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Bathing in Light

Was: Dilapidated room in a Prospect Heights brownstone.
Is: Master bathroom with a working fireplace.

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Is it a minimalist study that happens to include a large tub? Or a master bathroom with a little extra space to work? How about both? As architect Elizabeth Roberts was laying out plans to gut-renovate a late-nineteenth-century brownstone in Prospect Heights, she chose to open up the second floor to accommodate multiple functions. It included a space for bathing (ideally by the light of the flickering fireplace) and a nook next to the windows for working. Elsewhere in the home bought three years ago by the Martin family, Roberts restored original architectural details like the wood paneling, stair rails, and pantry. But here she went with a distinctly modern touch, replacing the old oak floors with bamboo, which responds well to dyeing. She also removed the original wood mantel in favor of a marble one found at Olde Good Things, in Scranton, Pennsylvania, that looks as if it’s always been there.



Bathroom, before   

• The bathtub was designed by Norman Foster for Hoesch. The toilet and sink are located around the corner in a separate room behind the bathtub wall.

• The room can be lit in three ways: by natural light from the windows, firelight from the hearth, or via the monorail track lighting suspended from the ceiling.

• Most of the artwork, including the owl and bell-jar sculptures above the fireplace, are by the owner, an artist and textile designer. The desk combines a glass top with drafting-table legs from City Foundry in Boerum Hill.


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