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His & Hers

Writer Marirose Krall  |  Photographer Raquel Langworthy  |  Designer Sarah Brady of Salt Design Co.  |  Architect Paul Grabowski of Virtuoso Architecture  |  Builder Wayne Dreyer of Dreyer Custom Homes

A Sea Girt primary bathroom is built for two

“The white room and natural wood vanities creates a spa-like atmosphere,” homeowner Rachel Hennessy says of the primary bathroom. “The pewter cabinet hardware adds a modern touch that balances the look.” Designer Sarah Brady says, “The most important thing the homeowners asked for was ample, functional storage. We worked with Leigh Genkinger from Orderleigh Home in Little Silver to ensure the spaces we were designing would functionally fit their needs.”

 

Rachel and Mike Hennessy had very specific ideas about the aesthetic they sought for the primary bathroom in their newly built Sea Girt home. “I wanted a modern, coastal vibe but also the feeling of home,” Rachel Hennessy says. They also wanted a place of respite from their busy life. “Since we are knee-deep in parenthood of littles, my hope was that this space would serve as a peaceful retreat for my husband and me.”

Sarah Brady, of Red Bank-based Salt Design Co., helped the Hennessys create the spa-like atmosphere they desired. “They wanted the space to feel light and uncluttered,” she says. “Our intention was to create an elevated design for this young family, all while maintaining a functional space that’s practical for everyday life.”

For these homeowners, practicality translated to individual personal areas. “It was important to us to have independent spaces within our bathroom,” Hennessy says. Brady adds, “They were keen on having dual water closets and individual vanities.” To that end, architect Paul Grabowski of Virtuoso Architecture in Sea Girt created a floor plan with two vanities situated on opposite walls and two enclosed loos, one on each side of the bathtub.

The windows, trimmed in black, stand out against the white walls and add the modern touch the homeowners sought. “We balanced a bright and airy aesthetic with bold black accents,” Brady notes.

Brady furnished the room to coordinate with the look of the rest of the residence. “The home is defined by high-contrast spaces, where we balanced a bright and airy aesthetic with bold black accents. We explored new materials and sources to create a space that is uniquely their own.”

Hennessy describes that exploration. Since we had a canvas of white walls and white and gray marble flooring, it was important to bring in different elements to give the room personality. Something I was initially afraid of, but that ended up having a big payoff in the end, was the mixing of metals.” Those metals include dark pewter hardware on the vanities, polished nickel on the sconces and brass faucets at the sinks and bathtub. “This was where having the Salt Design team on board was key,” Hennessy says. “I always trust their vision and have always been thankful in the end. It totally works and makes things interesting,” she adds.

Another interesting element is the light fixture above the bathtub. “It’s the focal point of the entire room,” the homeowner says. “It’s the first thing you see when you enter the bathroom. It’s the perfect mix of natural elements and elegance.”

Wood vanities enhance the look. Created by Bill Earnshaw, CKD, CBD, of Accent on Design in North Haledon, they’re finished in a stain that’s deep enough to contrast with the white and gray surroundings but light enough to maintain the room’s airy feel.

The light, sophisticated feel is exactly what the homeowners wanted. “I think the room’s aesthetic is a great blend of feminine and masculine features,” Hennessy says. “I never wanted the space to feel formal, but I wanted it to be special, and it definitely is! Ultimately, we came away with a white, crisp, calm space that suits us both with a slight edge through hardware and details. This bathroom is exactly what I hoped for and more. The Salt design team completely saw my vision and surpassed my expectations!”