Concept. For more information on these products, and details of your nearest supplier, contact Gessi USA. Email Larry Allen: Or visit the web: save | share Search 44315 at

Above left: With its wide variety of Rettangolo sinks, which include vessels and pedestals, Gessi provides unlimited freedom of design. Top, center and above: Minimalist Rettangolo shower heads and hand showers (top) meld into a contemporary spa environment where relaxation is a daily experience. Also shown are Rettangolo faucets and a pedestal lav. Companion accessories, such as soap dispensers, complete the look.

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By special request This remodel has transformed the master suite in a 1990s house, while simultaneously making it wheelchair friendly Upgrading a master suite is an ideal time to consider future proofing – will the design and functionality still suit your needs in the years to come? The owners of this house took this into account when they planned a remodel, says architect Mark Evans of CG&S Design-Build. “Because one of the owners has a disability, they wanted to ensure the bathroom would


be accessible for a wheelchair,” Evans says. “The existing bathroom was not well suited to their needs. There was a step into the shower, which only had a single wall-mounted showerhead. The bathroom also had a gigantic Jacuzzi and a make-up vanity, both of which were never used.” Evans says the dated decor, which included purple wallpaper, inexpensive cabinetry,

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bright brass hardware and carpet on the floor, was another reason to change. “Fortunately, the bathroom is large, with a 10ft-high ceiling, so space wasn’t an issue.” New his-and-hers vanities are in a similar position to the former cabinets, but that is where any similarity ends. The new cabinets, in knotty alder, include two tower units, which provide plenty of storage.

“To enclose the vanities and to make this area more intimate, we created a furr down. The towers meet this lowered ceiling, which gives a much neater finish than would have been possible with a 10ft ceiling.” One of the vanities is open beneath the sink to provide easy wheelchair access. And drawers alongside put items within easy reach.

A new bathtub features a polished granite tub deck that extends through to the new shower, forming a bench seat. “We added curves to soften the look,” says Evans. Major structural changes were undertaken to create wheelchair access for the shower. Floor trusses were cut and the floor re-engineered to allow seamless entry. The shower also features

a hand-held showerhead as well as a wall-mounted fixture, and there are matching bronze handrails. Evans says the color palette for the bathroom was largely determined by the porcelain floor tiles, which feature in another bathroom in the house. “The owners liked this tile, so we used the same tiles for this bathroom floor and the shower walls, and we chose

smaller versions for the floor of the shower. We then teamed these tiles with a beautiful natural quartzite stone tile, which runs along the front of the tub and into the shower.” Evans says the lighting was another area of concern in the original bathroom. This has been greatly improved with recessed can lighting, a central light and decorative sconces either side of the two mirrors.

These pages: Knotty alder wood vanity cabinets with polished granite tops are positioned either side of the door in this remodeled suite. One of the vanities is open beneath to accommodate a wheelchair. The remodeling project also included widening the door to the toilet room. Following pages: Large corner windows bring in plenty of natural light. The new tub is positioned so the owners can enjoy the leafy green outlook while bathing.

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These pages: The threshold of the shower was lowered to provide a flush entry. The shower was also equipped to cater to the needs of an owner with a disability. The bench seat is an extension of the tub deck. Story by Colleen Hawkes Photography by Tommy Kile

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Freshen up Both the bathrooms in this house have been completely renovated to capture a crisp, contemporary feel Bathrooms that are past their use-by date can often benefit from a total remake, where every element is reconsidered to best suit requirements. Designer Celia Visser was commissioned to undertake such a project for the master and guest bathrooms in this house. The designer says both bathrooms were dated and rather cramped, and were not up to the standard of the rest

of the house, which has been extensively renovated. “The house is modern, with a classical contemporary look, and we wanted the bathrooms to make a similar design statement. It was particularly important to maximize the space and ensure the rooms would not be too cluttered.� To provide continuity, both rooms feature an Ocean Blue travertine marble

vanity. Visser says the marble, which matches the interior color scheme throughout the house, was chosen to provide the desired wow factor. It is teamed with a very light olive green lacquer on the vanity cabinetry. “Because space was limited, the vanities both have integrated marble trough sinks. This minimizes the number of different materials appearing

Facing page: This master bathroom was transformed by designer Celia Visser, who rearranged the layout and introduced a cantilevered vanity with an Ocean Blue travertine marble top. An integrated basin helps to keep the look contemporary and streamlined. Above: The designer specified a glass door with privacy film. This helps to lighten the suite, which includes a dressing area between the bathroom and bedroom.

