From the August/September 2021 Issue  

Shimmer and Shine

Writer Meg Fox  |  Photographer Raquel Langworthy  |  Designer Laurie DiGiacomo  |  Location Ho-Ho-Kus, NJ

Good things really do come in small packages

A mix of high-impact silver and gold finishes plays up the powder room’s jewelry-box vision. “Having a sconce on each side of the mirror is functional and much more flattering than overhead lighting,” designer Laurie DiGiacomo says. The light they cast also highlights the shimmering threads in the wallpaper.

Sara and Chris Clasen, parents of three children, wanted a stylish and elevated aesthetic in all areas of their Ho-Ho-Kus, New Jersey, home, and they wanted it to stand the test of time, notes interior designer Laurie DiGiacomo, who collaborated with the couple on a gut renovation of their expanded ranch. In the powder room, however, “they really wanted to have fun and go a bit more dramatic,” says the designer, principal of Laurie DiGiacomo Interiors in Ho-Ho-Kus. “Powder rooms are typically a space where guests spend a short time, so I’ve always felt they should be dramatic and incorporate high-impact elements.” The Clasens were totally on board.

A dark jewelry box — with a sparkly ring inside — served as inspiration. “I couldn’t get this image out of my mind, so I went with it!” DiGiacomo says. “It was important for this room to feel special and different from the rest of the house.” It should have the “ultimate sensory experience” with pattern, texture and that touch of sparkle.

Walls are clad in understated but impactful grass-cloth wallpaper with shimmering silver threads that catch and reflect light in the most beautiful way, DiGiacomo says. The high-gloss lacquered vanity with its goldleaf base and ring-like pulls is the perfect juxtaposition to the textured wallpaper, she adds.

“I spent a lot of time thinking about the area right outside of the powder room,” designer Laurie DiGiacomo says, because it establishes a visual connection between spaces. “I had this image of a dark ring box — hence the dark door — and the most beautiful sparkly jewel inside.”

The entrance to the powder room builds anticipation for what’s to come. “I wanted to give guests hints that something special was on the other side of that door,” DiGiacomo says. She painted the door and trimwork in a rich charcoal gray. Oversized artwork, which reflects tones used throughout the house, serves as a visual transition from the entryway into the powder room.

A repetition of color, shape and form also establishes a sense of rhythm and flow between spaces. “The Sputnik-style light fixture right outside the powder room ties into the sunburst-style mirror we hung over the vanity,” DiGiacomo says. Sconces over the vanity echo the shape of the geometric tiled floor, which is accented by a charcoal border that blends in with the vibrant paint scheme.