Best of Design 2023: There’s Nothing Traditional About This New Bathroom
In a Hill District home filled with unexpected design choices, this “intimately independent” bathroom featuring a two-way ethanol fireplace is still a standout.
In a traditional home, a bathroom built for two would sport side-by-side vanities on one wall, a tub and shower on the other.
But there is nothing traditional about the custom home architect Justin Cipriani built for lawyer Jacques Moye on Cliff Street in the Hill District. Though the house certainly isn’t short on unique and unexpected design moments — the deep blue cabinets in the kitchen, the blood-red damask wallpaper in the speakeasy, the 60 feet of cantilevered glass that opens the house like a diorama — the bathroom proved to be a standout.
Judges crowned it Best New Bathroom in this year’s Best of Design competition. Judges Stephanie Schill, of Cleveland-based Schill Architecture, and Katie Savakis, a project designer at Vocon’s Cleveland office, both admired the bathroom’s two-way, ethanol fireplace — which they say adds an earthy, organic element to the otherwise contemporary primary suite.
“It’s like nothing I’ve designed before,” adds Cipriani.
Moye had a specific vision for a bathroom built for two with little visual separation. It felt like something of a design riddle, but Cipriani, who owns Pittsburgh-based Cipriani Studios, was up to the challenge.
He responded with a two-sided space that has separate entrances, sinks, dressing areas and even flooring but is linked in the center by a stunning, glass-enclosed wet room that allows its users to see clearly to the other side.
Moye calls the effect “intimately independent,” and it’s an apt description.
The wet room’s oversized black tub is large enough for two. The shower has two glass doors that open to a sunken pebbled floor and three shower heads — including a waterfall. When that one is on, and natural light is flowing through the transom windows, Moye says he feels like he’s “bathing in the Garden of Eden.”
The space’s most inspired element though is a two-way fireplace, framed by ledgestone cut stone veneer, that connects the bathroom to the bedroom and is situated at just the right height for the person luxuriating in the shower and the person lounging on the bed to lock eyes.
“I love what that implies about the couple who lives there,” Cipriani says. “It’s endearing what it says about being a couple in this house.”
Architectural Design: Cipriani Studios
Interior Design: Cipriani Studios/ Owner/ General Contractor
General Contractor: Shape Development Group
Doors and Hardware: 84 Lumber
Framing: Consolidated House (A&O Builders)
Tile Installer: Creese Management
HVAC: D&M Mechanical
Plumbing: Drummond Brothers Plumbing
Shower Door and Bathroom Mirrors: Rex Glass + Mirror Co.
Exterior Glass Railing: Emerald Art Glass
Plumbing Fixtures: Ferguson Enterprises
Asphalt: Forever Paving. Stonework: Gossard Masonry
Railings: Groll Ornamental Iron Works
Drywall and Insulation: J.G. Drywall Co., Inc.
Excavation: Jeff Helbig Construction
Interior Painting: Kevin Kemmler Painting
Siding: Lezzer Lumber Company
Fireplaces: MAD Design USA
Retaining Wall: Precast Steps
Landscaping, Concrete, and Footers: Orban Contracting & Landscaping
Cabinets and Countertops: Sims-Lohman
Waterproofing: T-n-D of Pittsburgh
Tile Supplier: The Tile Shop
Sauna Supplier: Warm Timber Saunas
Electric: Werner Electrical Services
Roofing: William T. Robshaw Contractor