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Putting the “Rest” in Restroom


Installation photos of a custom master bath suite, featuring custom vanity with antique carved panels, custom bathroom cabinetry with inlaid carved antique material and a custom bathtub facia9885-24

As promised, I have new installation photos!  Last week I went way up into the hills of Santa Fe to shoot a recently finished master bath suite featuring La Puerta Originals cabinetry and accessories.   It was a beautiful, blue sky day, the birds were singing, the air smelled warmly of pine, and oh my, the bathroom was more beautiful than I had imagined.  The client said she was aiming for a very peaceful, serene room and she definitely succeeded!


The walls of the bathroom are done in a beautiful muted sage diamond plaster, the tones of which shift with the light.  The floors are stone in soft tan and yellow hues, the ceiling a textured tan with recessed lighting.

Not being a professional photographer, with lighting equipment, etc., the colors in the photographs are not consistent – reflections from the windows, above lighting and the walls casting them variously in shades of green, yellow and even red.  I am sure that at some point we will get Eric (Swanson) up to do official photographs, but there are a number of other projects going on at the house, so we will wait until they are done and we can photograph all in one day.

9885-02, 03 Surrounds

The cabinetry began with the selection of these two antique carved surrounds.  The floral star panels at the very top of the surround were incorporated into some of the cabinet doors and an end panel.

9885-02, 03 Surround stars

At first glance, the panels are the same, but the center panel has a single floral element at the center, and the two panels flanking it have a double floral image carved at the center.  By turning the center star 90 degrees, we can match the panel used on the right hand side of the vanity under the window.

9885-02 Panel Match

9885-02 Panel MatchAnd again, if we turn one of the outer panels 90 degrees, we can match the panel used on the end panel of the vanity across from the window.

9885-02 Panel Match S29885-03 Panel Match S2

The intricately carved framing material of the surround was incorporated as accents in the cabinet legs, edging and mirror frames.

9885-02 Surround Side

A good example can be seen in the dressing table.  The carving was very consistent, so I actually matched the piece used based on the grain in the un-carved portion.  Rotating the surround side 90 degrees, we can match it to the piece used to create the front of the drawer.

9885-02 Panel Match

9885-02 Drawer for Match

9885-02 Dressing Table

9885-02 Dressing Table

I tracked the progress of the cabinets from the wood shop, through to the finish shop.  This is the smaller vanity, across from the windows, shown in the second photo from the top.

9885-03 Vanity in ProgressBelow, we have the vanity in the finish shop, while the drawer fronts were being worked on and then after the drawer fronts were added.  In the top photo you can see the sliders for the self-closing drawers there, and in the lower photo you can see the drawer inserts.  That is another of the great things about LPO pieces.  I love the look of antiques, but sometimes the functionality can be a problem – maybe a cabinet squeaks, or you have to make a couple of tried to closes a drawer…  Sometimes it’s charming, but sometimes it’s just irritating.  LPO can create a piece, incorporating antique material, or not, that looks like an antique, but it has the functionality of a modern piece of furniture.  It’s a nice surprise to open the drawer of what looks like an antique, to find it glides out smoothly, has the fabulous, customizable maple drawer inserts, and silently glides shut on its own.  Nice!

9885-03 Vanity in Progress

9885-03 Cabinet w Drawers

Below is the vanity mirror in the finish shop.

9885-02 Mirror Finish Prog

9885-02 Mirror Progress Detail

And then we have it completed with the mirror above it.  I laughed when I opened this photo.  I could see from the thumbnail that Edgar was in the picture, along with Antonio in the reflection, but when I opened it, there were all these other shop guys in the photo, going all the way to the back! Arturo even seems to have a little wanksta (wanna be gangster) action going there.  As I often say, I just never know what I am going to find when I open the photos!

9885-03 Vanity Completed

9885-03 Mirror Install9885-02 Vanity Install

Below we have the large vanity.

9885-02 Cab MB2

The two pieces below are the left and right side of the cabinet above, with the free hanging door in the first photo fitting over the open cabinet in the second photo.