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in the bathrooms, which helps maintain a spacious look. “Similarly, cantilevering the cabinetry makes the floor area larger.” The two bathrooms are not identical, however. Black tapware and accessories were specified for the master bathroom to provide a point of difference. And the guest bathroom incorporates a freestanding Nova bathtub.

“The original bathroom had a shower over the tub, which the owners did not want,” says Visser. “But providing a separate shower meant it was a very tight fit to include the tub – there was not much leeway. “We ran the marble down one side of the vanity in this bathroom to keep the look clean and tidy.” Ample storage is provided

in both rooms, with the guest bathroom incorporating mirrored medicine cabinets that run the length of the room. LED lighting above and below the cabinets washes the walls, creating a floating effect. The master bathroom has decorative sconces mounted on the large mirror above the vanity. A glass door and new skylight also ensure plenty of natural light floods the room.

These pages: Ocean Blue travertine marble also features in the guest bathroom, which includes a freestanding bathtub and separate shower area. The fully tiled shower has a niche for soaps and shampoos. Story by Colleen Hawkes Photography by Jamie Cobel

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Bare essentials Calm, soothing decor and a neutral, natural color palette are two of the leading trends in bathroom design. Kraus has many products that reflect this trend Above: Pared-back design is a key trend for modern bathrooms. In this suite, a Kraus Ventus faucet in polished chrome makes a bold counterpoint to the soft gray color palette. Right: Polished chrome faucets also suit the trend towards sleek, minimalist designs. This bathroom features a Kraus Arcus faucet.


For many years, it seemed luxury bathrooms were all about bling – the shinier and flashier, the better. Today, that whole idea is turned on its head, as designers and homeowners take their cue from nature. Soothing design, natural colors and simple detailing spell modern luxury. It’s a trend that leading faucet and sink manufacturer Kraus has embraced in its recent collections. The company says its new products are designed to complement the neutral colors, gray tones and minimalist designs that define luxury bathrooms today. “These bathrooms feature seamless fixtures

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that are practical, yet beautiful,” a spokesperson says. “Pairing earth tones with metallic accents is also growing in popularity. Bold accents can enliven a space without making the bathroom look too busy. We are also seeing bathrooms with plenty of natural light, which highlights a fresh, nature-inspired decor.” To complement these trends Kraus offers simple, polished faucet designs in a range of finishes. Faucets also come in a variety of heights and installation types, so they can coordinate with most sink styles and sizes, while maintaining a universal design sensibility.

Highlights of the Kraus collection include the Ventus, which is a sleek counterpoint to a soft neutral palette; polished chrome finishes that create an edgy, modern contrast, yet coordinate well with textured, natural tones; and faucets in highly polished metallic finishes. These also contrast well with earth tones. For further information on Kraus, phone 1800 775 0703. Website: save | share

Above left: Modern luxury is defined by simple, sculptural forms. Shown here is a Kraus Ramus faucet in polished chrome. It is teamed with a Kraus ceramic vessel sink. Top, center and above: Other Kraus faucets include the Virtus in polished chrome (top), and the Unicus in polished chrome (centre), and oilrubbed bronze (above).

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smaller spaces

Well formed Imaginative choices of materials and the clever use of space ensure these bathrooms achieve maximum impact

Double vision These bathrooms in the same condominium have different looks – one in tune with the building’s 1920s era, the other a little more upbeat Older apartments may have refined public spaces, but bathrooms tend to be rather more modest. Luckily there are several ways to give them a feeling of space. These smaller bathrooms in a 1920s condominium are a case in point, says architect Alan Berman of Archetype. “The original master bath only had a tub, basin and toilet but we were able to borrow

space from the hall to create a more functional, user-friendly bathing space.” Berman reworked the now wider room to be more in line with a classic pre-WWII look, with a dash of modernity. “Large-format marble tiles were introduced on the walls, and shower stall – this allowed us to avoid too much grouting. The tub surround, vanity top and floor are also in this richly

veined stone. A pillow of mosaic tiles inlaid beside the tub breaks up the expanse of floor and adds a little luxury. “We chose the two lever faucets on the vanity for their ’20s feel,” says Berman. “The dado rail also fits with the era.” The extra space allowed for the addition of a glass-fronted shower stall. This has a rainhead shower, four wall sprays and a fold-up seat.

