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One way mirror doubles as a shower screen in this large master suite

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Designer Mark Gacesa uses materials, motifs and design elements to connect this master suite's bedroom, dressing room and bathroom

One way mirror doubles as a shower screen in this large master suite Discover this article's resources


Five-star hotel and resort suites have become a major influence on how we design our own bathrooms. The owners of this new home travel frequently – so when planning the house with designer Mark Gacesa they asked for a master suite that was equal to, or better than, anywhere they had stayed when on their journeys.

Gacesa's response more than met that request, but also produced a space with an impressive sense of continuity, complete with design features that push the boundaries of what we expect in a master suite.

Key to the success of the project is the integration of the three zones – bedroom, dressing room and bathroom.

"The entire suite connects through the use of materials and design elements," says Gacesa. "Although this is a big space, it flows beautifully and feels intimate."

One way this is achieved is through the thick bulkhead that forms the ceiling of the central dressing room, and projects over the shower and into the bathroom on one side, and above the bed on the other.


Beneath the bulkhead in the bedroom, the wall is clad in Hosowari porcelain tile, giving a highly textured effect similar to stacked stone. This tile wraps around to the entrance of the dressing room and then reappears in the shower.

Materials for the bed plinth and bedside tables are also used in the bathroom, as is the floating effect Gacesa created.

Another design element established in the bedroom is the fret pattern seen in the central bedhead panel. Here it is formed from a bronze frame, with padded black suede inserted to give a relief effect.

A central cutout in this panel allows distant mountain views from the dressing room, while other cutouts in the bulkhead above the bed and in the dressing room ceiling highlight the fret pattern and maintain a sense of the room's full height.

All of these elements are carried through to the bathroom itself, says Gacesa.

"One of the owners likes to read in the bath with a drink and enjoy the view, so I wanted to create a setting for this," he says.

The tub is encased in a plinth made of the same marble as the floor, and sits on a mirrored base. This continues the floating effect, emphasised by lighting, that was seen in the bedroom.

Steps leading up to the bath are similarly treated with mirrored supports and underlighting, so they too appear to float.

To hold drinks and magazines, Gacesa placed a platform on top of the plinth, made from two Corian disks with antique Tuscan glass sandwiched between them. The same materials were also used for the adjacent make-up counter and cupboards.

But the most impressive feature in the room is the design of the shower enclosure.

"I wanted to retain the uninterrupted views from the shower, but needed to provide privacy as well."

The solution was something that Gacesa says may never have been done before – the glass panel between the shower and vanity is a massive one-way mirror, made more effective by the dark wall in the shower and the ceiling lights above the vanity.

"It's a trick you don't get sick of. I like to create illusions, so people look at something – and do a double-take."

Credit List

Designer Mark Gacesa, Ultraspace
Builder Stewart Homes
Vanity Designed by Ultraspace; manufactured by Minka Joinery
Countertop Corian Lava Rock
Shower stall Marble, Corian Lava Rock, Hosowari tile
Shower glazed panel Triple layered one-way mirror with sandblasted fret pattern interlayer
Shower fittings and taps Hansgrohe, custom coloured in brushed bronze and matte black
Bath and plinth Bette Purista, Silverscape marble, Corian Lava Rock, antique Tuscan mirror
Basins Parisi Twinset 525
Hot water system Rheem Optima 250L, electric
Flooring Silverscape marble slabs; underfloor heating
Wallcovering Commercial vinyl thatching supplied by Ultraspace
Toilet Duravit Darling New with SensoWash
Bidet Duravit Darling New with SensoWash
Accessories All custom coloured in brushed bronze and matte black

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