9885-MB2 Left9885-02 Caba MB3 RightThis is why getting installation photos, particularly of cabinetry, is so great for us.  Looking at the photos of the items as they come out of the shop, you just don’t get the full impact and beauty of the piece.  With built-in cabinetry some pieces fit against a wall, or are juxtaposed against or joining with another piece.  Those parts are painted black, but even when finished, in the photographs they look somewhat unfinished.  There is no context, it looks odd.  To see it put in place with the trim, countertops, sinks, etc., really gives a much better appreciation of the cabinetry.

This is a photo in the wood shop of the whole wall of cabinets, from the linen cabinet, on down to the dressing table.  The mirrors are swapped out, the shorter one belongs on the right, and the second, longer mirror, should be over the dressing table.

9885-02 Cabs in Progress 19885-02 Cabs in Progress 3Here, in the finish shop, the mirrors are placed correctly.

9885-02 Cabinets Done9885-02 Window Wall Cabinets9885-02 Vanity9885-02 Cabinets Installed

The upper cabinet on the right was outfitted with artisan bubble glass, which works really well along this wall.  As you can see, we have the windows, flanked by two mirrors, and then the cabinet with the glass doors, all keeping the feeling of the openness with the windows.

9885-02 Upper Cab in Progress

9885-02 Upper Cabinet

9885-02 Upper Cab Install

9885-02 Mirrors and Windows

The two mirrors are of differing heights.

9885-02 Mirrors

When installed, they align at their tops and are equidistant above their respective counters, with the dressing table being lower and its mirror above taller to compensate.

9885-02 Dressing Table Mirror9885-02 Vanity w Mirror

As I have said before, it is this attention to detail and the ability to customize to the Nth detail that make La Puerta Originals’ projects so incredibly special.  And then, of course, there are also the rather whimsical touches, such as this built-in toilet paper storage cabinet.  Whimsical, yet practical!

9885-23 TP Cabinet

9885-23 TP Cabinet 19885-23 TP Cabinet 2This is the cabinet below the cabinet with bubble glass in the doors. Somehow the two antique carved panels incorporated the cabinet escaped the requisite photography, but we can see them clearly in this photo, as well as the carving done to extend the panel.

9885-02 Cab MB4 Raw

The extension carving in both doors is done in a style similar to the antique panel, but different enough to set the original apart, even after the finish has been applied.

9885-02 Cab MB4 Finished

9885-02 Lower Cabinet 1

9885-02 Lower Cabinet 2

9885-02 Upper & Lower Cabinets

The hardware for the cabinets is a beautiful bright, brushed nickel finish.  I find it so pretty – like jewelry for your cabinets.

9885-02 Vanity Hdw Pull

9885-03 Vanity Knob 1

9885-03 Vanity Knob 2As it ages, the finish will darken ever so slightly, but will remain this beautiful, bright silver.

9885-24 Tub Facia

The tub facia has three sets of horizontal panels that mimic the shelving in the wall next to it.   Those are dividing with scoring and in the finishing process the edges are darkened, giving the look of vertical panels.  The corners are accented with small iron screws.

9885-24 Tub Facia Detail 9885-24 Tub Facia 2

Though there are no LPO elements in the photo, I thought I would show you the beautifully tiled, open shower that is kitty corner from the bathtub.  In this room the ceiling is also done in the diamond plaster, and in this photo you get just a hint of how beautiful it is.  It is definitely a big contributor to the serenity of the rooms.


And then we finish with the large mirror across from the tub.  I don’t have any in progress photos of this piece because it was done a good number of years ago for the client when the house was first built.  But it fits right into the newly constructed space.

50383-na Mirror 1It really brightens the room with reflections of the windows and seems to bring the trees in from the outside.

50383-na Mirror 2

The mirrors used throughout the bath suite have a very interesting effect.  Of course they work well to bring the light in from outside, but there is so much that is being reflected from so many different sources and angles.  You see doors and windows and trees and sky, as well as other mirrors and all that is reflected in them as well.  And the most interesting thing is that don’t think I ever once noticed myself in the mirrors.  It was all about seeing the trees, the sky and the light.

That’s all for now.  I am pondering the possibilities for my next entry even as I finish up here.  I haven’t decided what it’s going to be about yet, but please check back soon!

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