Preceding pages and facing page: This master bathroom reflects the refined aesthetics of the 1920s, when the condominium was built. The sash windows were retained for their period charm, and the colors are also reminiscent of the era. Large-format marble tiles, a dado rail and classic tapware all extend the look. Above: Walls in the master bedroom are painted in the same tones as the bathroom, but have more prominent mouldings.

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“The other bathroom is self-contained, so we decided to give it a more modern look,” says Berman. The floor, some walls, and the vanity top are in the same Carrara marble as the master bathroom. However, here the wall behind the vanity and the shower stall are in a black, white and gray honed mosaic glass tile, offering warmth and character. The addition of the

bold horizontal tilework gives the bathroom the illusion of greater space.” “We also gave the shower a built-in ceiling – this was a way to include task lights when the tower’s concrete construction leaves no recess for wiring.” A clean-lined vanity top, tapware and floor sills were chosen for this room. “The glass vessel basin is another modern inclusion,

although freestanding basins do have an historical design precedent,” says Berman. “I designed the vanity to be low, to compensate for the height of the bowl. “A sculptural pendant light fitting adds to this bathroom’s unexpected, bold aesthetic.”

Facing page and above: The vibrant horizontal tiles line the shower and a wall of the bathroom. A recessed soap and shampoo niche maximizes usable space.

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Above left: The second bathroom has Art Deco tapware, a freestanding basin and clean-lined countertop.

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Sense of craftsmanship These bathrooms, in one apartment, reflect a wealth of detail, calling to mind the hand-worked interiors of the American Arts and Crafts movement


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Inspiration for a bathroom design can come from all kinds of sources – even furniture can be a starting point. These bathrooms in a 1960s high-rise are a perfect example. The owners had downsized from a large Craftsman-style home and thought they would need to get rid of their furniture, as it wouldn’t be in keeping with the new interiors, says architect and designer Edward Kaplan. “I suggested an alternative approach – to remodel all the interiors in an eclectic style that would integrate their much-loved furniture so it would work in the new modern setting.”

In pursuit of this aesthetic, both these bathrooms feature intricate tile and millwork designs. The main bathroom (on these pages) also has a classic subway tile on the walls, with a contrasting inlaid band of small tiles. This runs around the wall and into the shower and soap niche, drawing the long, narrow room together. “To maintain privacy for the toilet and break up the space, we kept the blade wall between the vanity and shower area and designed a millwork cabinet at the entry to the bathroom. “We also had to allow for wheelchair access, which is the reason for the floating vanities.”

Facing page: Divide and rule – this bathroom by architect and designer Ed Kaplan features a blade wall on the vanity that brings privacy for the toilet and breaks up the flow of the room to make it look larger. Above left: Detailed tile work creates visual interest and a Craftsman look that ties in with furniture in other rooms. Both bathrooms are designed to accommodate wheelchairs and include sturdy grab bars.

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“We took the same approach in the guest bathroom but with different tiles. Here large vertical tiles on the lower half of the wall are capped with a band of smaller tiles with the same proportions, like a dado rail. The stick shape of these tiles also brings a light Asian influence to the design,” says Kaplan. Contrasting and complementing this look, tiny mosaics form the rear wall and floor of the shower. These are continued on the floor of the bathroom and the vanity backsplash. The smaller tiles naturally require a lot of grouting which offers a safe, slip-free surface underfoot.

Tiling above and below the vanity gives the impression of a continuous flow of mosaics all the way behind it. “The millwork on the vanity wraps up across the ceiling, creating a self-contained unit. The hammered copper sink is another artisanal touch, and adds a note of luxury. With open space underneath, we chose a bottle trap drain as the most attractive option,” Kaplan says.

These pages: The guest bathroom also celebrates an artisanal look through its various tiled surfaces. Millwork that wraps up one side of the vanity and over the ceiling gives the impression of handcrafting. For the same reason, the mosaic tiles extend down the wall, across the floor and into the shower.

