2023 Bathroom Design Award: Huma Sulaiman


Interior design is a minefield of challenges that rarely go exactly as planned. The savvy interior designer nimbly navigates these issues and, in the same way that a piece of carbon, impacted by the earth, becomes a diamond, the consequence often exceeds expectations. Such was the case with this bathroom, created for the Kips Bay Decorator Show House in Dallas by Southern California–based designer Huma Sulaiman.

Dallas-based Stone Mode installed all of the stone, including a soft Perlato marble that was cut to curve around the entryway to the walk-in closet and etched to create a textural wainscoting. Carole Feuerman’s Contemplation sculpture and Anne Valverde’s Pool Night are from Markowicz Fine Art. Photos by Joe Kramm.

Inspired by both the primary bathroom’s existing arched ceiling and the filtered light that streams in through an over-scaled window, Sulaiman imagined a beautiful, calming room with a relaxing spirit that she could amplify with sensual materials, gleaming brass accessories and top-of-the- line fixtures. She planned for marbles—soft creamy Perlato and rich Verde Levanto— outlining the perimeter of the room and sprawling across the floor. The tub would take center stage. “It felt like it could be a gallery in Paris,” she remembers thinking, as art would be installed throughout to bring that idea full circle.

A wall and bench of rich green Verde Levanto marble interrupts a generous shower stall of pale Perlato marble. The brass shower system, which includes overhead and handheld showers, is by Kohler. Photos by Joe Kramm.

Unforeseen circumstances truncated her timeline. “Instead of eight weeks, I had a week and a half,” she shares. Sulaiman adapted. She scrapped the idea of a marble- covered floor and settled on white oak. “I actually love a wooden floor in a bathroom,” she says. “It feels soft underfoot and warms the room.” To fill the center of the space she conjured up a long table and a plush oval maroon rug. Then, a piece of Perlato marble earmarked for a shower wall broke. Fortunately, an extra piece of Verde Levanto was found; used for one of the shower’s walls and its bench, it links tub, vanity and shower in one cohesive whole. The final effect is of a serene, inviting sanctuary that turns a practical room into a pure pleasure palace. “When things go wrong, it often forces a better solution,” Sulaiman says. And, in this case, an award-winning result.