From the August/September 2013 Issue:

Suite Retreat

    Writer: Meg Fox | Photographer: Wing Wong | Interior Designer: Anna Maria Mannarino, Allied Member ASID |

Gaining style and storage without adding on

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enlarge | Espresso-finished custom cabinetry is topped with white quartz in this transitional bathroom. Molded ceramic harlequin wall tiles mimic gently worn stone, interior designer Anna Maria Mannarino says. Crackled blue glass tiles border the room and accent the shower.
Anne and Robert Hemsing’s bathroom renovation in Middletown was part of a complete redesign of their master suite: a plan that converted a spare bedroom into a walk-in closet.

“The objective was to create a serene, uncluttered, organized haven for the couple to retreat to,” says designer Anna Maria Mannarino, an allied member of the American Society of Interior Designers and owner of Mannarino Designs Inc. in Holmdel.

The Hemsings call the original closets in the master suite “pitiful,” so adding a closet was a necessity. They also wanted to eliminate the need for dressers and other storage in the bedroom. Turning the spare bedroom into a walk-in closet/dressing area “allowed us the space we needed to keep the bedroom free of excess furniture,” Anne Hemsing says. The hallway entrance to the spare room was closed off in the process. Access to the room is reached through a pocket door off the remodeled bathroom.

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enlarge | “I love the shower,” homeowner Anne Hemsing says. “It is a great size and has a spa-like feel to it.” Plumbing fixtures have a brushed nickel finish.
Looking Up
With space limited, “We opened up these smallish rooms by removing the ceilings and reframing them to the angle of the roofline,” Mannarino says. The extra height allowed for a taller bank of cabinets in the walk-in closet, ideal for additional storage and seasonal clothing, she says.

The higher ceiling also makes the bathroom feel larger, even though it was remodeled within its existing footprint. Replacing a small window with a larger one and adding an oval window also brought in more natural light, Mannarino says.

A custom espresso-stained vanity spans the width of the wall and is equipped with such features as pullout trays and drawers for storing towels, toiletries and sundries. With ample storage below, medicine cabinets were not necessary, says Mannarino, who opted to go with oval mirrors to complement the bowed sink bases.

The homeowners now enjoy the luxury of a freestanding tub and spacious walk-in shower. “I love the shower,” Hemsing says. “It is a great size and has a spa-like feel to it.” Heated floors add another level of comfort underfoot.

“We are incredibly happy with the way the closet and the entire suite turned out, she adds. “It is beautiful, comfortable and spacious.


interior design and layout, Anna Maria Mannarino of Mannarino Designs Inc. in Holmdel; vanity and plumbing fixtures, Kitchen & Bath Express in Shrewsbury; tile, Artistic Tile in Shrewsbury; mirror and sconces, Restoration Hardware; closet cabinetry, Closet & Storage Concepts in Ewing; shades, Hunter Douglas Vignette; Roman-style valance in cut velvet, fabric from Major Mills in Clark (T); window treatment fabrication, Piscitelli Workroom through Mannarino Designs Inc.; contractor, Paramount Tile in Aberdeen; painter, PaintTek Quality Painting Inc. in Dunellen; paint, Benjamin Moore. (T=To the Trade)

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