Swirls of Artistry Aglow in Powder Room
Luminous. Innovative. Extraordinary Craftsmanship. Stephanie Marsh Fillbrant transformed a narrow, classic San Francisco powder room into an airy and artful space.
At this year’s San Francisco Decorator Showcase, Marsh and Clark’s elegant powder room wowed visitors. “This room embodies the Marsh and Clark philosophy of uniting traditional craftsmanship and innovative design,” said designer and principal Fillbrandt.
“I wanted to explore how this type of space could be re-made to feel as expansive and beautiful as possible. To address this challenge, I focused on the subtle repetition of shapes and texture,” said Fillbrandt.
Fillbrandt anchored the design with an exquisite hand-cut marble and limestone mosaic that unfurls up the subtly reflective, pale-blue Venetian plaster walls.
“I started with the floor design,” said Fillbrandt. “I knew I wanted the mosaic to curve up onto the base board then creep up the wall to create visual interest in the room—to lead the eye upwards to the window then ceiling, in order to really experience the room’s height.”
This was no simple undertaking by mosaicist Pippa Murray.
Said Fillbrandt, “It was challenging. We had to build curved ramps for the stone to bypass the right angle of the corner then laid the mosaic tile on top of it. Setting it into the wall required cement board be set behind the drywall, then the drywall was cut out in the area where we put the stone ribbons.”
“The arabesque floor and window are similar in composition. In both cases to keep the look modern we used larger pieces and non-traditional shapes and colors.”
Art-glass craftsman John Forbes used hand-blown glass to create a stunning portrait window, with curves that echo the floor’s mosaic. The artisans “did a wonderful job bringing my sketches and ideas to life,” said Fillbrandt.
In a modern contrast to the more traditional elements, Fillbrandt included a cantilevered vanity in the design. Master woodworker Rob Taboada created the vanity from FSC-certified, sustainably-harvested machiche hardwood.
The room is both striking and calming. I kept wanting to step back into it. This is one of those spaces that needs no additional art—the room itself is the art.
Fillbrandt and her team, including designer Christiana Ferroggiaro, brought the design to life under the tight time constraints of a Showcase. “We had eight short weeks to design, create and install everything. And, because every element, from the Venetian plaster walls to the cantilevered vanity, was custom made, there was very little room for error.”
Oh and by the way, during this time Fillbrandt gave birth to her second son. That’s her at the Showcase, five weeks post-birth.
What do you think of this Powder Room?