It was her time spent in Tuscany that made Elena Santini fall in love with the romance of Carrara marble. She was in awe of the grand spaces clad in glistening white stone. Years later, far from Florence, in Toronto’s Moccasin Trail area, she was able to create her personal Carrara sanctuary. Santini’s palatial bathroom is the most cherished space in the five-bedroom home she shares with her husband and their toddler. “The main inspiration was having a place where parents can relax after the kids go to sleep – it’s like a little spa,” says Santini. “I think a bathroom needs to be incredibly romantic; there has to be a touch of that.”
Selling the idea of a home spa to her husband Max Marinos wasn’t hard as the couple shares the same ethos on design. Santini, who owns and operates E14 Architecture + Design, met Marinos when he hired her to design a property for his company, Maximum Developments. “We do this together. It’s not just me,” she says.
Clad in white Carrara marble from Antica Tile & Stone, the 250-square-foot bathroom acts like a lens to the picture-perfect tree-filled surroundings, with Santini’s free-standing Vida tub as its focal point. “I think [the tub] is the main feature of a washroom and it has to be in front of the window,” she says. “When you sit in here, all you see is up. It feels like you’re in a treehouse.” Though, now that she’s a busy working mother, a leisurely bath has taken a back seat to a quick shower.
The abundance of space allows the husband-and-wife team to keep defined his-and-hers spaces separate thanks to two luxurious vanities. However, that doesn’t mean the couple can’t share the space in harmony. Santini believes in always providing a seating feature as a lounging option. “For example, if Max wants to read a book while I take a bath,” she says. It’s all part of the designer’s romantic vision for this personal oasis. Instead of standard flood lights, Santini opted for high-glam lighting fixtures from Union Lighting and Furnishings. “I love having a little bit of a Swarovski crystal, something that will reflect the light – every little sparkle will add to it.”
The glamour is intensified with a cluster of candle lanterns that Santini picked up at Homesense, her favourite store for home accessories. “I love going there; I can spend hours,” she says. The three silver vanity mirrors were also bargains found at Homesense. For a design-loving couple, shopping for home goods is never a chore. “We go out together. It’s our date. We’ll go furniture shopping,” Santini says. “Or we’ll have dinner and geek out over a new tile catalogue.”