Decor Score: Get fixed on fixtures
Apr 06,2007 00:00 by Rose Bennett Gilbert

Q: What to do with our long narrow bathroom that serves two bedrooms upstairs, including the guest room? We want it to be a bit dressier than just a hall bath. We'd rather not switch out the fixtures, but would if it makes a big difference.

A: It will if you choose "statement" plumbing, out-of-the-ordinary fixtures that will become a focal point to compensate for the bath's small size and awkward proportions.

Think sculpture that's also practical, and you might come up with something as drop-dead as the "Moxie" lavatory in the pure-glam bath we show here. Bright orange over cast iron, the sculptural sink reaches out like a Salvador Dali dream, dripping into side curtains of etched stainless steel tiles set with glass beads. (Such jewelry doesn't come cheap at $3,184, and more. If you still want a closer look, go to www.kohler.com.)

FIXATED - One way to compensate for the bath's small size and awkward proportions is to employ extravagant fixtures. This bright orange sculptural sink was done by interior designer Jamie Drake, who is known for his exuberant use of color. CNS Photo courtesy of Jamie Drake.

The interior designer, Jamie Drake, is known for his exuberant ways with color. So it fits that he chose the leave in orange, then repeated the orange in ever-expanding "floating" circles through the rest of the bath. Drake was inspired, he says, by "the bubbles in a crystal flute of fine Champagne."

The custom-made wall panels feature abalone shells set in lacquer. The marble floor, also a custom design, has mosaic circles inspired by one of Drakes own rug designs. The chair, by the way, is also a Drake design. It sits in the niche of a divider screen made of lacquered wood with metal mesh inserts.

The screen is worth a second look. It not only provides a bit of privacy in the WC area, but it serves to break the flow of floor space and "square up" the long, narrow space.

Designer to such luminaries as New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Drake's other work is also well worth a second look at www.drakedesignassociates.com.

CAN THE DONALD TRUMP THE DESIGN INDUSTRY, TOO?

More than one-third of America's furniture buyers seem to think so. According to a survey by the AHFA (American Home Furnishings Alliance), 39 percent of us believe that when a celebrity lends his or her name to a product, it insures better quality, raises confidence levels, and helps express our own sense of style.

No surprise then that the home furnishing industry has been on the celebrity bandwagon for the past decade or so, pulling in notables - sometimes from far left field - to "design" new collections of furniture. We've had golf stars (Arnold Palmer), fashion stars (Oscar de la Renta), TV personalities ("Charlie's Angel" Jaclyn Smith), and an amazing return of the long-dead and recently deceased, including Elvis, Ernest Hemingway, and Humphrey Bogart, all lending their names to new lines of furniture.

Still, you have to hand it to Lexington Home Brands for harnessing the design talents of Donald Trump for the new "Trump Home" collection debuted at the recent furniture market in High Point, N.C. Inspired, they say, by The Donald's entrepreneurship in real estate and television, the collection interprets two specific aspects of his high-profile lifestyle. Grand and opulent, "Westchester" is about his mansions and historic properties. "Central Park" is modern in styling to reflect his metropolitan New York roots.

The Donald is delighted with his artistry. "I live pretty high, and I want both of these lines for my own homes," he told an interviewer from the trade journal Furniture/Today.

Included are furnishings for the bedroom and dining room, plus upholstery, home entertainment pieces, occasional furnishing, and - thought you'd never ask - for the home office, too. And, no, these desks don't come with wannabe assistants quailing on the other side.

Rose Bennett Gilbert is the co-author of "Hampton Style" and associate editor of Country Decorating Ideas.

© Copley News Service