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Story by Charles Moxham Photography by Mitchell Shenker

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With a little imagination Even a small bathroom can pack a lot of punch when bold forms and innovative materials are teamed with an interesting color palette


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Good bathroom design is not dependent on size – it’s about making the best of the space. And often it’s the small bathrooms that inspire the most interesting design responses. The bathrooms on these pages were both designed by architect Linda Brettler, who is passionate about using tiles in innovative ways to make a strong design statement. For the bathroom shown above, a sculptural stone sink provided the starting point. “There was a lot to squeeze into a small space with this bathroom,” says Brettler. “So everything was chosen to ensure the space would not

look too enclosed. The vanity, for example, is open, with wood shelving in quartersawn oak. And we placed a towel rail on the front, as there was a limited amount of wall space.” Visual continuity is provided by matching overhead shelving, which appears to slide through into the custom medicine cabinet. Decorative purple-toned mosaic tiles, chosen to complement the stone sink, wrap around the room, alongside larger glass tiles. They also form a vertical band on one wall. To further link the two spaces, the bench seat in the shower extends right through the glass wall.

Facing page: A sculptural stone sink from Altmans forms the centerpiece in this small bathroom designed by architect Linda Brettler. To maximize the space, the vanity is open beneath the sink, and the towel rail is positioned on the front. Above: Glass wall tiles help to bounce light around the room, enhancing the sense of space. These are teamed with small mosaics. The flooring features stone tiles with a distinctive striated patterning.

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The second bathroom, shown on these pages, is in the architect’s own home. Brettler says the inexpensive blue porcelain tiles were the impetus for this design. These have the appearance of small mosaics, but are actually 12in by 12in tiles. “To add even more oomph, I introduced a white valance over the tub, and had a fountain installed on the wall outside, which makes for a pleasant outlook.” Brettler added green tiles to the floor that are in keeping with the Art Deco look of the rest of the interior in the 1920s house.

“I also discovered a perfect wallpaper with little birds that pick up the colors in the bathroom, and links to the warm red of the wall in the adjoining vestibule. The shower curtain features a similar, but not identical pattern.” For a finishing touch, the architect found a vintage bird cage and had this transformed into a light fixture that has become a talking point for guests. resource list | save | share Search 44388 at

Facing page: A whimsical wallpaper patterned with colorful birds catches the eye in this small bathroom in the architect’s own house. The bathroom also has a vintage bird cage light. Above: The colors in the wallpaper provide a visual link to the tiles in the bathroom, and a red wall in the vestibule. The hat rack once adorned the wall outside a schoolroom. Story by Colleen Hawkes Photography by Tim Maloney

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Perfect fit You don’t need a large bathroom to enjoy a therapeutic bath experience. BainUltra® has baths well suited to condos and small urban homes Above: Bathing is a simple pleasure, yet it can provide enormous therapeutic benefits. This bathroom features the new Citti™ tub from BainUltra. The tub, which is ideal for an alcove situation, has a 15° angle on the backrest, making it particularly comfortable, even though it is not a huge bath. Suggested therapies that can be incorporated include chromatherapy, aromatherapy and thermotherapy. A moulded integrated skirt is available if required.


Not all homes and bathrooms are suited to large therapeutic spa baths. There simply may not be enough space, or a condo building may not allow mechanical tubs because of the noise and vibration. But this doesn’t mean you have to forgo all the benefits of a therapeutic bath. On the contrary, you can still create a wellness space in a small bathroom or condo, when you choose a Thermasens® bath from BainUltra. With a Thermasens bath, you bathe in calm water, with no motor or jets, and enjoy a range of other therapies – namely chromatherapy,

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aromatherapy and thermotherapy®, created by the Warmtouchshell™ heating zones that keep the heat right where you need it. Chromatherapy provides changing color vibrations that impact on your mood, while the Aromacloud™ essential oils diffuser can be used to re-energize and stimulate your senses. Two of the BainUltra tubs that make this possible are the Citti™ and Ora™. The Citti is a new bath that can be installed in an alcove. It can include a moulded insert to accommodate the Aromacloud diffuser or faucets. Even though this tub is only 60in by 32in, a 15° angle on the

backrest optimizes the space for the bather. Freestanding tubs are another option that can enhance a sense of space in a smaller bathroom – the BainUltra Ora bath, for example, measures 66in by 36in. Other suggestions include the Cella, which has a classic design, and the Evanescence – a more modern tub. To contact BainUltra, phone 1 866 344 4515. Or visit the website: save | share Search 44314 at

Top: This bathroom also features a Citti alcove bath from BainUltra. Positioning the tub by the window enhances the sense of relaxation. Above: The Ora™ is a freestanding tub from BainUltra. This tub is also designed for key therapies. As with the other baths, it features Warmtouchshell™ heating zones. Left: This bath features an aromatherapy diffuser, and chromatherapy colored lighting.

