Paradise Found

 Photo by Michael Oppenheim
Photo by Michael Oppenheim

Who says business and pleasure don’t mix? The AAA 4-Diamond-rated 1900 Inn on Montford is a prime example of the delights that result from the special combination of architect and clients working together, when they also happen to be great friends. Respected local architect and dedicated preservationist Robert S. Griffin and the Inn’s owners, Ron and Lynn Carlson, created a singular vision for the bathroom that adjoins the Inn’s “Fitzgerald Room” — as in F. Scott.

The room’s stunning glass mosaic tiles in shades of earth, café au lait, and caramel adorn the floor and walls. The ingenious use of fiber-optic LED lighting creates constellatory light patterns on the floor. And a ceiling water source for the generous tub makes for a bathing experience that’s equal parts Zen-inspired spa and mysterious Italian grotto.

The understated Kohler fixtures harmonize perfectly with the rest of the bathroom, while the hand-held showerhead adds Euro flair. The natural-edge, burnt-umber-and-black granite that separates the toilet area and serves as the tub ledge enhances the room’s lavish-but-earthy beauty.

Owner Ron Carlson says of Griffin: “He’s a master at the smart use of space, and his well-thought-out reconfiguration of this area, which included relocating the sink to the guest suite, allowed us to fit a two-person whirlpool tub in the room. He also made Lynn’s I-thought-impossible dream of having twinkly lights a reality.”

Griffin had a piece of metal fabricated with randomly drilled, diminutive holes and installed in a fiber-optic projector. The architect explains that this idea came from his early electrical-engineering studies, when he learned how lighting can produce transparency, opacity, and translucence. His unique talent, combined with the bath’s elegant materials, creates a seriously sensual space.

Architect and Designer: Robert S. Griffin, Griffin Architects, P.A.
Contractor: Joe Golino,Construction, Inc.
Cabinetry: Mountain Showcase Group *
Granite: Mountain Marble *
Fiber Optic Lighting: Visual Lighting Technologies
Wall Art: Reproductions of original pen-on-linen architectural drawings by well-known 19th-century Asheville architect Anthony Lord