“I CREATE DESIGN THAT PUTS HER AT THE CENTER OF HER OWN WORLD—and that’s her home.” The feminine pronoun is intentional, Gretchen Mannioin says, as she recognizes a particular strength as a designer for women. “Men are forever guests in our homes,” she says, reciting a quotation from Elsie de Wolfe, the first American interior designer and author of the 1913 book The House in Good Taste. Mannion’s style is an intuitive one, and she takes pride in her ability to complete a project to the client’s individual satisfaction after little more guidance than a one-hour consultation. It’s about observing people, the clothes particularly. “They have less fear in their clothing than they do in a permanent decision,” she explains. They know what they like, they just don’t know how to express it, and that’s where Mannion comes in. One of Mannion’s signatures is the procurement and utilization of singularly bold items as anchors, tying the whole room together while simultaneously having features stand out. Meeting Chris and Martina Timol while hosting a cocktail party in her home, the couple approached Mannion about renovating the bathrooms in their River Club house in Lakewood Ranch. Four bathrooms, they said, one master, two for the kids and one powder room—all done in different styles but still needing to connect to the house as a whole. A tall order.

Photos by Peter Ackerman.

Haute Herringbone
A herringbone-patterned floor of Skyline polished marble pops among largely neutral colors and  lends the master bathroom an energetic air amongst the sophisticated stillness. Angled out from the corner, the pattern also serves to draw the eye with it and complement a sense of expanse. Sourced from Florida Design Works and laid in by hand over the course of several days, it was worth the extra effort, Mannion says, to give the owner something other than the traditional Carrera marble look.

Photos by Peter Ackerman.

Countertop Pop! 
Mannion brings edge to a more metropolitan conceit with a bold quartz countertop that accentuates an overarching feel of urban upscale with youthful exuberance. A Galloway design from Cambria’s Coastal Collection, dark, erratic striations and the stone’s ingrained sparkle flair work as a natural counterpoint and complement to a brace of whimsical sconces from Worlds Away.

Rustic Retreat 
With hand-laid riverstone below and antlers dangling above, Mannion recreates the Timol family’s northern roots in the middle of the Florida home. Livity Split Pebbles from Florida Design Works comprise the earthen-toned composition underfoot. The antler chandelier with tortoiseshell finish from Savoy House Antlers almost went to the office, but Mannion insisted. Guest bathrooms are the place to break all the rules, she says laughing. “That’s where you have a captive audience.” 

Showering Praise 
A ceramic mosaic of Remolinos tile from Solistone gives a Bohemian vibe and brings a bit of the unexpected to the understated and elevates the largely traditional to the exceptional. “Because each person is different,” says Mannion, “and that’s part of the fun.” Patterned colors mirror the adjacent bedroom’s reclaimed closet doors and the square shape mirrors the window positioned above, exemplifying one of Mannion’s key principles – repetition. The art was hand-arranged and sourced from Florida Design Works.