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With the tub at one end and a dressing room at the other, this suite of rooms offers a spacious and light area in which to prepare for the day
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View of the clothes wardrobe

Space is a precious commodity and no design can afford to let it go to waste. So if a home contains a corner or two that aren't used to best advantage, it may be worthwhile to make a few changes.

With a bathroom and an unused sitting area adjacent to the master bedroom, the home shown here was in precisely this situation. The solution for rejuvenating the space was to remodel it into a light and open bathroom and dressing room. Steven Svetlik of Denny & Svetlik Architects drew on the style of the original home in creating the new space.

"The house is an early 1970s, Japanese modern-style bungalow that uses a lot of exposed wood and has a nice relationship between the indoors and the outside," says Svetlik.

"Our challenge was to complement the strong style of the existing house without competing with it, and to incorporate the large gable-end windows that filled the existing sitting room with natural light."


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Overlooking the vanity & mirror

The entry to the suite is directly opposite the center of the long limestone-topped vanity unit. To the right is the dressing room, complete with built-in dresser drawers and a his-and-hers wardrobe space, all contained within the 265sq ft space. To the left lies the fully tiled wet room, housing the tub and shower.

The cast-iron tub is set in a raised platform and surrounded by windows. This position gives the bath a view into the back yard of the property and to the bay beyond. Privacy is ensured by the fact that the property is on a higher elevation than its neighbors.

A doorless shower is in the same room. Set into an asymmetric alcove, the shower is discreetly tucked away behind a separate room which contains the toilet.

Reflecting the clean and simple detailing of the house, a strong natural style helps define the look of the remodeled area. This can be seen in the choice of cedar veneers for the vanity cabinetry and the bamboo flooring.

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The vanity of this bathroom

The double-sink countertop lends the bathroom a sense of symmetry while the vanity itself is intended to look like a separate piece of furniture. This look is achieved through two touches of careful detailing. First, the unit is raised on feet like a chest of drawers. Second, the backsplash is made to look like it drops behind the vanity, so the vanity appears to be set away from the wall.

The backsplash also provides a base for the bottom track of the two movable mirrors. Picking up on the Japanese style of the home's design, these operate like a shoji screen, moving along a wooden track allowing the window behind to be blocked or revealed. The upper track of the mirrors is an integral trim detail that runs around the space, acting as a kind of dado line and marking a transition point between the different materials used in the design, Svetlik says.

"The overall result is a rich contemporary design that complements the warmly crafted feeling of the home the suite is in."

Apr 24, 2003

Credit list

Architect
Denny & Svetlik Architects (Seattle)
Bathtub
Vintage bath in cast iron from Kohler
Basin
Caxton from Kohler
Shower fittings
Colonial from Dorf
Lighting
Jesolo Max from Meltemi
Main contractor
Johns Construction
Vanity cabinetry
Custom built by Pete’s Cabinets in cedar veneer
Faucets
Tara from Dorf
Flooring
Bamboo
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