All That Glitters

Byzantine influences and old Hollywood glamour fuse in this luxurious bathroom made of precious metals and antique glass.

By Michelle Mastro

Photography by Alise O’Brien  

Interior Design: Stuckenschneider Decoration & Design

Contractor: Markway Construction Co.


Styles come and go, but gold will always captivate, albeit through different shades, cuts or intensities. The precious metal has been around for ages and has symbolized everything from the mighty wealth of countries to an individual’s cultural influence. Designer, Ken Stuckenschneider, and owner of Stuckenschneider Decoration & Design tapped into the Midas touch to create an element of interest. But he also created a touch of novelty, casting the shiny and glistening material as the leading star of this old Hollywood-inspired bathroom.

The bathroom’s sparkle offers an emotional impact. Guests may want to linger longer and relax a while in this essential room to the household. Here, elaborate custom mosaic tile patterns of polished white and yellow onyx, Giallo de Sienna, and brilliant white Thassos marble adorn the walls. There is a cast iron tub incorporating the materials, too, while hand-hammered pewter and gilt faucets bolster a Byzantine meets old Hollywood allure.

Ken added a large oculus window that looks out onto gorgeous gardens surrounding the abode. But the window also beckons the viewer to peer inward to the house’s interior.    

“Architecture leads and design follows is my design mantra,” says Ken, who explains that rooms should have robust architecture structures first and afterward a layering in of designs can follow. “One of my specialties is finding a pathway in the house to decorating, making design choices feel purposeful and not random decoration.”

The purpose behind this glittering bathroom is to highlight the overall aesthetic of the home. Look at the vaguely rounded tops of the bathroom doors, says Ken, and visitors can spot the subtle gestures to West Coast living. “Built in the 1940s, this house has a quality that brings to mind a mini version of the Beverly Hillbillies’ mansion. Because it was built after World War II, the home has this American glamour look to it popularized by Hollywood films during the period.” This, plus the homeowner always wanted to live in California, and reaching back to classic Hollywood makes the most design sense.

“I take the best from every period to create something timeless with my designs,” he says, “I wanted to help the bathroom withstand the test of time.” Hence, Ken also explored antiquity for his muse. The mosaics may give away the Mediterranean influences the most, yet vintage Italian hand-blown light sconces also point to the Classical periods captured. Nearby an onyx wall night-light recessed into the sides of the bath likewise enhances the glitter and glow of the bathroom. Centered in the vaulted mosaic-covered ceiling is a shower steam room interior with a cold-water plunge shower, a special feature rarely found in domestic bathrooms.

Balancing out the splendor of the surroundings, antique glass is layered among regular mirrors to cut done on the sheen, so the eye isn’t completely overwhelmed. Today, gold is highly prized for its ability to withstand the ravages of time—gold maintains its finish well. Nevertheless, perhaps the quiet grandeur, offset through moments of release and a relaxed kind of style, will make this St. Louis bathroom not only the most gorgeous but the most everlastingly beautiful.



Contractor: Markway Construction, Co. 

Interior Design: Stuckenschneider Decoration & Design 

Grantie Supplier/Installer: Westport Tile & Granite 

Plumbing Fixtures:P.E. Guerin 

Decoritve Fixtures: Theiss Painting, The Brass Center, P.E. Guerin 

Lighting: Metro Lighting

Painter: Koch Bros. Decorating, Inc. 

Glass/Mirror: County Glass & Mirror