cut crystal chandelier. Soaring arches supported by seven foot Romanesque
columns. Full-size marble slab floors. Antique period furniture.
Fine linen drapes for an oversized picture window. Area rugs scattered
about. Sounds nice in your formal Living Room but how about in your
When you think
of a Master Bathroom most people would envision
a room featuring a vanity with his & her sinks, a glass enclosed
shower/steam stall and a whirlpool tub. That’s pretty ordinary
for most homes in Westchester and Fairfield Counties. When Ralph
& Mary Signorelli think of a Master Bathroom, it’s
safe to say that they share a vision that’s extraordinary.
As owners of
Millennium Stone in Port Chester, NY, a stone fabrication
shop founded in 2000, they felt that doing a basic bath design would
not do justice to their newly remodeled home. The challenge was
to create a fully functional bathroom that would show off their
taste for fine Italian Marble as well as the craftsmanship and eye
for detail that Mr. Signorelli had acquired from 20 years of working
with natural stone. The final result would be a showcase of Millennium
Stone’s expertise and to demonstrate to their clients the
possibilities that exist when one goes beyond conventional thinking.
The first step
was to decide where to locate the bath in the new master suite.
Plans had been drawn up but many changes were to occur as the project
progressed. The flexibility between home owner and contractor to
make changes as needed proved invaluable. The current location of
the bath was too small so it was decided to turn part of the old
bedroom space into the new bath with additional space coming from
moving out the exterior wall and adding a dormer to the roof. This
allowed for a large picture window and for arches over the tub area.
A radiant heat system was installed to warm the expansive amount
of marble floor that would be laid down. Total area would be approximately
384 square feet.
The large tub
platform was initially designed as a one level deck located under
the newly installed picture window. A vanity with twin sinks and
an upper cabinet was located next to a glass enclosed shower stall
with a steam system. With this final layout agreed upon, the next
step was selecting the marble. Forget about using tile. The Signorellis
had their eyes on a particularly hard to find marble from Italy
known as Paonazzetto. They wanted to show everyone the beauty of
using full marble slabs for floors, walls, moldings and trim.
months of viewing marble via the internet from quarries in Italy,
Ralph and Mary finally found a Paonazzetto that had the look and
feel for what they wanted to accomplish. Most stone installers can
put down _” thick marble slabs on a floor or a wall. That’s
the easy part. The real challenge is to “book match”
the slabs. Book matching involves bringing slabs together to create
the illusion that each edge of the stone is against a mirror. Not
all marble can be book matched but the Paonazzetto was perfect for
the job. In all, it was determined that 17 slabs would be needed
to complete the project.
Once the material
arrived at Millennium Stone the process of matching
slabs soon began. Since the floor would be installed in 9 separate
panels, each slab was selected to match its “neighbor”
as closely as possible. The same technique also applied to the walls
in the shower stall and the deck for the Jacuzzi. Base moldings,
shower jambs, shower seat, shower ceiling and floor, and other assorted
pieces were cut from the remaining slabs. The installation began
in September 2006 and was finished two weeks later.
When you first
walk into Ralph and Mary’s bathroom the first
thing that strikes you is the scale of the room. Very few baths
give you a sense that you’re standing in a space that most
of us would associate with another room in the house. The opulence
is a bit overwhelming at first until your mind starts to become
comfortable with the warmth of the wood paneling, the creamy colored
walls and the streaming sunlight penetrating through the oversized
window. And then your eyes a drawn to the marble. The perfectly
matched floor fools you into thinking that you are looking at one
huge slab of stone. It’s almost as if a painter had been commissioned
to create an immense work of art on the floor and on the walls.
Slowly you start to notice the detail that went in to making the
raised marble panels in the shower, the marble base moldings, the
intricate back splash and cubby spaces integrated into the vanity
top. And then - The chandelier. Ralph and Mary may joke about how
it reflects their Italian heritage and all but the fact is they
had a vision and they went for it. Extraordinary.