Babara Sallick’s The Perfect Bath

A few weeks ago I was sent a copy of Barbara Sallick’s new book The Perfect Bath published by Rizzoli, 2016. It’s a truly beautiful book.

Barbara, along with her husband Robert, founded Waterworks, the luxury bath company in 1978 – so, they know a thing or two about what makes for a beautiful bathroom.  Barbara was in Boston this week and gave a seminar about the history of the bathroom and what she thinks makes for The Perfect Bath.

Design bathroom not by looking at other bathrooms but other spaces, art, travels, etc.
This is always a good idea, though an ironic comment for someone who has published a book about bathroom design. Haha. I think the important thing is that a broad scope of inspiration is always a really valuable tool. But taking inspiration from beautiful bathrooms designed by really top notch professionals is also a valuable exercise.

Taking images of things that inspire. Keep your smart phone handy and start taking images of things you find inspiring – a color, flower or pattern. You never know when it will come in handy.

The internet can give lots of ideas but professionals are still needed. This practically elicited a standing ovation from the roomful of designers. Bathrooms (and kitchens) are the hardest spaces to design in the home. No matter how big or how small, they are complex and expensive. Designers, architects and showroom/sales consultants are all important allies when it comes to creating a space that is functional as well as beautiful.  Given the expense that goes into any bathroom space, it really makes no sense not to bring in professionals to the project. Note – asking random questions on Houzz doesn’t count. No matter how experienced the respondents are, they haven’t seen your space, they haven’t met you personally – they don’t really have all the information needed to answer most any question that might come up.

When asked what Barbara believes makes for the most successful bathroom designs, she responded: Simplicity of materials. A mix of textures. Especially in small spaces. Save something for the next space. This last point is so important – don’t dump in every trend or idea you see that you like. Individually they all might be beautiful and interesting choices, but together you can end up with a big old mess.

It was clear that Barbara likes a neat bathroom. If stuff is everywhere, no matter how pretty, it won’t be because of the stuff. This is where careful planning comes into play. Is there a spot for towels? Where will you put your shampoo and loofah? A beautiful glass enclosed steam shower may be spectacular to look at – but where is the towel when it’s time to step out? A gorgeous marble counter top may be swoon worthy, but not if it’s cluttered with products and curling irons. Plan for storage and dealing with towels early in the process. Always make sure there is space for hooks.

Barbara also showed us some of her favorite images from the book.

This space is fairly small, but boy does it pack a huge punch. And yet, there is still a simplicity of materials that Barbara mentioned is so important. There is simple white tile, the small deep red tiles that punctuate the while tile walls but also creates the brick-like feeling on the floor, a beautiful piece of furniture for the vanity, a wonderful chandelier and beautiful cherry blossoms all reflected in the mirrored walls. It’s both calm and exciting.

Design by David Scott Interiors

How beautiful is the mirrored niche? I love how it mimics the window and provides space for display and adds sparkles and light.

Design by Beth Webb.


A pretty sweet bathing spot. Note the easy to reach towel storage. Barbara said that the photographer too 3-1/2 hours to get this shot with the seagull in the window. I joked that the photographer sent someone out with a shot gun to get the birds moving.

Burridge & Associates Architects

A spectacular small space design. Powder rooms are the perfect spot to bring the wow. These walls are covered in book end pages. While these materials aren’t exactly “simple” there is really only a few different elements – brass, the wild pattern on the walls, white trim and the blue door and a dark floor.

Mitchell Design Studio

THE PERFECT BATH By Barbara Sallick

Rizzoli New York Hardcover with jacket / 9” x 11” / 256 pages / 150 color photographs

ISBN: 978-0-8478-4893-5 PRICE: $55.00 US / $75.00 CAN. / £35.00 UK

© The Perfect Bath by Barbara Sallick, Rizzoli New York, 2016. Select press images are available and are to be credited on a case-by-case basis, but no images may be used, in print or electronically, without written consent from the publisher.


By the way – I have a fun giveaway coming next week, so stay tuned!

xoxo Linda

1 thought on “Babara Sallick’s The Perfect Bath”

  1. Beautiful! I’m sending the make up vanity/sink combo photo to my daughter. We’re saving inspiration when she and her boyfriend buy a new Victorian. I love your new cover photo on your home page, lots of pretty bling 🙂


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