Harmony in diversity

Inspired by design elements from Europe and Asia, this grand suite features a complex layout that gradually reveals its charms
view of the sitting room interior that is architecture, ceiling, daylighting, floor, flooring, home, house, interior design, living room, real estate, room, wall, window, brown, black
view of the sitting room interior that is flooded with natural light and resembles a tower from the exterior

In terms of architecture and design, Italy and Japan bear little resemblance. Despite the obvious differences, however, this home shows it is possible to create a cohesive design from disparate cultures.

With vaulted ceilings, archways and exposed beams, this large master suite, remodeled by Tim Bjella from Arteriors, reflects the traditional grandeur and ambience of classic Italian design. To cater for the owners' appreciation of Japanese artwork and culture, Bjella also referenced Japan in the design.

While vacationing in Italy, Bjella visited the site of an Italian monastery. Impressed by the dimensions of an outdoor arcade, he thought a similar layout might translate well to an indoor space.

"Originally, this suite was much smaller one room off a hallway. However, the owners wanted to greatly extend the space, which presented the opportunity of organizing everything around a central arcade," he says.


view of the column arches in the central architecture, bathroom, cabinetry, ceiling, countertop, floor, flooring, furniture, home, interior design, kitchen, light fixture, lighting, lobby, room, wall, brown
view of the column arches in the central arcade/master bedroom, bays fitted with translucent glass panels

Because of the large area, one challenge was ensuring that enough natural light penetrated the central hallway. This was achieved by fitting the bays between columns, which line the hall, with sandblasted glass panels.

"Overall, it's a complex design that gradually unfolds as you travel through it," says the architect.

"Rooms can be made to appear larger if they aren't completely delineated. For example, the dividing wall between the bathroom and the laundry room doesn't rise to the ceiling. Instead, a skylight in the ceiling provides a greater sense of volume in both rooms," says Bjella.

While two large Japanese sculptures stand at each end of the central arcade, it is the bathroom itself that more obviously reflects the Japanese inspiration, says Bjella.

view of this bathroom that is inspired by ceiling, floor, interior design, room, brown
view of this bathroom that is inspired by elements from europe and asia, featuring limestone tiles, japanese soaking tubstainless ballustrade, blue glass tiles

In the bathroom, a floating effect was created with faux-finished blue soffits sitting above sliding glass doors that are reminiscent of shoji Japanese screens.

Light blue glass tiles surround the raised Japanese-soaking tub, in which bathers rest upright on a built-in seat, as well as the custom-made stainless steel sinks sitting atop maple vanities.

The bathroom floors, and walls surrounding the tub and shower tower, are covered with limestone tiles.

May 26, 2006

Credit list

Interior and bathroom designer
Flooring
Limestone from Cutting
Lighting
Citilights Lighting; Tech Lighting; Illuminating Experience
Sink vanity
Maple base; Minerali glass countertop
Sinks
Stainless steel, custom designed by Tim Bjella; manufactured by Diamond Spa
Shower
Aquatower from Grohe
Builder
Titus Construction
Wallcoverings
Faux finished paint and limestone
Bathtub
Stainless steel Japanese soaking tub from Diamond Spa
Cabinetry
Maple, custom designed by Tim Bjella
Faucets
Sink faucets Saturno from Lacava; tub faucets Axor from Hansgrohe
Shower tiles
Limestone and Minerali glass tile from Cutting Edge Tile
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