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Calming influence Modern bathroom design is all about enhancing a sense of retreat through crisp clean lines, with natural materials and organic forms providing warm accents

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Upon reflection There are several key trends influencing bathroom design today, and they all reflect the desire to create intimate spaces that are tranquil, private sanctuaries Design trends for bathrooms rarely change overnight, but there are clear differences when you look back over the past decade. Jennifer Palumbo, a leading Boston interior designer, says homeowners are still wanting to create a sense of escape, but the look is a lot more streamlined and crisper than in the past. And it’s the materials that are leading the changes.

“In recent times there has been a proliferation of largeformat porcelain tiles,” says Palumbo. “These have had a huge impact on the overall aesthetic of modern bathrooms. The large square, rectangular and plank-shaped porcelain tiles are very cost effective and provide a sleek, clean-lined look. They are often paired with natural stone tiles that help to warm up the space.”

The designer says two key styles have emerged in Boston. On the one hand there are designs for the classic New England houses with their traditional architecture, and on the other, designs for the everincreasing number of high-rise apartments. “Bathrooms in the older homes reflect a more international influence, compared to a decade ago. The owners are

Preceding pages: This bathroom in a Georgian house features contemporary fixtures with a traditional sensibility. The exterior wall is lined with decorative wateretched tiles. All the bathrooms on these pages were designed by Jennifer Palumbo. Facing page and above: These two bathrooms, in a vacation home in the mountains, reflect a sense of escape. The master suite shower is lined with colourful wave tiles.

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often young and well traveled, and interested in transitional styling, rather than replicating original bathrooms of the era. Designs are a lot more streamlined, but also soft and respectful of the architecture. Palumbo says other projects reflect a more contemporary approach, with clean-lined, modern fixtures. “However, we are seeing a move away from looks that are

too clinical,” says Palumbo. “A bathroom needs to be an inviting retreat and this often translates to warm tones and organic forms, materials and textures. There may even be a tile that mimics wood – maybe bleached wood for a summer house. One bathroom we completed, in a vacation home, is lined with wave tiles. Another bathroom in the same house has a pebble-tile floor.”

The designer says good bathroom design is a question of balance. “We recently completed an all-white bathroom with a high ceiling. We created separate functional zones, but keeping it all white helps to avoid a choppy look. We added mosaic tiles to the shower, specified a gray-blue tile for the floor, and added a mahogany vanity to ground the space visually.”

Left: Many homeowners today are opting for a fresh, clean look for their bathrooms. Interior designer Jennifer Palumbo specified white walls for this large bathroom, to help bring together the separate bathing zones. The floor features large-format porcelain tiles – another popular choice for modern bathrooms. Above: The shower in the same bathroom is lined with marble mosaic tiles that are subtle, yet add another visual dimension.

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Above: Powder rooms lend themselves to dramatic looks. This room features a wood veneer wallpaper that creates a 3-D look. The white vanity top and basin provide a visual link to the rest of the house, which is light and airy. Above right: This wood vanity was chosen to balance the all-white walls of the bathroom shown on the preceding pages. Modern lighting sconces are decorative, rather than utilitarian.


Palumbo says other key trends include the increasing use of trench drains in showers. These are less obtrusive and allow a flush entry, with no step or curb. LED lighting is another popular option today, as homeowners look for energyefficient alternatives. “Bathroom lighting is also not as utilitarian as it once was. The modern bathroom is

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a living space – a place where people go to relax – and the lighting needs to reflect this. Consequently, a lot more thought goes into the choice of fixtures.” There is one bathroom in the house that stands alone, however, and that is the powder room. Palumbo says these are the most fun spaces to design. And because they are occupied for such a short time, they

provide an ideal opportunity to be a little adventurous. “They lend themselves to dramatic treatment, be it bold color accents or interesting fixtures and wall coverings. The powder room shown here features a wood veneer wallpaper with a distinctive 3-D effect.” save | share | video Search 43293 at

Left: This bathroom, in a suburban Boston home, has a classical look. Earth-toned mosaic tiles and a mahogany wood tub deck bring visual warmth to the space, yet the contemporary tub keeps the look crisp and streamlined. Above: Mahogany frames the mirrors of the vanity in the same bathroom. Here again, the faucets and lighting add a touch of modernity.

