It could be said that one of the keys to harmonious living as a couple is having a dual vanity in the master bathroom…but what if you took it one step further to have a true duality of everything in the master—right down to your very own vanities, tubs, toilets, and décor? So was the master plan for the master bathroom in the home that Eric and Kathy Williamson designed and built from the ground up in Nature Trail, imbuing their unique penchant for a mixture of styles into every last nook and cranny of their 3,700 square feet of space.
The aesthetic design of the house might be considered an artful blend of industrial modern with craftsman, adding in a few touches here and there of rusticity in reclaimed elements and reproduction pieces; but there are no single standouts in its 15 rooms that define one overall style. Rather, there are many standout features to capture the eye and the interest, making the home a truly unique peek into the couple’s proclivity to nature and their love for the charm of days gone by when things were well-crafted and built to last rather than to bend to the trend.
“One of the things that I love most about our home is the respect we tried to pay to quality, old-world craftsmanship—we really kept that mentality in mind as we planned the design, and I really feel that we achieved that,” says Eric, who served ten years in the Navy before he and Kathy took on the challenge of owning and running a software business. And one would certainly have to agree. There’s a sense of substantiality in the brickwork of the archway leading from the kitchen to the living room, an impression of history in each plank of the tongue-in-groove pine wood trey ceilings in the master suite, a nod to antique grandeur in the tin tiles that add elegant warmth to the formal dining room. Despite the fact that the house was completed in 2015, the home feels as though it has laid claim to its place in Nature Trail for far longer, bringing to mind certain aspects one might expect to find in old New Orleans.
Transplants Eric and Kathy have been in the area since 1996, when Eric’s orders brought them ashore to Pensacola. And while California-dreamin’ Eric and former Virginia girl Kathy could easily have fallen captive to the beauty of the beaches, they scoped out a nest in the midst of wooded nature. “We love the views that we have here of the wetland forest that borders the neighborhood, and one of our favorite things about the location here is that it provides a good compromise between living out in the country and still being relatively close to most of the conveniences of being in town. The neighborhood was planned with the preservation of the natural environment as a primary consideration, so it has an unspoiled feel that we really love.”
There are certainly a number of things to love about the spacious home—from the aged patina of the tin-tile backsplash in their luxuriously appointed kitchen to the “Man-cave” like garage where Eric lets his love of all things wheeled and winged shine.
But special attention was paid to the master suite, which allowed both Eric and Kathy to let their expression splash out, with Eric’s more austere minimalism displayed in the subdued gray tones and stainless steel of the “his” side, while on the “hers” side, Kathy’s girliness came out to play. “I love our bathroom design because it gave us an opportunity to have different styles,” says Kathy. “I’m not typically what you’d call a girly-girl, but having that division meant I could really dress up my side any way that I wanted, with rhinestone door pulls, crystal chandeliers and Victorian light fixtures, a claw-foot tub, and light pink paint on the walls.”
Not that having their bathrooms divided completely separates them. Quite the contrary, in fact, as rather than separating their respective spaces with a solid wall and each claiming their own showers, the Williamsons created one large conjoined marble shower to marry the two masters together. In another stroke of genius, they configured their vanity areas to allow for easy conversation, abutting them almost back-to-back on a shared wall. “The layout of the bathrooms is fantastic, because we each have our own space, but we can still talk to each other in the mornings through the openings next to our mirrors, “ Kathy explains. “It’s almost like we’re facing each other while we’re getting ready in the mornings—just with a mirror separating us.”
“I think it’s great that we can still have conversations without being in each other’s way when we’re getting ready,” agrees Eric, citing 23 years of “wedded bliss” that could be credited to their ability to balance togetherness with individuality. “It might not be something that works well for every couple, but it certainly is something I’d recommend!” he laughs.
It’s a secret to success lying just in-wait behind the sliding barn doors leading from their master bedroom, one more wow-factor to their already unique home. It’s their spa-like space to get ready for the day ahead or to unwind and relax when the day is done. And while their masters may be on different ends of the spectrum in design, one style that they truly share is their master plan for togetherness.