Online Exclusive: What the Pros Know

Ever wonder what makes a bath a winner? This past April, we gathered four design experts to judge over 60 entries for AH&L's annual Bath of the Year competition. Here, we’re sharing their thoughts on why these three winning baths took top honors.

“I thought this bathroom was just perfect. It was incredibly timeless and elegant—without being stuffy. I love how every fixture and finish looks relevant today, but would have had also been appropriate at the time the house was built.” –Rodolfo Castro (Castro Design Group, LLC)

“While providing all modern conveniences, the marble color, patterns and placement are reminiscent of an earlier time. This outstanding design shows a nice respect for the home’s original classical architectural bones.” -Patricia McLean (Alled ASID)

“This bath was all about the details. Everything in it says “perfection.” From the inset doors on the cabinets to the tile, lighting, moldings and trim work throughout, everything is in keeping with the spirit of the original home. I’m sure Neel Reid would approve.” –Mark Keiser (CKD, CBD)

“This bathroom exemplfies subtle use of white textures and patterns and interplay of light.  The trim moldings and wainscote panels above the door are a nice accent to the the inset cabinetry.” –Karen Johnston (CKD, CBD)

“The use of marble moldings and patterns in the shower was well designed. Also, the skylights above the tub gave it an ethereal effect. Throughout, the bath there are multiple layers and points of interest yet never seems overdone. It’s calm and relaxing—a true oasis.” –Patricia McLean

“What I most like about this bathroom is the tub alcove. I thought the way the tub was framed and the way it sat under a skylight was just dreamy. I could imagine myself spending days there!” –Rodolfo Castro

“The fabric treatment adds vertical dimension to the room. I love the way the designer made the window a focal point in the shower. The light fixture is a nice choice; it’s an understated focal point while still coordinating with the rest of the bath.” –Karen Johnston

“Everything about this design exudes class and sophistication. The colors, textures, lighting are not only great looking, but extremely functional as well.” –Mark Keiser

“The ceiling is usually one of the last surfaces given attention to in a bathroom, but that’s definitely not the case here. It has become the focal point/ The glossy surface provides a background to show off the contemporary frosted light fixture.” –Karen Johnston

“This bath is subtle yet beautiful. The bold ceiling with the modern light fixture adds dimension to the room. This bath is bright, modern and soothing, a combination anyone would want in a spa-like retreat.” –Mark Keiser

“I was fascinated by the elegant playfulness of this space. I thought the detail of the tiled ceiling along with the cloud shaped light fixture was brilliant. Even though this was a fun space, it still held itself back enough to be incredibly sophisticated…a very hard balance to achieve that’s executed beautifully in this bathroom.” –Rodolfo Castro

The mosaic ceiling added a nice texture to the fifth wall. The light fixtures echo the waves created by the grommets in the drapery. The patterns and textures add interest but still leave a congruent whole.” –Patricia McLean

Read more about this year’s winning baths here.