Modesty is overrated in this room with a view
For some, a bathroom is a purely functional space but for antiques specialist and interior designer Pilar Albertson her bathroom is a sanctuary – a place to decompress and reflect on a long day. Pilar’s home overlooks the hills around the Cotswold town of Cheltenham and in the bathrooms, as in the rest of the four bedroom house, the views are an integral part of the design.
The large picture windows have no blinds or shutters, giving unfettered views out, and of course, in. ‘Some of my friends are quite mortified by our bathroom windows,’ laughs Pilar. ‘They can’t understand how we don’t feel exposed, but we are lucky enough not to be overlooked by anyone. I really wouldn’t have done this had I felt we were on show to anything other than a passing sheep.’
Pilar wanted the bathrooms to be a continuation of the landscape and chose soft, earthy colours, natural materials and simple furniture. The organically shaped bath set the tone; Pilar bought it before the house was even built and tasked her architect with creating a space around it. Local design company, Abitalia, sourced the concrete-topped Karol vanity unit by designer and artist Marc Sadler, and off-set the layout to add interest and draw the eye.
A polished plaster wall provides a canvas for some of Pilar’s antiques. The unpainted doll heads in the mirrored glass box shelves are from the early 1800s. Pilar found them in a derelict factory in Germany where they were once part of a famous collection of articulated dolls that were made entirely of porcelain.
Enjoying the views from his perch on an antique stool is a wooden art school mannequin, which is also from the early 19th century. Pilar’s love of portraits is a theme in her home that continues into the bathroom, from the whimsical selection of oils over the bath, to artist Amy Judd’s avian woman greeting you at the door.
The mix of stone, concrete, wood and glass give the bathroom a quiet luxury that doesn’t compete with the view. ‘I wanted a space that was very zen, very pure and calming, a place to focus on the spirit,’ explains Pilar. ‘It’s very special to lie in the bath and feel part of the countryside and at the same time be safely cocooned.’
Bathroom by abitalia.co.uk
Photos by Heather Gunn
Article by: Rebecca Morris