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spa-like spaces

Tranquility base These resort-style bathrooms achieve a relaxed, serene air by maximizing space and emphasizing texture over color

Palm fronds in the sun This design reflects a Caribbean connection, while 3-D sculptural layering and textural nuances give it a refined, contemporary aesthetic


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With many homeowners wanting their new bathroom to be a haven of peace and quiet, a spa-like aesthetic is often high on the design agenda. The emphasis is increasingly on texture over color, for a more soothing effect. Such was the case with this serene bathroom by Diane Taitt, managing principal of De Space Designs. With the existing bathroom stripped out and extra space gained from a linen closet, the designer showed the owners some image boards to give them a feel for the new design. “They had initially wanted a Caribbean connection, and strong, bold colors. Instead, I

suggested we use a more restful palette, adding interest through texture, surface finishes and by manipulating wall planes for a 3-D effect. “They went with this concept and a simple, understated palette, informed by geometric forms, texture, and surface finish.” To this end, the designer introduced several interlocking planes and niches that form an abstract, textural composition. Some elements are practical, such as the ledge on the side of the tub that conceals plumbing and acts as a seat. Complementing the sculpted millwork, the bathroom has a modern palette of gray, silver,

Preceding pages and these pages: An understated, contemporary palette of gray, silver and white gives this bathroom a restful air, while an emphasis on texture and geometric form brings visual interest. The owners’ Caribbean background is reflected in a mural of palm trees created in honed and matt-finish tiles, and in the blues and greens of the mosaic tile backsplash.

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Above: The walls of the bathroom have the look of plaster, created by applying the paint in a criss-cross motion. Classic subway tiles in a large format have been used to create the tub surround and ledge. This continues the play between traditional and modern elements seen throughout the space. Story by Charles Moxham Photography by Maxine Schnitzer


and white. Large-format tiles behind the tub are etched in a palm frond pattern and the sea is evoked in the blue-green mosaics behind the vanity – both nods to the owners’ heritage. “Texture and pattern are everywhere in this bathroom,” says Taitt. “The walls are handpainted with crisscross brush strokes to create the look of plaster, and the subway tiles around the tub are in an unusual large format, bridging the gap between traditional and modern. A band of reflective silver mosaic tiles runs into the niche behind the bath, connecting with the colorful tiles opposite.”

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The shower and toilet had to remain in the same place due to plumbing constraints. To give the alcoves privacy but also add their volume to the greater space, a patterned glass privacy wall partially screens both areas. The borrowed space allowed room for the elongated double vanity. Together with the floor tiles, this furniture-like wood cabinet helps ground the mainly pale-colored bathroom. resource list | save | share Search 44206 at

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Above and far left: A patterned glass privacy wall screens the shower and toilet spaces from the main area of the bathroom. The designer took inspiration for the loop pattern from an abstracted infinity symbol. Left: As with the bathroom, the shower area includes feature tile surfaces, built-in seating and a wall niche with mosaic tiles.

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Change of scene This new bathroom in a loft-style apartment in an historic building transforms the look of the room – in more ways than one


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A remodeling project is a great way to inject new life into a bathroom, but it isn’t just new fixtures and surfaces that are transforming this bathroom in a loft-style apartment. Owners Judy Mortrude and Steve Mahon also wanted to introduce chromatherapy to the shower, so they can choose a lighting color that best suits their mood. Architect John Idstrom

of Partners 4 Design says the original bathroom had been built by the developer when the apartments were first introduced to the historic building. “It was a rather ordinary room. The owners wanted a bathroom that would better suit their needs and the aesthetics of their home interior, which is modern. They have several items of furniture that are design classics.�



Above left: Matching his-and-hers cantilevered vanities bring a crisp, contemporary look to this remodeled bathroom in a loft-style apartment. Above: A large mirrored cabinet between the vanities provides additional storage. The mirrors above the vanities disguise medicine cabinets with doors that slide up. Far left and left: The original bathroom had a dated look that was not in keeping with the apartment.

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Top and above: Red, green, blue – the shower offers chromatherapy, with LED lighting that changes color as desired. The lights can be set to change color automatically in rotation, or to stay on a single color. The shower also features body sprays as well as a rain showerhead. The sprays are angled so there is no need for glass walls.


