Tiled Baths Glisten in Waterfront Showhouse

Portsmouth, RI—
The tranquil simplicity of the sand and the sea were the inspiration for the designs of two baths in a showhouse nestled at the water’s edge in Portsmouth, RI. While the newly constructed summer home had the bare bones of the rooms in place, it was up to designer Gaye Weatherly, owner of Weatherly Tile & Stone, Inc., located here, to bring the baths to life.

“When designing the two baths, I tried to keep with the fact that the house was on the water,” Weatherly says of her inspiration for the rooms. “I wanted to keep it very watery and soothing.”


The “Sand & Sea” master bath was designed to reflect a beach retreat. A mixture of porcelain tile, marble and iridescent glass tile in watery blues and sandy beiges were used throughout the room to reflect its theme.

Though the placement of the plumbing was predetermined, and the light fixtures were not her choice in both baths, Weatherly was responsible for all of the other elements that went into the overall designs. For the master bath she began with an elegant image.

Walking into the approximately 20'x9' room, straight ahead is the undermount Kohler whirlpool tub in white flanked by a window in back and one on the side. It’s surrounded by a 1-1/4" stone slab that features shades of beige, cream and white.

Rather than run tile behind the tub, Weatherly incorporated a hand-made backsplash using the 1-1/4" material. “We finished the top with a double waterfall ogee edge that seems to blend into the wall,” she explains.

To the right of the tub is a double vanity that features a painted wood finish in espresso brown with a bronze overlay – which matches the tub’s front panel. The countertop is beige marble, backed by “a very fancy ogee edged backsplash,” reports Weatherly. White undermount sinks from Kohler are finished with polished chrome faucets from Waterworks. Above the vanity are two elongated mirrors that are edged to match the vanity.

The real scene stealer in this bath, however, is the walk-in shower, which is situated next to the vanity. Italian 12"x18" tiles in pale beiges and creams are featured in an offset pattern on the floor, and are carried up to encase the shower.

Inside the shower, a wall in hand-made Sakonnet Blue iridescent 1"x1" mosaic glass tile provides depth and movement. That is then framed by a hand-made, cast-glass, rope-border 3"x6" tile in the pewter-like Sakonnet Storm. Matching bull’s eye accent tiles are placed on the wall of iridescent glass tile.

Surrounding the Sakonnet Blue wall are 6"x12" tiles in a sandy hues. “We ran [them] right across the ceiling of the steam shower and down the other side of the shower,” comments Weatherly.

A free-floating bench on a pedestal, and 2"x2" shower floor tiles finish the look.

Though a glass shower door was planned for after the showhouse, during that time the shower was open for viewing. “In the afternoon when the sun hit the glass in the shower, it would go from pale, pale silvery gray all the way across the spectrum into the pinks and purples,” enthuses Weatherly. “It was just unreal how the glass changed in the shower when the light hit it.”

The remainder of the room included a white Kohler toilet situated across from the shower, and a motif with branches taken from a piece of silk. “A faux finisher copied the silk, which was a dark aqua with bronze branches, so the walls were this beautiful dark aqua with bronze branches,” Weatherly remarks.

The light fixtures stayed within the branch motif, with two wall sconces situated on the end walls of the vanity and a chandelier over the tub.


On the second floor the “Ocean Zen” bath services the home’s guests while offering a view of Narragansett Bay.

“It’s a beachy room, with a real beach theme,” Weatherly describes.

The reflections off of the water during the day bathe the upper-story bath in soft blue light, so the colors and materials used in the space were designed to enhance that effect.

“I did the Ocean Zen bathroom in all glass – in baby, baby hand-made subway tile all in aqua,” reports Weatherly, referring to Waterfall, a rainbow-patterned tile exclusive to Weatherly Tile & Stone, Inc. “I wanted to show people what you can do when
you get totally out
of the box.”

When walking into the approximately 7'x7' room, the large window to the right offers the view of the bay. Straight ahead is a white pedestal sink with chrome legs and an oval mirror edged in chrome that tilts over the sink. Waterworks faucets are finished in polished chrome to complement these fixtures. To the right of the sink sits the white Kohler toilet.

“On that whole wall, the aqua glass tiles go up and down,” explains Weatherly. “Shelves on that wall are tiled in the same wall tile going in the same direction, so they seem to disappear into the walls. The starfish and shells on the shelves seem to be floating, if you don’t look too closely.”

On the left side of the room there is a linen closet and a shower. The shower walls are also tiled in Waterfall glass tiles, in vertical and horizontal patterns. Hand-made trim tile in clear iridescent Whitecaps tile frames the interior of the shower, thereby providing a pearlized effect.

Tumbled marble in Beach House Green covers the bath and shower floors, with accent tiles in St. Tropez Blue that are scattered throughout the floor for added interest.

Weatherly incorporated recessed lighting on dimmers throughout the room.

“I insisted on dimmers, because it really makes a difference when it shines on the glass at night,” the designer offers.

“With this room I wanted people to see that you can do glass in the shower, and you can do stone and glass on the floor,” Weatherly concludes.