Bathing and birdsong

This bathroom responds to its idyllic harbour view
Story by: Charles Moxham Photography by: Martin Tessler Bathing and birdsong This bathroom responds to its idyllic harbour view
View of bathroom with large grey floor and architecture, bathroom, bathtub, estate, home, house, interior design, real estate, room, white, brown
View of bathroom with large grey floor and wall tiles, white tub and view out to garden and sea.

Relaxing in the tub and feeling at one with the scenery is a luxury that comes with a wooded site. When your nearest neighbors are the local flora and fauna, there's no reason not to enjoy an open connection to your environment.

Architects Bo Helliwell and Kim Smith have remodeled their architecturally significant 1960s home gradually over the past 12 years. Last on the list was replacing the existing bathroom and the adjacent master bedroom, says Helliwell.

"We wanted a spacious new bathroom with a good connection to the outdoors and plenty of natural light. However, we needed to do some structural realignment first," says Helliwell.

The work included removing a wall between the master bedroom and hallway to create more bedroom space. At the same time, the existing bathroom was demolished and the floorplate expanded to accommodate a new, much larger bathroom and a walk-in closet.

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View of bedroom with wooden shelving.

"Raising the roof on this side of the house to maximize light penetration into the spaces was integral to the job," says Kim Smith.

Overall, the work resulted in a generous 10ft ceiling height by the windows, rising to 16ft at the central peak of the bedroom ceiling.

With the master bathroom squarely oriented to the site and the outlooks, the two architects then created interiors that celebrate the setting. The natural material palette echoes the surroundings, yet avoids detracting from them.

"We lined the ceiling in local Douglas fir, a fast-growing, sustainable species, and this wood is repeated on the vanity cabinetry fronts," says Smith. "The chunky, solid countertop is a slab of American redwood.

View of bathroom with large grey wall and estate, home, interior design, property, real estate, white, brown
View of bathroom with large grey wall and floor tiles, whie tub and view out to garden and sea.

"The different woods were used together for visual contrast and interest."

Continuing the simple palette, the floors in the bedroom and bathroom are bluestone, which also forms a feature wall in the bathroom.

In a room designed to focus squarely on the outdoors, even the toilet is only separated from the ocean views by a glass wall.

The freestanding tub and bowl-style vanity add a graceful, relaxed feel to the bathroom. A niche carved out of the bluestone wall provides a handy soapstand for the tub. Its recessed form contributes to the overall clean-lined ambience.

Mar 30, 2012

Credit list

Boda Construction
Custom cabinet in Douglas fir, California redwood slab countertop, Caroma Leda Vasque basin, faucets Cascade in chrome by La Torre
Shower stall
Custom glass enclosure with Schluter shower base
Wall coverings
Split-face Bluestone slate tiles; painted drywall
Ico Sorrano towel warmer
Acritec Arto LLB
Shower fittings
American Standards, Hansgrohe rain shower head
Split-face Bluestone slate tiles
MP Lighting; Awassa sconces by Eureka Lighting; custom Urchin light pendant
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