How embarrassing to notice that I’ve taken almost a month between posts. Things really do move in a geological time frame here at the Stone House. I didn’t go away for the holidays, and the only event of note was the Boxing Day open house I put on for friends and neighbors. I ordered in two sides of American smoked salmon from Mackenzie, which were fantastic – I think I liked the gravlax style even better than the plain – roasted a couple of grass-fed beef tenderloins for sandwiches, put out various cookies and cheeses and so forth. I don’t eat beef, but my little dog certainly does, and I’m hoping the fact they were grass-fed means that the cattle had a nicer, more natural life before they became, um, tenderloins. Literally my closest neighbors here are cows.
This berry trifle recipe was a big success – some of the comments say to make it with a pint of whipping cream rather than a quart, but I say, go for the full quart. I used frozen berries, and they worked beautifully: Berry Trifle by Tyler Florence.
This punch was very popular too: Pomegranate-Champagne Punch by Martha Stewart. I made it with Freixenet – I think you would have to be crazy to put real Champagne into a punch, though of course Martha’s minions claim they did. It was lovely and zingy and indeterminately fruity, and reminded me of the church basement punch of my childhood – but in a very good way.
Anyway, back to the bathroom!
The decision to use the Philippe Starck bathtub initially led me to plan for the whole bathroom to be very Euro and modern. I was thinking of using the IKEA Höllviken sink, which I still think is great:
This would of course go with a modern, single-hole, lever-handle faucet. I especially like the Kohler Purist with the attractive little curve to the handle (there is also the same faucet with a straight handle):
The sink would require a new vanity, which would probably be dark wood… I was having thoughts about glass tiles, until I found out how much they cost… Something was holding me back, and I think it was that, although this bathroom would have been neat, fashionable, and a huge improvement, it would have been a little banal. It also would have been a departure from the essentially traditional style of the house – such a departure, I think, can be OK in a bathroom, but is something to think about carefully.
So there was something of an impasse before I found “the” sink. I am an eBay queen; I live in a rural situation and do a lot of shopping on line. I can’t remember what search turned this thing up, because it wasn’t what I’d been looking for, but as soon as I saw its photo, I knew that I had to have it, and that all plans would be rearranged to accommodate it.
I present to you the Kohler Artist Editions Imperial Blue™ design on Vintage® self-rimming lavatory, which, as Kohler puts it so well, “offers a striking focal point portraying the traditional strength and wisdom found in the Ming Dynasty porcelain vase that served as its inspiration.” How could I resist a Ming dragon in my bathroom sink?
The list price for this sink is just shocking: strictly for the One Percent. The price I paid on eBay was much better, though still a jump up from IKEA. But what price total, killing glamor?
The dragon sink seemed to call for a more traditional style of faucet. Of course, I wanted something similarly luxe and unusual that could stand up to the fabulosity of the sink. After much research, I decided I liked this faucet sold by Rohl, in the polished nickel finish:
It is from their Cisal line, which is manufactured in Italy. The deciding moment in favor of this faucet came when I closely inspected this photo on Flickr, taken by a fellow Hotel Eden bathroom enthusiast… what style of faucet do you see there, next to the sink? (Note also the wall phone installed next to the toilet, no doubt for answering those super-urgent film production questions.)
Through diligent Googling, I was able to find the faucet at around half price.
So now I have a bathroom sink whose retail price is a measurable percentage of what I paid for my entire house. Incidentally, happy Year of the Dragon!