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A 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 Master Bath?

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.

After several 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.