Quality construction detail by John Rusk

Educating the Eye: Quality and Construction details by John Rusk


Renovations are commonly done starting from the bare bones of the space following demolition. However, in New York City there are many new buildings where apartments are designed by the developer. Most developer finishes look great; they work within the design intent of the building; they include brand name products; and they are convenient.  Some will leave them as is, but others will want to customise.  This blog post describes the work we did in one of New York’s newest condos.

In this renovation, the original design of the powder/full bath had a frameless glass shower door and panel in front of a shower. But proper powder rooms are meant to be special places.  They are meant to surprise, and delight visitors; a private place during a party. Including a shower in a powder room makes it clear that they are borrowing a shared family space that serves as a place for bathing.  It feels like an invasion of privacy.

Rusk teamed up with Plainspace Architecture and Shari Pellows Design to solve this problem by creating a mirrored, hidden door that perfectly hides the shower beyond.   The mirrored wall gives the illusion that the powder room is “just for” the visitor. When pulled back, the residents are able to use the shower and keep that space a private one.


The floor is a custom mosaic tile pattern made to match a rug owned by our client. In the developer version of the bath, the shower had a simple marble stone threshold.  Here, the design team wanted the mosaic to travel up and over the curb.  Mosaic tiles are tiny, so typically they would be cut to fit the width of the saddle, and then joined.  But in the couture version, the shower curb dimension is built to match the width of the tiles.  Our team’s precision in their work makes this achievable; cutting 1/2 mosaic tiles without chips in the tiles is a feat.

The vanity sink is likewise made of mitered pieces of stone.  Note that the white veins in the stone travel up the vertical face of the slab, and then continue seamlessly across the horizontal surface as if the vanity was made of a single block of stone.

Architecture: Plainspace Architecture and Design

Interior Design: Shari Pellows Interiors

Photography: Paul Rivera Architectural Photography


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