When Sara Baldwin’s family built a house outside of Eastville, Virginia, in a pine forest on the banks of the Chesapeake Bay, it only made sense that she would design the bathrooms. Baldwin is the owner of New Ravenna Mosaics, a leading designer and manufacturer of custom mosaic tile, and has access to all kinds of materials that can make a sublime bathroom.
To design her daughter’s bath, Baldwin found herself channeling memories of her childhood on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, where she grew up on her family’s farm. Her parents shared the land with her grandmother, Dorothy McCaleb, a woman who loved nature — especially birds. “We had swallows nesting in a birdhouse and under the eaves of our house,” Baldwin says. “In the evenings, as they zoomed around eating bugs, my grandmother and I would watch them.”
“I didn’t want the room to be too girly, and I wanted it to work for her as she grew up,” Baldwin says. “Plus, the lines of the stone reminded me of undulating wind currents in the sky.”
Functionality and aesthetics also drove her design of a one-legged mahogany vanity. “I love the way it looks,” she says. “But I also thought another leg close to the wall would be hard to clean around.”
Bath hardware: .25 Collection, Waterworks
“Our tile is customizable, so you can pick the size, number and position of the birds,” says Baldwin. “I wanted them to look natural, like the snapshot of a flock I had in my head.”