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Home design ideas: An Art Deco bathroom inspired by railroads

A homeowner whose grandfather worked for a railroad trains her sights on an Art Deco-style bath.

Designer Cecilia Casagrande commissioned a tile company to re-create a section of floor from an old photo of Seattle’s Union Station for this bathroom redesign.SEAN LITCHFIELD

When a photo of a mosaic tile floor with Art Deco vibes made her client’s heart go pitter pat, Cecilia Casagrande figured they had found the inspiration for the Brookline homeowner’s third-floor bath. Then the designer learned that the tiny slice of floor pictured was a corner of Seattle’s Union Station, and that the client’s grandfather was a conductor, and it was a done deal. Casagrande commissioned a tile company to re-create the floor, then built the rest of the scheme around it. Finally, she urged her client to dig up old photos for a personal touch.

1 Heritage Tile in Wisconsin re-created the pattern of the mosaic tile floor, which includes squares and hexagons, from the photo Casagrande and her client found on Pinterest.


2 The wall-hung black vanity by Strasser Woodenworks doesn’t obscure the floor. Casagrande sourced the octagonal Bakelite knobs from a vintage dealer online.

3 Casagrande found a remnant of green marble at Olympia Marble & Granite in Needham to use for the countertop and the custom ogee-shaped backsplash. The unlacquered brass plumbing fixtures will patina over time, adding age to the historically-themed space.

4 A curb-less shower allows the mosaic to run through the space uninterrupted. The shower wall tiles — dark green porcelain with a wavy texture from Discover Tile — are based on the inspiration image, too.

5 The owner’s grandfather took the black and white photograph of the train where she says he worked as either a conductor or a lineman.

6 The Rejuvenation sconces resemble period lamppost lights while the curves of the Pottery Barn black metal mirror hint at Art Deco sensibilities. Casagrande covered the back wall (reflected in the mirror) with Cole & Son wallpaper by Piero Fornasetti that pictures keys hidden in greenery.

Marni Elyse Katz is a contributing editor to the Globe Magazine. Follow her on Instagram @StyleCarrot. Send comments to magazine@globe.com.