Idstrom says the starting point for the design was the flooring featuring traditional black, gray and white tiles. “These were the first things to be chosen – nothing else was locked in, although we needed to put the plumbing in much the same place.” Creating a more spacious look was also important. To this end, two cantilevered Robern vanity units were specified,

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rather than a floor-based cabinet. These feature white Corian tops with recessed detailing that complements the white and gray floor tiles. The vanities are teamed with matching Robern pendant lights that are suspended in front of two large mirrored medicine cabinets. The fronts of these cabinets slide up to reveal the storage behind. “We replaced the built-in

bath with a freestanding tub that opens up the room visually,” says Idstrom. “We placed this at right angles to the vanities, rather than in-line like the original bath.” The new shower features colored LED lighting set within a recessed panel. The lighting color can be changed to create different mood settings. The sandblasted glass door to the windowless bathroom

allows light to flow in both directions, with the colored LED lighting bringing a touch of drama to the bedroom. Both the shower and the toilet area tucked around the corner have a different tile floor. Here larger marble tiles define the separate spaces.

Above and left: The different colored settings vary the mood in the bathroom. Standard bathroom lighting is also an option. Far left: Tucked around the corner, the toilet is out of sight of the entry. Story by Colleen Hawkes Photography by Jamie Cobel

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Inside out Large sliders open up this contemporary master bathroom, so it is at one with the great outdoors It’s common to see living areas designed to blur the line between inside and out – less so a bathroom. But the large sliders in this master bathroom do just that, opening up the space to the immediate landscape and the view beyond. Architect Zoltan Pali says it is all part of a move to create a very calming, tranquil retreat. “I always believe everything in a bathroom should work to calm the space,” he says. “Here, there are many elements that help achieve this, including the soft gray tone of the marble that features on the freestanding wall and elevated floor platform.” At the same time, however, Pali says it was important to avoid a bland look. “For this reason, we introduced texture to the long wall that runs along the rear of the room. This features an Ann Sacks tile with a raised circular motif.” The shape of the motif also helps to balance the strong, linear look of the bathroom, which features a square-edged freestanding tub that sits on a bed of pebbles. The tub forms the centerpiece of the bathroom, and is positioned to maximize the view for the owners. The glass-walled shower is also placed so the owners can enjoy the view. The fittings are attached to the solid, freestanding wall that divides the bathing and vanity areas. A long, cantilevered marble bench seat runs right along the rear wall, sliding through the glass wall of the shower to enhance a sense of connection. The vanity is cantilevered off the opposite side of the center wall. In keeping with the sleek, contemporary design of the rest of the house, this features a minimalist marble wading sink with modern faucets. A bank of reflective cabinets provides ample storage. resource list | save | share Search 43980 at

Left: A freestanding marble tub sits on an elevated marble floor platform in this master bathroom designed by architect Zoltan Pali. A pebble bed imparts a Zen-like feel, enhancing the calm serenity of the space. Above: Other key features include a wall of textural tiles, and a contemporary marble wading basin. Story by Colleen Hawkes Photography by Bruce Damonte

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Private eyrie Perched high above a lake on a wooded lot, this Mid-century Modern house boasts a new master suite that maximizes the picturesque location Above and facing page: This new master suite, built within an addition to a 1950s house, was designed to make the most of a leafy outlook and lake view. His-and-hers mirrored medicine cabinets are suspended in front of the large windows. The mirrors feature Ralph Lauren 50s-style light fixtures. There is also a television within a side mirror. Right: In the bedroom, full-height windows create a seamless connection with the outdoors.


Houses built in the 1950s may be great examples of the Mid-century Modern style, but they don’t always provide modern convenience, or make the most of a spectacular view. This 1950s home was a good example of the genre, but the owners could see there were ways it could be improved with an addition to house a new master suite. The couple commissioned

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architect Jim Fraerman of Fraerman Associates Architecture, Inc to design the addition, which positions the suite on the upper level of the twostory house – the same level as the living areas. “This was the best way to take advantage of the beautiful view of the ravine and lake,” Fraerman says. “And because the site is forested, it is extremely private.”

Above: Reflective surfaces were specified to create a tranquil, lightfilled bathroom. The walls, tub surround and flooring feature a white marble with subtle veining. Matching marble mosaics line the niche above the faucets. Doors either side of the make-up area, on the right, lead to separate his-and-hers toilet rooms and closets. The glossy 3-D look of the vanity cabinetry was created by the Nuvacor polymer surfacing material.


