Chill out on a hot day

A simple layout, subtle colors, cool materials and proximity to the swimming pool and outside shower reduce the temperature in this master suite
The master bathroom of this summer house set architecture, bathroom, estate, floor, flooring, home, interior design, property, real estate, room, sink, window, gray
The master bathroom of this summer house set in the desert in southern california was designed bu luis Ortega to be simple, modern and minimalist.

For a house built in an extreme desert environment, keeping cool must always be a priority. The climate plays an important role in the choice of layout, fittings, colors and other features.

Architectural designer Luis Ortega and design associate Jose Fernandez were asked to upgrade the master suite in a traditional 1940s adobe-style summer house in a southern California desert community.

"The owners wanted the house to have a more contemporary, minimal appearance, both inside and out. And because it is a holiday home, they also wanted it to be low maintenance," says the designer.

The master bedroom was enlarged to incorporate a wardrobe and an ensuite bathroom. This connects with a new outdoor shower and with the existing swimming pool and seating area.

A three-quarter height dividing wall acts as a bed frame, bedroom, ceiling, interior design, real estate, room, suite, wall, brown
A three-quarter height dividing wall acts as a headboard for the bed and allows the bathroom to be accessed from both sides of the bedroom.

"The design of the new master suite is simple and modern, to complement the rest of the house. This style also works well for the hot climate here," says Ortega.

The bathroom, bedroom and closet are all part of the same space, although a partition wall that stops short of the ceiling provides partial separation between the three zones.

As well as making the whole master suite feel more spacious, this device also improves the overall air circulation.

The sleeping alcove itself is quite simple, containing only the bed, a window seat and built-in cabinetry for a stereo and TV. The wall divider is located behind the bed, allowing access to the wardrobe and bathroom from both sides of the room.

Pegs provide plenty of hanging space for towels, architecture, bathroom, ceiling, countertop, floor, flooring, home, interior design, kitchen, real estate, room, tile, gray
Pegs provide plenty of hanging space for towels, which the owners wanted for when they take a dip in the swimming pool or use the outdoor shower.

Polished concrete floors in the rest of the house continue into the master suite, keeping the space cool underfoot.

Green Vert Lagun marble features throughout the bathroom in slab form for the vanity top and tub surround, and as mosaic tiles for the backsplash behind the tub and hand basins and the walls of the shower enclosure and steam room. Vanity and wardrobe drawers are made from white oak, also used elsewhere in the house. To ventilate the closet, the doors are made from panels of thin strips of oak woven and set into door frames.

"The wood tones and the green of the marble tie in with the colors in the rest of the house. The green is soothing and refreshing, in contrast to the heat of the desert outside. The colors, materials and simple shapes in the space add to the Zen-like atmosphere that the owners wanted," says Ortega.

A few steps from the bathroom, past the back door, is an outdoor shower. It is screened by a large, canoe-shaped, wooden tree trunk that was dug up in Guatemala, and a swimming pool is close by.

Dec 03, 2007

Credit list

Vanity and bathroom tiles
Vert Lagun Marble from Compass Architectural Stone
Semincasso Aquagrande from Lacava
Shower fittings
Shower stall
Astoria in Matte Nickel
Custom-colored Polished Concrete
Don Heggie Electric
Aero Shades from Conrad Blinds
Maillot Tub from Ann Sacks
Rift White Oak with light stain
Astoria in Matte Nickel from Waterworks
Outdoor shower fittings
Philippe Starck
Flooring supplier
Pacific Concrete and Design
Toilet and bidet
Astoria from Waterworks
Rift White Oak with light stain
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