From the August/September 2014 Issue:

A New Old World

    Writer: Denise DiFulco | Photographer: Peter Rymwid | Designer: Barbara Schoenfeld, Professional Member ASID |

Designer updates a Monmouth County bathroom with interesting tile work and luxury plumbing fixtures

Article Photo
enlarge | Working with plumbing in place and a limited area doesn’t require sacrificing luxury. The intricate cabinetry and tile take center stage in this largely mono­chromatic master bathroom. The designer intentionally diminished the toilet, using a wall-hung model in a pyramidal shape.
Designing for someone else in the industry can provoke a certain anxiety, but Barbara Schoenfeld was thrilled to receive an assignment from Mark Rohl, president of the Eastern division of Rohl, the luxury kitchen and bath supply company.

Rohl met Schoenfeld a couple of years ago at a trade show sponsored by the New Jersey chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers. He asked whether she would be interested in designing the master bathroom in his Monmouth County home. “I was flattered and honored that the Rohls would entrust me with the design of this particular room in their home,” says Schoenfeld, a professional member of ASID and principal of Freehold-based Robinson Interiors.

One would imagine that such a client would pull out all the stops for such a significant space, however, there was a desire for practicality. The master bathroom was the last room in the home to be renovated, and the Rohls wanted to simplify the process as much as possible, Schoenfeld says, so the decision was made to work within the available space.

“They wanted to gut it and completely redo it, but we decided to keep all of the plumbing to shorten the timeline,” she says. “It’s a huge difference even though the plumbing is in the same place.”

Intricate Detailing
The difference is in the details—remarkably intricate detailing, in fact. Schoenfeld created a bathroom with an Old World feel to suit her clients’ traditional tastes, but she talked them out of the dark mahogany cabinetry they envisioned in favor of painted cabinetry that makes the space appear bigger. She worked closely with Ed Rivera of Designers Kitchens in Jackson to incorporate classical archi­tectural details into the woodwork, including fluted columns and contoured doors with beading and intricate wood overlays. He also helped fit a full vanity with drawers into a tight layout. “He is meticulous, cares about his work and is sensitive,” Schoenfeld says of Rivera. “He made a difficult job work with ease.”

Meticulous attention to detail was required also for the elaborate tile work throughout the room. When Schoenfeld first found the water-jet-cut mosaic limestone and glass tiles that now line the walls, she knew they would be the only art needed. Scrollwork connects flowers made of blue glass tile or white Carrera marble, each one with a crinkled aluminum center. The blue glass relates to the blue-green gray of the cabinetry, a color choice that was refined several times during the project. The captivating wall treatment is set in layers: a molding perched above the swath of cut limestone, which is then underscored by a marble chair rail, a band of white oval glass tiles, marble pencil tiles and oversized sealed limestone tiles.

The Rohls provided the sink, faucet, shower and all fixtures, as well as the drawer pulls—all from their Perrin & Rowe line imported from England. Pulling together the many elements in the limited space is a monochromatic palette, lots of texture and the classic neutrality of the limestone, Schoenfeld says. “It lends itself across the board. You can do anything with it. You can tweak it and play. You can do it in a way that it just flows.”

Denise DiFulco, a regular contributor to Design NJ, is a Cranford-based writer.


Design, Barbara Schoenfeld of Robinson Interiors in Freehold; contractor, John Whelan of Whelan Custom Homes in Colts Neck; cabinetry, Ed Rivera of Designers Kitchens in Jackson with onlays by Decorator’s Supply and pulls by Rohl; countertop, Walker Zanger; chair, Astoria Imports with fabric by Rodolph in Sonoma, California; sink, faucet, shower and tub fixtures, Perrin & Rowe from Rohl; tub, MTI in Sugar Hill, Georgia; tile, Artistic Tile; toilet, wall-hung toilet by Porcher with Gerberit concealed tank and carrier system; window treatment, Bud McKnight Drapery Service with fabric by Pierre Frey and custom motorized shade by Innovative Shade Systems in Monroe; ceiling treatment, York Wallcoverings in York, Pennsylvania.

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