Combined shower and bath zone with skylight deal with modest space

This oasis-like master suite provides a tranquil retreat for the owners with its emphasis on natural materials and even a shower space under the stars

Story by: Charles Moxham Photography by: Dianne Snape
Square basins, a honeycomb mosaic splashback, a chunky architecture, bathroom, vanity, vanity top, floor, flooring, plumbing fixture, sink, tap, tile, wall, white, McMahon & Nerlich, stone benchtop
Square basins, a honeycomb mosaic splashback, a chunky stone countertop and wood veneer cabinetry come together for the cantilevered vanity in this ensuite.

When creating your own bathroom, including a magical element is always a plus. Something as simple as introducing a skylight over a shower can evoke a sense of pampering and well being, as in this master suite by architect Rob Nerlich.

As part of an upstairs addition to the home, the owners wanted their new bathroom to offer a meditative yet bright master-suite oasis they could retreat to after a busy day, says Nerlich.

“Setback requirements meant the new level had to step back from the ground floor walls to avoid over-shadowing neighbouring homes. So, for the master suite, we angled the exterior walls back – maximising sun for neighbours while retaining optimum floorspace in the ensuite and bedroom. Lastly, we added the skylight to wash light down the interior walls.”

Detailing was kept minimal on the ceilings and walls, with full-height sheers filtering light.


​​​​​​​A large skylight over the shower, a soft-edged architecture, bathroom, bathtub, ceramic tiles, floor, flooring, plumbing fixtures, tap, tile, rainhead shower
​​​​​​​A large skylight over the shower, a soft-edged tub and a stool that looks like a giant cork are just some features of this sophisticated, restful bathing space – part of a master suite by architects McMahon and Nerlich.

The material palette includes custom honey-coloured timber joinery on the bedheads and floating side tables, which reconcile the raking walls and add a sense of generosity to the space.

A velvety-grey wool carpet softens the timber hues and flows in to the walk-in-robe

“The long walk-in-robe straddles the existing and new areas of the home, transitioning to a lower ceiling height,” Nerlich says. “Here, the dark-brown joinery includes a mix of cubicles and soft-close drawers of various heights.”

​​​​​​​The bedhead and side tables in this master architecture, bed, bedroom, floor, flooring, furniture, ight fixture, ensuite, McMahon & Nerlich, bathroom
​​​​​​​The bedhead and side tables in this master bedroom by McMahon and Nerlich connect with the warm-toned vanity in the bathroom next door. Designing floating side tables for the master bed adds a sense of space to the room and to an extent reconciles the angled walls.

A louvre window in this room brings in ample natural light while the cabinetry element beneath acts as both a dresser and display space.

And from the same corner of the bedroom, another door opens to the master ensuite with its striking honeycomb-stone mosaic feature wall.

“The cantilevered timber-veneer vanity has a warm-grey marble benchtop that adds warmth and richness to the space,” says the architect.

The ensuite transitions to a minimalist white bathing alcove, fronted by a simple glass screen and backed by a raking wall. Grouping the tub and shower in one wet zone addressed the issue of limited space in this ensuite. A high window adds treetop views and natural ventilation.

“The clear-glass skylight floods the alcove with light. Striking, simple and calming, it allows the owners to literally shower under the stars.”

Feb 12, 2019

Credit list

Architect
Rob Nerlich, McMahon and Nerlich
Vanity countertop
Paonazzo honed stone slabs by G-Lux
Bath pourer
Astra Walker Icon
Taps
Phoenix Vivid
Shower fittings
Astra Walker Icon, from Harvey Norman
Flooring
Elapse Oyster Matt tile by G-Lux; Prestige Oakford Elegance Ellesmere carpet
Feature wall
Hexagonal stone tileLighting: LMX15 LED downlights from Lighting Matters; Codex wall lights from Urban Lighting
Underfloor heating
DeviMatt, from McKinnon Heating & Cooling
Drapes
Lovelight
Vanity and bedroom cabinetry
Custom in honey-toned timber, designed by McMahon and Nerlich
Bath
Caroma Contura, from Harvey Norman
Basin
Astra Walker Elm, from Harvey Norman
Shower stall
Walk-in, glass
Toilet
Caroma Urbane Invisi Series II
Wall tiles
G-Lux white ceramic tile
Ventilation
Aeratron
Hot water systems
Rinnai 32 Enviro
Awards
Trends International Design Awards (TIDA) Bathroom – Highly Commended
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