To get the most benefit from the view, the bathroom is a long room, designed to provide a sightline from the bedroom right through the room and out a window to the trees beyond. The vanity cabinetry is placed against the outside wall, with two separate mirrored medicine cabinets suspended in front of the windows. With a mirror over a make-up area

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on the opposite side, and two side mirrors, the leafy outlook is reflected over and over. “The mirrors, along with the reflective surfaces, capture the trees and the view, and make for this continual play of light,” says Fraerman. “This gives the whole suite a very clean, bright atmosphere.” The reflective surfaces include gray quartzite vanity tops, white marble walls and

flooring, and white cabinets in Nuvacor – a polymer surfacing material that provides added visual depth. “As well, the sinks have an etched glass surface that looks quite different from porcelain,” says the architect. “This creates an additional level of translucency.” The bathroom incorporates separate his-and-hers closets – the two entries are positioned

either side of the make-up area. There are also two separate toilet rooms off these entries. The shower, at the far end of the bathroom, has a flush entry. It also features a bench seat that extends through the glass to form a ledge below the window.

Above: The subtle gray and white color palette echoes the tones in the bedroom, providing visual continuity.

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Story by Colleen Hawkes Photography by Eric Hausman

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Far left and left: A long bench seat appears to slide through the glass wall of the shower, where it forms a ledge below the window at the end of the room.

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Art of relaxation A pared-back design, sea views and materials that reference nature create a serene sanctuary in this ensuite bathroom


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Bathing is often considered a ritual – a time of quiet contemplation and serenity. And there’s no doubt the sense of escape is heightened by a tranquil, luxurious setting and a wonderful view. All these things come together in this master suite in a new clifftop house designed by architect Henry Lin of PTG Architecture. “With glazing on three sides, the ensuite bathroom pops out from the house on the upper level,” Lin says. “The views are further maximized by the width of

the opening between the bedroom and bathroom – a 6ft 6in door slides back to open up the entire space.” The architect says the owners have visited spa resorts in Asia and wanted their suite to evoke a similar feeling of quiet, understated luxury. “This suite was all about pared-back detailing and materials that would be in harmony with the natural world. It was important that nothing was too ornate – we didn’t want the bathroom to detract from the view.”

To enhance the calming ambience, an elevated, built-in tub is positioned beneath the windows. This is designed as a traditional Asian sitting bathtub, which provides deep water and health benefits. The tub is lined with the same timber-look porcelain tiles that feature on the floor. “These tiles have a textural surface that mimics woodgrain,” says Lin. “With their natural look and feel, they have a very calming effect.” Another textural tile with a wave-like pattern lines the walls, providing a direct

Above left: Like an eyrie high above the clifftop, this master ensuite bathroom pops out from the second floor of the house, designed by architect Henry Lin of PTG Architecture. Windows on three sides surround a built-in Asian-style tub. Above: The tub is lined with porcelain tiles that mimic the look and texture of wood. All the materials in the bathroom were chosen to provide an harmonious, tranquil bathing environment.

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Above: Other textural tiles reference rippling waves. Architect Henry Lin also introduced sparkling mosaics and LED lighting to the wall behind the mirrored medicine cabinets. Power outlets and a bin are concealed within drawers. Right: The house also features a cedar-lined sauna room, with LED lighting. Facing page: The shower has a niche for shampoos, and an unobtrusive drain. Story by Colleen Hawkes Photography by Jamie Cobel


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reference to the rippling waters of the gulf beyond. Most of these tiles are white, but a darker gray version clads a central column, making this a distinctive feature. Deep blue-colored glass towel rails are another visual link with the view. The long, semi-cantilevered vanity has a thick riverstone top that wraps around a cabinet like a folded slab, forming a waterfall edge at one end. “It’s a very simple form that can be read at a glance, which is another calming device,” says the architect. “The organic

form of the asymmetrical basins reinforces the connection with nature.� Sparkling mosaic tiles behind the large mirrored medicine cabinets are another key feature of the room. The cabinets sit proud of the tiles, with LED lighting enhancing the three-dimensional effect. Other decorative lighting includes Swarovski crystal sconces. And to ensure relaxation is complete, the suite includes a cedar-lined sauna room, with LED lighting – a final touch of resort-style luxury.

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Left: Large sliding doors open up the master suite to the expansive sea view. Another wide sliding door opens up the bedroom to the bathroom, maximizing the outlooks. The interior scheme is understated, so it does not detract from the panorama. Story by Colleen Hawkes Photography by Jamie Cobel

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