HS Awards Winner Project Spotlight: Black, White and Serene All Over

The Highland Park, Ill.-based client had two requests for their new primary bath space: it must be sleek and sophisticated, yet also calming and serene. At first, this seemed like a straightforward request – until HS Award Winner Maggie Winshall happened upon Hydro Systems’ Marquis freestanding bathtub in a striking two-tone finish in matte black and high gloss white. “We were drawn to the sculptural form and the contrasting materials as we envisioned a freestanding tub as the centerpiece to a spa-like setting,” recalls the Northshore Chicago-based interior designer. However, the striking black-and-white color palette presented Winshall with an unexpected challenge. Juxtapositions usually create drama, not calm. The question became: “how could serenity be infused into the bath space within such a bold design choice?”

Winshall rose to the challenge, using the tub as inspiration for the entire bathroom’s design. Large-format black and white porcelain tiles, mirroring the tub’s color scheme, extend dramatically from floor to ceiling, adding visual interest. Custom window treatments and a custom window bench, upholstered in high-performance black fabric and featuring built-in storage below, injects a dose of warmth and charm. To further elevate the spa-like experience, the space incorporates a large walk-in shower with multiple sprays, a custom fluted vanity in a crisp white finish, a separate water closet, a dedicated makeup vanity with storage, and gleaming chrome plumbing fixtures that bring a touch of glamour. The vanity was another area where Winshall mixed in brass finishes to glam it up. “Our goal,” she explains, “was to create a luxurious and chic black-and-white primary bath with all the bells and whistles.”

While maintaining the original footprint, Winshall’s team completely gutted the space to achieve their vision. This involved structural modifications as well as extensive plumbing and electrical work. “The freestanding tub,” Winshall concludes, “played a key role in creating an open and airy feel that perfectly complements the overall aesthetic.”

Winshall’s prize-winning solution transformed the project into a stunning success. She proved that a black-and-white palette could create a spa-like haven as serene as its all-white counterparts. The result is a tranquil retreat that defies expectations.  Her ability to translate seemingly contradictory client desires – serenity amidst a bold aesthetic – into a harmonious reality is a testament to Winshall’s design prowess. And to think it was a bathtub, the Hydro Systems Marquis to be exact, that sparked such an inspiring design journey!