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Home Front: Royal Treatmentfor the Throne Room

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Want to liven up your bathroom? New towel racks ain't gonna cut it.

Imagine instead a heated river-stone floor. Gleaming glass tiles. A sink of carved onyx with an architectural stand. Ooh.

Warning: When you walk into Renovation Resources, you run the risk of developing fixture fixation.

Co-owner Kevin W. Korda moved to Richmond two years ago to open the store as a showroom for the online company Sinks, Faucets and More. Renovation Resources offers fixtures and textures for bathrooms and kitchens, as well as design services.

Korda had intended to wait a while before officially opening the store at 18 W. Broad St., but curious passersby kept peering in the windows. The object of their desire was the deep free-standing tub — called the Boat — that was lounging against the wall.

So "we've decided we're open," Korda says. "We're not ready, but we're open."

"I haven't even got my sign out front," he says, sighing, but he doesn't need it. The bathtub beckons visitors to come in; then the sinks seduce them.

The back room blooms with basins in bright copper, hand-polished granite, cobalt-blue glass and wheel-thrown ceramic, adorned with whimsical tide-pool creatures. For full effect, they hang on overhead beams — a design Korda calls his "sink pergola."

The store also carries a broad selection of tiles: sculptured ceramic, natural stone, glass in rainbow hues and muted seaglass shades. "Little gems," Korda calls them.

Beautiful bathrooms don't come cheap. The luxuriantly curved Boat, by Clearwater America Inc., costs about $2,500. Homeowners should think of these fixtures as investments, Korda says — after all, they're "the bones of your home." HS

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